Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
UK coronavirus cases hit record high as further 191 deaths announced
21 October 2020, 20:29
The number of daily coronavirus cases has hit a record high as hospitalisations and deaths continue to rise.
Another 26,688 people have been infected in the past 24 hours and a further 191 deaths have been recorded, according to official numbers.
The daily number of positive coronavirus cases has climbed steeply in recent weeks and has nearly doubled in the past fortnight.
On 14 October there were 19,724 cases recorded and 14,162 a week before that.
Separate Government figures show there were 5,828 Covid-19 patients in hospitals in England on Tuesday, with 559 in ventilation beds.
On Sunday alone, 870 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England.
Hospitals in Liverpool confirmed on Wednesday evening that it is now treating more patients than on the busiest day of the pandemic during the Spring.
Experts have previously warned, however, 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.
Last month, two of the Government's top advisers, Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that cases could reach around 50,000 a day by mid-October if cases doubled every seven days.
Estimates from several reports suggest that the UK could be seeing this number of cases each day, but the numbers vary significantly.
Read more: Gyms allowed to reopen in Liverpool region
Speaking at a Downing Street briefing last week, Prof Whitty talked about rising numbers of infection in a number of regions across England.
He said: "The rates since the middle of August have been going up steadily in the North East, the North West and parts of Yorkshire and the Humber.
"[Number have been going up] in a more moderate rate in the eastern West Midlands and in London, and at a much lower rates currently - but I think we should be not lulled into a false sense of security here - in the South West, the East of England, and the South East."