More than a million cases of coronavirus have now been recorded in the UK, according to official figures.
The grim milestone has been passed after another 21,915 new cases were added to the tally today. It means 1,011,660 people have now tested positive in total.
The figures for the latest 24 hour period also showed another 326 people have died with the virus. This brings the total official death toll since the start of the pandemic to 46,555.
In reality, the country has likely seen far more cases than have been officially recorded. Hundreds of thousands were missed due to a lack of tests in March and April and many more cases were never diagnosed because people didn’t display any symptoms.
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Scientists estimated this week that up to 500,000 are getting infected weekly as the UK’s second wave reaches critical levels.
Today’s new case numbers are down on the 24,405 recorded yesterday but deaths have risen from 274. Last Saturday saw 23,012 cases and 174 deaths.
A further 208 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 32,855, NHS England said on Saturday.
Patients were aged between 26 and 101. All except eight, aged between 47 and 101 years old, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths were between October 21 and October 30.
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wales has surpassed 50,000. A further 1,301 cases were reported by Public Health Wales on Saturday, bringing the total to 50,872. There were also a further 13 deaths reported.
Another 24 Scots have died as a result of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, the Scottish Government has said.
The daily figures on Saturday also showed that 1,101 new cases of the virus had been reported – 6.2% of those who received test results.
The latest figures come amid fierce speculation that England will be plunged into another lockdown next week. Boris Johnson is set to address the nation at 5pm alongside his top advisors, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance.
It’s been widely reported that the Government is gearing up to introduce another lockdown until December 2. All non essential shops could close along with pubs and restaurants nationwide.
The lockdown, which has been prompted by the release of worrying new data, is expected to begin in the early hours of Thursday morning.
It comes as the number of people being admitted to hospital with the virus has soared in the last week, according to new figures from the NHS.
In the seven days to October 25, 6,661 people were brought to hospital needing treatment for coronavirus. This is a 33% increase from the week before when 5,009 Covid-19 patients were admitted.
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