COVID-19: UK reports another 210 coronavirus-related deaths and 34,693 cases

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Another 34,693 confirmed coronavirus cases and 210 related deaths have been reported in the UK, government figures show.

But the true number is likely to be higher as Scotland is not releasing death data between 24 and 28 December, while Northern Ireland is not providing figures on cases or deaths over this period.

More than 70,000 people have now died with coronavirus in the UK - a total that was reached on Christmas Day.

Today's daily death figure is down from the 420 fatalities reported within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test last Saturday, although the reporting of deaths has been affected by the Christmas holidays.

These are the numbers of cases and deaths reported across each nation today:

  • England - 31,307 cases, 175 deaths

  • Wales - 2,237 cases, 35 deaths

  • Scotland - 1,149 cases

The number of new cases confirmed in the UK has hovered around 30,000 a day for the past week, although some of this can be attributed to an increase in testing.

Health officials believe rising coronavirus case numbers - particularly in the South East and East of England - are partly due to a new, more transmissible variant of coronavirus discovered recently.

The faster-spreading variant is believed to be dominant in parts of England already.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the new variant also has a "foothold" in Scotland, while Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said it is "seeded right across Wales".

Cases of the new variant have been confirmed in countries across the world, including France, Spain, South Africa and Japan, despite nations rushing to close their borders to UK travellers after the discovery.