The United Kingdom Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently reported about the concerning increase of depression in adults amid the pandemic. Leading experts suggest the likelihood of a mental health crisis once the coronavirus outbreak is finally under control. It seems that it would still be a long time off before the latter becomes reality as national test and trace results show a considerable growth of COVID-19 cases across the country. Data apparently shows that it has gone up by a third.

So far, the government's contact tracing programme has identified 6,616 individuals who have recently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This marks a 27 percent surge in contrast to the numbers published for the first week of August. There are two classifications of tests being conducted by the British healthcare system: pillar 1 and pillar 2, according to the Independent.

The first sees samples processed within National Health Service (NHS) laboratories, while the second are tests performed by drive-in sites and care homes. It was also noted that the ones being done in NHS facilities rose by 34 percent by the end of the aforementioned week.

Although the people who were tested came from areas identified as coronavirus hotspots, it still shows that the rate of infection is trending upwards. Not surprisingly, months ago, researchers already warned that a second outbreak was likely once lockdown orders have been lifted.

Meanwhile, health officials have not observed any alarming changes regarding COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalisations. The ONS highlighted an outcome from a community-based study which suggests infections might have levelled off.

However, University of East Anglia Professor of Medicine Paul Hunter said: "The fact that positive diagnoses have risen at a time when the number of tests are remaining fairly static does suggest that the incidence of Covid-19 in the community is now beginning to rise again."

UK health secretary, Matt Hancock
Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said while some of the children who have this new disease tested positive for the novel coronavirus, others had not. Photo: AFP / DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS

He added: "Clearly if this trend continues the demands on the test, track and trace service and on the NHS will increase over coming weeks." Over the weekend, UK health ministers were purportedly in a discussion about plans to scrap Public Health England (PHE). On the other hand, analysts believe this would be a huge mistake amid the pandemic.