A record number of new coronavirus cases have been recorded, with a senior Public Health England official saying the increase in infections should be a “stark warning to us all”.
The UK recorded 6,634 cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, the highest reported figure during the course of the pandemic, up from the highs of May. There were 40 deaths in all settings, bringing the total to 41,902.
Figures separately published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 57,600 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Matt Hancock, the health secretary, warned on Thursday that almost 10,000 people a day in the UK were contracting coronavirus, as Scotland’s first minister requested urgent talks with the UK government to consider further tightening of social restrictions.
Yvonne Doyle, the medical director at Public Health England, said the number of new cases was “a stark warning for us all”. She added: “The signals are clear. Positivity rates are rising across all age groups and we’re continuing to see spikes in rates of admission to hospital and critical care.”
Doyle said it was important that everyone now followed the new measures that have been brought in to help control the virus and download the new NHS Covid-19 app, which has just launched in England and Wales.
Although there were hundreds of thousands of downloads of the app in the first few hours on iPhones from the App Store and Android from the Google Play Store, accessing it proved problematic for many.
Some Android users reported accidentally downloading the trial version that had been made available in Newham, east London, and the Isle of Wight.