A further 40,954 Covid cases and 263 deaths were recorded in the UK on Tuesday, the highest daily Covid toll since 487 lives were claimed on March 3.
The latest figures, released this afternoon by the Department of Health, come as Britain’s death toll for the whole pandemic continues to edge towards the landmark total of 140,000.
Last Tuesday’s stats showed 43,738 new cases and 223 deaths.
Case rises have slowed in recent days and are now up 2.2% on a week ago, a lower figure than was seen recently.
But as hospitalisations lag behind case rises, some 6,730 patients entered UK hospitals with Covid in the last week – up 20.1% on the week before.
The government wants people to get Covid booster shots so that fewer people who have had both jabs will die or need hospital treatment.
At least 6.1 million booster doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been delivered in the UK, new figures show.