UK records highest daily increase of coronavirus cases, deaths

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Britain recorded another 68,053 coronavirus cases, the highest ever daily increase since the pandemic began in the country, official figures showed Friday.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the country stands at 2,957,472, the data showed.

Another 1,325 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, also the highest daily death toll, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 79,833, the data showed.

Britain's coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, has risen to between one and 1.4, the British government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said Friday.

The R number is one of many indicators scientists use to determine how fast COVID-19 is spreading in the country.

Reproduction rate means the average number of people each person with coronavirus goes on to infect. Therefore, an R number of between one and 1.4 means on average every 10 people with the virus will infect between 10 and 14 others.

If the R number is above one, it means the number of cases will increase exponentially.

According to the latest infection survey by the British Office for National Statistics, coronavirus infections in England had risen to one in 50 people.

Also on Friday, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" in the British capital as rising coronavirus cases are threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

A "major incident" is defined as being "beyond the scope of business-as-usual operations, and is likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security".

Major incidents have previously been called for the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and the terror attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.