A ‘hugely concerning’ rise in Coronavirus deaths has been recorded today as there has been more technical problems with the Covid app.
The tragic death rates comes as Keir Starmer has called for a short lockdown or “circuit-breaker” in England of two to three weeks to bring the rising rate of coronavirus under control.
Starmer said measures were “not working” and a new course is needed to prevent a “sleepwalk into… a bleak winter”.
Boris Johnson is facing mounting criticism for dismissing scientific advice over coronavirus restrictions as Downing Street stressed that economic assessments of lockdowns were also key.
Official papers showed the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested a short national lockdown was needed in England three weeks ago.
Now the coronavirus contact tracing app for England and Wales has been updated after users reported confusion from a notification suggesting they may have been exposed to the virus.
A so-called “phantom alert” caused panic among some who had received it, with reports that the notification would disappear when tapped and show no further information within the app.
The message read: “Possible Covid-19 exposure. Someone you were near reported having Covid-19. Exposure date, duration and signal strength have been saved.”
However, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said these particular alerts are default privacy notifications from Apple and Google – who created the underlying technology – to alert people that the app is sharing information with the system.
To ease concerns, an update to the app will provide a follow-up message, saying: “Covid-19 Exposure Check Complete.
“Don’t worry, we have assessed your risk and there is no need to take action at this time.
“Please continue to stay alert and follow the latest advice on social distancing.”
Public Health England (PHE) has warned the rise in Covid-19 deaths is “hugely concerning” as the UK sees the highest daily figure in four months.
The Government said a further 143 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Tuesday.
This brings the total number of deaths in the UK to 43,018m, according to Government figures.
It is the highest daily figure since 164 deaths were reported on June 10, but there is often a delay in the reporting of deaths over a weekend.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have now been 58,500 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, PHE medical director, said: “The trend in Covid-related deaths is starting to rise quickly, which is hugely concerning.
“We have seen cases increasing especially in older age groups, which is leading to more hospital admissions.
“This is a stark reminder for us to follow the guidelines.
“Importantly, do not mix with others when unwell.
“We must all do our part to help control the virus by following the restrictions in our areas, maintaining social distance, wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and washing our hands regularly.”
The Government said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 17,234 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total number of cases to 634,920.
Related: Lockdown: PM slammed for ‘ignoring Sage advice’ pushing country to ‘sleepwalk into bleak winter’