The UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll has increased by 789 – the highest death toll recorded on a Saturday since May.
The total number of hospital deaths now stands at 65,399.
This number is a huge leap from recent Saturdays as 479 were recorded on January 2, 196 on December 26, 432 on December 19, 393 on December 12 and on December 5 there were 368 deaths, the Mirror report.
On Friday – exactly two weeks from Christmas Day – the UK saw its highest ever death toll in all settings since the pandemic began with a record 1,325.
That is 101 deaths higher than the previous highest daily nationwide toll of 1,224 on April 21, during the peak of the first lockdown.
NHS England said 625 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 55,072,
The deaths were between November 15 and January 8.
There were 41 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
Public Health Wales reported another 62 deaths, taking the total in Wales since the start of the pandemic to 3,919.
Scotland has recorded 93 more deaths from coronavirus, equalling the record set on Friday, according to official figures.
The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 4,965.
Northern Ireland reported nine fatalities to bring Britain’s hospital toll to 789.
Doctors have warned that pressure on the NHS could get worse in the coming weeks, as figures for cases, hospital admissions and deaths hit record highs.
The Government has doubled down on its “stay at home” message by launching a new advert, fronted by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, urging everyone in England to “act like you’ve got” coronavirus.
Scientists advising the Government estimate there are currently more than 100,000 new infections per day and possibly higher than 150,000 which they believe puts the current number of daily cases at a higher level than ever during the pandemic.
They believe the current lockdown may lead to a plateau of cases of coronavirus across the UK rather than the dramatic cut seen following the March and April lockdown.
Government death figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 95,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England stood at a record 29,346 as of 8am on Friday, up by 30% from a week ago, while admissions also hit a new high, according to NHS England figures.
Things are likely to get worse before they get better for the health service, according to Dr Simon Walsh, deputy chair of the British Medical Association’s consultants committee.
The London-based emergency care doctor said the epidemiology from the previous wave indicates the situation is likely to worsen over the next two to three weeks.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I’m afraid all of us who are working on the front line believe, and this is based on the evidence I’m afraid, that it is going to get worse before it gets better.”
Dr Justin Varney, director of public health at Birmingham City Council, said hospitals had still not seen the full extent of patients who caught coronavirus over Christmas.
The former GP told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “We still haven’t seen the impact in the NHS of the rapid rise that we saw around December 28-29 after the Christmas bubble and after we started to see the new variant arriving in the region.
“It is going to get a lot, lot worse unless we really get this under control but some of that is already baked into the system and it is going to play out over the next week or two.”