LONDON, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Another 49,156 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, marking the largest daily rise since lockdown rules ended in England three months ago, according to official figures released Monday.
For the sixth consecutive day, more than 40,000 new cases have been reported in Britain, where the accumulative number of cases has risen to 8,497,868.
The coronavirus-related death toll in the country rose by 45 to a total of 138,629. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test. There are currently 7,097 patients in hospital with COVID-19.
The latest data came as Downing Street acknowledged that winter would be "challenging" when questioned about rising coronavirus infections.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesperson said Downing Street was keeping a "very close watch" on the latest statistics, but suggested case rates, hospitalizations and deaths were "still broadly in line with" government modeling as set out a few months back now.
"The vaccination program will continue to be our first line of defense, along with new treatments, testing and public health advice," said the spokesperson.
More than 85 percent of people aged 12 and over in Britain have had their first vaccine dose, and over 78 percent have received both, the latest figures showed.