Coronavirus hospital deaths in Britain have increased by 178, statistics show - as the decline on a Sunday continues with a significant weekly drop.

A further 149 patients have died in England, two in Scotland, 24 in Wales and three in Northern Ireland.

Hospital deaths in Britain rose by 283 last Sunday, February 21.

Before that, 331 sadly died on Sunday, February 14, while 454 passed away on Sunday, February 7.

Today's numbers show the lowest rise on a Sunday since December 13, when 165 people died.

Hospital deaths rose by 293 yesterday, according to official numbers.

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More than 20million people have now received coronavirus vaccines, including both doses
More than 20million people have now received coronavirus vaccines, including both doses

The latest statistics come as it is revealed more than 20million people have now received vaccines, including both first and second doses, the Government said.

A further 7,434 coronavirus cases were reported in Britain yesterday, taking the total to 4,170,519.

The full death tally across all settings - including care homes and the wider community - will be released later today.

The news comes as it is said that two million more people aged over 60 in England are being invited to book a coronavirus jab as the boss of NHS England promised the rollout will get even quicker in March.

NHS England said letters will start landing on doormats from Monday of those aged 60-64 inviting the extra people for their vaccine.

They have been sent out after more than three in four people aged 65 to 70 took up the offer of a vaccination, it added.

Infections are still rising in one in five local authorities in England despite lockdown
Infections are still rising in one in five local authorities in England despite lockdown

Buoyant NHS England boss Sir Simon Stevens said vaccine supply will increase further in March allowing the rollout to accelerate even further.

A top expert also claimed today that Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown in England should be sped up if things are going well.

The Prime Minister has ruled out bringing forward the dates of his four-stage roadmap which pledges to lift all lockdown rules by June 21 at the earliest.

But he should change his mind if the vaccine rollout curbs the virus faster than expected, said Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

The independent think tank is a leading authority on the Budget which will be announced next week.

IFS boss Mr Johnson told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "I think it’s very clear that if things move more quickly, more positively than expected, if we have a very high fraction of people vaccinated and very low levels of infection, then yes it should be sped up.

"There’s no need to stick to a date if things go better than expected."

But a leading scientist has warned that lockdown efforts must not be eased up yet, with coronavirus still very much a threat and infections rising in one in five local authority areas in England

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, told the public "don't wreck it now" in a stark message urging for discipline at a Downing Street press briefing on Friday.

He said: "In some parts of the UK, case rates are changing, albeit slowly, but in the wrong direction.

"This is not a good sign, and reinforces the fact that, I'm afraid, this battle at the moment is not won."

"Please don't be tempted to think well, one home visit might be all right now, weather's getting better, going to be a nice weekend.

"One small gathering in your house won't really matter. I'm afraid it does.

"There are some worry signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off the brake at exactly the wrong time.

"It's a bit like being 3-0 up in a game and thinking 'we can't possibly lose'. But how many times have you seen the other side take it 4-3?"

People were pictured gathering in parks and on beaches across the nation yesterday as the sun shone.