The total number of coronavirus cases in Britain exceeded 700,000 after another 16,171 people in the country have tested positive for COVID-19, according to official figures released Saturday.
The latest development brought the total number of coronavirus cases in Britain to 705,428, and coronavirus-related deaths in the country rose by 150 to 43,579, the data showed.
The latest figures were released as London and some other British areas are placed in the “high” level of the government’s alert system.
Under the Tier Two of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s three-level COVID-19 alert system, millions of Londoners faced tougher measures from Saturday with different households banned from meeting in indoors, including in pubs and restaurants.
Meanwhile, Lancashire joined Liverpool in moving into Tier Three, the top level of England’s COVID restrictions from Saturday.
The “very high” alert level means pub closures and bans on household mixing indoors, in private gardens and most outdoor venues.
Britain’s coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, has edged up slightly, the latest government figures showed Friday.
The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said the R number is now between 1.3 and 1.5, up from last week which was between 1.2 and 1.5. If the R number is above one, it means the number of cases will increase exponentially.
To bring life back to normal, countries, such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.