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770 students test positive in major coronavirus outbreak at UK university

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-10-03 07:59
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LONDON - A total of 770 students have tested positive for coronavirus in a British university in one of the major outbreaks in Britain since the reopening of the campuses in September, a university spokesperson said Friday.

A view shows a logo of Northumbria University, where 770 students tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as people walk by, in Newcastle, Britain, October 2,2020. [Photo/Agencies]

The spokesperson for Northumbria University, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, said all of those students who tested positive are now self-isolating and 78 were displaying symptoms.

Meanwhile, flatmates and any close contacts are also going into isolation, the spokesperson added.

In a statement, the university said it was supporting those affected by providing food and other essential items, such as laundry and cleaning materials.

The university is offering "welfare support including 24/7 online mental health support and one-to-one support from our wellbeing teams", according to the statement.

The report came as Britain's R number, which shows the coronavirus reproduction, has risen to as high as 1.6, the latest official figures showed Friday.

The R number is now between 1.3 and 1.6, up from between 1.2 and 1.5 last week, according to figures released by the British government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

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

Another 6,968 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 467,146, according to official figures released Friday.

The coronavirus-related deaths rose by 66 to 42,268, according to the latest data.

At least 16 million people are now living under some form of enhanced restriction, according to Sky News.

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.

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