COVID cases today jumped by more than 50,000 for the 13th day in a row as deaths rose by 563 – pushing the total number of victims to more than 81,000.
There are now 3,072,349 people infected with the disease in the UK after 54,950 tested positive.
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Covid deaths and cases have continued to riseCredit: AFP or licensors
Deaths have continued to rise with the latest toll pushing the total number to 81,431.
Today’s figure is the third highest Sunday rise in deaths and there is a usually a lag in reporting at the weekend.
It comes as…
Yesterday was the fourth day in a row when more than 1,000 lives were claimed.
On Friday, the UK suffered its deadliest day yet when 1,325 deaths were reported with a record 68,058 cases.
In England today, 508 more people died from Covid in hospital – bringing the total to 55,580.
Scotland suffered a further three deaths giving a total of 4,968.
In Wales, 45 new deaths were recorded – bringing the total to 3,964.
While 17 more people lost their lives in Northern Ireland with their total now at 1,460.
It comes as Matt Hancock today unveiled the UK’s “exit strategy” out of the pandemic and revealed 350million doses of the vaccine are on order.
The Health Secretary said he hopes every adult will have received the jab by autumn this year with 200,000 Brits being vaccinated each day.
He also revealed the UK has vaccinated around 2million people over the past week – more people than it did in the entirety of December.
This puts the government on course to reach its target of 13million people vaccinated by mid-February, he explained.
But he refused to speculate on whether the lockdown rules could be strengthened amid claims from scientists they are “too lax” in stopping the spread.
Scientists believe the measures do not go far enough to stop cases exploding and are instead calling for a “total clampdown”.
And Sir Keir Starmer today said nurseries “probably should be closed”.
The Labour leader told the BBC: “I think there is a case for looking at nursery schools, we’re talking to the scientists about that.
“I think people are surprised that primary schools were closed but nurseries aren’t.”