London, Jan 17: The UK’s daily increase of coronavirus infections dropped to its lowest level since December 27, 2020 but the country recorded the third highest single-day fatalities due to the disease since the pandemic began, according to official figures.

In the last 24 hours, another 41,346 people in the country tested positive for COVID-19, down from 55,761 a day ago, increasing the overall infection tally to 3,367,053, Xinhua news agency reported.

At least 1,295 infected persons died within 28 days of a positive test, the third highest single-day death toll.

The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the UK now stands at 88,747, the data showed. On January 13, the UK reported 1,564 deaths, the highest single-day spike since the onset og the pandemic. The latest figures were revealed as doctors warned that coronavirus patients were now younger and sicker than in the first wave last year.

“It’s relentless, the admissions come fast,” John de Vos, the leading COVID-19 consultant at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, told Sky News on Saturday.

“They are sicker now, sicker than the first wave. Sicker and younger... We are seeing some tragic situations. We are seeing patients who had gatherings over Christmas and New Year, which were allowed, but we are now seeing the after-effects of that and it brings a lot of guilt and emotion with it,” he added.

England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country.

Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. – IANS