UK announces 23,254 more Covid cases and 162 deaths – the highest Sunday rise since June 7 

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A total of 23,254 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Britain, figures have revealed today.

The figure is up 1,339 from Saturday’s tally of 21,915 cases. A further 162 have also died from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the figures show.

The data, published by the government, shows people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.

The figure is half of the 326 people who were recorded as having died in Saturday’s tally. 

Meanwhile, separate NHS data shows a further 137 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England.

It brings the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 32,992, NHS England said on Sunday.

Patients were aged between 45 and 103. All except five, aged between 45 and 81, had known underlying health conditions.

A Covid-19 testing site in Leicester, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown will come into force in England next week

A Covid-19 testing site in Leicester, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown will come into force in England next week

Swabs are collected at a Covid-19 testing site in Leicester, November 1

Swabs are collected at a Covid-19 testing site in Leicester, November 1 

In Northern Ireland, there were eight further Covid-19 deaths and 685 new cases reported, the Department of Health has confirmed.

There are now 361 patients with the virus in hospitals across the region, including 48 people in intensive care.

The latest figures come as Boris Johnson Johnson was catapulted into announcing a total lockdown for England last night after a whirlwind 24 hours which saw events appear to totally escape his grasp.

The Prime Minister faced the country last night to announce a four-week shutdown from Thursday until December 2, in the wake of a surge of coronavirus cases that could trigger thousands of deaths.

But the timing was not of his choosing – instead he was forced to rush out the announcement after his plans were leaked from a secret ministerial meeting on Friday.

Downing Street officials were infuriated to read details of the lockdown in the first editions of Saturday’s Daily Mail, just hours after the decision had been taken by the ‘quad’ of Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Mr Hancock.

It forced Mr Johnson to bring forward the announcement of the measure from Monday to yesterday, despite many details still being finalised.

The leak meant that the shutdown was on the front pages before the rest of the Cabinet had been told about the decision.

Cabinet Office Minister Mr Gove said today he did not leak details of the new coronavirus lockdown restrictions before the Government intended to announce them – nor did he know who he source might be.

Mr Johnson has launched an inquiry the find the source of the leak, but Mr Gove insisted it was not him.

Asked by Andrew Marr on the BBC if he leaked the information, Mr Gove replied: ‘No.’ Asked if he knew who leaked it, he said: ‘No.’

Mr Gove suggested England risked spending Christmas under a full lockdown if the four-week November shutdown fails to tackle the second wave of coronavirus sweeping the nation.

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