UK covid deaths rise by 608 in highest since early May

24 November 2020, 16:19 | Updated: 24 November 2020, 16:44

England faces tougher tiers when lockdown ends on 2 December
England faces tougher tiers when lockdown ends on 2 December. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

A further 608 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, the Government has confirmed.

It brings the UK's official total death toll to 55,838 and is the highest since early 12 May, when 614 deaths were reported.

The Government said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 11,299 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, a sharp fall on the figure a week ago.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,538,794 - but the seven-day rolling average of cases has been falling since 10 November.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, suggest there have been more than 71,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

It comes as millions of people in England await tougher tier restrictions after the second national lockdown ends on 2 December.

Read more: Weekly coronavirus deaths pass 2,000 for first time since May

Boris Johnson is facing a growing rebellion over the new three-tier system that will see all shops, gyms, outdoor sport and salons allowed to reopen but hospitality shut in the top tier, with many facing a ban on household mixing until March.

A further 353 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 38,865, NHS England said on Tuesday.

Patients were aged between 10 and 100. All except nine, aged between 31 and 90, had known underlying health conditions. The deaths were between 24 October and 23 November, with the majority on or after 21 November.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said earlier weekly coronavirus deaths have now exceeded 2,000 in England and Wales for the first time since May.

There were 2,466 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending 13 November in England and Wales, the ONS said.

This is the highest number since the week ending 22 May, when 2,589 deaths were registered, and a rise of 529 deaths from the previous week ending 6 November.

The Covid-19 deaths made up a fifth of the overall deaths in England and Wales in the week ending 13 November. The overall number of deaths in hospitals, private homes and care homes was above the five-year average - the expected number of deaths for this time of year.

Boris Johnson warned on Monday it will take “months” to inoculate everyone that needs a coronavirus vaccine despite a breakthrough with Oxford University's jab, as he warned that Christmas will be the season to be “jolly careful”.

The Prime Minister stressed “we’re not out of the woods yet” and that the UK faced a “hard” start to 2021, but that he expected “things will look and feel very different” and return to normal after Easter.