By DANICA KIRKA
LONDON (AP) — The U.K. has reported a sharp increase in coronavirus-related deaths as the National Health Service says it is building temporary structures at hospitals in England to prepare for a possible surge of patients infected with the highly transmissible omicron variant. The government reported 332 deaths Thursday, the highest figure since March 2. Public heath officials caution that the number includes a backlog of cases that stem from incomplete reporting during the Christmas holiday period. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped to 11,898, up 44% from a week earlier. While the figures are the highest in almost 10 months, they are still far below the peaks reported last January, when most people were unvaccinated.