The UK has recorded almost 25,000 new coronavirus cases overnight as the death toll rose by more than 300.
The Government said another 24,701 infections had been confirmed across the country over the past 24 hours.
This brings the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 942,275.
Meanwhile another 310 Covid-19 deaths were recorded, bringing the official death toll to 45,675.
However, separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show more than 61,000 deaths have so far been registered across the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
Today’s number of fatalities marks a 28 per cent increase on the same time last week.
Wales’s First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was “deeply saddened” after the country reported its highest death count for more than half a year.
He tweeted: “I am deeply saddened the number of coronavirus deaths in Wales reported over the past 24 hours is 37 – the highest number in more than 6 months.
“My thoughts are with the families and friends who are mourning the loss of a loved one.”
Earlier in the day, health authorities said a further 248 deaths had been confirmed in British hospitals.
Of these, 174 were recorded in England, 28 in Scotland, and nine in Northern Ireland.
The latest figures come amid fears the second Covid-19 wave could be more deadly than the first.
A projection by Government scientists suggests the toll could remain high throughout the winter and result in more fatalities than in the spring.
Meanwhile the Government’s former chief scientific adviser has warned that some 25,000 people could be in hospital with the virus by the end of next month if cases continue to rise.
Professor Sir Mark Walport suggested the death toll will continue to increase as there are “still very many people that are vulnerable” and relatively few people have had the virus.
And Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling prompted the UK-wide lockdown in March, said restrictions in Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas of England are “unlikely to cause daily cases and deaths to fall rapidly”.
He said modelling suggests this could leave the country with “high levels” of Covid cases, demand on health care and deaths “until spring 2021”.