Another 16,982 people tested positive for coronavirus in the biggest surge on Sunday during the pandemic.
Today's case load means an increase of 32 percent compared to 12,872 last Sunday and 811 more cases than yesterday.
Of concern are Scotland's 316 cases, which were released this afternoon after a "brief delay".
Officials warned that the number reflected a "capacity problem" that was causing delays in processing, so the actual number of cases north of the border is likely to be higher.
However, the test capacity is almost 15 times greater than in April – 304,315 tests are being carried out today alone.
Health chiefs reported 67 more deaths from Covid-19 – bringing the total number of deaths in the pandemic to 43,646.
The number, which covers deaths in hospitals, nursing homes and across the community, is just 3.1 percent higher than last Sunday's death toll of 65.
The news of the progress on the Covid-19 vaccine came as follows:
- MPs were revealed to be disregarding the 10 p.m. curfew, but Matt Hancock refused to say 30 times if he was among them, as the House of Commons was accused of a cover-up.
- Mayor Andy Burnham accused Chancellor Rishi Sunak of "the consecutive problem" of financial support for the Manchester lockdown, and accused him of making "wrong judgments" during the pandemic;
- Tory MPs demanded that Boris Johnson set a "clear end date" for local lockdowns and a strategy to get life back to normal, fearing ministers might agree new tier three "super" rules this week;
- Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is accused of breaking two-week quarantine rules after being photographed at a London club 10 days after returning from an event at the US White House
- Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been accused of cynical positioning himself against the prime minister in calling for a half-time ban.
In England alone, 61 people died in hospital today, and all patients were between 54 and 96 years old.
Of these confirmed deaths, four had health problems and were between 56 and 92 years old.
Wales reported three new deaths and Northern Ireland reported five.
Wales has reported 950 coronavirus cases and Northern Ireland saw 1,012 today.
Earlier this month, a UK Excel spreadsheet reached its maximum capacity and failed to update, causing an astronomical increase of 22,961 cases registered in just one day due to a backlog during the week.
However, those cases, which receded on Sunday October 4, included lagging cases from the beginning of the week.
The actual number of positive tests reported that day was much lower at 11,776.
Yesterday, the UK recorded the highest number of coronavirus deaths in four months after 150 casualties were announced.
Health Department statistics show the dire milestone has not been met since June 10, when the UK recorded 164 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus deaths.
It's also an 85 percent increase from last Saturday when 81 deaths were recorded, and a 16 increase from yesterday's 136 deaths.
Health chiefs recorded an additional 16,171 cases yesterday, an increase of just six percent from last Saturday's level (15,166). This is a sign that the UK coronavirus outbreak is slowly slowing down.
Up to 15,650 more positive tests were added yesterday.
It comes after Andy Burnham today accused Boris Johnson of "exaggerating" the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in Greater Manchester when Michael Gove said the mayor is "in position" and must accept the region is in Tier 3 -Restrictions overrides.
Mr Johnson said in a press conference on Downing Street Friday that "time is of the essence" and the situation is "grave" as he warned "cases have doubled in the past nine days".
But Mr Burnham, who refuses to accept new rules unless ministers come up with a more generous package of financial support, said this morning that "the numbers in Manchester have been falling even in the last few days".
Expert analysis published by the Sunday Telegraph found that cases in Manchester have now been falling for nine days in a row.
Official data shows that the seven-day rolling average of coronavirus cases in Greater Manchester has declined in recent days
Artist Peter Barber was working on a mural in Manchester city center yesterday, showing nurse Melanie Senior after the National Portrait Gallery commissioned the mural based on a photo of Johannah Churchill
Statistics from Manchester City Council for the October 4-10 period showed there were 2,484 people with a newly confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19, an infection rate of 449.3 per 100,000 people.
However, in the past seven days, there were 3,224 people with a newly confirmed diagnosis, which translates into an infection rate of 583.2 per 100,000.
The numbers suggest that cases have decreased in the Greater Manchester area as well, rather than just the city itself.
