UK faces worst weeks of COVID pandemic, accelerates vaccine rollout

Vehicles queue to enter NHS Vaccination Centre parking lot, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Manchester, Britain January 11, 2021. REUTERS
Britain is facing the worst weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, its chief medical officer said on Monday, with the health service entering a "dangerous time" as deaths and cases hit record highs while a mass vaccination programme picks up steam. Deaths from the virus have now exceeded 81,000 in the United Kingdom - the world's fifth-highest toll - with more than 3 million people testing positive. A new, more transmissible variant of the disease is surging through the population, with one in 20 people in parts of London now infected.