The UK coronavirus death toll has risen by 1,200 in the last 24 hours with a further 23,275 cases despite numbers falling from last weekend.
The death toll and number of cases are down from last Saturday when 1,348 people died and a further 33,552 infections were recorded.
The news comes as a further 865 more people lost their lives to the disease in UK hospitals, with the grim tally rising by 1,058 the day before that.
The record daily increase for hospital deaths is 1,185, which was set on January 20.
Cases are now falling which is a sign that the country is heading in the right direction in terms of its pandemic response.
Government data up to January 29 shows of the 8,859,372 jabs given in the UK so far, 8,378,940 were first doses – a rise of 487,756 on the previous day’s figures.
Rhondda Cynon Taf in South Wales has been named as the UK’s deadliest county for coronavirus deaths.
Its Coronavirus death rate of 283 per 100,000 people is twice the national average – making it the most Covid-deadly place in Britain.
Labour MP for Rhondda Chris Bryant believes the county’s heartbreaking poverty and years of neglect are a root cause of the soaring death toll.
He said: “Look at towns like Ferndale, Maerdy and Tylorstown which have the highest levels of deprivation and have had the highest levels of death.
“I’m absolutely certain that the two are linked because with deprivation comes poor health – heart disease, diabetes, pulmonary disease – historically from the mines or from smoking – obesity, poor diet. All those things.”
Every person knows someone who has caught coronavirus, and all too many have lost loved ones.
A top scientist has warned that life will not return to normal for another three or four years.
The health expert warned that life cannot go back to something resembling normality until the vaccine is distributed across the world.
While some countries, such as the UK and Israel, have made significant strides when it comes to vaccinating their populations, others are a long way off receiving shipments of jabs.
“At the moment, the data is showing it’s going to be 2023/24 before the global vaccines are distributed to everybody,” Dr Wenham told Sky News.
“That’s a long time. And distributing some now might be able to get us back to normal life sooner.”
Even if the vaccination drive is as successful as possible in the UK and the population is protected, border controls will remain in place to avoid variants being brought in from other countries.
“This pandemic isn’t going to be over until it’s over globally,” Dr Wenham added.
The assistant professor said there was a “real imperative” to make sure that all populations had access to coronavirus vaccines.
This weekend the World Health Organisation urged the UK to pause its vaccination programme once vulnerable groups have received their jabs to help ensure the global rollout is fair.