The UK has recorded 36,722 new COVID-19 infections and 150 more coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, government data shows.
The figures compare with 34,526 infections and 167 fatalities reported on Tuesday, while 34,460 cases and 166 deaths were announced this time last week.
Since the beginning of the pandemic early last year, 136,525 people have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 161,000 deaths registered in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
There are currently 6,976 COVID patients in hospital.
Meanwhile, another 31,853 people received their first dose of a COVID vaccine on Tuesday, taking the total to 48,797,579 (89.8% of over-16s in the UK).
And 33,532 had their second jab on Tuesday, meaning 44,833,280 are now fully jabbed (82.5%).
The prime minister has promised families who lost loved ones to the virus that a chair of a public inquiry will be appointed by Christmas.
Mr Johnson held talks with members of the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice group in Downing Street on Tuesday.
But he faced accusations of adding “insult to injury” by putting off meeting them for more than a year.
The PM announced in May that an independent public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic would begin next spring.
Mr Johnson also suggested the National COVID Memorial Wall could become a permanent tribute to those whose lives were claimed by the pandemic, describing the meeting as “very emotional”.
Also, it was announced on Tuesday that a 12-week trial will attempt to determine whether Vitamin A nasal drops can help people who have lost their sense of smell after having coronavirus.
More than a third of COVID patients have shown at least one long-term symptom three to six months after being infected, research by Oxford University and the National Institute for Health Research found.
One in 10 secondary school pupils with COVID-19 suffered ongoing symptoms, according to a study by the Office for National Statistics and Public Health England.
The data found more than a third of school staff also experienced symptoms a month after getting the virus.
Research conducted in June this year found more than two million people in England could have been affected by long COVID.
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