According to data from the UK Government website published on Saturday, more than 150,000 people have now died within 28 days of a positive Covid test since the pandemic began in early 2020.

The total number of deaths in the UK has been recorded at 150,057.

Only six other countries have reported more than 150,000: the US, Brazil, India, Russia, Mexico and Peru.

The Omicron variant has driven a surge in infection rates with a total of 1,271 deaths recorded within 28 days of a positive test in the last seven days – an increase of almost 40%.

Staff absences from UK hospital has not helped the situation and increasing pressure is beginning to mount ince again on the NHS.

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said that England will be able to “ride out” this new wave of infections but has admitted that parts of the NHS will be “overwhelmed”. Furthermore, UK health experts from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) have said that it is too early to roll out a fourth jab.

Related: UK Experts: Fourth Covid jab not yet needed

England currently has resrictions in place which include mandatory face maskes in most public indoor spaces and the requirement to show a Covid passport for entry to some of the larger venues. Advice has also been given to work from home wherever possible.