The UK has recorded another 21,242 COVID-19 cases, government figures show.
It’s a drop from Wednesday’s record number of 26,688.
There were also a further 189 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, down slightly from 191.
Thursday’s figures take the UK’s overall totals to 810,467 cases and 44,347 deaths.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 59,000 deaths registered in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Separate government figures show there were 6,018 COVID-19 patients in hospital in England on Wednesday – the latest figure available – up from 4,156 a week ago, while 571 were in ventilation beds, up from 468.
In a news conference on Thursday chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said coronavirus infections are still rising nationally, with estimates putting the daily infections as high as 90,000. This is according to data from a few days ago and is likely to rise still, he added.
Test and Trace figures released on Thursday said the positivity rate – the proportion of all tests returning a positive result – has climbed to 7.1% for the week, the highest since the service began.
According to criteria published by the World Health Organisation, a positivity rate of less than 5% is one indicator that the epidemic is under control in a country.
Test and Trace said a total of 101,494 people tested positive for COVID-19 in England at least once in the week to October 14 – a rise of 12% in positive cases on the previous week.
The figures also show that less than 60% of close contacts of people who tested positive for coronavirus in England are being reached – the lowest weekly percentage since the service began.
Meanwhile, just 15% of people tested for COVID-19 in England at an in-person site are receiving their result within 24 hours.
Mr Vallance said the virus has a 14 – 18-day delay and warned the UK is likely to see higher hospital admission rates and deaths in a couple of weeks’ time as a result.
A total of 861 patients with confirmed coronavirus were admitted to hospitals in England on Monday, the latest figure available, compared with 664 a week earlier.
According to NHS figures, a further 152 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in hospitals to 31,427.
Patients were aged between 36 and 97. All except seven, aged between 61 and 95, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between September 3 and October 21.
Six other deaths were reported with no positive COVID-19 test result.
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