COVID-19: UK reports more than 3,000 new cases and another nine deaths in latest 24-hour period

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Watch: COVID-19 - Almost 3,000 cases of Indian variant recorded in UK as surge testing and vaccinations extended

The UK has reported more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases - the highest since mid-April.

Some 3,180 cases were recorded in the latest 24-hour period along with nine more coronavirus-related deaths.

The last time there were more than 3,000 daily cases reported was 12 April, when 3,568 infections were revealed.

Yesterday, 15 coronavirus-related deaths and a further 2,493 cases were reported. The total number of people who have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test is now 127,748.

It comes as another 186,147 people received their first COVID vaccine dose on Tuesday, taking the total to 38,378,564.

Live updates on Dominic Cummings' evidence on government's handling of COVID pandemic

Also, 387,987 people had their second jab on Tuesday, meaning 23,616,498 are now fully vaccinated.

The figures are released on the day Dominic Cummings has made a series of explosive claims against the government over its early response to the pandemic.

The prime minister's former top adviser said tens of thousands of people died unnecessarily because of the government's failings and Boris Johnson was "unfit for the job" of PM.

Mr Cummings also said Mr Johnson dismissed the pandemic as a "scare story" or the new "swine flu" in early 2020 as the global crisis loomed and then had to be persuaded to lock down in March.

The PM then ignored scientific advice when faced with calls for a circuit breaker in September, before saying he would rather see "bodies pile high" than announce a third lockdown, according to Mr Cummings.

Mr Cummings apologised to the public, saying that ministers, officials and advisers had fallen "disastrously short" of the standards they should expect in a crisis.

The rise in daily cases comes as the Indian variant spreads across the UK, and has become the dominant strain in some parts of the country.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 137 (43%) have seen a rise in COVID case rates, 162 (51%) have seen a fall and 16 are unchanged.

Bolton in Greater Manchester continues to have the highest rate, with 1,286 new coronavirus cases in the seven days to 22 May - the equivalent of 447.2 cases per 100,000 people.

This is up from 321.7 in the seven days to 15 May.

Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire has the second highest rate, up from 145.0 to 313.3, with 469 new cases.

Bedford has the third highest, up from 127.0 to 202.0, with 350 new cases.

Watch: Hancock to defend his record after Cummings's claim that he repeatedly lied and should have been sacked

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