UK records nearly 17000 new COVID cases with 67 deaths

A police car is seen at a closed off Westminster Bridge near St Thomas' Hospital, in London, Britain October 13, 2020. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

Another 16,982 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 722,409, according to official figures released Sunday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 67 to 43,646, the data showed.

The latest figures came as a British government scientific adviser revealed that more than one coronavirus vaccine could be available in the next six months.

“I think in the first quarter of next year we will have vaccines — will have more than one vaccine,” Jeremy Farrar, who sits on the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told Sky News.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, has also reportedly said a mass rollout of the vaccine being created at the University of Oxford and manufactured by AstraZeneca could happen around the turn of the year.

“It isn’t a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas,” said Van-Tam in a briefing to MPs last week, adding such a development would have a “significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths.”

To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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