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UK records 492 COVID deaths – highest daily total since 19 May

Written by on 4 November 2020

A further 25,177 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK and another 492 have died after contracting the virus, according to the latest government data.

It is the highest daily number of deaths since 19 May, when 500 were reported.

Wednesday’s number of deaths marks an increase of 95 from Tuesday. The UK has now reported a total of 47,742 COVID-19 fatalities.

The latest figures come as MPs gave their backing to a new four-week lockdown for England, after Boris Johnson warned of an “existential threat” to the NHS without action to curb the spread of the disease.

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‘We have the prospect of a vaccine in 2021’

From Thursday, pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops will again be forced to close their doors after the Commons voted by 516 to 38 for the new restrictions.

Just before the Commons vote, NHS England announced it is moving to its highest alert level from midnight.

The health service’s chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said the move to level four was in response to a “serious situation ahead” amid a rise in coronavirus patients needing intensive care.

More from Covid-19

Boris Johnson also warned today of deaths “on a grievous scale” without further action to stem the spread of coronavirus infections ahead of England’s lockdown from Thursday.

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PM walks out as May attacks govt over data

In other COVID-19 news, the director of the Oxford vaccine trial has said there is a “small chance” a jab will be ready before Christmas.

Vaccine trial chief investigator Andrew Pollard told the Science and Technology Committee he is “optimistic” at the prospect, but said: “There is a small chance of that being possible but I just don’t know.

“Our trials are only one of many that are going on around the world, a number of which may well report before the end of
the year.”

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PM: ‘Future is bleak’ if R number isn’t reduced

A coronavirus vaccine has not yet been approved and it will need to go through regulators to confirm it is safe and effective before it can be offered to the public.