LONDON

British health authorities reported 964 new fatalities from the novel coronavirus and a record 55,892 new infections on Thursday.

The total death toll reached 73,512 in the country, where more than 50,000 daily cases have been seen for the past few days.

The number of those tested positive in the past week has risen by 24.3% to 299,352 with the latest numbers. The daily average of new cases has been over 40,000.

Positive cases reported has been rising since last week, especially after the reports of at least two new variants as the first new variant is said to be spreading 70% faster than the original virus.

The staggering numbers came on the last day of the year amid reports of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine approval by the local regulator earlier in the week.

The UK’s highest single-day rise of cases came as 20 million more people have been placed under strictest Tier 4.

British public has been urged to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home as house mixing under Tier 4 is restricted.

In a statement, London Metropolitan Police also warned travelers against holding illegal parties on Thursday night.

The UK has the worst death toll across Europe.

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