UK deaths fall by a third in a week as 406 fatalities recorded while cases drop to lowest level since early December
COVID deaths have dropped by a third in a week – with 406 fatalities recorded in the past 24 hours.
Cases have also plunged to 18,607 – a drop of more than 16 per cent on last Monday, and the lowest daily figure recorded since early December when the country was still under the tier system.
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Some 3,835,783 people have now been diagnosed with coronavirus overall in the UK – while 106,564 have now died.
But experts hope the country is now past the peak of the virus. This time last week, 22,195 new cases and 592 fatalities were recorded.
And as of today, 9,296,367 people have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
In hospitals in England, 356 more people have died. Patients were aged between 22 and 103, and 20 casualties, aged between 50 and 96, had no known underlying health conditions.
The majority of casualties – 83 – died in the Midlands, with 81 further deaths in the south-east, 58 in London, 53 in the north-east and Yorkshire and 44 in the east.
In the north-west, 23 more fatalities were recorded, while the figure was 14 in the south-west.
In Scotland, 848 new cases and six further fatalities were reported, although one testing lab hasn't returned data since Saturday. In Wales, 630 positive tests and 21 more deaths were recorded by health officials.
It comes as:
- Boris Johnson has wished Captain Sir Tom Moore a speedy recovery after the lockdown hero was rushed to hospital with Covid
- The Isle of Man lifts all lockdown rules, with pubs open and masks scrapped
- Piers Morgan says his mum was bedridden with flu symptoms after getting the jab
- Lockdowns and better hygiene have seen flu rates drastically drop
- The UK has vowed to send jabs to 'friends and neighbours' in Ireland and the EU when adults are vaccinated
Tonight, Matt Hancock will address the nation from Downing Street – amid claims the pandemic is 'stabilising'.
The Health Secretary will hail a "crucial milestone" in the fight against Covid – revealing almost all care home residents and staff have now been offered a vaccine.
His announcement comes on the back of Britain's record-breaking vaccination day yesterday, when more than 600,000 people across the country received a dose.
That means around one per cent of the entire adult population were given a jab in the space of just 24 hours.
And a leaked Cabinet Office dossier shows the number of infections across the country is now "stabilising", it's reported.
Ministers have been briefed that hospital admissions are going down – but deaths will remain high for several more weeks, according to Politico.
It comes after Brits faced the deadliest month of the pandemic so far in January.
During the April peak, the highest daily death toll recorded was 1,010.
That tragic figure was exceeded on 19 days last month.
And last week, the UK hit a bleak milestone as more than 100,000 deaths were recorded in total.
Meanwhile, two people have tested positive for the South African mutation of the virus – despite never having visited.
Mass testing will be carried out in Woking, with residents asked to take a test even if they don't have symptoms, local health chiefs said.
Dr Alison Barnett, regional director at Public Health England South East, said: "The UK has one of the best genomic systems in the world, which has allowed us to detect the variant originating in South Africa here in Surrey.
"I urge everyone offered a test to take it up to help us to monitor the virus in our communities and to help suppress and control the spread of this variant."
Yesterday, ex prime minister Tony Blaire warned that new mutations are inevitable.
In an interview with Sophy Ridge on Sky, the former politician, who now runs the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, said the UK must get quicker at identifying previously unknown strains – and then adapting vaccines "within weeks".
"You may get strains in the future not covered by the vaccines and then have to make new ones," he said.
"This virus will mutate, and we've got to be much, much faster."
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