Almost 13,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK in the last 24 hours.
The latest data shows 12,872 cases have been recorded, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 480,017.
It comes after 264,979 tests were processed on Friday, compared to 255,915 on the previous day.
Saturday’s figure is almost double the previous highest daily total of 7,143 on September 29, when 227,038 tests were processed.
One month ago, on September 3, 1,735 new cases were recorded, when 196,734 tests were carried out.
The Government said that due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved, there has been a delay in publishing a number of cases, meaning the total reported over the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between September 24 and October 1.
As of Saturday, a further 49 people have also died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the UK total to 42,317, the Government said.
Separate figures show there were 2,194 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England as of Saturday, up from 1,622 a week ago, while 307 Covid-19 hospital patients were in ventilation beds, up from 223 a week ago.
A total of 368 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Thursday, compared with 288 a week earlier.
An estimated one in 500 people were infected with coronavirus in England between September 18 and 24, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
In recent weeks, it said “there has been clear evidence of an increase in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19”, with the current rates highest in teenagers and young adults.
“There is evidence of higher infection rates in the North West and North East, as well as Yorkshire and the Humber and London,” it added.
Over the last six weeks, the study analysed almost 300,000 test swabs from randomly selected members of the public, whether they have symptoms or not.
It comes after data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) showed the estimate for R for the whole of the UK is between 1.3 and 1.6.
Last week, the R number was between 1.2 and 1.5.
Sage has cautioned that while there are some early indications that suggest the growth of the epidemic might be slowing, it is too early to draw firm conclusions.
The scientific advisers said “it is still highly likely that the epidemic is growing exponentially across the country” and more data is needed to accurately assess recent changes in coronavirus transmission.
“Over the next few weeks, it will be important that we understand this in the UK and do not become complacent,” they added.
R represents the average number of people each Covid-19 positive person goes on to infect.
When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially.