Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
UK coronavirus death toll jumps by 176, bringing total to 43,906
1 July 2020, 16:45
The UK coronavirus death toll has jumped by 176 in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 43,906.
The latest official figures from the Department of Health and Social Care cover fatalities among those who have contracted Covid-19 in hospitals, care homes and the wider community up to 5pm on Tuesday.
A further 829 confirmed cases were recorded up to 9am on Wednesday, from 226,498 tests, taking the total infections to 313,483.
The number of people tested each day has been “unavailable” in official data since May, with officials saying it has been “temporarily paused to ensure consistent reporting” across all test methods.
It comes as more areas of the UK are touted to enter local lockdown, following Leicester’s city-wide extended shutdown due to a surge of infections.
The latest daily rise in deaths is up 21 on Tuesday, when the toll was 155, and has hiked from Sunday when 25 people died.
But the government figures do not include all registered deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, which are thought to have passed 54,000.
The Office for National Statistics reports there are just under 55,000 deaths in total. NHS England said a further 50 coronavirus patients died in hospital in England, aged between 52 and 97 years old.
Two patients, aged 52 and 63, had no known underlying health conditions. No deaths were recorded in South West England in the latest figures.
Public Health Wales said a further six people had died after testing positive for Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 1,516, while the total number of cases in Wales increased by 32 to 15,775.
Nicola Sturgeon said one more person had died after contracting coronavirus in Scotland, taking the total to 2,486.
Speaking at her daily briefing, the First Minister said eight more people had tested positive for the virus in 24 hours, taking the total to 18,259.
On Monday night, Leicester, in the East Midlands, was ordered to shut schools, non-essential shops and avoid all but essential travel to, from and within the city following a spike in cases.
Leicester city council reported 944 positive tests in the two weeks to 23 June - about one in 16 of the total UK cases during that period.
The government has identified a further 36 areas across the country which could follow in the city's footsteps, with the northern towns of Barnsley, Bradford and Rochdale emerging as hotspots with at least 45 cases per 100,000 people in the week to 21 June.
Imperial College London's Professor Neil Ferguson, who used to advise the Government, said: "Those are areas, where not as high as Leicester, but they have some of the highest numbers of cases per 100,000 of the population, which is the relevant measure, so they're clearly of concern."
In a fresh study released on Wednesday, statisticians at Public Health England and Cambridge University predicted up to 3,000 people are still becoming infected with Covid-19 in England every day.
There is 95 per cent confidence that the figure lies between 1,500 and 5,000. But the team believes the R number - the rate of infection - has dropped in every region to be between 0.7-0.9, below the value of 1 at which the virus spreads rapidly.