UK hospitals record another 256 deaths in preliminary toll with 208 in England

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Another 256 deaths from coronavirus have been announced today in an early count, ahead of Boris Johnson‘s address to the nation amid warnings a second lockdown could be imposed within the next seven days.

NHS England said it had recorded a further 208 deaths from coronavirus in the last 24 hours. Scotland registered 24, Wales 13 and Northern Ireland 11.

The figure is expected to rise later this afternoon after Department of Health officials include the number of deaths from other settings such as care homes.

It is already above the figure for last Saturday, when 167 deaths were recorded.

The number of cases will be released with the official death count later today.

It comes ahead of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation over reports that a second lockdown could be announced on Monday and come into force as soon as Wednesday in order to save Christmas. Mr Johnson called a meeting of his cabinet today to investigate the leak.

SAGE has been calling for harsher curbs for weeks, warning that escalating cases will lead to a surging death rate and hospitals becoming overwhelmed by December 17.

But others have shot back at the advisory panel, saying current measures may be enough to curb the spread of the virus. Liverpool, which was the first place to be put under the harshest curbs of Tier Three restrictions, has begun registering a fall in cases across all its local authorities – in a sign the measures are working.

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