Young women wearing masks in Northern Ireland

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There have been more than 500,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus so far in the UK and more than 40,000 people have died, government figures show.

However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher.

Latest daily figure includes cases which went unreported in England between 24 Sept – 1 Oct.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average.

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If you can’t see the look-up click here.

Large rise in cases due to data issue

Over the weekend the government confirmed 35,833 new cases – however around 16,000 of these were positive tests from earlier in the week which had not been reported in the government’s daily figures due to a problem with the IT infrastructure.

After reporting 7,143 new cases on Tuesday, the daily figures had remained stable at a time when continued increases might have been expected.

The government says all the missing confirmed cases have now been added to the total.

After a steady decline since the first peak in April, confirmed coronavirus cases started rising again in July, with the rate of growth increasing sharply from the end of August.

Sage, the body which advises the UK government, says it is still “highly likely” the epidemic is growing exponentially across the country.

The official number of cases during the first peak underestimated the number of people with coronavirus, as widespread testing was not available until mid-May.

With hospital admissions also now rising again, the latest government data shows 368 patients receiving mechanical ventilation, the highest figure since June.

An estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), released on Friday, suggests that roughly one in 500 people in England had coronavirus in the week ending 24 September, only slightly down on the previous week.

Based on tests in households for current infection, the ONS survey is thought to give one of the most accurate pictures of whether or not new cases are increasing.

Where are the current hotspots?

There are several local hotspots in the UK that have seen cases spike in recent weeks.

The orange areas on the map below are those currently seeing the highest number of cases per 100,000 people.

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Extra restrictions have been introduced in many areas of the UK – including across the whole of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

On top of these national measures, parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and areas in the Midlands, Lancashire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire and north east England have seen additional rules imposed.

You can see a full breakdown of the areas under extra restrictions and the types of rules in place here.

Daily deaths starting to rise

While the rate of growth in new cases has begun to increase again recently, the rise in daily deaths has remained relatively low.

The government announced 33 new deaths on Sunday. There were 32 deaths in England and one in Northern Ireland. There were no deaths reported in Scotland or Wales.

In August, the government’s death toll in England was reduced by 5,340 following a review of the way coronavirus deaths are counted.

New rules mean deaths anywhere in the UK are included in the coronavirus total only if they occurred within 28 days of a positive test. Previously in England, all deaths after a positive test were included.

England has seen the majority of UK deaths from Covid-19. Using the 28-day cut-off, there have been more than 37,000.

Overall death toll could be more than 60,000

When looking at the overall death toll from coronavirus, official figures count deaths in three different ways.

Government figures count people who tested positive for coronavirus and died within 28 days.

But there are two other measures.

The first includes all deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, even if the person had not been tested for the virus. The most recent figures suggest there had been more than 57,000 deaths by 18 September.

The third method looks at all UK deaths over and above the number usually expected for the time of year – known as excess deaths. This measure shows the death toll was almost 65,000 by 18 September.

There were 10,784 deaths registered in the UK in the week ending 18 September, about 2% above the expected level for this time of year.

It was the second week in a row that Covid-19 registered deaths had risen across the UK – a total of 158 involved coronavirus, up 48 on the previous week. But the total is still far below the peak of 9,495 seen in April.

What is the R number in the UK?

The “R number” is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.

On Friday, the government raised its estimate for the R number across the whole of the UK to between 1.3 and 1.6.

The estimate for England is 1.2-1.6, while for Scotland it is 1.3-1.7. The estimate for Wales is 1.0-1.4 and in Northern Ireland it is 1.5.

The government has said in the past that the R number is one of the most important factors in making policy decisions.

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