CORONAVIRUS deaths have grown by 357 as 41,385 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours.
The number of people who have now died from the killer bug is 71,109.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Last Monday, 33,363 people tested positive for coronavirus.
Overall, a total of 2,329,730 have now tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.
It comes as Britain could be thrown into a "Tier 5" lockdown with even more harsher restrictions than the November lockdown.
Today's rise in infections is also larger than it was yesterday, when 34,693 new infections were logged.
The rise in deaths recorded today is bigger than is was yesterday, when 316 more fatalities were confirmed.
Today's figures don't include the death toll or cases from Northern Ireland or Scotland.
This means the true death toll will likely jump on December 29 when the figures are updated as Scotland and Northern Ireland are not reporting them over the Christmas period.
In England, a further 318 people aged between 38 and 100 died in hospital over the last 24 hours – all but 13 had underlying health conditions.
The Midlands saw the most deaths with 68 fatalities occurring in the capital.
A further 15 deaths and 2,273 infections have been recorded in the Wales in the past 24 hours.
It comes as:
- Primary school kids and Years 11 and 13 will return to class on January 4
- 10,000 medics and volunteers have been recruited by the NHS to help deliver the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
- Experts have warned that the vaccine won't achieve herd immunity before the summer
Government scientists have reportedly told Boris Johnson he needs to implement stricter measures to stop virus from spiraling out of control.
There is no suggestion it would be called "Tier 5", but the measures that are being called for go further than the current Tier 4 ones.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies has told the PM that because of the new faster-spreading variant of the virus, the R-rate would surge above 1 in January, it has been reported.
Experts have told Mr Johnson that a New Year national lockdown similar to the one in November where schools remain open will not be enough.
They recommend even stronger measures where secondary schools are shut and pubs and non-essential shops remain closed, Politco has reported.
Sage has reportedly advised that the R-rate could be kept below 1 if all schools remained closed in January.
Today, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the Government is still set on staggering the reopening of schools as planned but warned of "trade-offs".
He said the current plan was for primary school pupils, GCSE and A-level students and kids of key workers to return to school next week, with other secondary school students returning the following week.
He told Times Radio: "We do keep things under review, and we'll be talking to head teachers and teachers in the next 24, 48 hours just to make sure that our plans… are really robust."
He said: "It is our intention to make sure we can get children back to school as early as possible. But we all know that there are trade-offs.
"As a country we have decided – and I think this is the right thing to do – that we prioritise children returning to school.
"But we have a new strain and it is also the case that we have also had, albeit in a very limited way, Christmas mixing, so we do have to remain vigilant."
Source: Read Full Article