The UK has recorded its deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic with another 1,564 deaths.
The number of confirmed cases across the country has also increased by 47,525 – a very small dip in the number of fresh infections – bringing the total to 3,164,051, with 84,767 people losing their lives. In the last seven days alone, 7,421 people have died.
The death toll today, January 13, is far higher than the previous highest number of deaths, with 1,325 recorded last Friday, January 8. On Tuesday, January 12, 1,243 deaths were recorded, making it the third-highest toll.
In April, during the first wave of coronavirus in the UK, the highest number of deaths recorded within a single day was 1,224. The UK now has one of the worst COVID-19 mortality rates in the world, at 151 per 100,000 people.
It comes as ministers debate strengthening current lockdown restrictions, with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announcing a number of changes earlier today, including a move to make click and collect available for essential items only.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, Boris Johnson said: ‘We keep things under constant review. If there is any need to toughen up restrictions – which I don’t rule out – we will of course come to this House.’
However, despite the large death toll, he added: ‘The lockdown measures we have in place combined with tier four measures that we were using are starting to show signs of some effect and we must take account of that too.’
Earlier today, Health Secretary Matt Hancock urged people not to ‘take the mickey’ with the rules, adding: ‘We will keep the restrictions in place not a moment longer than they are necessary, but we will keep them in place as long as they’re necessary.’
He told Sky News: ‘These measures that we have got in place that we hope to be able to lift – and we should be able to lift, when we have been able to protect through vaccination those who are vulnerable – right now, the vaccination is not in a position to do that.’
At the time of writing, according to the government, 2.8 million coronavirus jab have been given to more than 2.4 million people. The current goal is for 15 million of the country’s most vulnerable people to receive their first dose of the vaccine by February 15.
With regards to struggling hospitals, Hancock added: ‘There are huge pressures on the NHS and, as you’d expect, we’re looking to all different ways that we can relieve those pressures.’