COVID deaths in the UK have dropped by almost 80 per cent in a month with 96 more fatalities today.
A further 5,587 people have also tested positive for the disease – bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 4,291,271.
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Covid jabs have hit another milestone as cases continue to dropCredit: LNP
Today’s daily death toll brings the total number of Covid victims in the UK to 126,122.
It is the lowest Saturday rise since October 12 when 131 deaths were reported but there is usually a lag at the weekend.
The figure is also 78 per cent down from this time last month when 445 deaths were recorded.
Yesterday, there were 101 fatalities and 4,802 cases reported.
It comes as…
The plummeting death rate means the seven-day average for Covid deaths has fallen to 98 – the first time it’s been below 100 in more than five months.
And the number of cases is now at its lowest level since last September with a seven-day average of 5,343.
The glimmer of hope means the lockdown roadmap could continue as scheduled with Britain back to normal by June.
Hopes have been boosted by the Herculean vaccine rollout, which today hit another impressive milestone.
A total of 26,853,407 people have received a first dose, while 2,132,551 have been given a second jab, the latest figures show.
And the UK has set a new record for the most Covid jabs given over 24 hours for the second day in a row – with 711,156 administered yesterday.
The previous record was on Thursday when a total of 660,276 doses were administered.
The Health Secretary said: “I’m absolutely delighted to tell you that we have now vaccinated half of all adults in the United Kingdom.
“It’s a huge success. I want to say many, many thanks to all those involved, including the half of all adults who’ve come forward.
“It’s so important because this vaccine is our way out of the pandemic. So when you get the call, please, come forward and get the jab. And join the majority of adults who’ve now been jabbed.”
Boris Johnson – who received his first dose yesterday – has pledged to offer a jab to everyone aged 18 or over in the UK by the end of July 2021.
The PM tweeted today: “More than half the adult population of the UK have now received their first jab.
“Many thanks to everyone involved in this fantastic achievement. Let’s keep going!”
The figures come despite mounting tensions over vaccine supplies after EU chief Ursula von der Leyen threatening to halt exports from Europe.
In an interview with Germany’s Funke media group Ms von der Leyen said: “We have the option of banning a planned export.
“That’s the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfil your contract with Europe first before you start delivering to other countries.”