UK records 181 more Covid-19 deaths in biggest daily toll since September 23

·3-min read

The UK reported 181 more Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, bringing the official toll to 137,944.

The latest number of daily fatalities is a big increase on Monday’s tally of 28, although figures at the start of the week are often smaller due to patchy reporting over the weekend.

But Tuesday’s number is the biggest since September 23, when 182 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test were registered.

Meanwhile, some 38,520 more coronavirus cases over a 24-hour period have been reported. It lifts the UK’s Covid-19 infection rate to 363.3 cases per 100,000.

Looking at the infection rate more closely, figures released on Tuesday showed that 73 per cent of local authority areas have seen a week-on-week rise in rates while 27 per cent have seen a fall.

Trafford in Greater Manchester has the highest rate, with 2,009 new cases in the seven days to October 8 - the equivalent of 845.6 per 100,000 people.

This is up sharply from 531.2 in the seven days to October 1.

Wellingborough in Northamptonshire has the second highest rate, up from 566.9 to 780.5, with 625 new cases.

Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria has the third highest rate, up from 671.4 to 770.3, with 514 new cases.

Some 94,428,905 Covid jabs have now been given in the UK, of which 49,216,092 were first doses - a rise of 29,172 on the previous day. Another 23,632 second doses have been administered, bringing the total to 45,212,813.

Across London, Hounslow has the highest rate with 362.8 infections per 100,000 in the seven days to October 8. Southwark has the smallest with 135.6.

The latest Covid figures come after the Government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic was heavily criticised in a damning cross-party report from MPs.

The report, from MPs on the Science and Technology Committee and the Health and Social Care Committee, said the UK’s preparation for a pandemic was far too focused on flu, while ministers waited too long to push through lockdown measures in early 2020.

It concluded that serious errors cost thousands of lives.

Responding to the report, Minister for the Cabinet Office Stephen Barclay argued the Government “did take decisions to move quickly”, including on vaccines, and that both scientists and ministers were acting on information they had at the time.

He told Sky News’ Kay Burley: “It was an unprecedented pandemic, we were learning about it as we went through and of course, with hindsight, there's things we know about it now that we didn't know at the time.”

Welcoming the cross-party report, the mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said it "validates" concerns raised in the region over the last 18 months.

He said: "The evidence is now clear that we have been harder hit by the pandemic than other parts of the country and not helped by some of the decisions that were made at a national level.

"That has led our health service to be more disrupted than other parts of the country, our schools and younger people to have their education more disrupted than other parts of the country and also greater damage to the economy.

"We don't want to see any return to local lockdowns. If there has to be drastic action taken then we would say it's got to be done at a national level."

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