The number of positive coronavirus infections has risen by over 17,000 in the latest 24-hour period in the UK, government figures show, with a further 77 people dying within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
A total of 17,540 new infections were reported as of 9am on Thursday 8 October, up from 14,162 the day before. Data from the Department for Health and Social Care also show that 3,412 people are currently in hospital for Covid-19.
Here if your daily round-up of coronavirus news you may have missed overnight.
The health secretary has warned that hospital admissions in parts of England are doubling every two weeks and the UK faces a “perilous moment” in the fight against Covid-19.
In a speech to NHS leaders on Thursday, Matt Hancock said hospitalisations in those aged over 60, as well as deaths, were also rising.
He said: “We are at a perilous moment in the course of this pandemic.
“I am very worried about the growth in the number of cases, especially in the northwest and the northeast of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and parts of Yorkshire.”
The chief executives of NHS trusts across the northwest and northeast of England and Yorkshire – some of the areas hardest hit by rising coronavirus infections – have warned that urgent action is needed to prevent a “full blown” second wave.
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents all NHS Trusts, said the large increase in positive cases across the country was “very worrying”.
“We need prompt action to prevent a full blown second Covid surge,” he said on Thursday. “We need to make difficult decisions now, rather than later, when it may be too late.
“And we need for every single member of the public to play their part - hands, face, and space - as they did in the first phase of Covid, however frustrating and burdensome they find any restrictions or public health advice.”
Boris Johnson is facing a wave of fury from regional leaders over reports that new coronavirus restrictions are expected to be imposed across swathes of northern England next week.
The new measures, which are expected to close pubs and restaurants, were detailed in leaked government documents that indicated any new restrictions will not take effect until next Wednesday.
However, Downing Street insists that ministers are still “considering a range of options”.
Northern mayors have criticised ministers for failing to brief them on their plans, and MPs from all sides of the Commons expressed concern in a video briefing with chief medical officer Chris Whitty over the proposals.
The US president has been cleared by White House doctors to return to public engagements on Saturday, after completing Covid-19 therapy on Thursday.
Donald Trump’s physician, Dr Sean Conley, said it would be 10 days since the president’s initial diagnosis on 1 October and that Mr Trump has shown no symptoms of coronavirus since he left the Walter Reed military hospital on Monday.
However, earlier in the week, Mr Conley said the medical team wouldn’t breathe a “sigh of relief” until next week.
“If we can get through to Monday with him remaining the same or improving, better yet, then we will all take that final deep sigh of relief,” he said in announcing Mr Trump’s release from hospital.
Users of the NHS’s new coronavirus app are receiving alarming messages about a “possible Covid-19 exposure”, which happens if its systems have been triggered by someone in their network potentially receiving a positive test.
However, the confusing notification does not necessarily mean users have to self-isolate. Instead, it only means that the system is looking at a possible exposure, not that the system has definitely been triggered.