UK coronavirus infections since start of pandemic pass 1.5m as grim milestone reached
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The UK has passed the grim milestone of 1.5m confirmed Covid infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
The total number of cases now stands at 1,512,045 since the pandemic tore through the globe in March.
Over the last 24 hours there were a further 18,662 coronavirus cases – the lowest daily increase in over a month.
However Sunday's are normally lower than weekdays due to a 'weekend lag'.
The real figure of total infections is thought to be much higher as testing capacity was so low during in initial wave between mid March and mid May.
It appears as though infections are starting to level out
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The good news is that the England lockdown is beginning to impact the infection number with today's infection increase roughly 7,000 lower than last Sunday.
The seven-day average appears to be holding steady at roughly 23,000.
The Department of Health also confirmed today 398 more people have died – bringing the total number of deaths to 55,024.
Today's figure is higher than yesterday when 341 died in the lowest Saturday rise this month.
The seven-day average appears to be holding steady
The Government said of Sunday’s figures on deaths of people who tested positive for Covid: “Due to a processing update, 141 previously published deaths within 28 days in England were excluded from the published data on November 21.
“This issue has now been corrected for data published on November 22, which includes deaths omitted yesterday in today’s total and daily number of newly reported deaths.”
The daily test positivity rate is 5.4 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent on the previous day.
In England, 222 more deaths were recorded – bringing the total number of deaths in hospital to 38,334.
A further 11 people died in Wales – with their total now at 2,376.
Testing staff members receive swabs as part of the lateral flow testing at Rhydycar leisure centre in Merthyr Tydfil
In Scotland, seven more lost their lives – bringing the total to 3,503.
While in Northern Ireland, ten more deaths were reported with their total now at 933.
It comes as Downing Street confirmed England will go under a tougher three-tiered system of local coronavirus restrictions when the national lockdown ends on December 2.
With infection numbers still so high the Test and Trace system is struggling
It is understood the controversial 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants will be altered under the new system.
Boris Johnson is set to detail his plan for winter to MPs on Monday as he sets out how people can see their loved ones at Christmas.
A relaxation of coronavirus restrictions "for a small number of days" will allow a limited level of mixing between households across the UK, the Westminster Government has said.
The Prime Minister is to set out the basis of plans for the festive period on Monday, as well as detailing a new tougher three-tier system for England when its national lockdown ends on December 2.
But Mr Johnson will be unable to say how many households will be allowed to mix over Christmas and for how many days restrictions will be relaxed for until a later date.