UK coronavirus hospital death toll up by 410 – more than double rise a month ago
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The UK's coronavirus hospital death toll has increased by 410 – the biggest jump on a Tuesday for six months and more than double the daily rise a month ago.
England reported 330 fatalities, Scotland had 37, Wales recorded 34 and Northern Ireland had nine.
There is usually a spike on Tuesdays due to a weekend reporting lag.
The daily total of 410 is the highest on a Tuesday since 425 deaths were announced on May 12.
By comparison, there were 372 deaths on November 10, 263 on November 3, 252 on October 27, 162 on October 20 and 101 on October 13.
The lowest increase announced on a Tuesday was six on August 18, while the highest was 854 on April 7, when the UK was in its first peak of the pandemic.
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Coronavirus hospital deaths have soared since the end of the summer
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The UK's official death toll is more than 52,000 in all settings, including care homes and private homes.
However, the true figure is more than 68,000 based on the latest reports on death registrations, plus data on the Government's coronavirus dashboard.
NHS England's hospital toll increased to 36,842 as it reported a further 330 deaths.
The victims were aged between 27 and 99, and all except 11 (aged 30 to 93) had known underlying health conditions.
Scotland report 37 fatalities to bring its total to 3,323.
Meanwhile, Downing Street again insisted England's national lockdown will expire on December 2 following reports it could be extended.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "In terms of the progress which is being made, obviously we will wait to see further data over the course of the next week or so."
He said the R number – the virus reproduction rate – had been coming down "in some parts of the country".
"What we continue to do is follow the rules and by doing so we can slow the spread of the infection."
The UK is seeing a second wave of coronavirus
(Image: Press Association Images)
The daily number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK
(Image: Press Association Images)
A return to a tiered system of restrictions is planned, with decisions made on factors including the R number, the number of people in hospital beds and intensive care occupancy rates.
Mr Johnson is continuing efforts to allow people to see their families at Christmas, the spokesman said.
"We are looking at ways to ensure that people can spend time with close family over Christmas at the end of what has been an incredibly difficult year."
The Government will decide next week how to end the current lockdown as scientists warned a tougher tier system is needed until vaccines can drive back the Covid-19 pandemic.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Tuesday that ministers want to see a "significant easing" of coronavirus controls when the lockdown in England is lifted on December 2, but suggested tighter controls may be needed in the top Tier 3.
It comes after Susan Hopkins, medical director of Public Health England (PHE) and chief medical adviser to NHS Test and Trace, said ministers would have to look at "strengthening" the tier system.
Tier 1 restrictions that covered huge parts of England had "very little effect", she said, adding that even Tier 2 only worked in some areas.