The data from the UK’s national statisticians show there have been nearly 104,000 deaths since the pandemic began, the highest in Europe.

The figures, which go up to 15 January, are based on death certificates. The government’s daily figures rely on positive tests and are slightly lower.

It comes after a surge of cases in December, leaving the UK with one of the highest Covid death rates globally.

The Office for National Statistics and its counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland registered 7,776 deaths involving Covid in the most recent week.

Brazil Vaccine Rollout Stalls from Syringe Shortage

Brazil began its national vaccination programme a week ago, but there are already reports of serious problems in the roll-out.

Scientists say the country is close to running out of vaccine, syringes and other vital equipment, and they blame Jair Bolsonaro’s government for the shortcomings.

With a population of 212 million and sprawling geography including some extremely remote communities, Brazil has a mammoth task ahead.

Critics say the government is failing in the vaccine roll-out – the vice-president of the Brazilian Society for Immunology Isabella Ballalai blamed the “incompetency” of the health ministry.

There are also complaints of people being vaccinated out of turn.

Brazil currently has about six million doses of Chinese vaccine SinoVac, as well as two million of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

More than 215,000 people have died in Brazil from Covid-19, with about 1,000 fatalities a day during this current wave of infections.