UK records more than 40,000 COVID cases for eighth day running – as total number of deaths surpasses 139,000

The UK has recorded another 49,139 new COVID cases and 179 virus-related deaths, the latest figures show.

The cases figure is the highest since 17 July, when there were 54,674 cases.

A total of 320,594 cases have been recorded in the last week – an increase of 17.2%.

The figures show there were another 42,902 first doses of a COVID vaccine administered in the latest 24-hour period – meaning a total of 49,505,327 people have had at least one jab.

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A total of 45,433,757 people are fully vaccinated, an increase of 32,767 on the previous day.

The vaccine figures now include children aged between 12 and 16.

More on Covid-19

The UK total for deaths with 28 days of a positive COVID test now stands at 139,031. Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 164,000 deaths registered in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

There are no figures currently available for the number of virus-related deaths a week ago on 13 October.

On Wednesday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng insisted there will not be another national lockdown after an NHS leader warned that “Plan B” coronavirus restrictions must be enforced immediately to prevent “a winter crisis”.

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor urged the government to bring back certain measures, including mandatory face coverings in public places, telling Sky News: “The overwhelming evidence is that we do need to act.”

It comes after the White House announced that children as young as five in the US will get vaccine doses within weeks.

Officials said the Pfizer vaccine is expected to be authorised for younger children, allowing them to get inoculated at their paediatrician’s office, local pharmacy or even their school.

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