UK reports 12,594 new coronavirus cases and 19 deaths

5 October 2020, 18:05 | Updated: 5 October 2020, 18:59

File photo: Passengers in protective face masks are seen walking on a sideway at Victoria Station
File photo: Passengers in protective face masks are seen walking on a sideway at Victoria Station. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The UK has reported 12,594 new cases of coronavirus in the UK, with a further 19 deaths.

The new infections bring the total number of cases to 515,571, with the added deaths bringing the UK’s total to 42,369.

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.

Read more: Only half of 'missing' Covid cases have been contacted by Test and Trace - Hancock

Read more: Wales 'actively considering' quarantine for visitors from UK Covid hotspots

Manchester's weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases has now topped 500 cases per 100,000 people – the highest weekly rate of any local authority area in England.

A total of 2,927 new cases were recorded in Manchester in the seven days to October 2 - the equivalent of 529.4 cases per 100,000, up from 246.4 in the previous week.

Knowsley has the second highest rate, which has jumped from 324.1 to 498.5, with 752 new cases.

Liverpool is in third place, up from 306.4 to 487.1, with 2,426 new cases.

The numbers came as it was revealed a technical glitch meant almost 16,000 Covid-19 cases went unreported.

PHE said a technical issue resulted in 15,841 cases between September 25 and October 2 being left out of the reported daily coronavirus cases.

The problem was reportedly caused by an Excel spreadsheet reaching its maximum file size, which stopped new names being added in an automated process.

The files have now been split into multiple smaller files to prevent the issue from happening again.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons on Monday afternoon that only half of the 16,000 missing cases have been contacted for a second time by Test and Trace.

He told the Commons that only 51% of the missing 15,841 cases were contacted by tracers over the weekend, meaning around 7,760 people have not yet been chased up.

Mr Hancock said the government's assessment of the pandemic has "not substantially changed" after the data error caused thousands of positive cases to be missed out the total figures.

In a statement, he told the Commons: "This morning the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) presented to me their updated analysis of the epidemic based on the new figures.

"The chief medical officer (Chris Whitty) has analysed that our assessment of the disease and its impact has not substantially changed as a result of these data.

"The JBC has confirmed that this has not impacted the basis on which decisions about local action were taken last week. Nevertheless, this is a serious issue that is being investigated fully."

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, responding to Mr Hancock, accused the government of "failing on the basics" on testing and said the problems with testing were "putting lives at risk", adding his opposite man "should apologise".