The UK is just the seventh country to pass the devastating landmark, following the USA, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Peru
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
UK Covid cases have risen for the first time in five days, with 142,224 testing positive in the last 24 hours.
Tragically, a further 77 lives have been lost to the virus, the Department of Health said this afternoon.
It comes as the UK is just the seventh country to pass the devastating landmark of 150,000 total deaths, following the USA, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia and Peru.
Yesterday a further 97 lives were lost to the virus, the Department of Health said, with 141,472 people testing positive.
Experts warn that although the latest wave appears to have peaked in London, cases are rising across the rest of England.
A week ago the Government confirmed 137,583 cases and 73 deaths, while a month ago, on December 9, 50,867 people tested positive and there were 148 fatalities.
On January 3 – the latest date for which data is available – 2,434 people were admitted to hospital with the virus.
This brings the seven day admission total to 15,812 – a week-on-week increase of more than 50 per cent.
But NHS chiefs have urged caution interpreting the figure, as Covid is not the primary reason for admission in a high proportion of cases.
The number of patients in ventilation beds, 868, is lower than it was in September, before the Omicron variant emerged.
Experts have warned that infections are continuing to rise across England.
Epidemiologist Professor Dame Anne Johnson told Sky News today that there is “big variability” across the country – with cases rising in all parts of the country except the capital.
Although London may have passed its peak, she warned, we are “not seeing that elsewhere”.
So far, 25 NHS trusts have declared critical incidents, with bosses saying services were being overwhelmed by new patients.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said that health services are currently under “huge pressure”.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.