An NHS doctor working on the frontline as tens of thousands battle Covid-19 says she receives more than 20 abusive social media messages every day.

Hero medic Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden said one message was from a person who said they "couldn't care less" about who died, while another said they "don't give a s***".

Dr Batt-Rawden told the BBC that the abuse from Covid deniers - some of who have crowded outside hospitals - is demoralising medics.

Latest figures reveal there are were 32,202 people in hospital with the virus across England on Tuesday, the latest data available.

Just two weeks earlier, on December 29, that figure was 21,787 - meaning the number has risen by 48 per cent.

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Dr Batt-Rawden outside an A&E department
Dr Batt-Rawden works in an A&E department in South East England

Dr Batt-Rawden said one sickening message read: "I couldn't care less who I apparently murder by not wearing a mask. Cough and die."

Another said: "You chose your job, deal with it."

And one keyboard warrior sent her a message saying: "I love the way you NHS workers think you have the right to boss us around like we're selfish for breathing.

"You don't give a damn about our lives."

Medics treat a patient in Liverpool
The number of Covid patients in English hospitals has risen by 48 per cent in two weeks

Dr Batt-Rawden, who has been working in intensive care at a hospital in South East England, said the abuse was "devastating morale" among frontline staff.

She said: "I had a junior doctor who was working in A&E and said, 'I really don't want to go in. It's because there was a horde of people telling me Covid was a hoax and shouting at me and I was half broken'."

Earlier this week 7,606 people were being treated with the virus in London hospitals, the highest in the country.

This was up 2,235 from December 29's figure of 5,371.

Covid deaths look set to keep rising for at least a week, Prof Chris Whitty indicated in a bleak warning.

He said he believed the peak of deaths is "in the future" after the UK recorded 1,280 new deaths today.

The Chief Medical Officer said there were signs the UK has already reached the peak of new cases amid the national lockdown.

But he said while some parts of England are reaching the peak of new hospital cases round about now, "most places" will only do so in 7 to 10 days.