Ian Payne 4pm - 7pm
3,497 new cases in 24 hours as Covid resurges across UK
12 September 2020, 16:58 | Updated: 12 September 2020, 17:29
A further 3,497 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, UK government figures show, the highest Saturday rise since early May.
The numbers are a 36 per cent increase on last Saturday, when 2,594 new infections were reported.
It is the second consecutive day that over 3,000 people have tested positive across the UK, as fears grow that the country could be facing a second wave of the virus.
A further nine have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test, bringing the UK total to 41,623.
But separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies show there have now been 57,400 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Data released on Friday by the Government Office for Science and the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) shows the estimate for R across the UK is between 1.0 and 1.2.
London and the North West each have an R rate of 1.1 to 1.3, meaning cases of the virus are expected to continue to increase.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday morning, Sage adviser and former Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Mark Walport, warned that the UK is “on the edge of losing control” of the virus.
Government scientific advisors have described the figures as a "wake-up call", saying additional measures such as local interventions may be needed to control the spread of the virus.
From Monday, across England, Scotland and Wales, social gatherings of more than six people will be illegal indoors, as well as outdoors for England and Wales.
Meanwhile, in a measure affecting around 1.6 million people, those living in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull will be banned from meeting others from outside of their household from Tuesday, in the UK's latest local lockdown.
In Scotland, 221 people tested positive, the highest daily figure since 8 May, as local lockdown measures were expanded to include North and South Lanarkshire.
Around three in 10 Scots are now living under tougher coronavirus restrictions, with measures on visiting other households also in place for Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.
Reacting to the new case figures, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Please heed all the public health advice. More than ever we must remember that what we do as individuals just now affects the wellbeing of everyone. Let’s look after each other.”
In Wales, there were 164 new positive tests, with 104 in Northern Ireland.
However, in more positive news, Oxford University and AstraZeneca announced they are resuming their mass coronavirus vaccine trial in the UK after a review concluded following a week-long pause over safety concerns.