Health secretary Matt Hancock 'concerned' by surge in coronavirus cases

Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

The health secretary has said he is "concerned" after the number of coronavirus cases surged to the highest number since May.

Across the UK, there were 2,988 new cases in the 24 hours to 9am on Sunday.

That includes 208 new cases in Scotland, its biggest daily increase for more than 17 weeks.

Meanwhile 106 people tested positive in Northern Ireland, its highest figure since April and there were 98 new cases in Wales, the highest number since June.

Political Correspondent Paul Brand puts the figures into context

Matt Hancock said the increase in cases was "predominantly amongst young people" but this would in turn lead to a rise across the population as a whole.

Despite more coronavirus testing being carried out, Mr Hancock said the proportion of positive tests was increasing.

Mr Hancock did not rule out another UK-wide lockdown and said the government would "take whatever action is necessary", but said the best line of defence was to practice social distancing.

There have now been 347,152 Covid-19 cases in the UK.

On Saturday, cases rose by 1,813, meaning Sunday's cases jumped by 1,000 more.

Meanwhile the death toll has increased by two - taking the total to 41,551 - and 756 are in hospital with the virus.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,300 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.


There have been no further reported deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus in Wales, health officials have said.

The total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic remains at 1,597.


A further three people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,607, NHS England said on Sunday.

The patients were aged between 69 and 89 and all had known underlying health conditions.

The dates of the deaths were on September 4 and September 5.

No deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Credit: Jane Barlow/PA


No new deaths have been recorded in Scotland, where the death toll stands at 2,496.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland does not relay up-to-date information on coronavirus fatalities on Saturdays and Sundays.

The latest death toll reported by the department on Friday stood at 564.