UK coronavirus deaths down 40% in a week ahead of lockdown easing

27 March 2021, 20:02 | Updated: 27 March 2021, 21:54

Coronavirus restrictions will be eased in England from Monday
Coronavirus restrictions will be eased in England from Monday. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

A further 58 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test, the lowest Saturday rise in six months and a fall of 40 per cent week-on-week.

One week ago, 96 deaths were recorded, while it is the lowest Saturday figure since October 3, when 51 deaths were confirmed.

It comes ahead of a relaxing of England's lockdown on Monday, when the "stay home" order ends and groups of up to six people, or two households, will be able to meet outside.

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In Wales, lockdown restrictions have been eased as the "stay local" requirement was dropped on Saturday, with people now allowed to stay in self-contained holiday accommodation.

The total number of deaths of people within 28 days of a positive test is now 126,573.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 4,715 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

It brings the total to 4,329,180.

Meanwhile, more than 25 million people in England have now been vaccinated with their first dose, with the number of people receiving their second dose reaching a new weekly high.

A total of 27,761,724 Covid-19 vaccinations took place in England between December 8 and March 26, according to NHS England data, including first and second doses, a rise of 594,970 on the previous day.

NHS England said 25,284,013 were first doses, a rise of 344,008 on the previous day, while 2,477,711 were second doses, an increase of 250,962.

Some 900,000 people received their second jab in the last week, around twice as many as the week before.

Those aged 50 and older or those with an underlying health condition are being urged to get their first jab, with a tighter supply of available doses next month.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS medical director for primary care, said: "At the same time as increasing second doses week on week, the NHS is reaching out to those 50-69 year-olds who haven't yet taken up the offer to be vaccinated.

"If you are one of those people yet to book a first dose, please come forward and get your life-saving Covid-19 vaccine which will not only protect you but those around you."

Boris Johnson warned on Saturday that he is wary of the prospects of rising coronavirus infection rates, but said he sees "absolutely nothing in the data" to halt the easing of the lockdown.

The Prime Minister acknowledged cases could again spiral as restrictions are relaxed, but added the "key difference" this time is that the rise in prevalence should be "sufficiently mitigated" by the successful vaccine rollout.