The UK has recorded 1,162 more Covid-related deaths in the space of 24 hours, while 52,618 more people have tested positive for coronavirus.
It is the second largest single-day increase in recorded deaths during the course of the pandemic. Only April 21, with 1,224 deaths, saw more.
The UK total is now 78,508. That figure refers to people who have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test. Here’s a quick primer on how to make sense of the daily updates.
Meanwhile, government figures show 2,821 patients in ventilation beds with Covid as of Wednesday, more than 30,000 in UK hospitals, and nearly 1.3m vaccinated.
The UK is on day three of its third national lockdown – which health secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday would be the nation’s last in its fight against Covid, as the race to vaccinate the population continues.
But Britain’s problems distributing the vaccine – a GP surgery visited by Hancock on Thursday morning had its delivery delayed unexpectedly, while care homes told HuffPost UK this week they did not even know when they would be getting it – have matched similar hitches elsewhere in Europe, meaning the path to vaccinating the 30m people in the nine most at risk groups may be less than smooth.