A total of 52,009 cases were reported today, marking an increase of almost 3,000 cases since yesterday.
The news comes after Britain recorded more than 40,000 new positive cases for eight consecutive days leading up to 20 October.
Latest figures show there have been 372,603 people with a confirmed positive test result over the past 7 days - an increase of 18 per cent compared to the previous week.
A further 115 deaths within 28 days of a positive test have also been recorded today, bringing the total for the past 7-days to 912.
Currently, 162,620 deaths have been recorded with Covid-19 on the death certificate in the UK.
The same data showed 820 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate have been recorded over the past week.
Earlier today, Conservative ministers clashed over whether their colleagues should wear face coverings in the crowded Commons, with Downing Street saying it is a “matter of personal judgement”.
The Health Secretary’s sentiment was not backed by the prime minister’s spokesperson and fellow minister Jacob Rees-Mogg, however.
In justification of not wearing masks in parliament, he said: “we on this side know each other.”
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson refused to say whether the prime minister would be wearing one when he next appears in the Commons.
This comes after Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, urged the government to implement the back-up strategy which involves measures including bringing back mandatory face coverings in public places.
He said: “We are right on the edge - and it is the middle of October,” he said. “It would require an incredible amount of luck for us not to find ourselves in the midst of a profound crisis over the next three months.
“The government ought to not just announce that we’re moving to Plan B, but it should be Plan B plus. We should do what’s in Plan B in terms of masks... working from home, but also we should try to achieve the kind of national mobilisation that we achieved in the first and second waves, where the public went out of their way to support and help the health service.”
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Wednesday morning, Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London also sounded the alarm, warning that immunity in the UK appears to be “waning” because of the country’s early success in rolling out the vaccination scheme, which began in December 2020.
“People need to be aware that we currently have higher levels of infection in the community than we’ve almost ever had during the pandemic,” Professor Ferguson said.
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