THE UK has recorded its highest daily coronavirus death toll since the beginning of May, official data released yesterday shows.

A further 696 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, according to the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

This is the highest daily total since 726 deaths were reported on May 5, but a mid-week rise can be due to delays in reporting deaths over the weekend.

These figures are not the number of people who have died in a single day but the number of deaths reported in the past 24 hours.

The latest data brings the UK’s total number of people to have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test to 56,533.

This cumulative total is one less than expected due to the removal of a previously reported duplicate death by Public Health Wales.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 72,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The Government said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 18,213 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

There were a further 1,758 reported in the North-East and North Yorkshire in the last 24 hours.

The breakdown by local authority in the region was:

County Durham: 18,486 was 18,220 – an increase of 266

Darlington: 3,168 was 3,074 - an increase of 94

Gateshead: 7,551 was 7,458 – an increase of 93

Hartlepool: 3,739 was 3,681 – an increase of 58

Middlesbrough: 5,413 was 5,352 – an increase of 61

Newcastle: 15,337 was 15,157 – an increase of 180

North Tyneside: 6,467 was 6,349 – an increase of 118

North Yorkshire: 12,840 was 12,614 – an increase of 226

Northumberland: 8,046 was 7,861 – an increase of 185

Redcar and Cleveland: 4,384 was 4,332 – an increase of 52

South Tyneside: 5,488 was 5,388 – an increase of 100

Stockton: 7,271 was 7,149 – an increase of 122

Sunderland: 10,701 was 10,556 – an increase of 145

York: 5,547 was 5,489 – an increase of 58

Total increase: 1,758