England reports 162,572 new COVID-19 cases, another record

The daily
update also showed 154 new deaths from the virus in England within 28 days of a
positive test, down from 178 on Friday.

The data
normally also includes Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but did not on
Saturday because of differences in reporting schedules over the New Year

The daily
number of confirmed infections across the United Kingdom repeatedly broke records
in December as the omicron variant spread rapidly. However, hospitalisations
and deaths have remained at lower levels than during previous waves.

Wales and Northern Ireland have all introduced restrictions such as nightclub
closures, social distancing rules in pubs and limits on the number of people
allowed to gather.

But England,
which accounts for more than 80 percent of the UK population, has not brought
in any restrictions. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said any new curbs would only
be introduced as an “absolute last resort”.

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