Mon, 18 Jan 2021

LONDON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Another 13,430 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,643,086, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 603 to 59,051, the data showed.

The figures came as the House of Commons (lower house of parliament) is set to vote later Tuesday on the England's new tiers system designed to replace the month-long national lockdown that ends on Wednesday.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged MPs to back his "tougher" tiers system for England.

The National Health Service (NHS) "remains under pressure" despite the progress in tackling the pandemic following the nationwide lockdown, Johnson said Tuesday ahead of the vote.

The prime minister said he recognized that the hospitality sector had "borne a disproportionate share of the burden" due to the restrictions and confirmed an extra 40 million pounds (about 53.6 million U.S. dollars) for some affected pubs.

According to the BBC, even though both Labour and the Scottish National Party plan to abstain from the parliamentary vote, due around 1900 GMT, the new measures are expected to pass.

More than 55 million people will be under the highest two tiers from 0001 GMT on Wednesday if the new tier system is approved.

Amid increasing pressure from Tory MPs, Johnson has said the new tiers system has "a sunset" clause, or expiry date, of Feb. 3, and will be reviewed every fortnight.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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