UK's Covid death toll rises by 519 as 21,502 more cases confirmed

12 December 2020, 18:14

People wearing face masks walk past the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange in London
People wearing face masks walk past the Bank of England and the Royal Exchange in London. Picture: PA

By Megan White

519 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, new Government figures show.

There was also a further 21,502 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus across the country.

314 people who had tested positive died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 44,126, NHS England said.

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

The deaths were between November 7 and December 11.

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

It came as scientists urged people to rethink Christmas as coronavirus infection rates increase in parts of the UK, warning the country is heading towards "disaster".

The independent Sage group, chaired by former Government chief scientific adviser Sir David King, said there is a need to highlight the risks of mixing indoors.

Professor Stephen Reicher, of the University of St Andrews, said: "Right now we are heading towards disaster.

"Given high levels of infection across the country and the increasing levels in some areas (such as London) it is inevitable that if we all do choose to meet up over Christmas then we will pay the price in the New Year."

He added: "We need an urgent rethink about the Christmas break.

"Government must clarify the risks involved in indoor mixing and stress the fact that households can get together doesn't mean that they should.

"They should provide the information and support to help people make the decisions that best keep themselves, their families and their communities safe.

"And for many of us, the right decision will be to show our love by waiting until we can meet and hug and celebrate without danger."