COVID deaths in the UK have topped 1,000 for the second day running, with more than 50,000 new cases recorded today.
As a mutant strain spreads across the country, 1,162 more deaths have been confirmed and 52,618 new infections.
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The highest death toll recorded in the Government’s official figures was 1,224 deaths on April 21.
But media outlets have reported the deadliest ever day was April 8 when 1,445 sadly died after deaths hit 1,000 for 22 days in a row.
The figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data, so will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.
NHS England said today 611 more people died of coronavirus in England.
Patients were aged between 33 and 103 years old. All except 28 – aged 48 to 96 years old – had known underlying health conditions.
Scotland has seen 78 more fatalities to the virus, with Wales reporting 63 additional deaths today.
Infections have surged in recent weeks after a mutant strain ripped through Britain with cases passing 50,000 for nine days in a row.
Boris Johnson is due to hold a Downing Street press conference at 5pm today.
He is set to unveil a new Army-led distribution plan for the UK’s Covid vaccines.
Alarming figures revealed by Mr Johnson this week show nearly 1.2million Brits are infected with Covid.
And one in 30 people in London currently have Covid – four times higher than a month ago.
Case rates in England are rising among all age groups, Public Health England said.
The highest rate is among 20 to 29 year-olds, which stood at 842.5 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to January 3, up week-on-week from 603.6.
It comes as cops will fine Brits the first time they are caught without a face mask or leave home without a reasonable excuse during lockdown.
Scotland Yard revealed officers will take a tough stance on members of the public flouting strict coronavirus rules.
Anyone caught by cops without a reasonable excuse could be slapped with a £200 fixed penalty notice for their first offence, with this doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
It comes as seven huge vaccination centres are due to open next week in London, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Surrey and Hertfordshire.
Drive-through vaccination centres will also be made available in the car parks of some Morrisons supermarkets from Monday.
Meanwhile, GPs will be told to prioritise Covid vaccinations over other treatments.
The PM has set a target of vaccinating up to 13 million of the most vulnerable Brits by the middle of February in a bid to ease the draconian lockdown restrictions.