519 more deaths from Covid-19 as UK death toll rises again

standard– The Government has announced 519 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as deaths rise.

As of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 21,502 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK taking the total to 1,830,956 positive tests.

The death count is an increase on last Saturday where only 397 deaths were reported. 42 more deaths were reported in the past seven days than the week previous.

It was revealed that 314 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 44,126.

English patients were aged between 38 and 102. All except 11, aged between 63 and 93, had known underlying health conditions.

The latest stats came as a public health expert warned that relaxing coronavirus restrictions for five days over Christmas is a “mistake” that will have “consequences”.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at the University of Edinburgh, said people should think “very carefully” about seeing vulnerable loved ones over the festive period.

She also expressed concern about people travelling from areas with high infections to parts of the country with lower prevalence of the virus.

The UK Government and devolved administrations have agreed a joint plan to relax social distancing rules for five days over the festive period, between December 23 and 27, allowing friends and family to hug for the first time in months.

But Prof Bauld told BBC Breakfast: “From a public health perspective, I have to be perfectly honest, I think this is a mistake.

“I think people have to think very carefully whether they can see loved ones outside, or do it in a very modest way.“I’m also concerned about the travel, people going from high to low-prevalence areas.

“I think it’s going to have consequences.”


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