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Publishedduration38 minutes agoimage copyrightGetty ImagesThere have been more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 50,000 people have died, government figures show. However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher.Find out how…

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There have been more than 1.2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and 50,000 people have died, government figures show.

However, these figures include only people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for coronavirus and other measures suggest the number of deaths is higher.

Find out how the pandemic has affected your area and how it compares with the national average:

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Daily deaths continuing to rise

Deaths have been rising again since the beginning of September following their first peak in April.

The government announced 595 further deaths across the UK on Wednesday.

Of those deaths, 478 were in England, 64 in Scotland, 45 in Wales – and eight in Northern Ireland.

Rules were amended over the summer to include deaths in the coronavirus total only if they occurred within 28 days of a positive test. Previously in England, all deaths after a positive test were included.

England has seen the majority of UK deaths from Covid-19. Using the 28-day cut-off, there have been nearly 45,000.

New cases remain high after sharp increase

On Wednesday, the government announced a further 22,950 confirmed cases.

Confirmed cases started rising again in July, with the rate of growth increasing sharply in September and October.

There are some signs, however, of that growth slowing a little since the start of November.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is tracking Covid-19 in the community, also suggest the increase in new infections may be stabilising.

Approximately one in 90 people in homes in England had coronavirus in the week ending 31 October, according to the ONS figures.

In Scotland and Wales, about one in 110 people had the virus. One in 75, about 25,000 people, had the virus in Northern Ireland.

Hospital admissions vary around UK

Although hospital admissions for Covid-19 remain below the levels seen in the spring, there are big regional disparities.

The North West, North East and Yorkshire, and Midlands have seen the highest number of admissions in recent weeks.

But some areas – including the North West, London, Scotland and Northern Ireland – are beginning to see signs of a slight improvement.

Where are cases rising the most?

Cases have risen across large parts of England, with other spikes in areas of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The orange areas on the map below are those currently seeing the highest number of cases per 100,000 people.

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Restrictions have been tightened across the UK in recent weeks.

In England, a four-week lockdown began on 5 November – replacing the three-tier system until 2 December.

Northern Ireland introduced additional restrictions last month, which are due to end on Friday 13 November.

In Scotland, there is now a five-tier system of virus alert levels with different measures in place in different parts of the country.

In Wales, a two-week ‘firebreak’ lockdown which began in the last week of October has now ended but some restrictions are still in place.

Overall death toll could be nearly 70,000

When looking at the overall death toll from coronavirus, official figures count deaths in three different ways.

Government figures count people who tested positive for coronavirus and died within 28 days.

But there are two other measures.

The first includes all deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, even if the person had not been tested for the virus. The most recent figures suggest there had been more than 60,000 deaths by 23 October.

The most recent figures available from the ONS are for the final week of October, which show there were 12,501 deaths registered in the UK.

Some 1,597 of these deaths involved Covid-19 – up from 1,126 the week before.

Deaths normally do rise at this time of the year, but the data from the ONS and its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland show the second wave of the virus has pushed the death rate above the average seen over the past five years.

Overall, the figures are still well below the peak of 9,495 deaths recorded in a week, reached on 17 April.

What is the R number in the UK?

The “R number” is the average number of people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R is below one, then the number of people contracting the disease will fall; if it is above one, the number will grow.

The government’s current estimate for the R number across the whole of the UK is 1.1 to 1.3.

The estimate for England is 1.1 to 1.3, while for Scotland it is 0.9 to 1.1. The estimate for Wales is 1.0 to 1.3 and in Northern Ireland it is a little above 0.7.

The government has said in the past that the R number is one of the most important factors in making policy decisions.

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