THE number of people who have died with Covid has plunged almost 50 per cent in a month as another 45 deaths were recorded.
Meanwhile, numbers of those newly-diagnosed with the deadly bug have plunged 46 per cent per cent month-on-month, with another 2,763 cases overnight.
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Daily Covid deaths have dropped by almost 50 per cent on March 7
Experts have today announced the AstraZeneca jab will be suspended for people under the age of 30 in the UKCredit: PA
All adults in England will be offered free tests every week as part of plans to get the country back on its feet, the PM has announcedCredit: EPA
On March 7, 5,177 new cases and 82 deaths were recorded. But both positive tests and the number of casualties dying of the virus have since plunged.
By comparison, more than 1,000 people died of Covid on average each day in January, making it the deadliest month of the pandemic so far for Britain.
In hospitals in England, 42 more patients who had tested positive for the deadly bug died.
Patients were aged between 33 and 98, and all but two – the 33-year-old and a 55-year-old – had known underlying health conditions.
The highest number of fatalities – 11 – were recorded in the Midlands, with eight deaths recorded in both the North East and Yorkshire and the North West and seven in the East.
London recorded five deaths, while two died in the South West and one person lost their life in the South East.
In Scotland, which has recently seen several days with no fatalities, five more deaths were recorded, while there were no new deaths in Wales.
It comes as:
Meanwhile, regulators have today announced the that under-30s will be offered alternatives to theOxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – after blood clot fears saw the company pause its trials on teens and children.
A probe has been launched to make sure the jab is completely safe before the trials restart.
Experts gave a press conference this afternoon after it was revealed that, of the millions given the jab, 79 had gone on to have blood clots – and 19 of the patients had since died.
There are similar reports from Europe, and political leaders have repeatedly paused and reinstated the use of the vaccine amid a badly-bungled jabs roll-out.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said the “risk remains extremely small” despite “evidence firming” up of links between jabs and blood clots.
Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown continues apace
And on a trip to Cornwall, the PM says he doesn’t currently have any plans to deviate from the route out of national restrictionsCredit: Reuters
The vaccine, which is created at cost to AstraZeneca, is the workhorse of the UK’s roll-out.
But some European countries have already restricted the vaccine use in younger people following reports of low platelet counts and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a specific type of clot that prevents blood from draining from the brain.
People aged 18-29 in the UK will be given an alternative vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna. It’s hoped the Moderna jab can be administered from Monday.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said: “This is a change in clinical advice for under 30s.
“It will require some changes in the way NHS operationalises the vaccines roll-out programme, but I’ve spoken to colleagues in the NHS in some detail and am assured, because of our supply situation in relation to alternative vaccines, the effect on timing of overall programme should be zero or negligible.
“That, of course, is contingent upon getting the supplies we expect to get of alternative vaccines, Pfizer, which is in use now, and Moderna, that we hope to bring into deployment from mid-April.”
And today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he will carefully follow the advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine – but does not believe he will have to alter the schedule for easing the lockdown.
During a visit to Cornwall, he said: “I think the crucial thing on this is to listen to what the scientists, and the doctors, the medical experts, have to say.
“The MHRA is meeting, the JCVI is meeting, they’ll be setting out the position and we will get on with rolling out the vaccine and obviously we’ll follow very carefully what they have to say.
“I don’t think anything that I have seen leads me to suppose that we will have to change the road map or deviate from the road map in any way.”
Over 31.6million adults have now had their Covid vaccine, as it looks likely Downing Street will hit the goal of jabbing all over-50s by April 15.