The UK has become the first country in Europe to pass 30,000 coronavirus deaths, according to the latest government figures.
A total of 30,076 people have now died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for the virus, up by 649 from Tuesday.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said they were “heartbreaking losses”.
On Tuesday, the number of deaths recorded in the UK passed Italy’s total, becoming the highest in Europe.
The latest total for Italy, which also records deaths of those who have tested positive for the virus, stands at 29,684.
The UK now has the second-highest number of recorded coronavirus deaths in the world, behind the United States which has more than 70,000.
Experts have warned that it could be months before full global comparisons can be made.
Each country also has different testing regimes, with Italy conducting more tests than the UK to date.
Mr Jenrick told the government’s daily coronavirus briefing: “It is difficult to make international comparisons with certainty, there will be a time for that.”
However, Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter – a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) advising the government on the pandemic – said the UK “should now use other countries to try and learn why our numbers are so high”.
Prof Spiegelhalter tweeted the remark as he urged ministers to stop referencing an article he wrote for the Guardian “to claim we cannot make any international comparisons yet”.
He added that his article was only referring to it not being possible to make “detailed league tables” to compare international deaths.
Earlier in the Commons, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the government had been too slow to introduce the lockdown and too slow to increase the number of tests.
And challenging Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the rising numbers of deaths in care homes, the new Labour leader said: “Twelve weeks after the health secretary declared that we’re in a health crisis, I have to ask the prime minister – why hasn’t the government got to grips with this already?”