UK's coronavirus death toll rises by 603 with another 13,430 cases in past 24 hours

1 December 2020, 16:22 | Updated: 1 December 2020, 16:48

Over 600 people have died after a positive Covid test in the past 24 hours
Over 600 people have died after a positive Covid test in the past 24 hours. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A further 603 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19, the Government has announced.

It is one of the highest death tolls since May and brings the UK total to 59,051.

The Government said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 13,430 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

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It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,643,086 - the third highest in Europe.

It comes just hours before England is due to leave national lockdown and enter a new three-tier system - provided the Government wins the support of MPs in a vote on Tuesday.

Opening the debate on the Government's coronavirus tiered system, the Prime Minister told MPs: "We have to be realistic and we have to accept that this vaccine is not here yet, no vaccine is here yet.

"And whilst all the signs are promising and almost every scientist I have talked to agrees that the breakthrough will surely come, we do not yet have one that has gained regulatory approval.

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"And we can't be completely sure when the moment will arrive. And until then, we cannot afford to relax, especially during the cold months of winter."

Boris Johnson added that the virus "has not been eradicated".

Dozens of Conservative MPs are expected to vote against or abstain on the tougher measures, claiming it is unfair and discriminatory against areas with infection rates significantly lower than the national average.