UK records 22,961 new COVID-19 cases as total surpasses 500,000
Another 22,961 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 502,978, according to official figures released on Sunday.
The government said that the hike in cases is due to a technical issue, which led to a delay in reporting data, and the total reported over the coming days will include some additional cases from between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, Sky News reported.
Britain's R number, which shows the coronavirus reproduction, has risen to as high as 1.6, the latest official figures showed Friday.
If the reproduction rate is above one, it means the number of cases will increase exponentially.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that Britain's coronavirus pandemic may be "bumpy through to Christmas" as the country continues to see a sharp rise in infections, local media reported Sunday.
"I've got to tell you in all candour it's going to continue to be bumpy through to Christmas, it may even be bumpy beyond," he said in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr Show program.
"This could be a very tough winter for all of us -- we've got to face that fact," Johnson said.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
The British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has said that it is possible that some vaccine could be available in small amounts later this year, but it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year, although that is not guaranteed.