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England and Wales recorded nearly 2,500 coronavirus-related deaths in one week – the highest number of fatalities since May.
In total, 2,466 deaths which mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate were registered in the week ending November 13, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It marks an increase from 1,937 deaths in the week to November 6 – and is the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending May 22.
Deaths involving coronavirus made up a fifth of overall fatalities in England and Wales.
North-west England had 615 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending November 13 – the highest number for the region since the week ending May 15, according to the ONS.
In Yorkshire and the Humber, 450 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to November 13: again, the highest for the region since the week to May 15.
Some 284 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the West Midlands – the highest since the week to May 22 – while 245 were registered in the East Midlands: the highest since the week to May 15.
The stark figure comes just days before the Government is due to lift the current lockdown in England.
Many parts of the country will be placed into tougher tiers than they were in before the blanket lockdown was introduced on November 5.
But Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hopeful Easter can be targeted for a return to normality after a breakthrough with the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
He prepared the public for difficult months ahead before the "cavalry" of science comes to the rescue and finally ends the crisis.
Mr Johnson said: "Many more places will be in higher tiers than also was previously the case.
"'Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season to be jolly careful, especially with elderly relatives."
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