UK registers daily record of 1,564 COVID-19 deaths

Ambulances are parked outside the Royal London Hospital in London, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 during England's third national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus. (AP)
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Updated 13 January 2021

UK registers daily record of 1,564 COVID-19 deaths

  • The latest figures take the number of deaths to 84,767, among the highest in Europe alongside Italy
  • The government has warned it will start to get tough with people flouting stay-at-home restrictions

LONDON: Britain on Wednesday announced another 1,564 virus fatalities, a daily record and the first time the death toll has passed 1,500 in a 24-hour period during the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest figures take the number of deaths to 84,767, among the highest in Europe alongside Italy.
Meanwhile the UK registered another 47,525 new infections — a drop on the same day last week, when health officials recorded 62,322 cases.
The total number of cases since the crisis began early last year climbed to 3,211,576.
England is in the midst of its third national lockdown, with schools shuttered and people ordered to stay at home, as a more contagious virus variant has contributed to a surge in cases in recent months.
Similar restrictions are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where devolved administrations are in charge of health policies.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers Wednesday that, although it was “early days,” the latest round of lockdown measures and the regional tiered restrictions that preceded them were “starting to show signs of some effect.”
But the government has warned it will start to get tough with people flouting stay-at-home restrictions, with evidence some are ignoring the measures.
Johnson has set a target of having 15 million of the elderly and most vulnerable people vaccinated by mid-February, as a way of getting the country back to normality.


Turkey and Greece resume talks on maritime disputes after five years

Updated 58 min 25 sec ago

Turkey and Greece resume talks on maritime disputes after five years

ANKARA: Turkey and Greece resumed talks aimed at addressing long-standing maritime disputes on Monday, diplomatic sources said, after months of tension in the eastern Mediterranean.
The neighboring countries, which are both members of the NATO military alliance, made little progress in 60 rounds of talks from 2002 to 2016.
Plans for resuming discussions foundered last year over Turkey’s deployment of a survey vessel in contested Mediterranean waters and disagreements over which topics to cover.
Ankara and Athens agreed this month to resume talks in Istanbul, in a test of Turkey’s hopes of improving its relations with the European Union, which has supported EU-member Greece and threatened sanctions on Turkey.
Both sides have voiced guarded optimism before the talks, though Ankara and Athens were still trading barbs in the days leading up to Monday’s meetings in Istanbul.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said last week Greece would approach the talks with optimism but “zero naivety.” Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said he hoped the resumption of talks would herald a new era.
Despite the agreement to resume talks, Athens said on Saturday it would discuss only the demarcation of exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean, and not issues of “national sovereignty.”
Ankara has said it wants the talks to cover the same topics as in the first 60 rounds, including the demilitarization of islands in the Aegean and disagreements over air space.
It was not immediately clear what the agenda of the talks was on Monday.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held a series of talks in Brussels last week to discuss possible future steps to maintain what he called the “positive atmosphere” between Ankara and the EU since the bloc postponed imposing sanctions on Turkey until March at a December summit.