UK records another 397 Covid-19 deaths and 15,539 cases

5 December 2020, 17:06

Hundreds more have died after testing positive for Covid-19
Hundreds more have died after testing positive for Covid-19. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

The UK has recorded another 397 Covid-19 deaths and 15,539 cases in the past 24 hours, the Government has announced.

Both figures are slightly lower than yesterday, with 759 fewer cases and 107 fewer deaths.

It takes the total number of deaths in the country to 61,014 and cases to 1,705,971.

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Read more: Covid vaccines will have 'marginal impact' on winter hospital numbers

The 7-day deaths average is 2,986 - down by 12% on last week.

It comes as the UK's four chief medical officers warned coronavirus vaccines will only have a "marginal impact" on hospital numbers over the winter.

Health services should plan for a tough three months between now and the spring, the medical chiefs wrote in a letter to colleagues.

The four warned that festive gatherings would likely put additional pressure on the NHS and other care services.

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Doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine arrive in all four nations of the UK.

Care homes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will begin vaccination on Tuesday - with England expected to follow shortly after.

Elsewhere, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been forced to self-isolate for the second time after coming into contact with a staff member with Covid-19.

"Keir is well and not showing any symptoms. He will now be working from home," a spokesman for Sir Keir said.

Read more: Keir Starmer self-isolating after staff member tests positive for Covid-19

He last came into contact with his colleague on Tuesday, meaning he'll have to self-isolate until Wednesday 16 December.

It could mean another round of virtual Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, after Boris Johnson appeared via Zoom in mid-November while self-isolating.