Another 533 people have died with coronavirus in the UK, bringing the official toll to 62,566.
A total of 16,578 people tested positive in the last 24 hours, according to the latest figures from the Department for Health. This means 1, 766,819 people have now been infected since the start of the pandemic.
The figures are a drop in yesterday’s, when another 616 people died.
The Government’s death toll counts people who have died after testing positive for coronavirus in hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
The overall death toll rises to 73,124 when deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate are considered.
Figures from the ONS yesterday revealed deaths from the virus in England and Wales have reached their highest weekly figures since May – jumping 13% in just seven days.
The ONS also provides data on the infection rate per 100,000 people. Today, concerns were raised over data that influenced the decision to impose a second national lockdown after it was lowered retrospectively.
The ONS has dropped its estimate of the infection rate of coronavirus in England at the end of October by almost half.
The statistics body previously estimated that 9.52 people per 10,000 were catching the virus by October 17 – a considerable spike from 4.3 people on October 3.
This suggested the infection rate was more than doubling each week, putting pressure on Boris Johnson to introduce national restrictions.
However, the ONS’ latest report dated December 4 show the figures have been retrospectively dropped to 4.89 people per 10,000 by October 17
A spokesperson for the ONS insisted it stands by its original figures and that it was its best estimate for the incidence rate at the time of publication.
They said analysis can be subject to change as more data is collected but insisted the latest update should not be use to re-calculate past official estimates.
The Government brought the month-long winter lockdown to an end on December 2, when a new tier system placing 99% of the country under the strictest measures was introduced.
Reports today suggest London – currently under tier two rules – could be bumped up a tier amid surging infection rates in some boroughs.
The tiers are up for their first review on December 16, but health experts say action needs to be taken sooner to avoid a ‘terrible rise’ in cases in the capital over Christmas.
In other developments today, people with ‘significant’ allergies were warned against taking the Covid-19 vaccine after two people fell ill.
The first people in the world were vaccinated with an approved Covid-19 vaccine in Britain yesterday.
NHS England confirmed two of its staff members who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine yesterday suffered an allergic reaction.
It is understood both are recovering well and the NHS says all trusts involved with the vaccination programme have been informed.
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