UK records 816 new coronavirus cases in just 24 hours

Another 816 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, bringing the overall figure to 311,641 since the start of the pandemic.

It means the number of cases has fallen below 1,000 a day again after infections rose to their highest level since June 26 yesterday.

NHS England has also released new figures, recording the deaths of six people with coronavirus in hospitals.

Patients were aged between 65 and 93 years old and all had known underlying health conditions, a spokesperson said. The total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England now stands at 29,419.

One new death was recorded in Northern Ireland bringing its total to 557. The Department of Health has stopped releasing figures over the weekend and announced a total of 76 new cases of coronavirus since Friday. The overall tally of confirmed cases is 6,140.

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Meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland has recorded 29 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours.

The figure is down 19 from the 48 confirmed on Sunday and takes the total number of people in Scotland who have tested positive for the virus to 19,027.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s regular coronavirus briefing, the First Minister said no deaths have been recorded of patients who tested positive for coronavirus in the previous 28 days.

There have been no deaths under this measure for 25 consecutive days, with this total remaining at 2,491.

Of the people who tested positive, 267 are in hospital – up six from the previous day.

Ms Sturgeon said there have been 231 coronavirus cases in Aberdeen since the start of the local outbreak on July 26.

She said an extension of the Aberdeen lockdown cannot be ruled out but the restrictions will not be kept in place longer than is deemed necessary.

She added: ‘Having done it, we need to make sure we do it long enough to get the cluster and the outbreak under control, and so I can’t rule out and won’t rule out the possibility that we may have to extend for a further seven days.’

The new figures come as it emerged that the UK’s coronavirus daily death toll could be scrapped after health officials were accused of ‘exaggerating’ the tally. 

A review has been launched after academics said Public Health England were counting coronavirus deaths even if the patient recovered months prior.

The number of people dying from coronavirus in the UK has plummeted by more than 99% since the height of the pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The UK’s highest daily death toll across all settings was on April 8, when 1,445 people died with Covid-19 in 24 hours. On Sunday, the Department of Health stated that eight people had died – a 99.5% decrease. 

Similarly the number of people in hospital being treated for Covid-19 has dropped by 95%, from a peak of 19,872 on April 12 to 1,067 on August 9. The number of patients requiring a ventilator has also decreased by 98%, from 3,277 on April 12 to just 67 on Sunday.

In other developments, the Prime Minister has reiterated his desire to open all schools in England in September – branding it a ‘moral duty’ to do so despite a backlash to the plans. 

Amid fears from some parents around sending pupils back – and scepticism from some unions and politicians, Boris Johnson said: ‘It’s not right that kids should spend more time out of school, it’s much much better for their health and mental wellbeing, obviously their educational prospects, if everybody comes back to school full-time in September.’

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