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UK says coronavirus death toll up by 813 to 20,319

Published: Updated:

Britain’s health ministry on Saturday said 813 more people had died after testing positive for COVID-19 in hospital, taking the death toll to 20,319.

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The figure is an increase on the 684 reported the previous day and comes after the government claimed the virus had hit its peak.

In a related development, the British government on Saturday defended the independence of the scientists advising it on coronavirus after it emerged that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s controversial chief aide had attended meetings of the group.

Criticism of Johnson’s Conservative government is mounting as the UK's COVID-19 death toll rises and a nationwide lockdown imposed a month ago drags on. The confirmed number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths is likely to reach 20,000 this weekend.

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