The UK has reported a further 1,041 people have died with coronavirus, the highest daily death toll since April.
It came as 62,322 new cases were recorded, the highest daily rise since mass testing began, and as MPs supported England’s lockdown.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock earlier said doctors could be forced to ration treatment without the new curbs.
There are 30,074 Covid patients in UK hospitals, he said, as an ambulance trust told of severe pressure.
Current patient numbers are 39% higher than the previous peak on 12 April last year, when 21,684 were in hospital.
The number of those who died within 28 days of a positive test in the past week is 37% higher than the previous seven days.
Andrew Hayward, professor of infectious diseases epidemiology at University College London, tsaidhe expected the number of deaths to continue to increase for the next few weeks “because they’ll lag two or three weeks behind the number of cases in the community, and those have been increasing”.
Prof Hayward, who is a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), added: “I think the lockdown measures will turn that number of deaths around but it is going to take a little while.”
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