ANOTHER 3,105 people have tested positive for coronavirus overnight as cases in the UK continue to rise – and Brits struggle to get hold of tests.
And 27 people have lost their lives to the deadly bug as the UK's grim tally rises to 41,664.
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Of that number, 14 people died in hospital in England.
Patients were aged between 62 and 94, and all had known underlying health conditions.
One person died in Scotland, while Wales has recorded no further deaths.
Figures for Northern Ireland aren't yet available.
It's the fourth day in a week newly diagnosed cases have tipped 3,000, having stayed below that figure since mid-May – when nationwide restrictions begun to ease.
It comes as ministers grapple with a rising infection rate amid fears that Covid-19 is spreading to care homes once again.
September has seen rising rates of the virus, with Friday's new cases – 3,539 – the highest recorded on any day since May 17.
Today, an expert warned that a 'second wave' of coronavirus has hit faster than anticipated, causing a shortage of tests.
A lack of capacity has meant many Brits are unable to access tests locally when they develop symptoms.
Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, said: "What’s going wrong is the second wave.
"A month ago they had spare capacity and testing – significant spare capacity.
"What had been underestimated was the speed at which the second wave would arrive,but also the pressure put on the system from children returning to school."
It comes as:
- Thousands of kids can't return to school – because their parents can't get them tested for coronavirus
- 230,000 people are awaiting results of tests as Matt Hancock admits the shambles could last for WEEKS
- The Premier League confirms four new positive tests
- Pub chain Wetherspoon reveals 66 workers have tested positive for the deadly virus
- Priti Patel says a family stopping in the street to chat to friends would break the law on the new 'rule of six'
At the weekend, Sir Mark Walport, the former chief scientific adviser, claimed the country was “on the edge of losing control” of the virus, as he urged people to work from home if they could.
And this week, the new 'rule of six' has come into force.
It means the number of people allowed to gather at one time has been slashed from 30 to six.
And Home Secretary Priti Patel warned chatting to someone on the street would break the rules.
She said any "mingling" with a group of more than six would risk those people being slapped with a £100 fine.
Despite that, many Brits appear to be risking the fine amid the September sunshine.
Sun-worshippers – some of whom appear to be in groups of more than six – have gathered at beaches around the country today.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is drawing up plans to issue 4.5million people with letters ordering them to shield once again.
Vulnerable Brits could be told to isolate amid fears coronavirus is spreading through care homes.
Those at risk of the deadly bug will be sent letters with advice telling them to stay inside if cases reach dangerous levels.
Young people between the ages of 17-21 with a "lack of social distancing" have been blamed for the spike in infections by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
However, in spite of mounting concerns, it was revealed today that flu and pneumonia are killing ten times more people in England than Covid-19.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that deaths from coronavirus fell below 100 for the first time since March.
And it's believed the lockdown itself may have led to 3,600 extra deaths in the UK from preventable heart conditions and strokes.
A top medic has revealed that at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic 700 Brits died from heart and circulatory diseases each week.
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