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Covid-19: Further 1,295 deaths recorded in the UK

A further 1,295 deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test have been reported in the UK, the third-highest daily total since the pandemic began.

It brings the total number of deaths by this measure to 88,590.

There have also been a further 41,346 lab-confirmed cases, and 4,262 more people have been admitted to hospital.

On Friday, England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said he feared the “peak of the deaths” was yet to come.

The latest figures come ahead of Monday’s change in travel rules for the UK, with all arrivals having to quarantine amid fears over new strains.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the changes at a Downing Street news conference on Friday, saying they would “protect against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains” of Covid.

While daily figures can fluctuate due to delays in reporting, the seven-day average of Covid deaths in the UK has now risen slightly to 1,103.

For cases, however, there has been a drop in the seven-day average, with the figure now at 48,565.

There are now 37,475 people in hospital with the virus, government figures show, while a further 324,233 people have received their first vaccine dose.

The government has promised all the over-70s, the extremely clinically vulnerable and front-line health and care workers – about 15 million people – will be offered a jab by mid February.

Currently, just over 3.5 million doses have been administered.

On Friday, Prof Whitty said the number of patients being admitted to hospital with coronavirus is set to peak within the next 10 days.

And he added that he hoped the peak in infections had already happened in the South East, East and London, where there was a surge in the new, more transmissible variant.

“The peak of deaths I fear is in the future, the peak of hospitalisations in some parts of the country may be around about now and beginning to come off the very, very top,” he said at a Downing Street briefing.

“Because people are sticking so well to the guidelines we do think the peaks are coming over the next week to 10 days for most places in terms of new people into hospital.”

However, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance stressed it was a “suppressed peak” that would “boil over for sure” if controls were eased.

He said: “This is not the natural peak that’s going to come down on its own, it’s coming down because of the measures that are in place.

“Take the lid off now and it’s going to boil over for sure and we’re going to end up with a big problem.”

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