UK adds 21,502 new Covid cases, 519 deaths

Another 21,502 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, pushing the tally in the country to 1,830,956, according to official figures released.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 519 to 64,026, the data showed.

The latest death count is an increase from last Saturday when only 397 deaths were reported. At least 42 more deaths were reported in the past seven days than the week previous.

It was revealed that 314 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 44,126.

Earlier Saturday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the leader of Westminster City Council, Rachael Robathan, urged weekend shoppers and visitors in the British capital to stick to the rules in a bid to avoid facing tougher restrictions.

“This weekend we can expect many more visitors — either shopping or taking in festive sights such as the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, which makes the run-up to Christmas so special,” they said in a joint statement.

“At the same time, a key part of supporting London’s businesses recover from this pandemic is ensuring we get this deadly virus under control. With cases rising in many parts of the capital, it is vital that we all work together to control its spread. Otherwise we may face tougher restrictions,” said the statement.

Data from Public Health England (PHE) showed Thursday that London recorded an average infection rate of 191.8 per 100,000 people for the week between November 30 and December 6, the highest in England.

Khan has previously warned millions of Londoners that the city risks moving from Tier 2 to the highest Tier 3 restrictions amid the surge in cases.

England is currently under a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions that replaced the month-long national lockdown in England which ended on December 2.

The tiers system is due to be reviewed on December 16.

Under the tiers system, shops are allowed to re-open across England, giving a Christmas bonanza to the struggling retail sector, but all bars and restaurants in the toughest Tier 3 areas remain closed. The system put about 98 percent of England into the highest Tier 2 and 3.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.