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Covid: Cases increase by 55,892 in another UK daily record as death toll rises by 964

Professor Hugh Montgomery, pictured, an A&E consultant at University College Hospital in London, said he is ‘angry’ with the public for failing to follow the rules and have ‘blood on their hands’ for not wearing masks

The UK has passed another daily record in the Covid-19 pandemic, with 55,892 new cases recorded – the highest daily increase yet.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,488,780.

On Wednesday, figures showed the death toll had increased by 984, which marked the highest daily increase in deaths since April.

As of Thursday, the government said a further 964 people have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, bringing the UK total to 73,512. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 89,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

Just under half of all major hospital trusts in England currently have more Covid-19 patients than at the peak of the first wave of the virus, latest figures show.

Some 64 out of 140 acute NHS trusts were recording a higher number of Covid-19 patients at 8am on December 30 than at any point between mid-March and the end of May.

This includes 11 of the 14 acute trusts in eastern England and 12 of the 19 acute trusts in south-east England.

The figures, which have been published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard, also show that 42 of the 140 acute trusts had more Covid-19 patients on December 30 than at any point since the pandemic began.

England

The majority of new cases were recorded in England, with 49,510 confirmed by Public Health England.

Deaths in England also rose by 820.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, Public Health England Medical Director, said: “We know the overwhelming majority of deaths reported today are people who sadly passed away in just the last few days. Every life lost to this disease is a sadness. It is imperative we all take action now to protect our families and our friends.

“We have all had to make huge sacrifices this year, but please ensure that you keep your distance from others, wash your hands and wear a mask. A night in at New Year will mean you are significantly reducing your social contacts and can help stop the spread of the virus.

Wales

There have been a further 1,831 cases of coronavirus in Wales, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 148,537. Public Health Wales reported another 65 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 3,494.

Scotland

There were 2,622 new cases confirmed in Scotland, pushing the total figure up to 127,453.

68 new deaths have also been reported, which puts the overall death toll to 4,578.

Northern Ireland

The Department of Health said: “1,929 individuals have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 24 hours. A further 11 deaths have been reported (two outside this period).”