A further 1,610 coronavirus deaths were reported in the UK on Tuesday, the highest daily figure since the pandemic began.
It brings the total number people who have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 to 91,470, although analysis by the UK’s statistics agencies suggest the true death toll is closer to 108,00.
After the latest figures were released, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth tweeted: “Awful. Horrific. Devastating. And it didn’t have to be like this.”â¨
It is the seventh time since January 8 that the UK has recorded a record daily death, toll as the more infectious strain of the virus rips across the country and threatens to overwhelm health services.
However, in a sign that the third nation lockdown is working to contain the outbreak, the number of new infections reported on Tuesday — 33,355 — represented a 26.7 per cent drop on the same time time last week.
Earlier the Standard reported that infection rates had started falling in every London borough, raising hopes that the capital’s devastating third wave had plateaued.
But Nigel Marriott, a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society, has warned of a five-week lag between case numbers and deaths, meaning the figures could get much worse before they get better.
This week it was reported that Britain currently has the worst daily coronavirus death rate in the world.
The figures, collated by an Oxford University research platform, showed an average of 935 daily deaths over the last week was the equivalent of more than 16 people in every million dying each day with Covid.
The research platform Our World in Data shows no other country currently has a higher death rate per capita.
The UK overtook the Czech Republic, which had the highest death rate since January 11 at 16.3, after publishing its latest death figures on Sunday night, when there were 671.
On Tuesday Public Health England also said a total of 4,266,577 people in the UK have received the first dose of a vaccine, a rise of 204,076 on Monday’s figures.