The UK has recorded more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths for the first time since April.
The four nations recorded 1,041 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the virus on Wednesday and 62,322 new coronavirus cases, according to official data.
It is the first time fatalities have topped 1,000 since 21 April, when 1,224 people died. The death toll now stands at 77,346.
A total of 2,836,801 positive cases have now been reported in the UK.
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The UK recorded more than 60,000 coronavirus cases in daily figures for the first time on Tuesday, and the number of new daily cases has been over 50,000 for the last eight days.
The news is another reminder of the severity of the crisis as the UK struggles to deal with a new, more infectious variant of the virus.
On Tuesday, coronavirus hospital admissions in England reached another record high, NHS England figures showed.
A total of 3,351 admissions in England were reported for 3 January, passing the previous record of 3,145 on 2 January.
During the first wave of the virus, admissions peaked at 3,099 on 1 April last year.
England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty told a Downing Street press conference on Tuesday that COVID hospitalisations across England were "rising very rapidly and, of course, we are still in the middle of winter".
Boris Johnson has said 1.3 million people in the UK – including 1.1 million in England – have now received a vaccine.
That figure includes 650,000 people over 80, who are deemed among the most vulnerable to the virus, though this is still only 23% of all people over 80 in England.
Johnson told MPs in the House of Commons on Wednesday that the government is in “a race to vaccinate the vulnerable faster than the virus can reach them – every needle in every arm makes a difference”.
It was revealed on Wednesday that one in four deaths in England and Wales registered in the week leading up to Christmas involved coronavirus.
There were 11,520 deaths registered in the week ending 25 December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
Of these, 2,912 (25.3%) mentioned “novel coronavirus” on the death certificate.
The number of registered coronavirus deaths and deaths from all causes both fell compared with the previous week.
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