Another 15,539 people in the UK have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,705,971, according to official figures.
Coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose 397 to 61,014, data showed Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.
The figures came as Britain’s top medical officials warned on Saturday that the coming winter was going to be “particularly harsh” for the health service because of coronavirus despite hopes of vaccination.
“While the welcome news about vaccines means we can look forward to 2021 with more optimism, the use of vaccine will only have a marginal effect in reducing the numbers coming into the health service with COVID over the next three months, “said chief medical officers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said in a letter to colleagues.
The experts urged the public to show restraint and self-discipline, especially in the run up to Christmas.
England is currently under a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions that replaced the month-long national lockout in England that ended on Wednesday.
Under the new system, shops will be allowed to reopen throughout England, giving the struggling retail sector a Christmas bonanza, but all bars and restaurants in the toughest Tier 3 areas will remain closed. The system placed about 98 per cent of England in top Tier 2 and 3.
However, between December 23 and 27, up to three different homes will be allowed to meet in a private home, place of worship or outdoor public space.
To bring life back to normal, countries like Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.
(Only the caption and image of this report could have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from syndicated feed.)