THE UK coronavirus death toll today passed 60,000 as 414 more people were killed by the bug.
The death toll now stands at 60,113 while 14,879 new infections were recorded according to stats released this afternoon.
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Today's figures mean there has been a 16% drop in fatalities since 498 deaths were reported this time last week.
It also means there has been a drop in cases after 14,879 more infections were recorded today compared to 17,555 cases reported this time last week.
Yesterday, coronavirus deaths hit their second-highest daily toll since May with 648 fatalities.
NHS England today reported another 295 COVID-19 hospital deaths occurring over 13 dates.
Scotland reported 958 more positive results, bringing the nation's total number of infections to 97,720. The death toll there has now reached 3,848 after 51 more fatalities were reported.
Meanwhile in Wales, the total number of infections reached 83,961 after another 1,473 more infections were recorded. Another 24 new deaths reported, giving a total of 2,638.
In Northern Ireland, 456 new cases were reported, giving a total of 53,728. Meanwhile 11 new deaths were reported to bring the total fatalities to 1,026.
It comes as…
- Cops WON’T snoop on pubs to check punters are eating ‘substantial meals’
- The first vaccine doses are expected to arrive in the Midlands in just hours
- Brits could be given the coronavirus vaccine in drive-thrus
- Santa will get the vaccine first so that he can deliver presents for Christmas
- Social distancing will continue even after the vaccine is rolled out, it was warned
But hopes for life to return to normal have continued to grow after a vaccine was approved for use yesterday.
England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said this morning the Pfizer jab will arrive on British soil “very shortly”.
Boxes containing the doses are travelling via the Eurotunnel to the UK today, the BBC reported.
From there the boxes will be taken to a hub in the Midlands before being distributed through a warehouse network that already supplies the NHS, The Guardian reported.
Professor Van-Tam told the BBC: “Now, there is a technical issue related to the Pfizer vaccine that we currently expect to receive very, very shortly in the UK, and I do mean hours, not days.”
The technical issue he was referring to was the fact the virus must be stored at -70C, and, once it comes out to defrost, it has to be stored at 2C to 8C, but only for five days.
In total 53 NHS trusts are standing by to roll out the Pfizer Covid vaccine from next week, as early as Monday.
They have been chosen because they have super-cold freezers that are able to store the vaccines at -70C.
The arrival of the jabs comes just two days after the UK emerged from a month-long lockdown designed to stop the spread of the deadly bug.
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