Almost 500 new coronavirus deaths in UK as case continue to fall

Connor Parker
·3 min read
The number of new cases has been falling in recent days. (PA)
The number of new cases has been falling in recent days. (PA)

Almost 500 more people have died from coronavirus in the UK as the number of daily cases continues to fall.

There 498 new deaths from coronavirus announced in the UK on Thursday and further 17,555 cases.

The trend in cases indicate the lockdown strategy is working but the country is suffering from deaths caused by the lag between infection and the need for hospitalisation.

The UK recorded 696 deaths on Wednesday the highest since 5 May.

There were 608 deaths on Tuesday.

Deaths are significantly higher than last week where most days saw between 400 to 450 deaths.

Matt Hancock announced which areas would be under what tiers in the Commons on Thursday. (PA)
Matt Hancock announced which areas would be under what tiers in the Commons on Thursday. (PA)

Read more: Interactive map shows which COVID local lockdown tier your area is in

The latest figure shows a total of 152,660 people tested positive for COVID-19 in England at least once in the week to November 18 according to the latest Test and Trace figures.

This is the first time since mid-August that the number has fallen week-on-week.

It is down 9% on the previous week’s total of 168,250.

England is preparing to leave national lockdown on 2 December as cases fall across the UK.

Watch: COVID-19: 99% of England placed in Tiers 2 and 3 as new system revealed

The government announced over 98% of the country would be under enhanced Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions after lockdown ends.

The tiers have been enhanced from previous iterations with Tier 2 now being similar to the previous Tier 3.

Tier 3 now forces all pubs, bars and restaurants to close with restrictions on many other aspects of life.

Other areas like shops, hairdressers and gyms are allowed to remain open across all three tiers.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “these are not easy decisions, but they have been made according to the best clinical advice”.

Read more

The Tier 3 COVID lockdown rules explained

The Tier 2 COVID lockdown rules explained

What tier are you in? Full list of lockdown areas

He told MPs: “Thanks to the shared sacrifice of everyone in recent weeks, in following the national restrictions, we have been able to start to bring the virus back under control and slow its growth, easing some of the pressure on the NHS.

“We will do this by returning to a regional tiered approach, saving the toughest measures for the parts of the country where prevalence remains too high.”

The rest of the UK has also seen a drop in cases with the early signs showing the Welsh firebreak lockdown was effective in lowering infection rates.

The lower cases has not helped Test and Trace, the latest figures show just 60.3% of close contacts of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in England were reached through the system.

This is down slightly from 60.7% in the previous week, and is also just above the all-time low of 60.1% for the week to October 14.

Downing Street insisted mass testing would be available to all Tier 3 areas.

With 23 million people going into the restrictions from December 2 it remains to be seen how this will be achieved, with details expected to be published next week.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “Local authorities that fall into Tier 3 will be able to apply for support from NHS Test and Trace and the armed forces to deliver a six-week, rapid community testing programme.

“That will include access to a supply of lateral flow tests, support with planning and logistics and funding and communication support.”

Watch: How England's new three-tier COVID system will work