ES News email

Nearly 20,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the UK, while 137 more people have died after contracting the virus.

The Government said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 19,724 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 654,644.

The Government also said a further 137 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 43,155.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 58,500 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

It comes as an international study by Imperial College London found that England and Wales had one of the highest death rates in the world during the first wave. The report blamed an inadequate track and trace system, as well as high levels of obesity and diabetes for England and Wales’ poor performance.

NHS figures show there were 4,146 Covid-19 patients in hospital in England as of Wednesday, up from 2,944 a week ago, while 468 Covid-19 hospital patients were in ventilation beds, up from 376 a week ago.

A total of 647 patients with confirmed Covid-19 were admitted to hospitals in England on Monday, compared with 472 a week earlier.

In Scotland, 527 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Tuesday, up from 262 a week earlier, with 35 in ventilation beds, up from 25 a week earlier.

Wales also saw an increase with 345 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Tuesday, up from 261 a week earlier, with 25 in ventilation beds, down from 28 a week earlier.

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland, 150 Covid-19 patients were in hospital as of Monday, up from 129 a week earlier, with 15 in ventilation beds as of Tuesday, up from eight a week earlier.