Covid deaths above 1,000 again for first time since April

The UK has reported more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths and a record 62,322 new cases in the last 24 hours.

1,041 deaths were recorded on Wednesday – the highest total since April 21, when 1,224 people died. That brings the death toll to 77,346 as the NHS struggles to cope with the strain from a surge in new cases.

The UK has now seen a total of 2,836,801 confirmed cases since the pandemic began – with 403,914 of them coming in the last seven days.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, along with data on deaths in recent days, suggests there have now been 93,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

Government statistics show that nearly 5,000 deaths – some 4,798 – have been recorded in the last seven days alone. However, those figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.

It comes as one expert told that the NHS could be overwhelmed by some 5,000 daily hospital admissions if case rates are not brought under control.

Earlier, NHS England confirmed that a further 674 people who tested positive for the virus had died in hospitals in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths in the setting to 53,069.

Patients were aged between 21 and 101. All except 29, aged between 50 and 101, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between November 11 and January 5.

There were 47 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.

In Northern Ireland, where hospital occupancy is now said to be at ‘102%’, the Department of Health confirmed there have been an additional 13 deaths with Covid-19 reported.

Another 1,985 people have tested positive.

Scotland recorded 68 more Covid-19 deaths and more than 2,039 further cases of the disease in the past 24 hours.

That means that since the start of the pandemic, there have been 141,066 cases in the country, while 4,701 people have now died within 28 days of first testing positive.

This is a breaking story – more to follow.

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