A total of 316 deaths have been announced in the past 24 hours, with 30,501 new cases recorded.
This is a slight drop from the 326 deaths reported last Sunday – December 20 – but the eighth day in a row that daily new cases have surpassed 30,000 as the UK grapples with its terrible second winter wave of the pandemic.
The overall figure of 70,752 is for deaths in all settings, reports The Mirror.
It comes as there is growing speculation that schools will not reopen in January, after scientists warned that this may be the only way to keep the new strain of mutant coronavirus under control.
The UK suffered what was then its biggest daily increase in coronavirus cases last Sunday, with 35,928 new infections and 326 more deaths.
That’s more than double the 144 deaths reported the previous Sunday, December 13, when 18,447 new cases were reported in the past 24 hours.
Daily figures come from the Ministry of Health and record deaths in all settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and the community.
This Christmas week has been bleak for official Covid-19 figures.
In the past seven days, 248,199 people have tested positive and there have been 3,351 deaths.
By Boxing Day, 210 more deaths were reported, while 34,963 new cases were confirmed.
As on Christmas Day, the UK passed the grim milestone of 70,000 deaths, with 570 more deaths recorded and 32,725 more cases of the virus.
Meanwhile, Christmas Eve saw the UK register its second-highest peak on record in a day of new coronavirus cases, with 39,036 recorded in 24 hours.
There were 574 other deaths recorded Thursday.
Wednesday saw the highest daily death toll since April – 744 deaths – and a record number of cases – 39,237 new cases – the biggest daily increase in the pandemic to date.
While Tuesday saw what was then a record number of cases – 36,804 – and what was then the highest reported death toll since early May – 691.
Monday saw 215 more coronavirus deaths and 33,364 new cases.
Numbers tend to be lower on weekends and Mondays due to a delay in reporting.
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Figures for the second wave of the UK pandemic remain stubbornly high, with a new mutant strain of Covid-19 spreading across the country.
Meanwhile, scientists are calling for a full lockdown (unlike November, that would include schools) – with a critical meeting between Downing Street officials and the Department of Education to be held next week.
Experts have warned that closing schools may be the only way to keep the new strain of mutant coronavirus under control.
It is feared that the mutant strain is up to 70% more infectious than the original virus.
In an attempt to master it, Level 4 was introduced in England and implemented in all parts of the country, including London.
Also today, reports say officials have been told that once the most vulnerable population, numbering around 12 to 15 million people at risk of dying from the coronavirus, is vaccinated, the need for further restrictions will be drastically reduced.
However, at the current rate, the deployment is nowhere near reaching the milestone that sources claimed to “end lockdowns” in a matter of months.
Earlier today, the death toll in England and Wales from the coronavirus in hospitals rose by just 301 – with 114 dead on Christmas Day in England alone.
Overall, in England there have been 231 hospital deaths, but there are expected to be significant delays in reporting due to the holiday season.
The number of infections continues to skyrocket and there are now more hospital patients with Covid in England than in the spring in the first wave.