UK passes 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases

31 October 2020, 16:40 | Updated: 31 October 2020, 18:41

By Ewan Somerville

The UK has passed the grim milestone of more than one million lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to Government data.

Figures released on Saturday showed another 21,915 lab-confirmed cases were reported as of 9am, meaning the total now stands at 1,011,660.

Just eight other countries have recorded more than one million cases of Covid-19, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

On Friday, data compiled by the university showed the US had nine million confirmed cases of Covid-19, the highest number recorded by any country during the outbreak.

Read more: Covid spreading in England faster than 'worst-case scenario'

India, Brazil, Russia, France, Spain, Argentina and Colombia have also recorded more than one million cases.

The exact number of infections in the UK is thought to be far higher due to a lack of widespread testing during the start of the pandemic.

It comes as a second national lockdown looms in England, with restrictions set to tighten to become the toughest since the first spring shutdown.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that 568,100 people in households in England were infected with coronavirus in the week ending October 23 as cases continued to rise steeply.

The figures, based on 609,777 swab tests taken whether people have symptoms or not, showed the highest rates in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said: “For many among this million, getting infected has meant serious illness and even death.

“We have all already made huge sacrifices and we are in an increasingly precarious situation as hospital admissions grow each day.

“But we can all continue to play our part in bringing this virus under control and must abide by the restrictions in place, socially distance, wear a face covering and regularly washing our hands.”