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Another 1,162 coronavirus related deaths, and a further 52,618 new cases, have been reported in the UK today.
It is the second highest daily increase reported in government figures and brings the total to a grim 77,346.
The number of deaths is up on yesterday, when 1,041 people were reported to have died – and is the highest daily figure since April 21.
It is the tenth time that the daily death increase has surpassed 1,000 – coming as GP's finally get set to start rolling out the vital vaccine.
The Government has promised to vaccinate 13 million vulnerable Brits by the middle of February. GP surgeries in England have now started administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab as the rollout takes shape.
Boris Johnson plunged England into a new lockdown as cases across the UK spiralled, with a mutant strain of the virus ripping through cities.
It has been estimated that somewhere in the region of one in 50 people in England have the virus, as some London NHS trusts warned that they face being overwhelmed within weeks.
What time is Boris Johnson's press conference today – and what might he say?
In the capital, it is reported that one in two patients are now being treated for coronavirus.
Menwhile, police have put emergency service teams – including officers, paramedics and fire crews – in place to remove bodies of people who die of Covid at home as forecasters predict deaths could soon average 1,000 a day in the UK.
The Pandemic Multi-agency Response Teams will travel to houses, care homes and hospices where people are believed to have died from coronavirus.
The measures are designed to ease demand on ambulance services.
Boris Johnson is set to lead a press conference this afternoon where it is reported he will unveil a military-led plan for deploying the coronavirus vaccine.
Ministry of Defence chiefs have reportedly been told to come up with plans to ensure the Government can vaccinate those most at risk by mid-February.
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