The number of deaths related to coronavirus in the UK has hit its highest daily figure since May, according to new figures.
The government said a further 492 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 47,742.
Wednesday’s figure is the highest daily figure since 19 May, when 500 deaths were reported and experts have warned that the trend in deaths will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
The figures come as MPs voted to back the government’s plans for a four-week national lockdown in England, starting on 5 November and running until 2 December.
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Data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard shows that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 25,177 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus, bringing the UK total to 1,099,059.
Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England, warned that the number of COVID-19 deaths will continue to rise.
She said: “Sadly we know that the trend in deaths will continue to rise over the next few weeks.
“As the new measures come into place it will take some time for the impact to be seen.
“We have all made sacrifices and they have helped to save many lives. Let’s stick with it to keep our loved ones safe.
“The fewer people you see, the more you’ll help stop the spread.”
Data shows that a 13-year-old is among the further 302 people — who range from 13 to 100 years old — who have died in hospital in England after testing positive for the virus. The majority had known underlying health conditions, but a total of 12 aged between 56 and 99 did not.
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, show there have now been around 63,000 deaths involving coronavirus in the UK.
It has been suggested that a coronavirus vaccine could be available before Christmas, with the head of the UK’s vaccines taskforce saying data from the vaccine trials at the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca and Pfizer with BioNTech could be available this year.
NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said GPs will be put on standby from December should vaccine become available before Christmas.
However, he said the “expectation” was that any vaccination programme would begin in the new year – pending positive results from the vaccine clinical trials.
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