LONDON - Covid infection rates are surging, with the UK recording its highest ever daily tally on Monday.
In total, 226,525 cases were reported, according to the latest government data, which included figures for Saturday and Sunday and reinfections, which have been part of daily tallies since 31 January.
The number was more than 50,000 higher than the 170,985 cases reported the previous Monday, including weekend infection rates.
The Zoe app had cases above 300,000 per day.
Another 94,524 coronavirus infections were officially reported on Tuesday.
The official symptoms on the NHS are still the same - a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - despite experts repeatedly urging the government to update them.
Professor Tim Spector, who runs the Zoe Covid Study at King’s College London, has published a list of the most common symptoms for Covid.
The 10 most common symptoms for Covid according to the Zoe Covid Study
Chills or shivers
Unusual joint pains
The recent fall in the number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has ended.
A total of 671 deaths registered in the seven days to 11 March mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is broadly unchanged on the previous week’s total of 670 and comes after six successive drops in the number of deaths – the longest uninterrupted fall since spring last year.
It is too soon to know if the latest figures signal a levelling off in Covid deaths or the start of a possible upwards trend.
Coronavirus infections have been rising across the UK since early March, driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant, but any impact from this increase on the number of death registrations will not be clear for several weeks.
Professor Chris Whitty has warned coronavirus case rates are "still very high".
On Monday, he tweeted: "Covid-19 rates are still very high, and rising again.
"Vaccines substantially reduce rates of severe disease and hospitalisation but there is some reduction of effect over time.
"If you are over 75 or immunosuppressed and the NHS contacts you for a booster please take up the offer."
The number of patients in hospital in Scotland with coronavirus has also reached the highest so far since the start of the pandemic.
The latest figures show that 2,221 patients were in hospital with the virus on Tuesday, a record high, with 29 in intensive care.
Overall, 188,078 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.
The highest number on a single day was 1,487 on 19 January 2021.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on 8 April 2020.
Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.
Free universal testing for the virus will end on 1 April, with free tests only being made available to the most vulnerable.