COVID-19: UK records highest ever daily coronavirus deaths at 1,325 fatalities

The UK has recorded its highest daily increase in the number of COVID-related deaths of the pandemic, with 1,325 fatalities.

The latest death figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of some recent data and contain some deaths from over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.

Government figures also show the UK recorded 68,053 new coronavirus cases – the highest daily total of the pandemic so far.

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Responding to the announcement, a spokesperson for Public Health England (PHE) said “we can expect the death toll to continue to rise until we stop the spread”.

Dr William Welfare, director for the COVID-19 response at PHE, urged the public to stay at home where possible and warned that: “Approximately 1 in 3 people who have coronavirus have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.”

It is now two weeks since Christmas Day, when experts warned the impact of household mixing over the festive period is most likely to be felt.

Four in 10 adults formed a bubble to celebrate Christmas Day, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest.

This is the 12th day since the start of the pandemic that deaths have surpassed 1,000 in the UK.

Earlier, a “major incident” was declared in London as growing infections have been putting “immense pressure on an already stretched NHS”, according to City Hall.

There are currently 7,034 people in hospital with COVID-19 in the capital, 35% higher compared with the first peak of the pandemic.

An intensive care doctor also told Sky News that NHS staff are being “stretched to the absolute limit”, urging families to stop mixing inside each other’s homes.

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