More signs are emerging that the current Covid-19 wave has peaked in the UK as daily recorded cases fell below 100,000 for first time in three weeks
A further 99,652 lab-confirmed infections have been recorded in the UK as of 9am on Friday, the government said.
It is the first time the number has been below 100,000 since December 21.
A total of 889,279 cases have been registered in the last seven days, which is down 29.5%.
Driven by the Omicron variant, cases topped 200,000 on January 4 – and only reached that landmark for one day – and have largely fallen ever since.
Deaths lag behind infections by around three weeks.
The government said a further 270 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19. The seven day total – 1,869 – is up 66.9%. It brings the overall total to 151,612 deaths in the UK.
However, an analysis by the PA News agency suggests tens of thousands of new cases of coronavirus in the UK are not being included in the official daily figures.
An average of 114,600 new cases were recorded each day in the week to December 23, according to the government’s Covid-19 dashboard.
But the true figure might have been more than three times that number, according to new estimates published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It means more than one and a half million new cases of coronavirus could have been missed from the official figures in the week before Christmas.
High levels of underreporting will still be affecting the government’s daily figures, meaning the current volume of cases in the UK is unclear.
The government’s daily figures only those people who have reported themselves as having tested positive for the virus.