London, Dec 8 (IANS) Another 14,718 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,737,960, according to official figures.
The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 189 to 61,434, the data released on Monday showed, Xinhua news agency reported.
The latest figures were revealed as Wales is considering new restrictions amid a rapid rise in coronavirus infections.
There are now more than 1,800 people in Welsh hospitals with confirmed or suspected coronavirus, the highest number recorded and 400 more than the previous peak in April, the Guardian newspaper reported.
Vaughan Gething, the Welsh health minister, described the situation as “incredibly serious”, saying that more restrictions might be needed, possibly even before Christmas.
The latest development came just a month after the end of a 17-day “firebreak” lockdown, which was believed at the time to have been effective in bringing the situation under control.
The British government is only responsible for coronavirus restrictions in England. The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for their own policies in relation to public health matters.
England is currently under a new three-tier system of coronavirus restrictions that replaced the month-long national lockdown in England which ended on December 2.
Under the new system, shops are allowed to re-open across England, giving a Christmas bonanza to the struggling retail sector, but all bars and restaurants in the toughest Tier 3 areas remain closed. The system put about 98 percent of England into the highest Tier 2 and 3.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.