58,784 new UK coronavirus cases – highest daily total since pandemic started
Written by on 4 January 2021
The UK has recorded 58,784 new coronavirus cases – the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic.
It is the seventh day in a row that there have been more than 50,000 daily cases.
Some 2,713,563 people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in the UK.
Government figures also show there have been 407 more deaths in the past 24 hours.
It takes the total number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive COVID test in the UK to 75,431 – though figures are sometimes lower after the weekend due to delays in reporting.
The new figures do not represent results from the whole UK due to data on deaths not being reported by Scotland on Monday.
The latest numbers compare to the 54,990 coronavirus infections and 454 deaths recorded on Sunday.
On Monday last week, the UK reported 41,385 positive tests – the first time the daily number of cases reported in the UK topped 40,000 – and 357 deaths, though these figures may also have been affected by a delay in reporting over Christmas.
The prime minister said earlier today that tougher measures were coming in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus, with an announcement due at 8pm.
Boris Johnson warned there were “tough, tough” weeks ahead in the UK’s fight against COVID-19.
He added: “If you look at the numbers, there’s no question we will have to take tougher measures and we will be announcing those in due course.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said on Sunday that the government must impose a national lockdown within 24 hours because COVID-19 is “clearly out of control”.
The latest figures available show there has been a 33% rise in the number of patients with coronavirus in hospitals in England between Christmas Day and 2 January.
Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described the COVID situation as “extremely serious” and announced Scotland would be placed in full lockdown for January.
Monday brought some positive news as 82-year-old Brian Pinker became the first person in the world to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since it was approved for use in the UK last month.
Some 53,000 doses of the Oxford University jab are initially being rolled out at six hospital trusts in Oxford, Sussex, Lancashire, Warwickshire, and two in London.
It is the second COVID vaccine to be rolled out in the UK following the Pfizer/BioNTech.
Most of the Oxford vaccine supplies will be sent to more than 700 GP-led services and care homes.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News it was a “big British success story, starting today”.
But he said that fighting the virus was “a massive national effort”.