Coronavirus cases surge by 46,169 as UK sees 529 more Covid deaths bringing total to 81,960
COVID cases today jumped by 46,169 as deaths rose by 529 in the last 24 hours.
There have now been 3,118,518 Brits infected with the disease since the pandemic began, and the total death toll has reached a staggering 81,960.
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Today's rise in cases is lower than it was last Monday, when 58,784 cases were recorded along with 407 deaths.
This is the equivalent to a 5.5 per cent increase in positive cases in the last seven days.
The rise in infections today is also lower than yesterday, when 54,940 people tested positive for the virus.
And the death toll is similarly lower today, in comparison to yesterday's 563 figure.
Figures on a Monday tend to be lower than the rest of the week due to a lag in reporting over the weekend.
It comes as…
- Boris Johnson warns he may have to tighten lockdown AGAIN as he reveals 2.4million Covid jabs given out
- NHS facing ‘worst weeks of Covid’ storm, warns Chris Whitty as he urges Brits to ‘stay at home
- The truth behind videos of ’empty’ hospitals shared by coronavirus sceptics and anti-lockdown activists
- Working from home WON’T become the new normal and people will return to offices, Rishi Sunak vows
- NHS chief reveals a quarter of all Covid patients are under 55 as he urges everyone to take virus ‘extremely seriously’
On Friday, the UK suffered its deadliest day yet when 1,325 deaths were reported with a record 68,058 cases.
In England, another 489 fatalities were recorded, bringing the total number of Covid deaths in English hospitals to 56,069.
The patients died between November 25 and January 10 and included a previously healthy 26-year-old.
In Wales, 17 new deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours along with 1,793 cases.
And Scotland reported another 1,782 new cases with one more Covid death.
Meanwhile 16 more deaths were recorded in Northern Ireland.
It comes as Professor Chris Whitty today warned the NHS is facing its "worst weeks" of the coronavirus pandemic, urging Brits to "stay at home".
England's Chief Medical Officer said the UK will go through "the most dangerous time" before the vaccine roll out has had an impact.
During a BBC phone-in on the current high case rates, he said: "I don't think we're yet at the peak, I'm afraid.
"I think we will be at the peak if everybody can double down and absolutely minimise their contacts.
"The point of the lockdown is to bring that forward, but it only works if everyone really thinks about every individual interaction they have and try and minimise them."
But he also gave hope to millions struggling under the current restrictions – and said there is 'no doubt' that life will soon go on as it did before the pandemic.
Mass injection centres opened across England today, with seven centres welcoming the most vulnerable and delivering jabs every 45 seconds.
The new sites include Ashton Gate in Bristol where Prime Minister Boris Johnson attended this afternoon to show his support.
The PM vowed there to open 50 mass vaccination centres across the country by next month in a bid to end lockdown early.
We are going to keep the rules under constant review. Where we have to tighten them, we will.
And this afternoon, Matt Hancock revealed the Government's mammoth vaccine plan to allow us to have a "great British summer" by jabbing as many people as possible.
Mr Hancock set out the plan as he confirmed that 2.6million doses have been given out so far as jabs are hugely ramped up.
It comes as the Prime Minister considers tightening up the lockdown, with suggestions support bubbles could be halted and people across England told they can only go out once a week.
"We are going to keep the rules under constant review. Where we have to tighten them, we will.
“But we have rules in place which, if properly followed, we believe can make a huge, huge difference."
He urged everyone to stay at home as much as possible to protect the NHS and save lives – and he urged everyone to consider their actions as it was such a "perilous time" for the nation.
Although he stopped short of telling Brits they shouldn't enjoy a take-away coffee in a park, he added: "It’s now that people need to focus – whether they are out shopping, whether they are buying coffee in the park or wherever it happens to be, they need to think about spreading the disease.
"Because as Chris said, one contact that you have can be a chain of transmission for this disease.
"Now is the moment of maximum vigilance, maximum observation and observance of the rules, and of course if we think things are not being properly observed then we may have to do more."
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