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UK Records 12K COVID-19 Cases

Tel Aviv, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- An Israeli medical worker receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Israel, Dec. 20, 2020. (Tomer Neuberg/JINI via Xinhua/IANS)

Another 12,364 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,972,148, according to official figures released on Tuesday.

The country also reported another 1,052 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 113,850. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The latest figures were revealed as Britain is stepping up efforts to speed up vaccine rollout to bring the pandemic under control.

More than 12.6 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures. Britain aims to complete the vaccination of the top priority groups, which cover 15 million people, by mid-February and offer all adults their first dose by autumn.

Earlier on Tuesday, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced tough fines up to 10,000 pounds (about $13,780.77) and jail terms up to 10 years for those breaking quarantine rules designed to prevent new coronavirus variants from entering the country.

Hancock also announced that from Monday, all international arrivals will be required by law to take further coronavirus tests on day two and day eight of their quarantine.

Meanwhile, from next Monday, arrivals from “red list countries” must pay 1,750 pounds (about $2,411.77) for their own hotel quarantine, transport and testing, said Hancock.

Previously, Britain has banned all travel by non-British or Irish passengers from more than 30 “red list countries” where there is a risk of known variants. Those countries include South Africa, Portugal and South American nations.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the US have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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