The UK set another Covid record on Friday as it was revealed another 93,045 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the most recent 24-hour period.
Reacting to the latest cases data released shortly after 4pm, which shows the new variant-driven is continuing, one of the country’s top health experts said: “It’s not a good feeling but it’s not a surprise either.”
“The question is how long is it going to last and are we going to do anything to slow it down,” Professor Christina Pagel, director of clinical operational research at University College London told Sky News.
Friday’s tally is the highest daily total recorded since the pandemic began and a rise of 4,669 on the previous record set on Thursday.
While commentators had speculated that it could top 100,000, it represents is 63 per cent rise on the 58,194 cases reported only a week ago.
Meanwhile the number of lab-confirmed positive Covid cases in London has reached a record 26,608, as Omicron continues to sweep through the new variant hotspot.
According to Government figures, the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in London - which has seen some of the biggest rises in cases in the last seven days - has risen to 1,534, up 28.6 per cent on last week.
The dashboard showed 341 more people with Covid were in hospital in the capital on December 17, rising from 1,193 on December 10.
Across the UK, 7,611 people are in hospital with the virus, a rise of 163 patients (two per cent) on the previous week.
The UK’s official Covid death toll has now reached 147,048 - the seventh highest in the world behind the US, Brazil, India, Mexico, Russia and Peru.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 172,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.