Almost 13,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK in the last 24 hours.
The latest data shows 12,872 cases have been recorded, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the UK to 480,017.
It comes after 264,979 tests were carried out, compared to 255,915 on the previous day, when 6,968 new cases were recorded.
Saturday’s figure is almost double the previous highest daily total of 7,143 on September 29, when 227,038 tests were processed.
One month ago, on September 3, 1,735 new cases were recorded, when 196,734 tests were carried out.
The Government said that due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved, there has been a delay in publishing a number of cases, meaning the total reported over the coming days will include some additional cases from the period between September 24 and October 1.
– Labour MP says Boris Johnson’s local lockdowns raise political interference suspicions
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the Government’s approach to local lockdowns raised suspicions of political interference – because seats with Tory ministers appeared to be spared the toughest measures.
He told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “What we need to see is local authority leaders properly involved, we need to see local councillors properly involved, we need to see the local health service involved as well.”
At the moment it was “not clear why” areas were given extra restrictions, because some areas with higher case rates – such as communities secretary Robert Jenrick’s Newark and chief whip Mark Spencer’s Sherwood – do not have restrictions.
“Because there is no clear guidelines as to why an area goes into restrictions and how an area comes out of restrictions then there is a suspicion that there is political interference – I hope there isn’t,” he said.
“But until the Government publish clear guidelines, that suspicion will always linger.”
– Lockdowns are not the best way to tackle virus, professor claims
Professor Devi Sridhar, chairwoman of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, told Sky News this morning that research has shown lockdowns are not the best way to tackle Covid-19 flare-ups.
Speaking to the Sophy Ridge On Sunday show, Ms Sridhar added: “We looked at an analysis looking at countries across the world and one of the things that came out clearly was that suppression does not have to mean lockdown.
“In fact, the three things that countries did to try to bring their numbers down while protecting their economies and protecting their societies and schools were testing, tracing, isolating – so a very active and robust public health infrastructure.