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Covid: 462 new deaths in UK as coronavirus cases rise by 26,860

People gather outside St George’s Hall in Liverpool during an anti-lockdown rally protest against government restrictions during the second lockdown

The UK’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 462 and 26,860 more people have tested positive for the virus, the government has confirmed.

It brings total Covid-19 deaths in the UK to 51,766 – among the highest coronavirus deaths toll in Europe.

The additional 462 deaths occurred within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test, as of 9am Saturday.

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 67,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The government said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 26,860 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,344,356.
On Thursday 33,470 new cases were recorded – the highest daily figure since the outbreak began.

Experts have previously warned that describing the daily figure as a record could be “misleading” as it is not clear how many people were actually infected during the height of the first wave, due to a lack of community testing at the time.

Evidence suggests the rate at which coronavirus is spreading is starting to slow across the UK, with all four home nations imposing strict restrictions recently, including national lockdowns in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.

But scientists believe infections are likely to surge again when England’s lockdown is relaxed on December 2 and the country returns to its tiered system of restrictions.