CORONAVIRUS deaths have risen by 1,348 as fatalities topped 1,000 for the fifth day running.
Infections have increased by 33,552, bringing the total to 3,617,459.
Covid deaths have risen by 1,348 as fatalities topped 1,000 for the fifth day running (file picture)Credit: Rex Features
Today’s increase in fatalities brings the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 97,329.
It is lower/higher than last Saturday’s figure of 1,295, and also marks an increase on the 1,035 fatalities reported a fortnight ago.
It comes as:
Meanwhile, deaths in English hospitals increased by 710, bringing the total to 65,814.
Patients were aged between 25 and 101 years old. All except 33 (aged 28 to 93 years old) had known underlying health conditions.
Scotland and Wales recorded 76 and 27 hospital fatalities respectively, while deaths in Northern Ireland rose by 12.
It comes as scientists today said it is not “clear” if the mutant Covid strain is 30-90 per cent more deadly after a warning from Boris Johnson last night.
After the PM spoke to the nation it has been revealed evidence handed to him on deaths rising was “only 50 per cent certain”, with more fatalities just a “possibility”.
Today Public Health England’s medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle said more work was needed to determine whether it is accurate there is a higher mortality rate.
“There are several investigations going on at the moment. It is not absolutely clear that that will be the case. It is too early to say,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“There is some evidence, but it is very early evidence. It is small numbers of cases and it is far too early to say this will actually happen.”
Three separate groups of experts advising the Government have looked at the impact of the more contagious Kent variant on mortality.
But it comes as SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) reportedly warned that scientists are only 50 per cent certain the Kent mutant strain could be more deadly.
It is believed Mr Johnson was handed the information just hours before his grim press conference from No10 last night, the Daily Mail reports.