UK daily Covid deaths HALVE in a week to 158 as cases drop by a quarter to 6,040

UK Covid deaths today grew by 158 – down by almost a half on last week’s rise.

Another 6,040 cases were also confirmed, almost a quarter smaller than the figure recorded this time last week.

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A woman wearing a face mask passes a Covid sign for face coverings in north London[/caption]

The number of deaths recorded today is down 45 per cent on last Saturday’s rise (290).

Today’s infection rate is also Saturday’s Last Saturday 7,434 new infections were reported along with 290 deaths.

A total of 124,419 have now died from coronavirus in Britain while 4,213,343 have tested positive for the bug since the start of the pandemic.

It comes as…

It comes as scientists say new Covid strains are “very unlikely” to stop the UK from returning to normal this summer – with hopes all adults may get the vaccine by June.

The emergence of new variants previously forced the UK to go into its third national lockdown.

But scientists have now said that the vaccine is being adapted quickly – making sure the nation is on top of the deadly bug.

Professor Sharon Peacock, head of the Covid-19 Genomics UK scientific body, told The Times she was “very optimistic” that the immunisation programme would continue to be effective.

She said the new variants were “very unlikely to send us back to square one”.

Prof Peacock said: “I’m very optimistic that the vaccines will be rolled out, that they’ll be effective, and that we’ll be in a better place by the summer and autumn.

“I think we’ve got the capabilities to stay ahead by adapting vaccines, and so I’m an optimist.”

Preliminary data from a University of Oxford study has already shown the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine DOES work against the mutant Brazil variant.

And a mystery Brit infected with the P1 variant was finally tracked down, officials revealed yesterday.

Public Health England had launched a frantic search to find someone who had come into the UK with the mutation in February – but didn’t fill in the contact details on their form and couldn’t be properly traced.

The Health Secretary said the patient with the strain lived in a household that had recently returned from Brazil and that testing was being rolled out in Croydon to “minimise the risk of it spreading”.

The vaccine rollout has largely been a success so far, with more than 21.3million people having already receiving their first jab. 

One million Brits have had their second Covid vaccine dose.

Boris Johnson has also set a target of vaccinating all UK adults by July – but hopes have now emerged that the milestone could be hit a whole month earlier.

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