UK

The UK has reported a record 183,037 new COVID cases in the latest daily figures.

The number includes five days of infection data from Northern Ireland – 22,972 cases – due to a lag in reporting over Christmas.

Of the 183,037 total figure, 138,287 cases were in England (yesterday it was 117,093), 15,849 were in Scotland (yesterday it was 9,360), and 5,929 were in Wales (yesterday it was 12,378).

It is the first time since 24 December that all four UK nations have released daily case numbers.

A further 57 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

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The figures compare with a previous daily high of 129,471 cases and 18 COVID-related deaths reported yesterday, while 109,655 cases and 140 deaths were recorded this time last week.

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More than 90% of cases in England and approximately 80% of cases in Scotland are now the Omicron variant, it’s also been revealed.

It comes as another 1,213 people with COVID were hospitalised in the UK on 21 December (the most recent figure for daily data), taking the total number in hospital to 8,246, said the government’s daily dashboard.

The latest NHS data suggests 71% of COVID patients in hospitals in England on 21 December were primarily being treated for the virus.

The remaining 29% were there “with COVID”, suggesting they tested positive on arrival for another ailment or tested positive during their stay.

Some medics are calling this latter group incidental COVID patients.

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