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UK COVID-19 cases rise by 53,285 with 613 more deaths recorded

Written by on 1 January 2021

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has risen by 53,285, with 613 more deaths recorded.

The figures are down on those announced on New Year’s Eve, when the UK recorded 55,892 coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours – the highest figure on record – and 964 deaths were confirmed.

It brings the total number of UK cases so far to 2,542,065 and the total number of deaths with 28 days of a positive test to 74,125.

Live COVID-19 updates from the UK and around the world

Nightingale hospitals across England are being readied for use but the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned that the expectation of a mass rollout of staff for the venues is “misplaced”.

Mike Adams, the RCN’s England director, told Sky News: “If we are having to cancel leave to staff these areas, the obvious question is where will the staff come from to open the Nightingales?”

“I have real concerns that the expectation that this mass rollout in capacity can happen is misplaced because there aren’t the staff to do it.”

More from Covid-19

Meanwhile, the UK’s chief medical officers have warned that vaccine shortages are likely to cause problems for “several months”.

More than a million people have now received their first coronavirus vaccination in the UK.

However a joint statement from England’s Professor Chris Whitty and the chief medical officers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said the public would “understand” and “thank” them for a plan to give first jabs as a priority, delaying the follow-up vaccination for others.

The deployment of the newly approved Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will begin on Monday, almost a month after the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, but second doses of either will now take place within 12 weeks rather than 21 days as initially planned.