CORONAVIRUS deaths in the UK have today passed the grim milestone of 50,000 after 595 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours.
A devastating 50,365 lives have so far been claimed by the deadly bug – while 1,256,725 people have tested positive for the virus after 22,950 new cases were recorded.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
There are 14,196 patients in hospital in the UK, with 1,219 on ventilators.
The latest R number is estimated to be at 1.1 to 1.3 with a daily infection growth rate of +2 per cent to +4 per cent.
In England 361 people who tested positive for Covid-19 died in hospital.
The patients were aged between 43 and 102 and all except 20 – aged between 58 and 95 – had underlying health issues.
In Scotland, a further 64 people have died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours – the highest daily total since May.
Public Health Wales reported another 45 deaths this afternoon.
It comes as:
Yesterday’s death figure rose by 532 – the highest rise for six months.
Yesterday’s rise in deaths is the highest it has been since May 1, when 567 Covid fatalities were recorded.
The figure is considerably bigger than it was last Tuesday, when 317 died with the bug.
It is also more than double the increase recorded a fortnight ago (263) and raised Britain’s death toll to 49,770.
The north-west saw the majority of deaths, with 114 fatalities, while 79 people lost their lives in the north-east and Yorkshire.
Another 62 fatalities were recorded in the Midlands, with 17 in London, 13 in the south-west, 11 in the south-east and four in the east of England.
New stats for England show infection rates in the north remain significantly higher, with just one southern region in the top 50 virus hotspots nationally.
The PM signed off a new lockdown in England on October 31 after he was warned by Government scientists that Covid-related deaths could rise to 4,000 a day in a worst case scenario.
But the figure has since been revised to 1,000 fatalities per day by the start of December.
“I think he is concerned that he may have been bounced into it,” the source said.
“The figures seem to be suggesting things were getting better before the lockdown began – we are being shut down for a month when we did not need to be.”