The UK has the highest death rate across Europe after surpassing more than 40,000 and yesterday recorded the highest number of new infections ever. New infections rose by more than 10,000 for the first time since mass testing began.
According to figures from Public Health England, there were 12,872 new cases, while a further 49 people have died within 28 days after testing positive.
Now, the Labour Party leader has argued the Prime Minister and his Government have “lost control of the virus”.
Mr Starmer said: “I think they’ve lost control of the virus.
“And I don’t want to see death rates go up. Nobody does.
“And the government doesn’t. I’m not suggesting that for a minute.
“But this is serial incompetence.
“And the test, trace and isolate system was abandoned in early March if you recall because they said they didn’t have the capacity.
“It took them months to get back to even trying to set up a system.
READ MORE: Boris Johnson hints at suspension of ‘rule of six’ for Christmas Day
The Labour leader goes on to say local councils and health officials should have been involved and trusted in fighting against local outbreaks.
He told the Observer: “There isn’t a strategy.
“There’s a vacuum there. And that’s because there’s division in the cabinet as to which strategy they should be following.
“I’m reflecting, I think, what people in those communities feel.
“This deep sense of despondence, anxiety. And actually, what they want at the moment is hope.”
As the country continues to fight against the coronavirus pandemic, new lockdown restrictions have been applied to areas in the north east, north west and the Midlands.
Although new infections continue to be high, there have been fresh hopes the numbers may be getting under control.
According to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), there were around 8,400 cases a day of the virus this week, compared to 9,600 last week.
The ONS said while there may be “levelling off” following a steep increase during August and September there is still some uncertainty around the figures.
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8am update: Health charity warns some of the poorest communities will experience highest death rates
Some of Britain’s poorest communities are more likely to have experienced the highest Covid-19 death rates and are also showing signs of financial hardship, according to research by a health charity.
The Health Foundation said the health inequalities that exist between the richest and poorest communities across the UK are set to widen unless action is taken.
Clare Moriarty, chair of the Covid-19 impact inquiry, said: “It is not just the virus that has affected people’s health but also measures introduced in response.
“People have lost jobs and income, seen medical treatment cancelled and been asked to stay indoors for weeks on end.
“Children and young people have missed out on their education and opportunities to build social lives.
“Across the country, people’s health and mental wellbeing has been affected and, as this research shows, the pandemic is intensifying and amplifying existing health inequalities.
“The Covid-19 impact inquiry aims to join up all these different issues to build a bigger picture of the impact the pandemic has had on our communities across the UK.
“We believe the findings will provide Government with a solid evidence base to inform their recovery policies and tackle these very big issues of inequality to ensure that everyone’s health and wellbeing is protected in the long term.”
Jo Bibby, director of health, the Health Foundation, said: “The pandemic has reminded us how highly we value our health.
“Rightly so, as a healthy population is one of our society’s most important assets.
“It should concern us all that the consequences of the pandemic are falling unevenly.
“Our inquiry will place those groups who were most affected at the heart of our analysis to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to developing national recovery policies.”
7.55am update: Germany’s coronavirus cases rise by 2,279
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 2,279 to 299,237, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Sunday.
The reported death toll rose by 2 to 9,529, the tally showed.