There have been a further 6,634 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, taking the overall number of cases to 416,363.
This is the highest daily figure since the outbreak began, although experts have cautioned against comparing new cases with the start of the pandemic, because of the lack of testing.
The Government also said a further 40 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday. This brings the UK total to 41,902.
Another 30 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, including an 18-year-old who had known underlying health conditions.
The other patients were aged up to 101 years old and all but two, aged 53 and 82, had other illnesses. They died between September 17 and September 23.
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There have been a further 348 cases and one death in Wales and 189 cases but no deaths in Northern Ireland.
Scotland has seen its second highest daily total since the pandemic began, with 465 people testing positive – a slight decrease on yesterday’s 486.
The country also saw two more deaths and Nicola Sturgeon warned the R number – which tells how many people will be infected by a single case – could now be as high as 1.6.
Several of the new cases in recent days have been traced to a student halls in Glasgow. Around 600 students have had to go into self-isolated after 124 tested positive.
Earlier, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted that case numbers may actually be as high at 10,000 a day because not everyone is getting tested.
The new case numbers come as Rishi Sunak announced his plan to get businesses through the winter after the furlough scheme ends.
He’s promised the Government will top up wages for those forced to work part time, extended the payback period for loans and said he’ll keep VAT at 5% for the hardest hit sectors until the end of March.
The Chancellor decided more support was needed amid predictions the 10pm curfew, which starts tonight, could put half a million hospitality staff out of work.
Today also saw the launch of the long-awaited NHS app to help with test and trace efforts.
Using Bluetooth technology, the app will inform users if they have been in close contact with a confirmed case and issue advice.
Some however complained they couldn’t download it because they didn’t have the right mobile phone.
The app requires Apple iPhone users to be running the iOS 13.5 version of the firm’s software, meaning it won’t work on the iPhone 6 model or earlier.
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