Watch: COVID-19: UK records 44,104 new coronavirus cases and 73 more deaths
The latest single-day tally brings the country’s total caseload to 5,563,006.
Wednesday’s figure - 44,104 - is down slightly on the 46,558 reported on Tuesday and 39,950 on Monday. It is slightly higher than the 41,748 cases reported last Wednesday.
Meanwhile a further 73 Covid-19 had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday - bringing the country’s overall death toll from the disease to 128,896.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 154,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The latest cases figure may provide some hope that the UK’s third wave could be flattening off after reaching nearly 54,000 on July 17. However any optimism will be tempered by the fact that the scrapping of social distancing and the legally-enforced wearing of face masks from ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday have yet to be reflected in the daily figures.
From a global perspective, only the US has posted a higher figure for new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours.
Some 333,870 cases have been recorded in the UK in the past seven days, a rise of 88,040 - or 35.8 per cent - on the previous week.
The country’s infection rate now stands at 472.3 per 100,000 people.
It comes as Sir Keir Starmer entered self-isolation after one of his children tested positive for coronavirus around the time he was in the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Labour leader tested negative on Wednesday morning ahead of his appearance in Parliament where he grilled Boris Johnson over his isolation policy.
It will be the fourth time Sir Keir has had to enter quarantine since the pandemic began and will force him to alter plans to launch his “safer communities” campaign on Thursday.
Sir Keir said: “This lunchtime, one of my children tested positive for Covid.
“I know it’s my responsibility to follow the rules – my family and I are now self-isolating.”
A spokesman for the Labour leader said: “Keir was already doing daily tests and tested negative this morning. He will continue to take daily tests.”
Meanwhile, new figures suggest around nine in 10 adults in all parts of the UK are now likely to have Covid-19 antibodies.
The estimates range from 88.6% in Scotland to 92.6% in Wales, with 90.0% for Northern Ireland and 91.9% for England.
The presence of coronavirus antibodies suggests someone has had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated.
It takes between two and three weeks after infection or vaccination for the body to make enough antibodies to fight the virus.
Antibodies then remain in the blood at low levels, although these levels can decline over time to the point that tests can no longer detect them.
The latest estimates are from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and are based on a sample of blood test results for the week beginning June 28.
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