Saturday, 19 Sep 2020

Another 98 people die with coronavirus rising total to 46,511

Another 98 people have died of coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total number to 46,5111.

According to the latest government figures 309,005 people have tested positive for Covid-19, with 871 additional cases recorded in the past 24 hours. 

The numbers released by the Department of Health cover fatalities in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community. 

Earlier, NHS England said that a further 10 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospitals, bringing the total number to 29,386.

There have been no new deaths in Scotland or Northern Ireland for over three weeks, while Wales recorded seven.

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This comes as new data suggests the R rate – the rate the virus reproduces – may have crept back up to 1 across the UK and may even be higher than this in at least three regions.

London, the North West and the South West have an R rate above 1, meaning the number of cases is on the rise.

The R rate – which refers to the number of people infected by each person with Covid-19 – needs to be below 1 in order for the number of cases to fall.

Nationally the reproduction rate is estimated to be between 0.8 and 1.

Despite cause for concern in some regions, the overall number of cases could be falling by up to 5% across the UK, data shows.

The government said: ‘A growth rate between 0% to -5% means the number of new infections is somewhere between remaining stable and shrinking by 5% every day.

‘The UK estimates of R and growth rate are averages over very different epidemiological situations and should be regarded as a guide to the general trend rather than a description of the epidemic state.’

The rising R rate has coincided with what is expected to be one of the hottest days of the year.

‘Red alerts’ have been issued for almost all the beaches in Bournemouth as crowds flock back to the coast.

By lunchtime 20 of the 24 beaches in Dorset City were full, according to an app developed by the local authority.

Signs telling sunseekers to ‘head home’ have been put up next to some of the busiest beaches after people reportedly queued from 3am to get a prime spot. 

Officials in England’s tourist hotspots are bracing themselves for another busy weekend as temperatures could reach record levels over the next few days. 

Crowds planning to descend on beaches during the heatwave have been told they could be turned away amid fears it could lead to a coronavirus spike.

Sussex Police and Rother District Council say they’ll be monitoring arrivals to Camber Sands amid fears that several coachloads of partygoers from London are planning to descend on the sandy beach near Rye in East Sussex. 

Adverts circulating on social media say the ‘beach cookout’ will take place at a ‘secret location’ on Sunday with organisers stressing it is a ‘private event’ where no food or alcohol will be sold.

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