UK Covid deaths have plunged by more than half in a week with 110 fatalities and 5,294 cases recorded today.
Last Tuesday, there were 231 deaths and 5,766 cases recorded in Britain.
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It comes after a surge in mass testing among millions of schoolchildren returning to classrooms last week.
The latest figures mean 4,268,821 people have now tested positive for coronavirus in Britain since the start of the pandemic.
Altogether, 125,690 people have died from the disease.
The number of patients in hospital with Covid currently stands at 7,281, the lowest level since last October.
DEATHS DOWN BY HALF IN A WEEK
A total of 1,016 of those patients currently require ventilation, with the figure having last been below 1,000 on October 30.
There were 440,051 new vaccinations registered, with 24,839,906 Brits now having received at last one jab, today's figures show.
Some 1,663,646 Brits have been given two doses of the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Covid cases have risen across a third of local authorities in England in the last week, official data has revealed.
Of the 315 regions, 104 have witnessed an increase in infections – some only slightly up on last week.
While infection levels appear to be rising, the most infected places in the country have lower case rates than last week.
The Derbyshire Dales previously had the highest infection rates in the country, with 179.7 cases per 100,000 of the population.
Hull now has the most infections in England, with 444 new cases recorded in the seven days to March 11 – the equivalent of 170.9 cases per 100,000 people.
This is up from 148.6 per 100,000 in the seven days to March 4.
Corby in Northamptonshire has the second highest rate, up from 134.3 to 162.0, with 117 new cases.
Redditch in Worcestershire is in third place, up from 140.7 to 157.2, with 134 new cases.
Meanwhile, half of all adults in the UK could be vaccinated by the end of this week as the jab rollout surges ahead.
Some 24.4 million Brits have already been inoculated – under two million short of half of all over-18s in the country.
It comes after over 770,000 jabs were given out over the weekend – with 512,108 doled out on Saturday alone.
Supplies are also set to receive a boost this week, with around four million doses to become available.
NHS England has written to vaccine providers to urge them to ensure they have the staff in place to ramp up capacity.
OVER-50s TO GET JABS NEXT
Their letter states: “From the week of March 15 we are now asking systems to plan and support all vaccination centres and local vaccination services to deliver around twice the level of vaccine available in the week of March 1.”
Should Britain continue to average giving out 280,000 doses per day, the government should be able to move on to the under-50s by March 29.
Professor Anthony Harnden, the deputy head of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, told BBC Breakfast that he is “very optimistic” about the roll-out’s progress.
It comes as Boris Johnson sought to calm fears around the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine after a string of European countries – including France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands – banned the jab over blood clot fears.
It followed a small number of reports of people experiencing blood clots in the days and weeks after their vaccination.
The PM last night insisted the vaccine, which has already been given to over 11million Brits, was effective and safe.
Asked if he could tell the public the jab is safe, Mr Johnson answered: "Yes, I can. In the MHRA we have one of the toughest and most experienced regulators in the world.”
In the UK around 11 million people are thought to have had a dose of the AstraZeneca jab.
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