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The UK’s coronavirus death toll has surged by 448 patines in the last 24 hours, making it the deadliest Sunday since May.
Public Health England reported a further 386 people died in hospital overnight as a new mutant Corvid strain continues to spread across the country.
Northern Ireland reported a further 6 deaths while Public health Wales confirmed another 56 fatalities.
Scotland has not yet reported its latest death toll, but did say a further 2,464 people tested positive for Covid.
The stark rise makes Sunday Jan 3 the deadliest rise since May 3, when 358 deaths were recorded.
Much of the UK is under strict Covid-fighting restrictions as hospitals around the country struggle under immense pressure.
Hospitals in the south-east are reportedly "completely overwhelmed," with 135 deaths recorded in Kent medical facilities alone.
Further data for Kent and Medway shows there are 114 patients in critical care and although some beds have been opened up in other areas, the situation is at civic point.
A critical care technician said: "The wards are full of Covid and we are running out of oxygen flow and having to make hard decisions on who gets life-saving, non-invasive or invasive ventilation.
"We could admit more people to intensive care but we just don't have the beds available.
"The wards are also busy and we have staff off sick so we cannot get extra staff just to help. Kent is completely overwhelmed."
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