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Nearly 4,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK in the last 24 hours, the Government has said.

As of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 3,991 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK. Overall, 378,219 cases have been confirmed.

It also said a further 20 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday. This brings the UK total to 41,684.

It comes after Boris Johnson told the Liaison Committee on Wednesday afternoon that the UK has “massively increased” its testing capacity.

“Actually, and I know that many people have had infuriating experiences, and I do sympathise with them,” said Mr Johnson.

“And we are trying to get as many tests out as we possibly can. But 89 per cent get their results within 24 hours, if you have an in person test.

“And the distance that you have to travel to get a test has come down just in the last week. On average from about six or seven miles to about five miles.

Boris Johnson gives evidence to the Commons Liaison Committee in the Boothroyd Room in the House of Commons (PA)

“We are putting out many, many more tests.”

There have been a further 199 cases of Covid-19 in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 19,880.

Public Health Wales said no further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic remaining at 1,597.

Meanwhile in Scotland, one more patient has died after contracting the virus. It brings the total number of Covid-19 fatalities to 2,501.

The figures are lower than weekly statistics from the National Records of Scotland – which record people who have died with confirmed or suspected coronavirus – and show the death total stands at 4,236.

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said 23,283 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland, up by 267 from 22,749 the day before. This is 3.6 per cent of newly-tested individuals.

Of the new cases, 105 are in Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 40 in Lanarkshire and 45 in Lothian. There are 51 people in hospital confirmed to have the virus, up by three in 24 hours

There have been two further deaths from Covid-19 reported in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said. The death toll recorded by the department now stands at 573.

England’s coronavirus hospital admissions highest since July

There have also been a further 129 new confirmed cases of the virus in the last 24-hour reporting period, bringing the total in the region to 8,631, including 641 in the last seven days.

During the Prime Minister’s appearance at the Liaison Committe, he warned a second national lockdown would be likely to have “disastrous” financial consequences for the UK.

He was asked by Conservative MP and chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, Julian Knight, whether the country could afford another national lockdown.

Mr Johnson replied: “I don’t want a second national lockdown – I think it would be completely wrong for this country and we are going to do everything in our power to prevent it.

“And can we afford it? I very much doubt that the financial consequences would be anything but disastrous, but we have to make sure that we defeat the disease by the means that we have set out.

“So when I see people arguing against the rule of six or saying that the Government is coming in too hard on individual liberties and so on – I totally understand that and I sympathise with that, but we must, must defeat this disease.”