UK records worst day of Covid deaths with 1,564 lives lost
The UK has recorded its worst day since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 1,500 people reported to have died in the past 24 hours.
The Prime minister has warned that there is still a very substantial risk of intensive care units in hospitals being overwhelmed.
The effect of more household mixing during the Christmas period is still working its way through the NHS, with the number of hospital admissions and deaths likely to remain high over the next few weeks.
Boris Johnson has said it's "far too early" to say when the lockdown in England can be relaxed. However the Prime Minister - who was appearing in front of a committee of senior backbench MPs - said lockdown measures "are starting to show signs of some effect."
Meanwhile the British Medical Association has warned that healthcare staff are still not all being given the best PPE protective equipment.
Sophie Raworth presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Fergal Keane, health editor Hugh Pym, science editor David Shukman and political editor Laura Kuenssberg.
Another 1,564 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the UK - the highest daily figure since the pandemic began following the late addition of some data going as far back as May.
The previous highest increase was 1,325, which was reported on 8 January. President-elect Joe Biden speaks on the Coronavirus pandemic. Some 1,610 people have died within 28 days of a positive COVID test - the highest since the pandemic began.
The number is steeply up from the 599 deaths reported on Monday - there is often a lag in reporting new deaths after the weekend.
A total of 237,524 have been given in London.
Follow us on Germany has had a dramatic spike in new cases over the past day. The country has hit a new high of nearly 30-Thousand cases. And nearly 600 people have died - the highest daily total yet. Weeks of partial lockdown haven't slowed the spread of infection enough. Much tougher restrictions seem almost inevitable now -- with political momentum building for a harder lockdown over the holidays.
The US appears on the verge of approving the country's first coronavirus vaccine. An expert panel of scientists and doctors have reviewed information on the shot, and are recommending emergency use of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. Their endorsement paves the way for the country's Food and Drug Adminstration to issue the necessary final approval. Once that happens, the first shots could be given within days. Regulators in Britain and Canada have already approved the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine for use in their countries.
Indonesia received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from China this week as the government prepares for a mass inoculation program. The vaccine, developed by Sinovac Biotech, will be evaluated by the Indonesian Food and Drug Authority for emergency use. Indonesian clerics are also expected to issue a halal certification for the experimental drug. President Joko Widodo says these are only the first steps, and more doses are on the way.
An experimental vaccine developed by French drugmaker Sanofi and Britain's GlaxoSmithKline has shown an insufficient immune response in clinical trials. The companies hope to come up with a more effective drug by the end of 2021.
Australia has cancelled the production of its own COVID-19 vaccine -- after some trial participants returned false positive results for HIV. The government said it would order other vaccines to make up the shortfall.
And researchers say the global response to the pandemic has driven a record 7-percent drop in annual CO2 emissions. The UN says they'd have to continue to decline at that rate for the next decade to reach international climate goals.