UK reports record 53,000 daily Covid cases

Warnings that medical staff are at breaking point amid equipment shortages

Britain reported a record new 53,135 Covid-19 infections on Tuesday as experts said there are now more patients in England's hospitals with the virus than during the previous peak in April.

While a new strain of the coronavirus has led to a surge in cases in the UK, testing has also increased since the first wave in the spring.

The government will update Parliament on Wednesday afternoon on any new restrictions to be brought in.

More than 24 million people are already under orders to stay at home.

More than 2.38 million people have now tested positive, while on Tuesday another 414 deaths were recorded within 28 days of a positive test.

That takes the UK's death toll to 71,567.

National Health Service figures show more than 20,000 people are in hospital, compared to 18,974 on April 12.

Samantha Batt-Rawden, a critical-care doctor and president of the Doctors Association UK, said staff were at "breaking point" with equipment shortages.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: "Many of us have lost family, friends, colleagues and – at a time of year when we would normally be celebrating – a lot of people are understandably feeling anxious, frustrated and tired.

"And now again we are back in the eye of the storm with a second wave of coronavirus sweeping Europe and, indeed, this country."