UK Covid cases plummet 32% in a week as 3,030 more infections are recorded in a day and 53 more deaths

CORONAVIRUS cases have plummeted 32 per cent in a week with 3,030 new infections recorded in the UK in the last 24 hours.

A further 53 deaths were also reported, bringing the total to 126,980.

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The rise in cases brings the total number since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,370,321.

Today's infection figure is down from last Thursday’s figure of 4,479 – and significantly lower than the 6,219 reported a fortnight ago. 

Deaths are up very slightly from the 51 reported this time last week, but below the 63 fatalities recorded on March 25.

The latest data shows 37,899,029 doses of the Covid vaccine have now been administered in the UK.

This includes 31,807,124 first doses and a whopping 6,091,905 second doses, meaning more than six million Brits are fully vaccinated against Covid.

More than 400,000 second doses were given out in the latest 24-hour period – the second highest daily total to date.

It comes as…

  • Covid fades to lowest level since July as cases more than HALVED in week to below 2,000
  • Pub-goers WON’T need to take cash only to drink in beer gardens from Monday
  • Britain ‘secretly flew 700,000 AstraZeneca jabs to Australia’ to help vaccine rollout after shameless EU blocked exports
  • Vaccine passport laws ‘to be given time-limit’ to reassure Brits life will go back to normal and head off Tory mutiny
  • Britain ‘will achieve herd immunity next week’ as vaccine rollout and Covid antibodies see cases plunge
  • Beer garden Brits to bask in 16C mini-heatwave next week as pubs reopen

The falling cases provide hope that Britain will see the end of lockdown come June 21.

But Matt Hancock said today this won't happen any sooner than that, despite claims Britain is on course to achieve herd immunity next week.

The health secretary said Boris Johnson will stick firmly to his roadmap out of lockdown – which will see shops, hairdressers and outdoor hospitality venues reopen from Monday.

He vowed the roll back of restrictions won't be sped up – nor will it be slowed down by issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Mr Hancock dismissed modelling that shows the proportion of the population with protection against the virus is set to hit almost three quarters on Monday.

And he said other scientists have previously told him herd immunity might not be reached until after June.

Academics at UCL predicted the number of people with protection from the virus via either a vaccine or previous infection will hit 73.4 per cent next week.

But asked about the reports Mr Hancock said: "What I prefer to do is watch the data. We've set out the roadmap, the roadmap is really clear.

"It is our route back to normal. We're on track to meet the roadmap and that is our goal."

Figures published by the ONS suggest in the week ending March 14 about 54% of people in England had antibodies.

Since then a further 7.1 million people have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 100,000 more have tested positive for the virus.

Earlier Mr Hancock reassured people that Britain has "more than enough" Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to cover all under-30 after it was announced yesterday 18 to 29-year-olds will be offered these over the AZ jab.

The health secretary said the UK is still “on track” to hit its target of offering all adults the shot by the end of July and “we are in good shape” on future supply of doses.

And he said yesterday’s decision by the MHRA to offer younger people a choice of vaccine over “very rare” blood clots linked to the AZ jab should give people confidence in Britain’s “world class” safety regulation.

Mr Hancock said the risk of suffering a clot from having the vaccine is around four in a million – the same as it is from taking a long-haul flight.

And the chances of dying from a clot stand at around 0.000095 per cent – or one in a million.

The sister of a solicitor who died of a blood clot after receiving the AZ vaccine has vowed that she will still get the second dose herself.

Neil Astles, 59, died on Easter Sunday after getting his first dose of the vaccine on March 17.

Dr Alison Astles said her brother was "extraordinarily unlucky" and urged others to continue having the vaccines.

She told the BBC: "If you’ve had one dose, go ahead and have your second. If you haven’t had your dose yet make sure that you do.

"Because, overall, we will save more lives by people having the vaccine than not. The risk of a clot is very, very small and my brother was extraordinarily unlucky."

A major study out today revealed Covid jabs are "breaking the link" between cases and deaths as fatalities fall.

The React survey, by Imperial College London, found just one in 500 had the virus in England last month – a 60 per cent fall over February.

Professor Steven Riley, of Imperial College, said: "What we are seeing is very good news."


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