Britain records 11,299 Covid-19 cases in lowest daily figure for almost eight weeks but deaths rise to 608 in highest toll since May
- Daily Covid infections fell 43.6% from 20,051 recorded last Tuesday and 27% on yesterday’s figure of 15,450
- Deaths highest they’ve been since May 12, when disease claimed 614 victims but only 1.7% above last week
Britain today recorded 40 per cent fewer coronavirus cases than a week ago in another sign that England’s lockdown is working as 11,299 more positive tests were declared – but deaths are at a six-month high.
Today’s infections marked a fall of 43.6 per cent on the 20,051 recorded last Tuesday and a drop of 27 per cent on yesterday’s figure of 15,450. Daily cases are now at their lowest since September, when there were fewer than 10,000.
The UK also announced 608 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, which is the highest since May 12, when the disease claimed 614 victims.
However, there are signs that fatalities have started to level off as today’s death toll is only 1.7 per cent higher than last Tuesday, when there were 598 victims.
Covid-19 deaths lag two to three weeks behind the infections trend due to the time it takes for people to fall seriously ill with the disease. Experts anticipate deaths will start to tail off next month.
It comes as Nicola Sturgeon hinting the Christmas respite from lockdown will not be the same in Scotland, as cracks in Boris Johnson’s joined-up festive coronavirus plans begin to show.
Ahead of a Cobra showdown with Michael Gove, the First Minister said she hoped there will be an agreement on a ‘common framework’ for the festive season.
But she hinted at splits between the nations saying the ‘precise definition of household’ is likely to vary. Scotland has different rules on gatherings compared to England, including not including under-12s in limits on numbers.
Meanwhile, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has admitted that loosening the restrictions over Christmas will inevitably lead to more cases of the deadly disease.
In other coronavirus twists and turns today:
- East Sussex, Herefordshire and Milton Keynes were the local authorities in England that suffered the biggest spikes in coronavirus cases during the most recent week, making them among the most likely to enter Tier Three rules when Boris Johnson announces England’s new local lockdowns on Thursday;
- Number 10 cherry-picked ‘spurious’ Covid data to justify England’s second lockdown and may have intended to frighten the public, according to one of Britain’s top statisticians Sir David Spiegelhalter;
- People should stay off work with the sniffles even after the Covid pandemic ends to protect their colleagues from getting sick, according to Matt Hancock who said Britons’ natural instincts to ‘soldier on’ and go to the office even when they are unwell ‘must change’;
- London’s top restaurateurs and hoteliers today warned that placing the capital in Tier 3 would wipe out half the hospitality industry and trigger an ‘atomic bomb’ of job losses after Christmas;
- Grant Shapps today urged Britons not to use trains at Christmas as they will be ‘too busy’ – as UK ministers meet to thrash out a plan to ease coronavirus rules so family reunions can happen.