Great Britain

UK Covid deaths plunge to lowest in 11 weeks with 144 fatalities and 6,035 cases

COVID deaths today plunged to their lowest level in 11 weeks with 144 more fatalities.

There has been 6,035 more infections - bringing the total number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began to 4,176,554.

🦠 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates...

Today's daily death toll has brought the total number of victims to 122,849.

It is lower than yesterday's total of 290 as the figure continues to drop.

It comes as...

The number is also the lowest since December 13 when 144 deaths were recorded.

Between February 21 and 27, there were 2,341 deaths - a drop of 32.3 per cent compared to the previous seven days.

The UK also hit a vaccine milestone today with more than 2million people receiving a first dose.

A total of 20,089,551 have received the first vaccination, while 796,132 have been given a second dose.

The achievement is a huge boost in the fight against the bug as lockdown begins lifting from March 8.

Hopes of easing the national shutdown hinges on protecting the most vulnerable groups by spring to beat faster-spreading variants.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "I’m delighted more than 20 million people across the UK have now been vaccinated.

"A magnificent achievement for the country.

"The vaccine is our route out. When you get the call, get the jab!"

Boris Johnson also praised the stunning effort today.

The PM said: "20 million people across the UK have now got the jab – a huge national achievement and a testament to the tireless work of NHS staff, volunteers, the Armed Forces & many more.

"I urge everyone to get the jab when called. Every jab makes a difference in our battle against COVID."

The vaccination programme is now on the second part of its first phase after everyone in the four priority groups were offered a jab by mid-February.

This included those aged 70 and over, care home residents, healthcare workers and people required to shield.

The rollout has now been expanded to include those aged 60 and above and people with underlying health conditions.

The rest of the over-50s will follow, with the government aiming to offer everyone in priority groups five to nine a jab by April 15.

Nearly 2million people aged 60 to 63 in England are now being invited to book a jab.

NHS England said that the letters will start landing on doormats from Monday, explaining how people can make an appointment to get jabbed through the national booking service.

Football news:

Tuchel on the fight for the top 4: Everything is in the hands of Chelsea
Chelsea announced their withdrawal from the Super League last of the Premier League clubs
Six English clubs - Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham - intend to return to the Association of European Clubs (ESA) after they decided to withdraw from the European Super League
Super League does not give up: they promise to revise the format in order to return and save football further
Football belongs to the fans. Today, more than ever. Tweet of the day by Gerard Pique
AC Milan and Inter are withdrawing from the Super League
It turns out that Barcelona was not formally part of the Super League. Laporta is against her - and everything was planned in advance