Hospital deaths in the UK are up by 819 (Image: Getty Images)
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A further 819 people have died from coronavirus at hospitals in the UK in the last 24 hours as the figures remain alarmingly high.
The NHS has today announced 661 new fatalities in England, 78 in Scotland, 63 in Wales and 17 in Northern Ireland.
Today's increase is the biggest Thursday rise since April 16 – when 870 fatalities were announced.
Of the latest deaths, London was the hardest-hit area, with 164 patients dying.
The south-east came second with 129 fatalities, compared to 101 in the east of England, 97 in the Midlands, 79 in the north-east and Yorkshire, 49 in the north-west and 42 in the south-west.
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The patients who passed away in England were aged between 33 and 103.
It comes as droves of people scrambled to get their coronavirus jabs this morning as the country launched a mass rollout of the much-anticipated vaccine.
A mass inoculation of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine began today as hospitals across the country face rising numbers of seriously ill patients.
The vaccines are being delivered to sites all over the UK after the Government committed to offering the vaccine to more than 13 million people in the top four priority groups by mid-February.
Hospitals in London are on the brink of being overwhelmed
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NHS trusts in London are on the verge of being overwhelmed, according to leaked health service documents, while other trusts are rapidly turning normal wards into intensive care units (ICUs).
There have also been reports that dozens of people have failed to turn up for their jab slots for the Pfizer vaccine.
In Brighton, pictures this morning showed large queues as lines of people waited to get access to the new jab, seen as a 'game-changer' in the fight against the disease and offering a return to normality.
Harold Millington, 91, of Chaddesden, Derby, became the first person to be vaccinated at Derby Arena as people came in their droves to get inoculated.
Recent figures showed that there were 30,451 people in UK hospitals with coronavirus, much higher than the April 12 peak of 21,684.
Rupert Pearse, professor of intensive care medicine and a consultant at the Royal London, said his own ICU staff were having to care for far more sick patients as he urged the public to heed the 'stay at home' lockdown message.