UK Covid deaths plunge by a THIRD in two weeks with 40 fatalities and 2,678 cases in last 24 hours

COVID deaths in the UK have plunged by a third in a fortnight, with 40 fatalities recorded in the last 24 hours.

There were 2,678 coronavirus cases reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 4,398,431.

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Last Friday, there were 34 deaths and 2,596 cases recorded, with 60 deaths and 3,150 reported cases on Friday, April 9.

Altogether, 127,385 Brits have now died of Covid within 28 days of a positive test.

It comes after Britain recorded its lowest death toll in more than seven months on Monday, when four deaths were reported.

Cases are still falling across the UK as the jabs rollout and lockdown continues to slash infection rates.

It comes as:

  • Wales set to SPEED UP end of lockdown with indoor group activities brought forward by 2 weeks and pubs to reopen Monday
  • Map reveals where lockdown should be eased FASTER, top expert says
  • UK cases of Indian Covid variant rise 75% in a week – everything you need to know
  • Britain ‘no longer in a pandemic’ as jab rollout slashes Covid infections by 90 per cent, experts say
  • Twelve-year-olds to get Covid jabs from September under plans to stop killer winter wave

Today's government figures showed the vaccine rollout powering on, with a bumper 562,056 new jabs administered yesterday.

Of these, 431,070 were second doses with 130,986 first jabs

Some 11,623,671 Brits -17 per cent of the population-have had two vaccine jabs, while 50 per cent have been jabbed once.

More than 33 million Brits have had a first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech, the Oxford/AstraZeneca or the Moderna jabs.

Wales is set today to speed up its exit from lockdown thanks to low Covid vases and rapid vaccinations.

First Minister Mark Drakeford will announce indoor group activities can return on May 3 – a full two weeks earlier than planned.

It means venues like soft play areas and community centres will be able to reopen a fortnight ahead of those in England.

Britain is no longer in a Covid pandemic as data shows the jabs rollout has cut symptomatic infections by 90 per cent.

The virus has now dropped to the third biggest killer in England for the first time in six months as millions of Brits have now received their first and second jab doses.

Meanwhile, new data also showed the coronavirus R rate rose slightly in England this week and now sits between 0.8 and 1.0.

The R rate has remained relatively constant and below 1 since February 5, having peaked on January 15 at between 1.2 and 1.3. 

It comes as UK cases of the Indian coronavirus variant rose by 75 per cent in the last week, according to official data.

Data from Public Health England (PHE) has now revealed that there are currently 132 cases in the country.

India has been put on the UK's travel 'red list' as Covid infections continue to rise in the country.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced four days ago that India would go on the red list, and at that point 103 cases of the Indian variant (B.1.617) had been found in England, up from 77 cases on April 7.

The Times reported that almost half of the cases had been reported in London in areas with significant Indian migration.

Genomic sequencing helps pick up new variants and has been vital in the detection of the Kent variant, as well as the South African and Brazilian variants.

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