UK records 62,322 new Covid cases - highest daily rise ever - and 1,041 more deaths

6 January 2021, 16:18 | Updated: 6 January 2021, 17:34

People make their way past a Government coronavirus Tier 4 sign saying 'Stay at Home' on the High street in Winchester
People make their way past a Government coronavirus Tier 4 sign saying 'Stay at Home' on the High street in Winchester. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The UK has recorded 62,322 new Covid cases - the highest daily total since the pandemic began - and 1,041 more deaths.

The number of deaths is the highest since April 21, at the peak of the first wave of coronavirus.

Today's numbers are up on yesterday's increase of 60,916 cases, which had also been a record increase, and 830 deaths.

The total number of cases in the UK is now 2,836,801.

Read more: Boris Johnson: UK in final 'sprint' to defeat coronavirus

The Government's death figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.

After the latest death figures were released, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: "This is a tragedy. It's not bad luck. It was not inevitable.

"The Government has been too slow to react. We now need a national effort to get our country vaccinated."

The new figures came after it was revealed that more than one million people in England are currently infected with Covid-19.

Quoting figures published on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics during a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister said "there will still be long weeks ahead" as he showed the grim statistics.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 310 (98%) have seen a rise in case rates.

The Prime Minister told the public that an estimated 1.1 million people in private households in England had Covid-19 between 27 December and 2 January.

This is the equivalent of around 2.06% of the population, or one in 50 people.

It represents a rise from 800,900 people, or one in 70, who were estimated to have Covid-19 in the period 17 to 23 December.