A further 839 coronavirus patients have died in UK hospitals over the last 24 hours.
There have been 747 deaths in England, 54 in Scotland, 22 in Northern Ireland and 16 in Wales.
The 839 fatalities is up by more than a third on last Tuesday, when 628 deaths were announced.
London suffered the most hospital deaths according to the latest figures, with 149 patients dying.
The East of England came second with 123 fatalities, followed by the Midlands with 118 deaths, the south-east with 110 and the north-east and Yorkshire with 108.
The north-west announced 97 deaths, compared with 42 in the south-west.
It comes as NHS staff struggle to cope with the surge in Covid-19 hospital admissions amid pleas from politicians for the public to follow the rules.
There are 32,294 people in hospital with coronavirus – the highest level ever and a 22 per cent rise in just a week.
However, hopes are growing that the worst of the peak is over as the 46,169 cases recorded yesterday was the lowest figure in two weeks.
Despite this, Health Secretary Matt Hancock yesterday warned the UK is at the ‘worst point’ of the pandemic – and refused to rule out further restrictions.
NHS England Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis added: “We are not going to see reductions in admissions until February.”
England’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty previously warned some hospitals are facing the ‘most dangerous situation anyone can remember’.
He said: “If the virus continues on this trajectory, hospitals will be in real difficulties, and soon.
“Staff-to-patient ratios – already stretched – will become unacceptable even in intensive care.”
The professor warned that “avoidable deaths” are inevitable unless people start obeying the lockdown.
He predicted emergency patients will be turned away from hospitals, resulting in unnecessary fatalities, if Covid admissions continue to rise.
The Chief Medical Officer argued that people who break the rules by meeting others are a ‘link in a chain’ that puts the most vulnerable at risk.
Professor Whitty added that if admissions continue to rise hospitals will run out of room and staff will be swamped with an ‘unacceptable’ number of patients.