The UK has recorded 39,851 new COVID cases and 143 coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, government data shows.

It is the highest number of daily infections reported since 6 September – when 41,192 cases were recorded.

The latest figures compare with 33,869 COVID-19 infections and 166 fatalities recorded yesterday, and 36,722 cases and 150 deaths announced this time last week.

A total of 49,035,877 people in the UK have now received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine after 41,347 had their first jab on Tuesday.

And 45,049,953 have been double jabbed after 28,572 people received their second dose.

According to the latest data, there are 6,836 people in hospital with coronavirus, compared with 7,027 seven days before. Also, 800 COVID patients are on ventilators.

Earlier, the prime minister used his speech at the Tory conference in Manchester to issue a fresh call for workers to return to the office following the pandemic.

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Boris Johnson said “we will and must see people back in the office” as he continued his drive to end working from home.

He told the conference: “As we come out of COVID, our towns and cities are going to be buzzing with life because we know that a productive workforce needs the spur that only comes with face-to-face meetings and water cooler gossip.

“If young people are to learn on the job in the way they always have and must, we will and must see people back in the office.”

Mr Johnson also hailed the success of the vaccine rollout and praised those responsible for bringing it to market.

He said: “It was not the government that made the wonder drug, it wasn’t brewed in the alembics of the Department of Health.

“Of course it was Oxford University, but it was the private sector that made it possible.

“Behind those vaccines are companies and shareholders and, yes, bankers.

“You need deep pools of liquidity that are to be found in the City of London.

“It was capitalism that ensured that we had a vaccine in less than a year.

“And the answer therefore is not to attack the wealth creators, it is to encourage them.”