UK Covid cases in highest day EVER with 57,725 infections and 445 more deaths
THE number of daily UK coronavirus cases reached a record high today as 57,725 new infections were recorded.
It is the fifth day in a row the figure has broken 50,000 and brings the total number of positive tests in Britain to 2,599,789.
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Another 445 Covid deaths were recorded, meaning 74,570 people have now died from the bug in the UK since the start of the pandemic.
Today's rise in cases is considerably bigger than it was last Saturday, when 35,691 new cases were recorded.
The number of fatalities reported in the last 24 hours is also almost double the figure seen a week ago (230).
On December 31, infections grew by 55,892 – the nation's previous record high.
But that same day, the UK recorded 964 deaths, more than twice the figure logged today.
The rise in infections was just slightly lower yesterday, when 53,285 new cases were reported.
It comes as…
- Covid vaccine given to more than one million Brits as Matt Hancock reveals the ‘end is in sight’
- Teachers’ union tells staff to REFUSE to go back to school and demands all classrooms stay shut
- The 10 Covid hotspots most at risk of being plunged into toughest restrictions
- North of England braces for devastating Covid wave like London as ‘hugely’ infectious mutant strain spreads across UK
In England, another 383 fatalities were confirmed, bringing the total number of Covid deaths in English hospitals to 51,051.
The patients, who died between November 18 and January 1, were aged between 27 and 100 years old and all except 11 had underlying health conditions.
Scotland recorded another 2,137infections – it will not be updating its death figures until after the weekend.
Another 2,764 cases were reported in Wales, along with 70 more fatalities.
Northern Ireland is expected to update its figures after the weekend.
'END IN SIGHT'
It comes after Matt Hancock revealed more than one million Brits have now had the Covid vaccine while declaring the "end is in sight".
Mr Hancock tweeted today: "Huge THANK YOU to everyone playing their part in the national effort to beat coronavirus.
"Over a million people have been vaccinated already.
"With the vaccine roll-out accelerating, the end is in sight & we will get through this together."
The news comes against a backdrop of tough Covid restrictions, with almost all of England now living under Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions.
All primary schools in London will now remain shut for at least an extra two weeks after Christmas as cases spiral – with calls for schools across the country to follow.
One headteachers' union has launched legal action against the government, demanding all schools shut.
Lawyers for the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) and the Association of School and College Leaders are set to demand the government shows data proving schools are safe to reopen.
The NAHT will also issue guidance to headteachers recommending no action is taken against staff who don't come to work as they fear it's unsafe, The Observer has reported.
Research from Imperial College shows the new mutant strain of Covid is affecting a greater proportion of youngsters aged under 20.
And the National Education Union (NEU) is set to advise members of their legal right not to work in an unsafe environment.
One leading union said "what is right for London is right for the rest of the country".
Meanwhile, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the NEU urged ministers to "do their duty" and shut all primary and secondary schools to stem the tide of a mutant coronavirus strain.
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