COVID-19: UK records another 13,430 coronavirus cases and 603 deaths

Another 13,430 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK, with 603 more having died after contracting the disease.

The latest government figures bring the total number of coronavirus cases in the UK to 1,643,086 - and the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test to 59,051.

It is a slight rise from the 12,330 new cases that were posted on Monday, but a significant increase on the 205 deaths that were recorded.

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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 74,000 deaths involving the disease in the UK.

NHS England reported another 350 deaths of hospital patients who had tested positive for coronavirus, bringing its overall count to 40,938.

Patients were aged between 31 and 98, and all of them except nine - who were aged between 44 and 92 - had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between 25 October and 30 November, with the majority on or after 24 November.

Public Health Wales reported another 667 cases on Tuesday, with 23 more deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases in Wales now stands at 81,009, with 2,563 deaths.

The updates come on the final day of England's lockdown, which Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared yesterday had helped get the virus "back under control".

England is set to be carved up into tiers once again from Wednesday, with a Tory rebellion unlikely to jeopardise the restrictions from being voted through by parliament tonight.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he hopes the measures will keep the pandemic at manageable levels before they are relaxed over Christmas, with a vaccine possibly available "in a few weeks".

"This could - could, if we're lucky, if everything goes right - be available just in a few weeks," he said on Monday.

"This could - and I stress could - really be the salvation for humanity, these vaccines, not just this one but obviously all the vaccines that are currently being developed."

Mr Johnson was speaking during a visit to pharmaceutical company Wockhardt's facility in Wrexham, where it is hoped the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be produced.

Wales is also imposing its own new measures from Friday, with a recent two-week "firebreak" lockdown failing to have sufficiently slowed the spread of the pandemic.

Pubs and restaurants across Wales will be banned from selling alcohol and be forced to close at 6pm every evening, while cinemas, bowling alleys, bingo halls and other indoor entertainment venues must also shut.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the rules would come into force from 6pm on Friday.