In the United Kingdom, the highest number of COVID 19 cases in 24 hours has been recorded to date, with 33,470 people testing positive for the virus.
This is the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the Department of Health.
The number of people who have now died from the virus in the UK has now exceeded 50,000, with the total number of cases now standing at 1,290,195. Yesterday there were also 595 deaths from the virus, the highest number since May 12.
The UK also has the highest number of deaths in Europe, with a nationwide lockdown in place across England to prevent the spread of a second wave. It was announced today that waiting lists for the National Health Service (NHS) have increased since the pandemic.
The number of people waiting for hospital treatment in England for more than a year has reached its highest level since 2008, which means that the goal of seeing patients within 18 weeks is still far from being achieved.
It is feared that the situation could worsen during the winter as the NHS expects the number of COVID 19 patients to increase.
The figures show that the UK economy recovered from recession between July and September, with GDP growth at 15.5 per cent, the highest since records began, after two successive quarterly declines. The economy had contracted by a record 19.8 percent between April and June when the first nationwide lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of the outbreak.
A second lockdown was imposed against England on November 5th and is expected to be completed on December 2nd. England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said there was reason for optimism for 2021 as pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and biotech company BioNTech revealed that a vaccine candidate had proven to be more than 90 percent effective against the virus.
Professor Whitty twittered: “Preliminary news that Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine is effective shows the power of science against Covid.
“We need to see the final safety and efficacy data, but they are very encouraging. It is important that we continue to suppress Covid, but it is a reason to be optimistic for 2021”.
Downing Street says it has ordered 40 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, 10 million of which are expected to be ready for use by the end of 2020. A spokesperson said: “The results are promising, and although we are optimistic about a breakthrough, we must remember that there are no guarantees”.