THE number of new cases of coronavirus recorded in the UK overnight has risen by 14,162 – the third-highest day on record.
It means 544,275 people have now tested positive for Covid-19.
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Another 70 people have also died as the UK's death toll reaches 42,515.
In hospitals in England, another 54 people have died. Patients were aged between 43 and 93, and all but one had known underlying health conditions.
In Scotland, 1,054 new cases of Covid-19 were reported and one person died.
It's the first time the country has recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours.
In Wales, 752 positive tests were received, and three more have died.
It comes as:
- Thousands of the world's top experts blast 'damaging' Covid lockdowns
- Scientists say the illness does NOT appear to spread through surfaces like door handles
- Covid could leave men infertile by harming the testicles ,medics believe
- Italy considers making Brits take a test before arrival in the country
- Students in the UK hold 'Covid parties' – with only those who have tested positive allowed in
The UK is battling surging rates of the virus as Public Health England admit they had missed 15,841 cases from their official stats and medics are told to save swabs and tests for 'urgent' patients.
The backlog led to an over-inflated record high of 22,961 additional cases on Sunday.
The Department of Health confirmed this week that the issue had been resolved and the latest infection tally does not include any additional cases from previous days.
In Scotland, pubs will be banned from serving alcohol indoors for 16 days from Friday.
Nicola Sturgeon has also warned a fresh coronavirus peak could be reached by the end of the month without a tougher lockdown.
Meanwhile, in England, a stark north-south divide appears to be opening over the number of people admitted to hospital with the deadly bug.
Figures show there is still cause for concern over the northern regions, while in the south, the numbers are levelling off.
Boris Johnson is grappling with the desperately difficult decision of whether to plunge millions in the north back into tougher lockdown as a result.
The Prime Minister offered a vision of hope yesterday but admitted Britain still faces one of history’s “darkest moments” with Covid cases soaring again.
Pubs and restaurants face closure in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak scrambling to put together a local bailout package for businesses facing ruin.
Some shops could also be forced to shut, but workplaces and schools would remain open.
In Nottingham, which hovers on the brink of stricter restrictions, students were seen enjoying a night of fun.
Fights broke out and officers in face masks were seen trying to disperse the crowds.
And the PM was today handed 'proof' that local lockdowns aren't working – as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer says it's "ridiculous" that 19 local areas have had to follow tough local lockdown rules for two months, but infections are still rising.
Elsewhere, the NHS has this afternoon announced it will offer patients with 'long Covid' symptoms specialist help.
Respiratory consultants, physiotherapists, other specialists and GPs will all help assess, diagnose and treat thousands of sufferers who have reported symptoms ranging from breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.
It comes amid claims a "small but significant" number of people who contract Covid can't shake off the effects for months after falling ill.
Up to 10 per cent of patients are still experiencing symptoms more than three weeks after infection – and 60,000 are believed to be suffering after more than three months.
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