ANOTHER 587 Brits have died with Covid – but there are hopes the country has turned a corner in the battle against the pandemic as cases continue to plunge.
In total, 21,088 more were diagnosed with the virus overnight – a 30 per cent drop on last Sunday, when 30,004 new cases were reported.
The coronavirus death toll has risen again as the UK battles through the peak of the virusCredit: PA:Press Association
And while cases are dropping, hospitals around the country remain under huge pressureCredit: Alamy Live News
It means that 3,817,176 people have now been diagnosed with coronavirus overall in the UK.
This time last week, 610 more deaths were recorded.
Britain has faced the deadliest month of the pandemic so far.
During the April peak, the highest daily death toll recorded was 1,010. That tragic figure has been exceeded on 19 days this month – and this week, the UK hit a bleak milestone as more than 100,000 deaths were recorded in total.
In hospitals in England, 563 more people have died with the virus.
Patients were aged between 24 and 99, and 29 casualties aged between 34 and 97 had known underlying health conditions.
The majority of the fatalities – 141 – were recorded in the Midlands, with 109 more deaths in the east, 82 in the north-west, 82 in the south-east and 67 in London.
In the north-east and Yorkshire, 41 more died, while 41 further deaths were recorded in the south-west.
In Scotland, 1,003 new positives were recorded and six people died. In Wales, 605 people tested positive, and 34 died.
It comes as:
Politicians from across the spectrum have united today to condemn the EU’s plans to blockade more than 13million Pfizer vaccines from reaching the UK.
During a series of ‘spicy’ phone calls, Boris Johnson warned European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen Brit grandparents would die without the jabs.
Ms von der Leyen ditched plans to stop 3.5million doses of the Pfizer jab from reaching the UK after the fiery talks.
The row over vaccines exploded on Friday evening when Brussels said it would trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.
It would have created a hard border on the island of Ireland – along with other measures to stop Pfizer vaccine supplies reaching Britain.
Ex PM Tony Blair called the “unacceptable” plans “very foolish”.
And Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the EU “recognises they made a mistake” and “stepped back” following the conversation between the two leaders.
The Government says it’s on target to vaccinate the most vulnerable by February 15
Meanwhile, the Irish Taoiseach admitted he had no idea of the EU’s plans until they were made public.
Micheál Martin said people had been “blindsided” – and told BBC’s Andrew Marr: “The Commission issued public announcement, and that’s when we first became aware of it.”
Elsewhere, disagreements over who should be a top priority for vaccines continued today.
Mr Blair said it would take just a weekend to vaccinate all of the UK’s 500,000 teachers – and said he’d accept his jab later in order to get kids back to class.
But Trade Secretary Liz Truss said the UK must stick to its vaccination schedule rather than prioritise teachers.
“The issue is that for every person you vaccinate who isn’t in the most vulnerable group, that’s somebody in the most vulnerable group who isn’t getting their vaccine and who is more likely to die in the next few weeks and months,” she said.
“I just don’t think that’s right.
‘HAPPY AND FREE SUMMER’
“That’s the decision made by the independent committee that we are going to vaccinate first the over-70s and those in the most vulnerable group, and then the over 50s.”
A total of 8.97m people in the UK have now received at least one dose of a vaccine, up a record-breaking 598,389 on yesterday’s figure.
And as the roll-out continues, officials are hard at work on a recovery plan for the economy for when restrictions finally begin to ease.
Mr Johnson and Rishi Sunak are on course to spend £280billion to support jobs and businesses this financial year, according to reports.
A source told the Sunday Times officials are working on a blueprint that could result in high public spending for a decade.
The Chancellor will use his March 3 budget to extend Government relief.
It’s reported furlough will be extended, while VAT could be slashed.
And Matt Hancock says most adults should be able to enjoy a “happy and free Great British summer” after receiving at least one jab.
But the Health Secretary warned the country will “have a few tough few months between now and then”, with many restrictions likely to be in place until the late spring.