A technical glitch that meant nearly 16,000 cases of coronavirus went unreported has delayed efforts to trace contacts of people who tested positive.
The UK government has said that 15,841 positive cases of COVID-19 were not included in the official numbers between September 25 and October 2 following a problem with the dashboard.
It has resulted in Sunday’s toll coming in at 22,961 cases – an artificial daily high – and means more than half a million people in the UK have now contracted the virus.
In a statement, Public Health England’s (PHE) interim chief executive Michael Brodie insisted everyone had still received their result as normal, and that those with the illness had been instructed to self-isolate.
He added: “NHS Test and Trace and PHE have worked to quickly resolve the issue and transferred all outstanding cases immediately into the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing system and I would like to thank contact tracing and health protection colleagues for their additional efforts over the weekend.
“We fully understand the concern this may cause and further robust measures have been put in place as a result.”
To breakdown the figures, the daily case number on October 2 was reported at 6,968 – but PHE says another 4,786 should have been added.
On October 1, the government figure was given as 6,914 cases, but a further 4,133 were missed off the tally.
According to PHE, the glitch was caused by maximum file sizes being breached in some of the positive results, meaning they ran into difficulties when being loaded onto central systems.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the glitch was a “failure in the counting system” and insisted it had now been rectified.