By Becky MortonBBC News
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption, A memorial wall near St Thomas’ Hospital in London remembers those who have died with Covid
More than 150,000 people in the UK have now died within 28 days of a positive Covid test since the pandemic began.
A further 313 deaths were reported in the government’s daily figures on Saturday, taking the total to 150,057.
The UK is the seventh country to pass 150,000 reported deaths, after the US, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.
Some 146,390 new cases have also been recorded in the UK, with the more transmissible Omicron variant driving a surge in infections.
The number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test has also begun to rise, with the total of 1,271 in the past seven days up 38.3% on the previous week.
The impact of vaccinations means Covid hospital admissions and deaths are not rising as quickly as during previous waves.
However, hospitals remain under pressure due to rising admissions and Covid-related staff absences.
Official figures count coronavirus deaths in different ways.
The Office for National Statistics records the number of deaths where Covid-19 is mentioned as a cause on the death certificate, even if the person had not been tested for the virus, with a total of 173,248 deaths recorded up to 24 December.
In January 2021, the UK was the first European nation and fifth country to pass 100,000 Covid deaths.