Health officials voice concern as UK reports 17,540 new COVID cases

LONDON (Reuters) - Health authorities also cautioned that in COVID-19 cases there was a 'definite and persistent' increase following more than 17,540 new regular cases observed on Thursday, with over 3,000 cases reported from the 14,162 identified the previous day.

After 28 days of positive virus monitoring, another 77 persons died, government data shows that the amount of COVID-19 patients in hospitals had increased to 3,044 in England, up from 2,944 on Wednesdays and the maximum since 22 June.

"This pattern is evident and quite worried," said Dr. Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England. "This is a substantial and ongoing rise in hospital events and admissions.

"There have already been a rise in mortality figures from Covid-19, but we must continue to work to reduce this virus spread."

(Michael Holden, Andy Bruce, Alistair Smout and editing) William James and Kate Holton)