UK records 10,972 new Covid cases in past 24 hours - lowest since October

14 February 2021, 17:26 | Updated: 14 February 2021, 17:30

People walks past a accident and emergency department sign in front of an ambulance outside Bradford Royal Infirmary Hospital
People walks past a accident and emergency department sign in front of an ambulance outside Bradford Royal Infirmary Hospital. Picture: Getty

By Megan White

The UK has recorded 10,972 new Covid cases in the past 24 hours - the lowest number since October 2.

The number of number of patients in hospital with coronavirus in England has also fallen to its lowest since December 20.

In the past 24 hours, the UK also reported 258 Covid-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the past week to 4,701 - a decrease of 25.5% compared to the previous 7 days.

Read more: UK hits target of giving 15 million people their first dose of Covid vaccine

The total number of people who have tested positive for the virus across the UK is now 4,038,078, with a total of 117,166 deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

Separate figures published by the UK's statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 135,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The data came as the UK hit its target of giving 15 million people their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in a milestone moment for the country.

All those in the top four priority groups, who are most likely to become seriously ill if they catch Covid, have now been offered a vaccine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had "achieved an extraordinary feat" and heralded it as a "significant milestone".

Meanwhile, an emotional Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the moment as "fantastic news".

"The vaccine is our route to freedom - we will beat this virus jab by jab," he added, revealing one in four adults have now received their first dose.

The 15 million target was reached two days earlier than expected, just over two months after Margaret Keenan received the first jab outside of a trial on 8 December.

Clinically vulnerable people in England and the over-65s are being urged to book their Covid jab as the vaccination programme moves into a new phase on Monday.

The two groups are among the more than one million people who have been invited to book their coronavirus vaccine, NHS England said.

Nearly 1.2 million letters were due to have been delivered by Saturday asking people to log on to the national booking service, with a further 1.2 million expected to arrive in the coming week.

If people cannot book online, they can call 119 free of charge between 7am and 11pm on any day of the week.

Those who receive a letter can choose from more than 100 vaccination centres or almost 200 pharmacy services.

GP-led vaccination sites will initially focus on the clinically vulnerable from cohort 6 due to the relationship between general practice and those with long-term conditions, and continuity of care.