Cases of coronavirus in England have jumped 47% in one week, according to new data.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) infection survey found cases “continued to rise steeply”, with an average of 51,900 new cases per day of Covid-19 in private homes between October 17 and 23.
This is up 47% from 35,200 new cases per day for the period from October 10 to 16, according to the ONS estimates.
Overall, around one in 100 people had Covid-19 over the course of the latest week.
In September, the Government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, warned that, without action, the UK could see 50,000 coronavirus cases a day by mid-October.
He announced his stark projection at a press conference alongside chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, adding that there could be 200-plus daily deaths.
The ONS figures, based on 609,777 swab tests taken whether people have symptoms or not, do not include anyone staying in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings
The highest rates are in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber, the data showed.
Rates also remain high in the North East, but the ONS said these have now levelled off and “there is now a larger gap with the other two northern regions”.
Analysis by the PA news agency of the data shows that the estimated percentage of people in north-east England testing positive went from 0.57% for the period September 12 to 25 to 1.41% for the period of September 26 to October 9.
But the rate of increase appears to be levelling off, with the latest figure being 1.43% for the period October 10 to 23.
In contrast, the North West has jumped from 1.57% for September 26 to October 9 to 2.47% for the period October 10 to 23.
The lowest rates are in the South East, South West and eastern England, while there has been growth in all age groups over the past two weeks.
Katherine Kent, co-head of analysis for the Covid-19 infection survey, said: “Following the expansion of ONS infection survey, we are now seeing evidence of increases in Covid-19 infections across the UK.
“In England, infections have continued to rise steeply, with increases in all regions apart from in the North East, where infections appear to have now levelled off.
“Wales and Northern Ireland have also all seen increased infections, though it is currently too early to see a certain trend in Scotland, where we have been testing for a shorter period.
“When looking at infections across different age groups, rates now seem to be steeply increasing among secondary school children whilst older teenagers and young adults continue to have the highest levels of infection.”
It comes as the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises the Government, said the reproduction number, or R value, of coronavirus transmission for the whole of the UK has nudged down to between 1.1 and 1.3 – representing the situation over the last few weeks.
Last week, the group said the R number was between 1.2 and 1.4.
A major study earlier this week suggested 100,000 people are catching coronavirus every day in England, double the number suggested by the ONS.
The React study, by Imperial College London, found the pace of the epidemic is accelerating and it estimated the number of people infected is now doubling every nine days.
The authors argued the country is at a “critical stage” and said “something has to change”.
Separate figures from the Zoe app study run by King’s College London suggests the number of daily new Covid-19 cases in the UK is continuing to steadily increase, but is not surging.
Researchers there said there are currently 43,569 daily new symptomatic cases of Covid in the UK on average over the two weeks up to October 25 (excluding care homes).