UK records another 45,533 coronavirus cases, 1,243 deaths


LONDON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Another 45,533 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 3,164,051, according to official figures released Tuesday.

Another 1,243 people have died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 83,203, the data showed.

It is the second highest daily total of deaths since the pandemic broke out in the country. The highest daily coronavirus-related death toll was posted with 1,325 on Friday.

The latest figures were revealed as surging coronavirus infections are threatening to overwhelm hospitals.

British Home Secretary Priti Patel told a virtual coronavirus briefing at Downing Street on Tuesday that 35,075 people were currently in hospital with COVID-19, an increase of 22 percent when compared with a week ago.

Patel urged the public to stick with the restriction rules during the current lockdown, saying that she will back police who enforce England's coronavirus lockdown

Meanwhile, Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council, told the press briefing that a "stubborn number" of people are still refusing to follow the rules during the ongoing lockdown in England.

"Organizing parties or other large gatherings is dangerous, selfish and totally irresponsible in light of the current threat we face," he said.

British police chiefs are under increasing pressure to enforce the lockdown laws to curb the rising coronavirus infections in the country, local media reported Tuesday.

Chris Hopson, the chief of NHS Providers, which represents all National Health Service (NHS) trusts, has warned peak demand on hospitals has yet to come and might not hit until next month.

It was now "pretty clear" the coronavirus infection rate "is not going to go down as quickly as it did" during the first lockdown last spring, he said.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the pandemic began in the country.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

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