The UK has recorded 964 deaths from Covid on the last day of 2020 as cases continue to climb to record levels across the country.
The government today reported 55,892 new cases of Covid – a new one-day high for the country.
Read more: Covid: 981 other deaths in UK represent biggest daily toll in eight months
The UK’s total coronavirus death toll has now reached 73,512, the sixth-highest total in the world and the second-highest in Europe.
There have been 14,959 Covid-related hospitalizations in the past seven days, a weekly increase of 19.4%.
The government put three quarters of the country on lockdown yesterday, with Boris Johnson saying yesterday the country must “redouble its efforts to contain the virus”.
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“No one regrets these measures more bitterly than I do, but we must take firm action now,” he said.
The Department of Health also reported today that 944,539 people in the UK have now received the first dose of the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.
That number is expected to rise dramatically over the next week, after the UK drugs regulator approved the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.
Read more: Covid: UK can vaccinate everyone by spring with 24/7 vaccinations, says general practitioner
There are already millions of doses of AstraZeneca jab ready for administration in the UK and it is much easier to transport and store as it does not need to be stored at -70 degrees like the Pfizer vaccine.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock wants the country to vaccinate 2 million people a week soon.