The UK has recorded 398 further coronavirus-related deaths – the second day in a row that the daily figure has hit an 11-month high, according to government data.
Wednesday’s number is the highest since 24 February 2021, when 442 deaths were reported within 28 days of a positive test.
It brings the total number of deaths to 151,007, although separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 176,000 deaths registered in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
The latest data also shows 129,587 more COVID cases were reported in the latest 24-hour period.
The figures compare with 379 fatalities and 120,821 cases which were reported yesterday.
This time last week, 334 deaths and 194,747 infections were recorded.
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Some 19,735 people are in hospital with COVID, with 793 of those on ventilators.
The latest figures, for Saturday, showed that 2,049 people were admitted to hospital with COVID.
The government’s dashboard also shows a further 139,584 booster or third jabs have been administered in the UK, bringing the total to 35,953,243.
Also, 19,276 more first doses have been given, taking the total to 52,011,835.
And another 28,790 second doses have been administered – meaning 47,774,248 people have now been double jabbed.
Meanwhile, the latest Office for National Statistics infection survey shows 4,300,700 people were infected with COVID in the week ending 6 January.
That is 561,100 more than the week before – a rise of 15%.