COVID-19: UK records another 28,507 coronavirus cases and 489 deaths

·2-min read

The UK has recorded a further 489 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test - down slightly on the 532 recorded on Thursday.

Government figures also show the country has recorded another 28,507 positive COVID-19 cases, down from Thursday's figure of 35,383.

However, the previous day's figures were artificially higher due to a backlog of around 11,000 cases in Wales that had not been previously reported.

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There has been a trend of rising infections and deaths compared with last week's figures, with 21,672 cases and 424 deaths reported last Friday.

Coronavirus infections are increasing in much of the UK and the latest data from government scientists SAGE estimates the R number has increased to between 1.1 and 1.2.

Last week, it was estimated to be between 0.9-1.0.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also point to a rise in infections.

The latest data suggests the percentage of people with the virus in the community in England, Scotland and Wales increased in the week of 6-12 December.

Numbers in Northern Ireland were more steady but no longer appeared to be decreasing.

One in 95 people in England tested positive for COVID-19 during the week, although this does not include those in hospitals, care homes or other institutional settings.

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One in five people in Wales are testing positive for coronavirus currently, according to an update from First Minister Mark Drakeford on Wednesday.

The numbers are concerning ahead of the Christmas period, when people across the UK will be allowed to form "bubbles" with loved ones.

Concerned by the rising cases, Wales has decided to limit the number of households that can meet to two.

But Boris Johnson has resisted pressure to change the rules over Christmas, which currently state that three households can meet between 23 and 27 December.

Instead, he has called for people to make their celebrations as "small and short" as possible, and advised the public to minimise contact with others from today if they are planning on forming a Christmas bubble.

In a Twitter message, he said: "If you are forming a Christmas Bubble, it's vital that from today, you minimise contact with people from outside your household.

"Everyone must take personal responsibility to avoid passing the virus on to loved ones this Christmas."