UK Covid deaths rise 50% in a week as 413 people die but cases continue to level off with 24,957 more infections

CORONAVIRUS deaths have surged – but infections are levelling off – as the UK battles through a second wave of the deadly bug.

Another 413 people have died with Covid – 50 per cent higher than this time last week, when 275 people lost their lives.

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Another 24,957 people have also tested positive for the virus overnight.

It comes as:

  • Sage scientists issue a baffling list of what Brits can do during the second lockdown
  • Britain bans all travellers from Denmark after wide-scale outbreaks of a mutated form of coronavirus at mink farms
  • Shoppers have been warned of Christmas chaos as delivery slots fill up quickly
  • Boris Johnson has been urged to sack Sir Patrick Vallance after 'bad maths' was used to order another lockdown

A further 283 people have died in hospitals in England. A 39-year-old was one of nine with no underlying health conditions to lose their lives to the virus.

Worst-affected was the north-west, where 84 people died, followed by the north-east and Yorkshire, where health chiefs recorded 82 fatalities.

A further 69 people died in the Midlands, while 16 deaths were reported in the east of England, 14 in London, 10 in the south-west and eight in the south-east.

In Scotland, 1,596 more tested positive for the virus, and 39 more died, while in Wales, which is coming to the end of a 17-day firebreak lockdown, 958 new cases were reported, and 32 people died.

Despite the rising tide of fatalities, some experts say the UK is already past the peak of the second wave – and should be in "good shape" by December.

Daily infections are down on a week ago, while the national R-rate also remains stable across the last seven days.

A survey by the Office for National Statistics also suggests new infections are falling — while Public Health England data showed cases dropped in more than half of the country’s local authorities.

The findings will be a major boost to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s hopes of ending the lockdown on December 2.

The shutdown has closed all non-essential businesses, including clothes shops, pubs and restaurants.

Usually-bustling city centres were deserted today as Christmas shoppers stayed away.

Oxford Street, which boasts 200million visitors a year and is Europe's most popular shopping street, was one of the roads to fall eerily silent – just weeks before Christmas.

But many Brits packed out parks and beaches instead during the first Saturday of the lockdown.

Reports of busy public spaces will no doubt alarm the Government after officials urged organisers of Remembrance Sunday events to 'discourage' members of the public from paying their respects.

Under No10's new instructions, local councils were told that events at war memorials can take place, as long as services are held outdoors and kept short, with numbers of attendees at a minimum.

Yet as Brits prepare to mark the day, the Government has issued a warning to "be mindful" about the risks of spreading Covid.

And while members of the public are legally allowed to stop and watch commemorations, event organisers should "take reasonable steps to discourage the public from attending".

The directive comes days after it was revealed England's new shutdown will prevent veterans from going to church this weekend.

Instead, servicemen and women will be forced to stand outside in the cold – and those caught heading inside could face a £200 fine.

House of Lords peer Lord Cormack – who had planned a safe, socially distanced event in Lincoln Cathedral – slammed the rule as 'disgraceful'.

Calls for "sensible exceptions" were backed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury as well as the Catholic Church.

Lord Carey, 84, said tomorrow may be the last day for veterans to pay their respects to fallen comrades.

Under the four-week lockdown, places of worship are closed for communal prayer until December, unless they're being used for funerals, individual prayer or childcare.

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