UK records 158 Covid-19 deaths as vaccinations approach 22 million

6 March 2021, 17:45 | Updated: 6 March 2021, 17:48

Almost 22 million people have had their first dose of the Covid-19 jab
Almost 22 million people have had their first dose of the Covid-19 jab. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

A further 158 people have died in UK hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 as the number of people to have a first dose of the vaccine approaches 22 million.

It brings the number of confirmed deaths to 124,419 so far - one of the highest in the world.

Of those who died in the past 24 hours, all except six had known underlying health conditions.

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Another 6,040 new cases were also recorded - a slight increase on yesterday but still one of the lowest daily figures in months.

It comes as almost 22 million people have had either their first or second dose of the Covid-19 jab

Data up to March 5 shows that of the 22,887,118 jabs given in the UK so far, 21,796,278 were first doses - a rise of 437,463 on the previous day.

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Some 1,090,840 were second doses, an increase of 56,772.

The number of new jabs given each day is slightly down compared to previous weeks due to delivery and manufacturing issues, the Government has said, but it confirmed that the UK is still due to hit major vaccination targets regardless.

Meanwhile, healthcare workers in hospitals and vaccination centres have been left furious by the decision to increase their pay by only 1%.

The Government is being urged to make a U-turn but minister insist that it cannot afford a further increase while schemes such as Test and Trace and furlough continue to require billions in funding.

Health Minister Nadine Dorries told LBC on Friday that the Government cannot afford to give NHS staff more than one per cent.

Watch: 'This Government would be mistaken to pick a fight with nurses'

But a growing number of trade unions are considering strike action and senior politicians, including former Conservative health minister Dr Dan Poulter, are calling on the Government to reverse its decision.

Dr Poulter, who has been assisting on the NHS front line during the pandemic, said it is "very valid" for ministers to turn their attention to paying back the £400 billion borrowed during the coronavirus crisis - but it is the "wrong time to be making this decision".