Wednesday, 28 Oct 2020

Another 12,594 cases recorded after 'glitch' in data fixed

Another 12,594 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the UK in the last 24 hours – the first daily figures to be announced after a ‘shambolic error’ led to thousands of cases being left out of the data. 

A further 19 people have died with the virus in the 24 hour period, the Government’s dashboard shows.

There have now been a total of 515,571 cases and 42,369 deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic.

It comes after the the release of the daily figures were thrown into chaos over the weekend after nearly 16,000 previously unreported cases had to be added to the total because of a spreadsheet error. 

The missed cases vastly inflated the numbers for the weekend, with 12,872 cases reported on Saturday and 22,961 on Sunday. 

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It’s thought the error occured when a spreadsheet on Excel ran out of columns, leading to thousands of cases being missed off the Government’s dashboard between September 25 and October 2.

Everyone who tested positive was contacted promptly but there have been delays in tracing the people they may have infected. Downing Street is bringing in additional contact tracers to try to clear the backlog. 

Due to the problems, the daily figures recorded over the last few days – which took the country past half a million cases – were not reflective of the true number of cases being diagnosed. 

It’s thought a more accurate number was around 10,000 cases a day on Saturday and Sunday.

Separate figures released by NHS England showed 10 more people with the virus have died in hospitals. Patients were aged between 67 and 91 years old. All but one 85-year-old patient had underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between October 1 and October 3. Most were on or after October 2.

There have been a further 596 cases in Wales and 616 in Northern Ireland but no new deaths.

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said it was ‘possible’ further lockdown restrictions could be announced in the next few days. 

Another 697 people have tested positive for the virus in the latest 24 hour period and eight more have been admitted to hospital. The country has seen no further deaths. 

‘Given the numbers we are seeing it is possible that we will have to do more,’ the first minister said.

‘There may well be a need for some further restrictions in the near future. The Government will be considering the latest clinical evidence and advice later on today and the cabinet will be considering the up to date situation when it meets tomorrow morning.’

In further developments, infection rates for the worst affected areas have shot up after the 16,000 missed cases were added to the total. 

Manchester is now the worst affected place in the UK with an infection rate of 496 per 100,000 people after 2,740 new cases were recorded in a week. 

A traffic light system is reportedly being considered in England to simplify the rules surrounding local lockdowns.

Restrictions would differ, depending on whether a place was classified as green, amber or red.

An official document outlining the proposed system was leaked to the Guardian newspaper but it has not yet become official policy.

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