A further 1,325 people have died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday - the highest number reported on a single day since the pandemic began.

It brings the UK total to 79,833.

READ MORE: New variant driving 'massive' surge in major region’s Covid cases - with highest rates in Scotland

The figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 95,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 2,957,472.

The 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus is the highest figure reported by the Government in a single day since the beginning of the pandemic, although daily cases may have been higher in April 2020 when mass testing was not taking place.

HeraldScotland:

It comes as Scotland recorded the highest daily number of coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic, while the number of people being treated for Covid-19 in hospitals has exceeded the April peak.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday that 93 virus-related deaths had been recorded in the past 24 hours – more than the previous daily high of 84.

She also said 1,530 people are currently receiving in-patient care due to Covid-19 – which is 63 more than the figure for Thursday and exceeds the peak of 1,520 recorded in April.

Speaking during the coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: “That really does underline the severity of the pressure that our hospitals are currently facing.”

The death toll under this measure – of people who first tested positive for the virus within the previous 28 days – is now 4,872.

Meanwhile, a further 2,309 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in the past 24 hours.

READ MORE: Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says Police Scotland 'proportionate' as it tops UK Covid fine league

Scottish Government statistics indicate the daily test positivity rate is 8.1%, down from 11.3% on Thursday when 2,649 new positive cases were recorded.

But a senior medical adviser has claimed coronavirus case numbers in January “could have been worse”.

A total of 146,024 people have tested positive in Scotland since the start of the pandemic.

Of the patients in hospital, 102 are in intensive care – up by two on Thursday.

There were a further 692 confirmed cases in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area, with 390 in NHS Lanarkshire and 220 in NHS Lothian.

Earlier on Friday, interim deputy chief medical officer Dr Dave Caesar said restrictions placed on Scots on Boxing Day are working, but compliance needs to remain at a high level to ensure the more transmissible strain of the virus does not spread.

All of mainland Scotland and Skye were placed into Level 4 restrictions from December 26, before a lockdown was enforced earlier this week.

“Our case numbers are high, they’re not as high as they could have been if we hadn’t taken the measures that we undertook from Boxing Day,” Dr Caesar told the BBC.

“Our health system is under serious pressure but is coping.

“I hate to say it, but it could have been worse by this time in January. We’re not out of the woods yet by any stretch of the imagination, but I suppose we’re holding our own in very significantly challenging circumstances.”