Coronavirus updates: Covid-19 vaccine taskforce set up as UK death toll passes 14,000

The UK Government has set up a vaccine taskforce to co-ordinate efforts to create a vaccine for Covid-19.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced the taskforce at yesterday’s government briefing – as the number of people confirmed to have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK rose to 14,576.

He said: “I can announce today that the Government has set up a vaccines taskforce to co-ordinate the efforts of Government, academia and industry towards a single goal – to accelerate the development of a coronavirus vaccine.

“This taskforce is up and running and aims to ensure that a vaccine is made available to the public as quickly as possible.

“The taskforce, reporting to me and the Health Secretary, is led by Sir Patrick (Vallance) and Professor Jonathan Van Tam.

“It comprises representatives from Government, industry, academia and regulators.”

In local developments for Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire and South Cheshire:

The latest figures from the government show there are 258 confirmed cases in Stoke-on-Trent, 1,102 in the rest of Staffordshire and 506 in Cheshire East – although as always the actual number of cases will be far higher.

NHS England reports 115 people have now died with Covid-19 at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust – which consists of Royal Stoke University Hospital and Stafford County Hospital.  One death has also been confirmed at Harplands Hospital.

A total of 76 people have died at the Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes Leighton Hospital in Crewe, and another 43 at East Cheshire NHS Trust – which includes Macclesfield District General Hospital and Congleton War Memorial Hospital.

Scroll down for all the latest Covid-19 news from across our region and further afield throughout the day

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