A woman receives a dose of the Moderna vaccine at Babington Hospital in Belper on Thursday. AFP
The latest data takes the total number of infections during the pandemic to nearly 11.1 million, while the UK also registered a further 146 deaths from the virus, taking the death toll to almost 147,000.
England's Chief Medical Officer warned daily hospital admissions could also hit new peaks due to the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant.
The surge in cases was piling pressure on a health service struggling with staff sickness, England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Thursday.
Omicron is so transmissible that even if it proves to be milder than other variants, it could still cause a surge in hospital admissions, Whitty told lawmakers.
The record for the number of people admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is 4,583 set in January.
"It is possible, because this is going to be very concentrated over a short period of time, even if it's milder, you could end up with a higher number than that going into hospital on a single day," he said.
However, he said vaccinations could cut the numbers admitted to intensive care and shorten the time spent in hospital. On Thursday there were 849 admissions.
Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at the UK Health Security Agency, said there were 15 proven cases of Omicron in hospitals, but that the number was likely to be much higher.
Although new cases were at a record high according to official data, Britain did not have mass testing capacity in March 2020 when the pandemic first hit the country, and so the scale of infections at that point is unknown.
A senior emergency doctor said hospitals, particularly in London, were struggling to maintain staffing levels due to the number who are having to isolate with COVID-19.
"Even if we are not seeing a big rise in hospitalisations yet, we are already seeing the effect on not having the staff to run shifts properly and safely," Katherine Henderson, an emergency consultant in London and president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, told BBC Radio.
"Lots of new cases of COVID-19 infections in children are coming in this second wave and the numbers are much, much higher than they were earlier," Dr Krishan Chugh, head of the department of paediatrics at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, said.
At least 115,000 nurses have died from COVID-19, but Catton said this World Health Organisation figure from the start of the pandemic through May was conservative and the true figure is probably twice that.
Just as global sports had rediscovered its brio and the welcome return to full stadia the Omicron coronavirus variant threatens to once again plunge it into chaos.
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