A further 73 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the UK today – almost 50% up on last Wednesday when 49 fatalities were reported.
Meanwhile, 44,104 new cases have been announced today, compared with 42,302 last Wednesday – which was the highest daily figure in six months.
Wednesday’s death toll brings the UK total 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.
Yesterday the UK recorded a further 96 deaths, which was the highest reported daily figure since March 24.
A further 46,558 coronavirus cases were reported on Tuesday.
Today’s figures come as Sir Keir Starmer will enter self-isolation after one of his children tested positive for coronavirus around the time he was in the Commons for Prime Minister’s Questions, a spokesman has said.
The Labour leader was said to have 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.
A spokesman said: “One of Keir’s children tested positive for Covid this lunchtime. In line with the rules, Keir and his family will now be self-isolating.
“Keir was already doing daily tests and tested negative this morning. He will continue to take daily tests.”
A health minister today said “crucial services will be able to continue to operate” despite the “pingdemic” because of a new Covid system launching next month.
Helen Whately told the Commons there had been a “specific policy” which allowed NHS staff to continue to work even after being alerted by the NHS app as having been in contact with someone who had been infected.
She added: “The Prime Minister has also said we will make sure that crucial services will be able to continue to operate, even recognising that many people are at the moment isolating and that goes beyond health and social care, and that in mid-August we are introducing a new system.”