397 new deaths recorded across the UK as cases continue to surge

This comes as new figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the number of weekly coronavirus deaths in England and Wales has risen to its highest figure since early June.

The UK has registered an additional 397 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, according to new government data, as the number of infections continues to surge.

The figure represents the highest single-day rise in the death toll since 27 May, when 422 deaths were reported.

The new fatalities bring the total across the UK since the outbreak began to 47,250.

In total, 63,000 deaths with  Covid-19  on the death certificate have been recorded since the onset of the pandemic.

A further 20,081 new infections were reported across the UK. The nationwide total stands at 1,073,882.

Of the 978 deaths that involved Covid-19, 874 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (89.4 per cent), the ONS said.

Despite the rising numbers, new data from the Covid Symptom Tracker app, which is run by King’s College London (KCL), appears to show a slight drop in new Covid-19 infections across England, Wales and Scotland.

Professor Tim Spector, who leads the app study, said on Twitter today: “More good news as the Zoe CSS app survey continues to show a plateauing and slight fall in new cases in England, Wales and Scotland with an R of 1.0.”

He added that the reason the NHS is concerned is because “while rates may be starting to come down in children and the younger adults – there is a slow rise in the over-60s who are more likely to go to hospital – so we can’t relax”.

The data from KCL’s symptom tracker app differs from the figures published last Friday by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which estimates R to be between 1.1 and 1.3.

R, which stands for reproduction number, represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but if it goes below 1, it means the outbreak is shrinking.

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