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UK coronavirus deaths rise by 205 as Government publishes impact assessment of tier system

Luke O'Reilly
·3 min read
 (PA)
(PA)

The UK has recorded another 205 deaths from coronavirus and more than 12,000 new cases of the disease.

There were 12,330 new cases according to data released by the Department of Health and Social care.

Figures released on Mondays are often lower due to a reporting lag over the weekend.

The official UK coronavirus death toll now stands at 58,448.

<p>Separate figures show there have now been 74,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK</p>REUTERS

Separate figures show there have now been 74,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK

REUTERS

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 74,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

It came as the Government published its long-awaited impact assessment of the new tier system, which will come into effect on Wednesday.

Boris Johnson defended the introduction of the tier system for England, saying it would be wrong to “take our foot off the throat of the beast”.

The Prime Minister on Monday visited pharmaceutical company Wockhardt’s facility in Wrexham, Wales, where he said it is hoped the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be produced.

He said: “We can’t afford to take our foot off the throat of the beast, to take our foot off the gas, we can’t afford to let it out of control again.

“The tiering system is tough, but it’s designed to be tough and to keep it under control.

“I know that lots of people think that they are in the wrong tier and I understand people’s frustration.

“I particularly understand the frustration of the hospitality sector that has borne so much and been through so much in the last few months, and we will do everything we can, as we have been doing, to protect and to encourage that sector throughout the weeks and months ahead.”

Boris Johnson also said that “if we’re lucky” a coronavirus vaccine could be available “in a few weeks"..

He told reporters: “This could – could, if we’re lucky, if everything goes right – be available just in a few weeks.

“This could – and I stress could – really be the salvation for humanity, these vaccines, not just this one but obviously all the vaccines that are currently being developed.”

He said the Government is announcing “extra cash” so the nation is ready to create vaccines for the next pandemic.

“What we need now is the approvals. It must be stressed that no vaccine has yet got MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) approval but we’re obviously hoping that both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca will get approved in the course of the next few days and weeks,” he added.

<p>The PM said a vaccine could be available in a few weeks</p>AFP via Getty Images

The PM said a vaccine could be available in a few weeks

AFP via Getty Images

The official document analysing the impact of coronavirus restrictions in England pointed to the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast of an 11.3% slump in gross domestic product – a key measure of the economy’s size and health.

But the document said the alternative of allowing Covid-19 to grow exponentially “is much worse for public health” and stressed the importance of keeping the R number – the reproduction rate of the virus – below 1.

“At the outset of the most difficult time of year for the NHS, and with hospital admissions already high, a sustained period with R above 1 would result in hospitals rapidly becoming overwhelmed,” it warned.

“This could lead to many more Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 deaths that would have been preventable were the NHS to remain within its bed capacity.

“Cancellations to non-emergency and elective care would also result in loss of lives and years of healthy life.”

The Government’s view is that the “severe loss of life and other health impacts” would be “intolerable for our society”.

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