Coronavirus live news: England sees record hospitalisations; Arizona is Covid ‘hot spot of the world’

Leaked documents show London critical care bed deficit even under ‘best’ case scenario – report; European Medicines Agency approves Moderna coronavirus vaccine; Japan reports record cases

12.17am GMT

The British army says it is on track to meet its annual recruitment target for only the second time in eight years amid tentative signs that the pandemic crisis has acted as a “rallying cry to serve”.

With nearly three months to go before the recruiting year ends in March, a total of 7,719 young people have signed up. That represents 78% of the numbers required, giving army chiefs confidence that the goal will be achieved.

Related: British army recruits rise as Covid seems to act as ‘rallying cry’

11.49pm GMT

The scale of the health emergency now facing the UK was laid bare on Wednesday night as figures showed that more than 1,000 people had died from the virus in the previous 24 hours and hospitals reported treating a record 30,000 Covid patients.

The alarming rise in fatalities came two days after the prime minister ordered a draconian new lockdown, which was endorsed overwhelmingly in a Commons vote on Wednesday.

Related: Covid: scale of emergency facing UK laid bare as 1,000 die in 24 hours

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