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UK Covid-19 death toll rises by less than 100 for second day running
8 March 2021, 16:19 | Updated: 9 March 2021, 07:57
The UK has reported 65 more Covid deaths - the second day running that the death toll has risen by less than 100.
The new deaths bring the UK total to 124,566.
Dr Jenny Harries, England's deputy chief medical officer, has said that coronavirus cases, hospital admissions and deaths are all continuing to fall.
Dr Harries told a No 10 news conference that infections were now below 100 per 100,000 of population in every part of the country and were back to where they were in September.
"This is a level at which a new wave could easily take off from again," she said.
She said that deaths were falling faster than other indicators, suggesting the vaccine was having an impact.
She warned, however, that there was still "substantial strain" on the NHS.
The Prime Minister said that thanks to the "huge national effort to keep kids at home" the spread of coronavirus has been reduced significantly.
"So, today we've been able to take that crucial first step on what we hope is our cautious but irreversible road map to freedom," Boris Johnson said.
Mr Johnson said more than a third of the UK population have now received a coronavirus vaccine.
He warned the number of patients being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 each day is eight times higher than "the lows of last summer" - it is "more vital than ever" to follow the rules.
Government data up to March 7 shows that of the 23,519,898 jabs given in the UK so far, 22,377,255 were first doses - a rise of 164,143 on the previous day.
Some 1,142,643 were second doses, an increase of 20,241.