The number of lives lost to the coronavirus pandemic in UK hospitals has risen by 422 – with a ten-year-old among the latest casualties.
Health authorities today confirmed there had been 353 deaths in England, 41 in Scotland, 21 in Wales and seven in Northern Ireland.
Victims in England were aged between 10 and 100, with a 31-year-old with no known underlying health conditions among those who died.
More than 100 deaths occurred in the Midlands, the highest number in any region.
A week ago there were 410 hospital fatalities, while a fortnight ago the figure was 372.
A month ago, on October 24, 218 deaths were confirmed in UK hospitals.
Later today the Department of Health will confirm the number of deaths in all settings, after 206 were announced last night, bringing the official toll to 55,230.
NHS England has provided a breakdown showing where Covid-19 patients died:
- East of England – 21
- London – 21
- Midlands – 101
- North East & Yorkshire – 80
- North West – 71
- South East – 35
- South West – 24
The UK this month became the fifth country to pass 50,000 deaths, following the USA, Brazil, Mexico and India.
Today’s tragic figure comes a day after Boris Johnson announced England would return to a three-tier system when the national lockdown ends on Wednesday next week.
Speaking from 10 Downing Street yesterday evening, the PM warned “’tis the season to be jolly careful” – while ministers can’t rule out more deaths if rules are relaxed over Christmas.
The government’s own winter plan says clearly that Christmas “will likely lead to an increase in transmission”.
The government’s Winter Plan says: “The public will be advised to remain cautious.
“Wherever possible people should avoid travelling and minimise social contact.”
Earlier today, government data showed coronavirus deaths in England and Wales had hit their highest weekly total since May while increasing for the 10th consecutive week, new figures show.
More than 71,200 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK, and excess deaths have passed 30,000.
There were 2,466 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in England and Wales the week ending November 13, the first time in six months the weekly toll was above 2,000, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
It is a rise of 529 deaths, or 27 per cent, compared with the previous week, when there were 1,937 fatalities involving the disease.
The coronavirus deaths made up a fifth of the overall deaths (12,254) reported in England and Wales during the seven-day period to November 13.
The government’s winter plan states: “Meeting up with other households will increase the risk of catching COVID- 19 and passing it on to others.
“Even where it is within the rules, meeting with friends and family over Christmas will be a personal judgement for individuals to take, mindful of the risks to themselves and others, particularly those who are vulnerable.”
Mr Johnson added: “This virus is obviously not going to grant us a Christmas truce – it doesn’t know it’s Christmas.
“And families will need to make a careful judgement about the risk of visiting elderly relatives.”