There have been 595 deaths confirmed today, which has brought the UK’s total to 50,365. The figures were published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths when Covid has been mentioned on the death certificate, as well as with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days.
Shortly after the new figures were announced, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the coronavirus pandemic is entering a new phase in the UK.
He said: “Every death is a tragedy.
“We mourn everybody who is gone.
“After the tough autumn measures which I hope people will stick really, really rigidly as far as they can, we are very much hoping things will start to come to our aid.
“Number one is mass testing – the rapid turnaround testing – and the other is the realistic prospect of a vaccine.
“We have two boxing gloves to pummel the disease in the weeks and month that follow but I have got to stress that we are not out of the woods yet. It does require everybody to follow the guidance.”
The Government said that there had been a further 22,950 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, as of 9am on Wednesday.
This brings the total number of cases in the UK to 1,256,725.
The UK is the fifth country to pass 50,000 deaths – and the first European nation to do so.
It is behind the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.
Since the pandemic began at the start of this year, there have been 1.2 million confirmed cases in the UK.
More than 185,000 people have been admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
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The latest figures come as the UK is in the first week of a total lockdown until December 2.
Mr Johnson said during a Downing Street news conference this week that levels of Covid-19 remained significant.
He added cases were doubling in many areas, with recent data showing one in 90 people in England currently has the virus.
There was also an announcement this week that a vaccine could be rolled out by Christmas.
Pfizer and BioNTech said their vaccine showed results of being 90 percent effective.
But Mr Johnson said that news of the vaccine should not lead people in the UK to “slacken our resolve at a critical moment”.
He added: “There is a long way before we have got this thing beat.”
Mr Johnson also urged the public this afternoon to get a coronavirus vaccine once it is available.