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Covid: Further 587 UK deaths as vaccinations reach record daily high
31 January 2021, 16:14 | Updated: 31 January 2021, 19:28
A further 587 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test, marking the lowest Sunday rise in three weeks.
However, the vaccine programme is continuing to be ramped up, with 609,110 vaccinations reported on Saturday - the highest number of jabs reported in a single day, bringing the total number vaccinated to 8,977,329.
Case rates have fallen significantly since the peak in early January, with 21,088 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours, however these figures are normally lower at the weekend.
The number of patients in hospital is also decreasing, with 28,571 Covid patients in England's hospitals on Saturday, the lowest since 7 January.
The seven-day rolling average for first doses of the Covid vaccine being administered is now 374,858.
Based on the latest figures, an average of 401,512 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day in order to meet the Government's target of 15 million first doses by February 15.
Sunday marks one year since the UK recorded its first cases of Covid-19, with 3,817,176 positive Covid-19 cases recorded in the last year.
In the last year 106,158 people have sadly lost their lives to the virus within 28 days of a positive Covid test, with other measures putting the number at well over 120,000.
One year on the tide appears to finally be turning, as the effects of the third national lockdown and vaccine programme begin show take effect.
However, the government has urged caution, last week launching a set of hard-hitting new adverts warning people to stay home in a new government bid to ensure people obey lockdown rules.
Even as cases fall, government minister Liz Truss told LBC’s Swarbrick on Sunday it would be “very dangerous” to make promises about summer holidays, conceding restrictions on international travel are here for the foreseeable future.
The minister for international trade told Tom Swarbrick “it is far too early to make” predictions on whether Brits will be allowed to travel for leisure over the summer.
Police have also upped their enforcement of the Covid rules, with new £800 fines coming into force for those attending gatherings of 15 or more people.
On Saturday evening, the Metropolitan Police broke up a boat party in west London, with 72 people facing fines of £800. Police say the organiser was identified and could face a fine of £10,000.
Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Bowen described the party as "a blatant breach of the Coronavirus rules that are in place to save lives and protect the huge pressure on the NHS".
"The Met will continue to shut down and disperse events such as this, which risk spreading a virus that has already claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in this country," he added.
On the same evening in Essex, a group were fined almost £15,000 pounds in total for having an illegal house party.
Essex Police said 18 "reckless revellers" were fined almost £15,000 after officers interrupted a house party on Saturday, while in Merseyside, police found about 200 people partying in a hotel in the early hours of Sunday morning and broke up a gathering of 20 people in a gym on Saturday night.