UK sees third-highest daily death toll with new cases at three-week low

By David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) - Britain reported its lowest number of daily new coronavirus infections since the start of the year on Saturday, adding to signs that a national lockdown is slowing the spread of a more infectious variant of the disease. However the effect of the recent surge in cases remains clear in the death toll, which was the third-highest on record

Reuters January 17, 2021 00:11:48 IST
UK sees third-highest daily death toll with new cases at three-week low

UK sees thirdhighest daily death toll with new cases at threeweek low

By David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain reported its lowest number of daily new coronavirus infections since the start of the year on Saturday, adding to signs that a national lockdown is slowing the spread of a more infectious variant of the disease.

However the effect of the recent surge in cases remains clear in the death toll, which was the third-highest on record. Health experts have warned it has further to rise.

Government figures showed the number of people testing positive was 41,346, compared with 55,761 on Friday. It was the lowest daily reading since Dec. 27, when fewer people were getting tested over the festive holiday period.

Deaths continue to rise rapidly, however, with another 1,295 reported on Saturday, taking the total number of fatalities recorded within 28 days of a positive test to 88,590.

Britain has Europe's highest death toll - though more have died in Italy and Belgium on a per capita basis. Chris Witty, the government's chief medical officer, warned the public on Friday that daily death numbers had not yet peaked.

The country has been under a national lockdown since Jan. 5, when schools were closed for most pupils, non-essential businesses were shut to the public, and people were ordered to work from home where possible.

In its latest move to control infections, the government has ordered all travellers to Britain from Monday to produce a certificate showing they do not have coronavirus, as well as having to observe a quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

Britain is pinning its hopes on a rapid rollout of vaccines to people aged over 70 and other vulnerable groups. Government data showed on Saturday that almost 3.6 million people had received one dose of vaccine, the most in Europe and an increase of 324,000 on the day before.

The country is aiming to have given first doses of vaccines to 15 million people in high-risk categories by mid-February.

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Mike Harrison)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.