UK reports record 189,213 COVID cases, 332 deaths

LONDON, Dec 30 (Reuters) - The United Kingdom recorded 189,213 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, a daily record, and 332 deaths, government data showed.

Case numbers were up from the previous record of 183,037 on Wednesday, with infections being driven by the new Omicron variant.

While the government has said Omicron may be more mild it is also more transmissible and surging infections have caused widespread disruption, with train companies cancelling services due to a lack of staff and Premier League soccer matches being called off.

Separate data also showed that the number of hospital beds occupied by confirmed COVID-19 patients in English hospitals rose to 11,452. It has risen by more than 4,000 in the last week.

The data providers said the daily death figures, which at 332 were up strongly from the 57 reported on Wednesday, included a backlog of deaths from the Dec. 24-29 period that had not been recorded properly during the festive period.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler

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