Around 47,000 Covid-19 infections are occurring each day across England, with daily deaths expected to hit 240 to 690 by 26 October, according to evidence presented to government scientists.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) biostatistics unit at Cambridge University published new predictions this week on how fast the epidemic is growing across the country.

It estimates cases are doubling in under seven days, with a “substantial proportion” of those being asymptomatic.

The figures are fed to the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling, which provides real-time information to the government through the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), and to regional Public Health England (PHE) teams.

On 12 October, the MRC unit published a report saying: “Our current estimate of the number of infections occurring each day across England is 47,000.

“We predict that the number of deaths each day is likely to be between 240 and 690 on 26 October.”

It said the daily number of infections was within the range of 28,900 to 74,900, with the best estimate being 47,000, and said the number of new infections is particularly high in the north-west of England, north-east of England and Yorkshire, followed by London and the Midlands.

It added the estimated growth rate for England was 0.09 per day.