The UK Department of Health reported a further 1,041 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily toll seen in the country since April.
The death toll now stands at 77,346. April 8 was the deadliest day since the start of the pandemic, with 1,072 people dying with COVID-19.
England went into its third lockdown on Wednesday morning, in an effort to curb the spread of a more transmissible strain that was found there in December.
Amid the growing health crisis in his country created by the new variant of coronavirus, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to express his regret over not being able to visit India as planned for the Republic Day on January 26.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the vaccine rollout was the country’s “route back to normal.” More than 1.3 million people have been vaccinated since last month, more than the rest of Europe combined, he estimated.