UK records another 12,594 coronavirus cases with 19 deaths
The coronavirus related deaths rose by 19 to 42,369, the latest data showed.
The figures were revealed after Public Health England (PHE) said a total of 15,841 cases between Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 were unreported in Britain's daily case figures due to a technical glitch.
"A technical issue, now resolved, resulted in cases between 25 September and 2 October not being included in the reported daily coronavirus figures,"said the PHE in a statement updated Monday.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Monday that the technical error "has not impacted the basis on which decisions about local action were taken last week". But he said it is a "serious issue" and is being "investigated fully".
"This incident should never have happened. But the team have acted swiftly to minimize its impact," he told MPs in the House of Commons, lower house of parliament.
According to the BBC, a significant proportion of the unreported cases are from the northwest of England, one of the area hit hardest by coronavirus. The unreported coronavirus cases has delayed efforts to trace contacts of people who tested positive.
More than 50,000 potentially infectious people may have been missed by contact tracers and not told to self-isolate due to the technical problem, according to a report by The Guardian newspaper.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that the cases data had been "truncated" and "lost" and the tracers were "now working through all the contacts".
The latest glitch added to the grave concerns over a sharp rise in coronavirus infections in Britain.
Johnson has warned that Britain's fight against the pandemic may be "bumpy through to Christmas".
Britain's R number, which shows the coronavirus reproduction, has risen to as high as 1.6, the latest official figures showed Friday.
If the reproduction rate is above one, it means the number of cases will increase exponentially.
To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
The British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has said that it is possible that some vaccine could be available in small amounts later this year, but it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year, although that is not guaranteed. ■