More than 7,000 people in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus for the second day in a row, with a further 71 deaths from the disease.
On Wednesday the Department of Health said there had been 7,108 new cases confirmed. It is the second highest daily total since the pandemic began, after 7,143 new infections were reported on Tuesday.
However, experts have previously warned that describing the daily figure as a record could be “misleading” as it is not clear how many people were actually infected during the height of the first wave due to a lack of community testing at the time.
According to Government figures 42,143 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been nearly 57,900 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Earlier on Wednesday NHS England said there had been a further 43 Covid-19 deaths in hospitals across the country.
The victims were aged between 43 and 98 years old and all except one, aged 72, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths occurred between August 22 and September 29.
Elsewhere in the UK, Scotland reported the deaths of seven coronavirus patients in the past 24 hours, the highest rise in such fatalities since mid-June.
Nicola Sturgeon said the deaths, of people who first tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days, are a “very sharp reminder” of the danger of Covid-19.
The latest fatalities increase the overall death toll in Scotland under that measure to 2,519.
Meanwhile, Public Health Wales said one further death had been reported, with the total number of deaths in the country since the beginning of the pandemic increasing to 1,616.
Northern Ireland’s death toll, by comparison, stands at 579 after the region’s Department of Health announced a further coronavirus-linked death had been reported, although it did not occur within the last day.