As of October 12, an average of 1,563 new cases per day were confirmed in the region for the past seven days.
However, by Thursday, October 15, the average had dropped to 1,076 new cases confirmed per day.
Mr Burnham remains in a tense conflict with the government and Mr Gove alleged this morning that the mayor was guilty of "political positioning" in calling on the Labor leader to resign.
But Mr Burnham denied accusations of "playing politics" when he called for an end to the "war of words" but also left the door open to legal challenge if ministers decide to enforce measures without his consent.
The SAGE expert warns that Christmas will be "hard" and not the "usual festival".
Christmas will be "tough" this year and it is unlikely to be a traditional family celebration if coronavirus infections continue to rise, a government expert has warned.
Professor Jeremy Farrar, member of Sage's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, said the UK was facing a "very, very difficult" period over the next three to six months.
However, the director of the Wellcome Trust said it was "a light at the end of the tunnel" as he believes a Covid-19 vaccine and effective treatment will be ready in the first quarter of 2021.
Prof. Farrar told Sky News & # 39; Sophy Ridge on Sunday: & # 39; Christmas is going to be tough this year. I don't think it will be the usual festival and all families will come together, I'm afraid.
“I think we have to be honest and realistic and say that we are three to six months in a very, very difficult time.
“The temperatures are falling, we are all indoors more often, we have the other infections that occur at this time of the year.
"It's much better for us to be open and honest now and say that we are in a really difficult time, but at the end of the tunnel there is light."
Mr Johnson on Friday called on Mr Burnham to work with the government but also said he had the right to unilaterally intervene if necessary.
A switch to Tier 3 would mean that pubs and bars would have to be closed and households should strictly forbid themselves inside.
Mr Gove stressed this morning that Ministers want to work with Mr Burnham as he warned of the consequences of failing to act quickly.
He told Sky News & # 39; Sophy Ridge on Sunday's programming: & # 39; I want to reach an agreement with the political leadership in Greater Manchester.
“I want you to put some of your political stance aside for a moment, and I want you to work with us to make sure we save lives and protect the NHS because if no action is taken it means … more People get infected.
"The more people become infected, which puts more pressure on the NHS, and unfortunately the more people in intensive care units in the Northwest and Manchester have coronavirus, the fewer intensive care beds there are for people with other serious illnesses."
"All of this happens as we approach winter and instead of press conferences and attitudes, we take action to save people's lives."
Labor has called for a national breaker lockout, but Mr Gove today categorically ruled out a shift to such an approach in the near future.
He said, “It seems like a mistake to me to impose the same level of restriction on every part of the country when we know that the disease is spreading more intensely and rapidly in some parts of the country.
"The nature of epidemiology … is different in this wave than it was at the beginning of the year."
He added: "We are always looking at how the disease is spreading and we will take whatever steps are necessary to maintain public health, but … the Labor Party is currently advocating blanket restrictions across the country as well as its spread." and the nature of sickness sickness doesn't deserve that approach right now. & # 39;
Mr Burnham later denied Mr Gove's allegation that he was playing "politics" when he told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "This is about the health of the people of Greater Manchester.
“We were the first in the country … to accept local restrictions, and that was three months ago. For those who say we play politics, I would point them out to what proves that we don't.
"The truth is health, protecting health, it's about more than controlling the virus.
“We've been under these restrictions for three months and people's mental health is pretty low now. People worry about their jobs, their children, their homes, their businesses.
"This is not about politics or money, this is about people."
He added, “What I would say to the government is that we will come together and come up with a support package that will help the people and punish an unsupported lockdown. Catching places in Tier 3 all winter is going to be really damaging to health in the broadest sense. & # 39;
Mr Burnham claimed Mr Johnson painted an inaccurate picture of the situation in Manchester during Friday afternoon's press conference.
The mayor said, “I checked the numbers this morning. There are currently around 62 people in intensive care, giving or taking in Greater Manchester.
“In April it was over 200, around 220, so we're in a different position. Yesterday there were four hospital admissions of people with Covid in hospitals in Greater Manchester.
