Monday, 30 Nov 2020

UK Covid death toll passes 50,000 after hundreds more die

The UK’s official coronavirus death toll has passed 50,000 after at least 478 new deaths were confirmed today.

Hospital deaths in England, alongside data from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – coupled with the overall death toll of 49,770 from yesterday – mean the UK has already topped the grim milestone. More official data from England later today could see the UK record its second consecutive day of more than 500 deaths.

It comes amid England’s second national lockdown, and represents the latest bleak landmark in the crisis, after the world hit 50 million cases in the last few days. However, there are now renewed hopes of a return to normal life in the coming months, with Pfizer announcing on Monday that a vaccine candidate showed 90% effectiveness in its preliminary stages. 

The UK is the fifth-worst hit country in the world in terms of Covid-19 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Only the USA, Brazil, India and Mexico have recorded more people dying with the virus. 

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Today Scotland reported its highest death toll in six months, with another 64 people in the past 24 hours – the highest since May 6.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that brought the overall death toll to 3,143, while 1,261 positive tests had also been recorded.

Earlier today, NHS England said 361 patients who tested positive for the virus had died in the country’s hospitals, taking the total number of confirmed deaths in the setting to 35,324.

Patients were aged between 43 and 102. All except 20, aged between 58 and 95, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between October 13 and November 10.

Eleven other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

Wales reported 45 new deaths and 928 new cases.

That takes the totals since the pandemic began to 2,108 and 62,284 respectively.

Northern Ireland recorded eight new Covid-19 linked deaths in
in the last 24-hour period and 791 new cases of the virus.

810 deaths and 44,693 cases have now been reported in the country.

Meanwhile, the Government has revealed who will be the first to get the coronavirus vaccine after Pfizer’s breakthrough, with care home residents and people aged 80 or over expected to be prioritised. 

Elsewhere, senior Conservatives are said to be gearing up to rebel against any extension of England’s second national lockdown, which is due to expire on December 2. 

This is a breaking story – more to follow.

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