The Covid pandemic has now resulted in more than 200,000 deaths, figures show.

The latest data on daily deaths with Covid on the death certificate, published on Wednesday, showed that 200,247 deaths had been recorded in the UK as of 1 July.

The lag in reporting is because the data is based on death registrations, meaning the number will now be higher.

Last year, the UK became the first country in Europe to surpass 100,000 deaths from Covid, in January.

This comes as ONS data shows that one in 19 people had Covid in the UK last week, with the virus spike set to coincide with an extreme heatwave.

In all, 3.5 million people were estimated to have been Covid positive last week in the UK – 5.2% of the population.

Currently, 14,816 people are hospitalised with Covid, including 175 in ventilation beds. This compares to over 38,000 patients who were in hospital at the January infections spike.

The ONS said the rise in cases is being driven by the BA.5 and BA.4 versions of the Omicron Covid strain, accounting for around 70% and 20% of cases respectively.

The latest Covid surge has pushed the NHS in some parts of England to reintroduce face masks in GP practices, for staff and patients.

MPs have called for NHS England to launch a new campaign to boost Covid vaccine uptake among nearly three million unvaccinated patients, with a target to reduce this to 2.5 million,

The Public Accounts Committee, which holds Government to account on spending and efficiency, said NHS England and its local partners should focus especially on vulnerable risk groups where uptake has been low.

This should include pregnant women, of which only 58% had two doses by February; and people of Black, Black British and Pakistani origin, who were less than half as likely as White British people to have had a booster vaccination, they said.

Previously published in The Pharmacist's sister title Pulse.