Coronavirus was on the increase. At the beginning of the week, Sunday 4 October, total deaths (within 28 days of testing positive for the coronavirus) stood at 42,317, of whom 346 had died in the past week, compared with 212 the week before. Between 25 September and 2 October, 15,841 cases of coronavirus were omitted from official figures, through some blunder with a spreadsheet. As a consequence, on 30 September the official daily tally of 7,109 positive test results should have been 3,049 higher, and so on. Those who tested positive were told but the tracing of their contacts was delayed. Because fewer of those being admitted to hospital were put on ventilators, no use had been made of 30,000 ventilators for which the government had paid £569 million. Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, said he was ‘very very angry’ at the ‘reckless’ behaviour of Margaret Ferrier, a Scottish Nationalist MP who had travelled from Glasgow to London with Covid-19 symptoms and spoken in the House, then returned home by train after testing positive; the SNP suspended her. Sir Roger Penrose, aged 89, won the Nobel prize for physics for his work connecting the theory of general relativity and black holes.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, told the virtual Conservative party conference: ‘We believe that in ten years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country.’ He said: ‘As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind — a place of almost limitless resource.’ He promised: ‘We will build windmills that float on the sea.’ He mentioned that 14,000 of the 50,000 extra nurses promised had been recruited and 5,000 of the 20,000 policemen. He said that he had lost 26lb in weight.