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People's Daily Online

UK coronavirus-related deaths top 90,000

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:19, January 20, 2021

LONDON, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- The number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test has surpassed the grim milestone of 90,000 in Britain after another 1,610 were confirmed, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The latest daily death toll, the highest since the pandemic began in the country, brought the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 91,470, the data showed.

Meanwhile, another 33,355 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, the lowest daily increase since the start of the year. The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 3,466,849, the data showed.

Earlier Tuesday, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggested that about one in ten people across Britain tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies in December, roughly double the October figure.

The figures, revealed in the ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey, are based on the proportion of the population who are likely to have tested positive for antibodies to COVID-19, based on blood test results from a sample of people aged 16 and over.

The ONS study measures antibodies in people who live in private households across Britain and does not include those in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

"This study shows that infection with the Sars-Cov-2 virus is much more widespread in the UK than previously realised...The implications are that infection rates increased significantly between November and December," Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick Medical School, told the BBC.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced Tuesday that the lockdown in the region will be extended until at least the middle of February.

Even though COVID-19 case numbers appear "stabilized and even declined", infection rates remain high in Scotland, Sturgeon said.

Any easing of the restrictions could "quickly send the situation into reverse", she said, urging the public to remain "cautious".

"We need to be realistic that any improvement we are seeing is down, at this stage, to the fact that we are staying at home and reducing our interactions," she said.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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