The UK’s death toll from Covid-19 has now passed 60,000 – less than a month after it passed the 50,000 milestone.
The Government said on Thursday that a further 414 people had died with 28 days of testing positive for the virus.
The official figure for total deaths now stands at 60,113.
But the true figure could be significantly higher.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, coupled with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 76,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
These figures are based on deaths where coronavirus is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate while the Government’s data counts only those people who died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.
Despite the grim milestone, there is a sliver of good news as both transmission rates and death rates appear to be falling.
The Government said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 14,879 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, bringing the total number of cases to 1,674,134.
The number of people who have tested positive over the last seven days has dropped by 16.9% compared with the previous week, while the number of deaths being reported has dropped by 5.3% over the same period.
The number of hospital admissions for coronavirus patients over the period of November 23 to 29 fell by 13.9% from the previous week.
The death toll exceeded 50,000 on November 11 when a further 595 people were reported to have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus.
At the time, there were 65,000 mortalities in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, said: “This figure is yet another tragic milestone during our fight against this pandemic and shows the scale of the catastrophic impact that Covid-19 has had on this country.
“While news about the Pfizer vaccine has given us all hope that the end of this pandemic could now be in sight, 60,000 deaths should serve as a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet.
“This deadly virus is still spreading and will continue to do so for some time.
“It is crucial then that the Government ensures that robust infection control measures are in place, along with an effective test and trace system and that the public continue to adhere to public health rules and guidelines, if we are to reduce the spread of the disease and the avoidable loss of lives in the coming months.”