ANOTHER 18 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Essex in the past 24 hours.

It means the total number of infections recorded in the county now stands at 7,299.

Figures released by Public Health England show there have been 13 positive tests carried out in the Essex County Council region since 4pm yesterday (Wednesday, August 26).

There have now been 5,945 cases of coronavirus recorded in the area since the pandemic began.

The total number of cases in Southend meanwhile stands at 740 - up three from yesterday.

And another two cases have been announced in Thurrock, where the total is now 614.

Public Health England is now including Pillar 2 tests – those carried out by commercial partners – in its daily update.

Pillar 1 tests, which are analysed in NHS or PHE laboratories and which made up the first stage of the Government's mass testing programme, are also used.

There were 1,522 new Covid-19 infections recorded across the UK today.