The number of confirmed coronavirus cases at the University of East Anglia has increased to 73, it has been revealed.

Norwich Evening News: University of East Anglia vice chancellor David Richardson collecting a Covid-19 test box. Picture: UEAUniversity of East Anglia vice chancellor David Richardson collecting a Covid-19 test box. Picture: UEA (Image: Archant)

The university said on Friday (October 9) that 47 of the positive cases were on campus and 26 off campus.

The figure had increased on the 30 positive cases from the previous day.

The university is offering swab tests, run by the Earlham Institute, to see if students and staff have the virus.

The voluntary tests can give results in 24 hours as to whether people have the virus - even if they have no symptoms.

Norwich Evening News: Professor Dylan Edwards. Photo: UEAProfessor Dylan Edwards. Photo: UEA (Image: UEA)

Prof Dylan Edwards, pro-vice chancellor of the UEA’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, told BBC Radio Norfolk that: “It’s very much a concern. We did anticipate this, which is why we set in place with our partner institution on the Norwich Research Park - the Earlham Institute - the ability to do testing of students and staff, to really try to identify people who were asymptomatic.”

He said increased testing would inevitably mean more positive results.

He said: “You will find it, especially amongst the 18 to 25 year old age group, which makes up the vast majority of our students. Most of them who do pick up coronavirus in that age group will be asymptomatic - they will have next to no symptoms at all, but yet they will still be able to pass the infection on to others.”

He said a recent study from the Office for National Statistics showed about 80pc of people with Covid-19 were asymptomatic, showing no symptoms.

Prof Edwards said safety measures were in place around the UEA campus, including hand sanitisers, one way systems, face coverings and social distancing measures.

He said lectures were on-line until at least the new year, but there were small groups of face-to-face teaching.

Around 100 students have been self-isolating on campus. The UEA recently cut the cost of meals for self-isolating students after the price was described as “scandalous”.

Latest figures showed coronavirus cases had risen again in Norwich.

Public Health England figures for the seven days to October 3, showed the number of Covid-19 cases in Norwich rising to 42 per 100,000 people, compared to 14.9 in the previous week - the seven days up to September 26.

In the seven days up to October 2, the rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 was 34.9, compared with the seven days leading to October 1, which was 24.9.