UK COVID-19 deaths hit 40,542 as another 77 patients die

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Another 77 COVID-19 patients have died in Britain as of Saturday afternoon, bringing the total coronavirus-related death toll in the country to 40,542, the British Department of Health and Social Care said Sunday.

The figures include deaths in all settings, including hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

As of Sunday morning, 286,194 people have tested positive in Britain, a daily increase of 1,326, according to the department.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that the continuing Black Lives Matter protests "undoubtedly risk" increasing coronavirus cases.

"Gathering in large groups is temporarily against the rules precisely because it increases the risk of the spread of this virus," Hancock told Sky News.

"So I would urge people to make their argument, and I will support you in making that argument, but please don't spread this virus which has already done so much damage and we are starting to get under control."

The bronze statue of Edward Colston, a prominent 17th Century slave trader in Bristol was torn down Sunday during a second day of anti-racism protests across Britain.

Thousands of people on Saturday joined Black Lives Matter protests across the country as the outcry continues over the death of George Floyd, whose death last week has sparked protests across the United States and beyond over police brutality and racism.

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