UK Covid cases fall slightly on last week as 23,287 test positive but deaths up a third with 355 more fatalities

CORONAVIRUS deaths have risen by 355 and cases by 23,287 as England settles into a new four-week lockdown.

Strict new measures were put in place just after midnight yesterday after Boris Johnson was warned the UK can expect thousands of deaths a day by mid-December.

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It comes as:

  • Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital has cancelled all planned procedures after a "significant" rise in very sick patients
  • The Government changed terrifying graphs showing predicted deaths – before admitting their projections were wrong
  • People living in England face a £200 fine for leaving home without a good enough excuse
  • Stats bosses bashed the Government's scientific advisers for their use of data during the Covid-19 outbreak – as MPs demanded they get access to more vital health information

Another 218 people died in hospitals in England. Patients were aged between 42 and 100, and all but nine – aged 48 to 91 – had known underlying health conditions.

The majority of those who died – 63 – lived in the north-west, while 58 lives were lost in the north-east in Yorkshire, 49 in the Midlands and 17 in London

A further 16 people died in the south-east, ten in the east of England, and five in the south-west.

In Scotland, 1,072 new cases were recorded overnight, and 31 people died.

A further 1,352 people tested positive in Wales, which is nearing the end of a 17-day firebreak lockdown, and 13 people died.

And in Northern Ireland, 595 new cases were reported and eight more people died.

All non-essential shops in England shut their doors yesterday as the new shutdown took hold.

Bars and pubs are also closed, while people are banned from mixing with anyone from a different household and all international travel is prohibited unless it's for work purposes.

However, as the measures come into force, experts now say the second wave is already flattening.

New cases are "starting to fall" as infection rates slow across younger age groups, officials at Public Health England say.

The weekly national influenza and Covid-19 report has shown the first signs that the second wave of the virus is beginning to slow.

Meanwhile, cases are also dropping in London – with figures showing new positive tests for Covid have fallen in 19 out of 32 boroughs.

Following a rise in cases, the city was previously placed under Tier Two restrictions, which ban casual sex and meeting friends from different households for a pint inside a pub.

It's suggested Mr Johnson's three-tier lockdown plan was beginning to work.

It was also revealed today that infections fell in 82 of England's 149 local authorities in the week before the new shutdown began.

And the PM has now been urged to ensure the country-wide lockdown ends on December 2.

News yesterday that the furlough pay scheme will be extended led to fears the curbs will last five months.

The Prime Minister said that if everyone worked together to put Covid “back in its box”, four weeks of restrictions would be enough for “as normal a Christmas as possible”.

But senior Tories warned there could be no backsliding on the date.

Rebel leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: “I voted against this latest lockdown because I believed we were already succeeding in getting the infection rate down.

“But now that it has happened we must absolutely — for the sake of the economy and people’s livelihoods — come out on December 2 at the latest, not a day longer.”

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