Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

UK records more than 200 daily deaths for first time in 20 weeks

The UK has recorded another 241 deaths and 21,331 cases as the country continues to battle the second wave of coronavirus. 

The latest figures bring the total number of infections to 762,542 while 43,967 people have died since the start of the pandemic. 

The last time the UK recorded more than 200 deaths in a single day was on June 5, when there were 258 casualties. 

Today’s case figure is the second highest daily total ever. The only other day when the numbers were higher was October 4, with 22,961 new cases.

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On that day however, several thousand backdated positive test results were added to the total after a glitch in the system.

The numbers are also way up on yesterday, when there were 18,804 cases and 80 deaths recorded. But the figures are often lower on the weekend and Mondays as there are delays in reporting. This can mean numbers on Tuesdays are inflated. 

In hospitals, 134 more coronavirus deaths have been announced, bringing the total in this setting to 31,181.

Patients were aged between 36 and 100. All but six, aged between 68 and 91, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths were between October 13 and 19.

There have been three further three deaths and 913 new cases of the virus in Northern Ireland. 

Meanwhile, Wales, which is about to go into a ‘firebreak’ lockdown, saw a further 1,148 cases and 10 more deaths. 

Scotland is set to follow England in introducing a three tiered lockdown system after 15 coronavirus deaths and 1,456 positive cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Nicola Sturgeon said some areas may face stricter measures than those currently in force in the central belt, where licensed hospitality venues have been temporarily closed.

The new system will come into place on November 2 while the Scottish Government will give an update tomorrow on whether pubs and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on October 26, as first planned. 

The latest figures come as week-long talks aimed at moving Greater Manchester into the highest tier of the local lockdown system collapsed.

Downing Street had given city leaders until noon to agree a deal and will now force the area into closing its pubs and restaurants. 

Meanwhile, the UK could become the first country to deliberately infect people with the disease as part of a vaccination trial.

Plans have been unveiled that would see people exposed to the virus in controlled settings in order to speed up vaccine development.

A group of 90 participants aged between 18 and 30 will be carefully monitored to assess how the vaccine works and any possible side effects.

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