London, Jan 1 : Another 55,892 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, marking the highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in the country, according to official figures released on Thursday.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the country now stands at 2,488,780, the data showed.
It is the third day in a row when more than 50,000 cases were reported in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
Another 964 have died within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain to 73,512, the data showed.
On Thursday, emergency field hospitals known as Nightingale hospitals across England are being "readied" for use if needed.
Apart from the hospital at London's Excel center site, other Nightingale hospital sites across England include Manchester, Bristol, Sunderland, Harrogate, Exeter and Birmingham.
A spokesman for the British National Health Service (NHS) said hospitals in London were coming under significant pressure from high COVID-19 infection rates.
"The NHS in London is opening more beds in NHS hospitals across the capital to care for the most unwell patients.
It is crucial that people do everything they can to reduce transmission of the virus," the spokesman said.
"In anticipation of pressures rising from the spread of the new variant infection, NHS London was asked to ensure the London Nightingale was reactivated and ready to admit patients as needed, and that process is underway," he said.
Under the new government measures, an additional 20 million people were put into Tier Four from Thursday, meaning a total of 44 million people will now be in Tier Four, or 78 percent of the population of England.
London and many other parts of England have already been under the highest Tier Four restrictions, which require residents in the areas to stay at home, with limited exemptions.
People are also urged to work from home when they can, and should not enter or leave those areas.
The British government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has urged all regions of England to be placed in Tier Four restrictions.