MORE than 1,000 people have died with the coronavirus in the UK in just 24 hours – the highest daily death toll since April.
And a total of 62,322 new cases were recorded, the highest daily rise since mass testing began.
The new figures came as MPs debated England’s new lockdown measures in the House of Commons this afternoon.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said without the lockdown doctors could be forced to ration treatment.
There are currently 30,074 Covid patients in UK hospitals, he said, while the number of those who died within 28 days of a positive test in the past week is 37% higher than the previous seven days.
Mr Hancock told MPs the consequences of inaction could be similar to scenes elsewhere in the world – of overrun hospitals and doctors choosing “who to treat and who to turn away”.
He added: “If we don’t act now, we know that eventually the NHS would not be able to cope.
“West Midlands Ambulance Service experienced its busiest-ever day on Monday, handling 5,383 emergency calls due to a combination of Covid-19 pressures and winter weather.”
All of the UK is now under strict virus curbs, with Wales, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland also in lockdown.
While England’s lockdown became law at midnight, MPs will vote this evening on the restrictions after Parliament was recalled.