39 people test positive for Covid-19 in last 24 hours and NO deaths | UK understood to be showing ‘early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infection’

Another 39 people tested positive with Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, the latest Department of Health dashboard has revealed.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 2:09 pm
Updated Monday, 31st May 2021, 2:10 pm

This is the lowest number of positive tests recorded since August 2020.

No deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 were recorded in the last 24 hours.

The news comes as it emerges there are signs the UK is in the early stages of a third wave of coronavirus infections, a scientist advising the government has said.

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Prof Ravi Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, said although new cases were “relatively low” the Indian variant had fuelled “exponential growth”.

In a report on the BBC he said ending Covid restrictions in England on 21 June should be postponed.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said the government could not rule out a delay to the planned lockdown easing.

On Sunday, the UK reported more than 3,000 new Covid infections for a fifth day in a row.

A sample for testing of Covid-19

Prior to this, the UK had not surpassed that number since 12 April.

Prof Gupta told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the UK was already in a third wave of infections and at least three-quarters of cases were the Indian variant.

He said: “Of course the numbers of cases are relatively low at the moment - all waves start with low numbers of cases that grumble in the background and then become explosive, so the key here is that what we are seeing here is the signs of an early wave.”

However, he said the number of people who had been vaccinated in the UK meant this wave would probably take longer to emerge than previous ones.

“There may be a false sense of security for some time, and that’s our concern.”