COVID-19: UK records another 16,170 coronavirus cases and 648 deaths – Sky News

There have been a further 16,170 coronavirus cases and 648 deaths recorded in the UK in the past 24 hours.

The latest government figures bring the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK to 1,643,086 – and the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test to 59,699.

It marks a rise from Tuesday’s figures, when 13,430 cases and 603 deaths were recorded.

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Additional figures showed a further 372 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of hospital deaths reported to 41,310, NHS England said on Wednesday.

Patients were aged between 19 and 103 and the deaths were between 7 April and 1 December.

A 19-year-old was among 17 patients who had no known underlying health conditions.

There have been a further 1,480 cases of coronavirus in Wales, bringing the total number of to 82,489.

Public Health Wales reported another 51 deaths, taking the total since the start of the pandemic to 2,614.

And separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, suggested there have now been 75,000 UK deaths.

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Vaccine ‘a triumph for all who believe in science’

It comes as the UK became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use.

The government says the jab, which has been given the green light by independent health regulator MHRA, will be rolled out within days.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said there is a commitment for all four nations of the UK to start vaccinations at the same time “early next week”, but the jab cannot yet be delivered to care homes in Wales.

Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers are first on the list to receive a jab, but Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said the need to store it at -70C (-94F) was an obstacle to delivery at the moment.

How COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the UK compare

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How COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the UK compare

Meanwhile, shoppers flocked to high streets across England on Wednesday as the four-week lockdown ended.

Much of England is now under Tier 2 and 3 of the new COVID-19 restrictions which limits social contact between households but allows non-essential stores to reopen.

Ministers have refused to rule out a third lockdown, and have said getting back to normal hinges on a successful vaccination programme.