On Wednesday, 846 people tested positive for coronavirus, and 165,480 tests were processed (0.5 per cent). Contrast that to April 5, at the height of the pandemic, when 5,902 people tested positive and 16,080 tests were processed (36 per cent).

Professor Karol Sikora, the dean of medicine at the University of Buckingham, said: “We’re processing 10 times as many tests a day now. The average ticked up today, and cases certainly aren’t falling, but we do need some context.”

Take a look at the hospital admissions data, however, and there has been no rise. Admissions are continuing to fall, with around 65 new cases a day – down from 3,099 at the peak. It makes it clear that this new increase is not due to severe Covid-19, and these people are not ending up in hospital. 

Data from a symptom tracker app run by King’s College London and healthcare company ZOE also shows that levels have plateaued, with no sign of a second wave. Their figures – based on more than 13,000 swab tests – show symptomatic Covid-19 has been stable at around 2,000 cases a day for the past month.

Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College, said: “The data shows that things haven’t changed much since the end of June and we are still at the tail end of the first wave, with around 2,000 cases a day. The numbers are holding steady for now. There is no sign of a second wave yet, but we are keeping a close eye of the data to make sure we catch any changes so that we can take all necessary early measures.”

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