UK Covid deaths rise by 671 and another 38,598 cases as nation remains in lockdown

UK coronavirus cases rose by 38,598 today as the death toll grew by a further 671.

A total of 3,395,959 people have now caught the bug in Britain while 89,261 have died since the start of the pandemic.

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The number of infections is 30 per cent lower than last Sunday (54,940) and also the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since December 27

Meanwhile, the UK coronavirus hospital death toll has risen by 704 in the highest Sunday rise since April.

The grim figures come as the nation wages war on Covid-19, completing a total of 3,857,266 vaccinations in England between December 8 and January 16.

Of those, 3,365,492 were first doses of the vaccine and 426,102, were second doses.

In England, a further 631 fatalities were confirmed, bringing the total number of Covid deaths in English hospitals to 60,921.

It comes as…

  • Lockdown set to be lifted in March but ‘it won’t happen in one big bang’ and Tiers system will return, says Dominic Raab
  • NHS will start trialling 24-hour Covid vaccines within next 10 days and are dishing out 140 jabs a minute
  • New Covid patient admitted to hospital every 30 SECONDS as doctors fear they’ll be forced to ration care
  • All over 18s in Britain could have Covid vaccine ‘by the end of June’ with plans for five million jabs a week
  • TEN new mass Covid vaccination centres to start giving jabs tomorrow – is there one near you?

The patients, who died between November 5 and January 16, were aged between 29 and 103 – and all except 31 had underlying health conditions.

Another 48 deaths were confirmed in Wales, along with 1,172 new cases.

Northern Ireland reported another 25 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours, while Scotland did not report any.

The country did, however, see infections grow by 1,341 and currently has more coronavirus patients in hospital than at any other time during the pandemic.

The latest stats came after NHS England's top boss today revealed someone is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus "every thirty seconds".

NHS England Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens refused to "sugar coat" the "staggering" figures as he warned both hospitals and staff are under "extreme pressure".

He said there have been 15,000 more hospital in-patients across England since Christmas Day, adding: "Staggeringly, every thirty seconds across England another patient is being admitted to hospital with coronavirus."

A total of 37,475 people were in hospital in the UK as of 4pm yesterday – a record number and more than double the peak of the first wave.

LIFTING THE LOCK

As a result of the figures, the government will "phase out" the national lockdown before moving back to a tiered approach, Dominic Raab said today.

The foreign secretary revealed the government plans to ease lockdown restrictions in March but lifting the measures will "not happen in one big bang,".

In order for measures to be eased, an area's death rate must fall, the number of hospital admissions must drop and some in the 50 to 70-year-old age range must be vaccinated.

The foreign secretary told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “Of course what we want to do is get out of this national lockdown."

But he added: "We won't do it all in one big bang.

"We will end up phasing through the tiered approach.”

He went on to tell the BBC's Andrew Marr Show "we can start to think about the phased transition out of the national lockdown" if government targets are met by early spring.

"When we get to early Spring if we've succeeded, we can start to think about the phased transition out of the national lockdown," he said.

"It won't be a big bang, it'll possibly be back through the Tiers system."

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