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The UK has 41,385 Covid cases and 357 more deaths as the second wave continues to rise


The UK recorded 41,385 cases of Covid and 357 more deaths today as the second wave of the disease continues to rise and a highly infectious strain spreads rapidly across the country.

Health Department figures show the UK's daily rate of infection is technically the highest ever recorded, up 24 percent from last Monday.

However, the true extent of the Covid crisis in the first wave remains a mystery due to a lack of testing, which means it is impossible to say if this is the UK's worst day yet. Top scientists estimate that up to 100,000 people fell ill with the disease every day on the darkest days of spring.

Government statistics also show that today's death toll, with the total laboratory-confirmed Covid casualty in the UK over 71,000, is up 66 percent from last week.

However, the Monday – and post-holiday – coronavirus death toll is always affected by a delay in recording, meaning the number will inevitably rise later in the week. Scotland has also not reported any daily coronavirus deaths since Christmas Eve, suggesting an anomaly could occur tomorrow if officials start publishing the data again after the holiday season.

Today's record number of cases is also likely to have been pushed up by the record of hiccups during the Christmas break, with some of the home countries reporting no new infections in the past few days – meaning they would be postponed to numbers released today or even later in this week.

Dr. Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England said: "We have all made great sacrifices this year, but we must all continue to do our part to stop the spread of the virus, which is still replicating rapidly."

Hospitals are also feeling the brunt of the growing outbreak. Experts warn the NHS in England of 20,000 coronavirus patients who will need NHS treatment on New Year's Eve.

Health ministry statistics show that on Christmas Eve, 18,227 Covid-infected patients were cared for in hospitals across the country – an increase of 15 percent in one week. April 12th was the busiest day of the Covid pandemic for hospitals in England, with 18,974 patients occupying beds.

Separate figures revealing the true extent of the second wave show that more than 90 percent of councils in England saw their coronavirus outbreaks grow before Christmas.

Around 24 million people are already living under draconian stay-at-home orders and ministers are beating tough measures on London, the southeast and the east to control the fast-growing Covid outbreaks. But millions more will be hit by the toughest curbs when officials review the existing four-tier system on Wednesday.

Health ministry statistics show that on Christmas Eve, 18,227 Covid-infected patients were cared for in hospitals across the country - an increase of 15 percent in one week. Top officials say the highly infectious load that is rapidly spreading across the country is to blame. For comparison: April 12 was the busiest day of the pandemic for hospitals in England, with 18,974 patients occupying beds

Health ministry statistics show that on Christmas Eve, 18,227 Covid-infected patients were cared for in hospitals across the country – an increase of 15 percent in one week. Top officials say the highly infectious load that is rapidly spreading across the country is to blame. For comparison: April 12 was the busiest day of the pandemic for hospitals in England, with 18,974 patients occupying beds

The total number of patients hospitalized with the virus is likely to exceed the first wave maximum. 21,286 coronavirus patients will be treated on December 22nd - the latest daily data is available for. For comparison: on April 12th there were 21,683

The total number of patients hospitalized with the virus is likely to exceed the first wave maximum. 21,286 coronavirus patients will be treated on December 22nd – the latest daily data is available for. For comparison: on April 12th there were 21,683

Millions more Britons will be plunged into Tier 4 this week as the mutated Covid-19 strain continues to spread across the country

Millions more Britons will be plunged into Tier 4 this week as the mutated Covid-19 strain continues to spread across the country

Hospitals in England are on track to have 20,000 Covid patients by New Year's Eve

Hospitals in England are racing towards 20,000 coronavirus patients in need of NHS treatment on New Year's Eve. This emerges from dire predictions that will bolster calls for No10 to introduce another draconian lock in 2021.

Health ministry statistics show that on Christmas Eve, 18,227 Covid-infected patients were cared for in hospitals across the country – an increase of 15 percent in one week. Top officials say a highly infectious load that is quickly spreading across the country is to blame.

For comparison: April 12 was the busiest day of the pandemic for hospitals in England, with 18,974 patients occupying beds.

The Health Service Journal, a trade journal for health bosses, has calculated that the number of Covid patients is increasing by around 250 every day, which means that NHS England is well on its way to surpassing the first wave in the next few days and possibly in the next few days Top 20,000 on New Year's Eve & # 39 ;.

Doctors fear the NHS could be “overwhelmed” within days, and frontline doctors in London describe hospitals as war-like. And in chaotic scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of the first wave of Covid, hospitals in England have been asked to vacate every possible bed before the expected surge in patients.

Health bosses today insisted that the health service would "cope" with the surge in patient numbers that will inevitably weaken over the next 14 days as the effects of brutal Tier 4 restrictions materialize.

Tier Two Cumbria is an area that could be in the line of fire. In three of the six districts of the district, the Covid infection rate – the number of new cases per 100,000 people – doubled in the week up to December 22nd.

Health Department statistics show that Eden, home to around 50,000 people, had a rate of 422.5 last week – up from 200.9 in the last seven days. At the beginning of the month it was 41.3.

This means that the district, which also includes Penrith, has had more confirmed Covid cases for the population than several councils that have already been placed under Tier 4, including parts of Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

Allerdale (163.7) and Copeland (64.5) also saw double-sized outbreaks over the same period. However, the latter Cumbrian borough still has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in England.

And Barrow-in-Furness – another part of the county – was one of only 27 areas that saw fewer cases week after week. Outbreaks remained stable or increased in the other 288 counties of England. Infections doubled at 35 authorities in the same period.

Local health bosses fear the rapid growth in cases in parts of the county bordering Scotland is being caused by the same coronavirus mutation that is rapidly spreading in home counties.

No10's top scientists have already admitted they can't control the spread of a highly contagious mutation that spread like wildfire in the south and effectively canceled Christmas for a third of the country.

It comes today when Michael Gove refused to rule out the dire prospect of No10 placing all of England in Tier 4, effectively prohibiting residents from leaving their homes.

The cabinet minister told BBC Breakfast: “We are reviewing what levels parts of the country should be based on scientific evidence.

"The Joint Biosecurity Center (JBC) will make a recommendation to the ministers, but I cannot anticipate that as it obviously has to be a judgment based on the medical situation."

However, he warned that the NHS was under pressure, adding that "these are difficult months ahead".

Mr Gove's comments stem from fears that hospitals in England must have 20,000 coronavirus patients to be treated on New Year's Eve.

Health ministry statistics show that on Christmas Eve, 18,227 Covid-infected patients were cared for in hospitals across the country – an increase of 15 percent in one week. Top officials say the highly infectious load that is rapidly spreading across the country is to blame.

For comparison: April 12 was the busiest day of the pandemic for hospitals in England, with 18,974 patients occupying beds.

The Health Service Journal, a trade journal for health bosses, has calculated that the number of Covid patients is increasing by around 250 daily, which means that NHS England is well on its way to surpassing the first wave in the next few days and possibly in the next few days Top 20,000 on New Year's Eve & # 39 ;.

Doctors fear the NHS could be “overwhelmed” within days, and frontline doctors in London describe hospitals as war-like.

And in chaotic scenes reminiscent of the darkest days of the first wave of Covid, hospitals in England have been asked to vacate every possible bed before the expected surge in patients.

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