LONDON - The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 397 to 47,250, the highest daily increase since May, according to official figures released Tuesday.
Another 20,018 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,073,882, the data showed.
The figures came as England is set to enter a month-long lockdown from Thursday in a bid to quell the resurgence of the coronavirus.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, on Tuesday defended the government's decision, saying that the aim of the new lockdown, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak began in Britain, is to get infection rates down so that the country can move to a different state in December.
"The aim of this is to get the rates down far enough that it's a realistic possibility to move into a different state of play at that point in time," he said while being questioned by the British lawmakers.
Under the lockdown, which will be effective until Dec. 2, people in England will only be allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons, such as education, work or food shopping.
Pubs, bars and restaurants will close across the country except for takeaways. Non-essential shops, hairdressers, and leisure and entertainment venues will also be shut.
Meanwhile, different households will be banned from mixing, although support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain. Gyms will be shut but people can continue to exercise outdoors, at most with one person from another household.
Schools, colleges and universities will remain open and those who cannot work from home, such as construction or manufacturing workers, will be encouraged to continue going to their workplaces.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.