"So it's a serious situation, but I don't think it was the situation the Prime Minister described on Friday night."
He added, “I think it was an exaggeration of the position we are in. As I just said there is of course cause for concern and we are watching the numbers very closely, but the numbers have been going down in Manchester itself for the past few days.
A group of women in Manchester are singing as curfew approaches at 10pm last night
New footage of vaccine production raises hopes of a sting by the end of the year
Rushing off the assembly line in thousands of tiny bottles – new footage shows the vaccine that could end the Covid misery on the planet.
The drug giant Pfizer has already produced "several hundred thousand doses" of the sting at its plant in Puurs, Belgium, as The Mail demonstrated on Sunday.
They are stored and can be imported around the world if clinical trials are successful and regulators believe this is safe and effective.
The US giant is hoping to have 100 million cans available this year, 40 million of which will be destined for the UK – a number boosted by the 1.3 billion jolts the company plans to make in 2021 Is shadowed.
Each patient who receives the vaccine needs two doses.
In an interview with The Mail this Sunday, Pfizer UK boss Ben Osborn said: “It was great to see the first bottle roll off the line.
"It just put an incredible smile on my face to see that all of this work actually leads to a product."
“In Greater Manchester, slightly increased, but certainly not doubled every nine days, so let's be careful here.
"I would certainly say this morning, let's step back a little from the war of words."
The government offers to pay two-thirds of the wages of workers affected by local third-tier lockdown restrictions. However, Mr Burnham wants the assistance level to be fixed at 80 percent, as was the case under the old vacation program.
When asked if he was still considering bringing legal action against the government, he said, “I would do anything to protect poorly paid workers who I think are very, very close to the edge now and I don't think they can survive with two thirds wages.
& # 39; The legal challenge applies to this. I think it's discriminatory for people in the lowest paying jobs to say you can have two-thirds vacation, but we paid 80 percent vacation for middle-income people earlier this year. I don't think that's fair. & # 39;
Mr Burnham also criticized a letter from 20 Tory MPs asking him to work with the government on their regional lockdown plans.
He said, "I'm not sure if some kind of 'we're all right Jack' letter from a group of South Conservative MPs here will cut a lot of ice.
“I would tell them that some of them represent constituencies whose cases were higher than ours when we went into national lockdown.
“Anywhere could end up in tier three this winter. In fact, I'd say places are likely to land in the third tier this winter. Therefore, it is everyone's concern that we protect the lowest paid in our communities. & # 39;
Mr Burnham has written to Westminster political leaders asking them to help create a "fair financial framework" for areas that are classified under Level 3 local lockdowns.
With the assistance of Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, he said, “Given the challenging winter ahead of the country, it is likely that most places will be in the third tier at some point before a vaccine is found.
“That is why we believe it is right for Parliament to debate and agree on what an adequate level of support means for people and businesses in these areas.
& # 39; Currently the local areas are making individual agreements with the government. It is by no means clear that these will be enough to cope with the pressures they will face. The lack of transparency about this process and the risks of different treatment are also potentially controversial.
"Establishing clear national claims, such as we had during the initial lockdown, will create a sense of fairness, which in turn would help build public support for and compliance with new restrictions."
A member of the Government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE) claimed a "worst-case scenario" of 50,000 coronavirus cases per day across the UK was "almost exactly where we are".
Professor Jeremy Farrar told Sky News: & # 39; The ONS poll, which is currently the best data in the country, shows 27,000 people develop this infection every day. But that was until October 10th.
“There will be over 50,000 today, as suggested by CMO (Chief Medical Officer) Chris Whitty and (Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government) Sir Patrick Vallance three weeks ago.
"There would be 50,000 new cases across the country every day, and that's almost where we are."
Prof. Farrar added: “The reasonable worst case scenario that SAGE formulated has now been addressed. It's worse than the situation SAGE recommended three or four weeks ago. So this is the scenario we are in today. & # 39;
He also warned that Christmas this year will be "tough" rather than the "usual festival" it usually is.
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