Covid-19: UK records daily high of 1,820 deaths and inside the vaccine rollout

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Wednesday evening. We'll have another update for you on Thursday morning.

1. UK reports another record number of daily deaths

A further 1,820 people are reported to have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test - a record figure for the second day in a row. A further 38,905 cases have also been recorded, according to the latest government figures. Meanwhile, a total of 4,609,740 people have now received their first dose of a vaccine across the UK. And First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insists Scotland's vaccination programme is not lagging behind other parts of the UK.

2. UK 'should have closed borders in March'

A recording has emerged of Home Secretary Priti Patel saying she called for the UK to close its borders to tackle coronavirus last March. There was no ban or quarantine restrictions on international travellers arriving in Britain between the middle of March and June. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions why he had "overruled the home secretary" - to which the PM responded by saying the UK had now "instituted one of the toughest border regimes in the world".

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
The home secretary (centre) says ministers are working to get frontline workers vaccinated

3. Wales' teachers to decide student grades

Teachers are set to decide grades for GCSE, AS and A-level students in Wales after a system replacing end-of-year exams was axed. Exams had been cancelled in November in favour of assessments, but these were also ditched when schools were told to close until February half term. Education Minister Kirsty Williams said the pandemic had left her "no choice" but to scrap the classroom assessments.

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Image caption,
Education Minister Kirsty Williams says grades in Wales will be "simple and clear"

4. Identical twin among UK's oldest dies

A 96-year-old identical twin, Doris Hobday, from Tipton in the West Midlands, has died after contracting coronavirus. Doris and her twin sister Lilian Cox, who were among the UK's oldest living twins, became popular figures online with their positive outlook on life and sense of humour. They were admitted to hospital after testing positive earlier this month. Their family said they were "totally heartbroken to lose Doris in this way". Lilian had been discharged from hospital and is continuing to recover, they added.

Media caption,

Tipton Twins Doris and Lilian said they did everything together

5. Inside a care home as vaccine is rolled out

Eighty-two-year-old care home resident Shirley Smith was counting down the days until she got her first dose of a vaccine. Now she is one of 39 residents and 59 staff at the home near Royston, Hertfordshire, who have had their first jab. We've been finding out how the rollout is going.

Image caption,
Shirley Smith has been painting pottery to help pass the days during the pandemic

And don't forget...

You can find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

Exercise is one of the limited reasons allowed for leaving your house in the UK, so what are the risks of catching the virus when you're outside?

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