The average daily number of Covid cases, hospital admissions and deaths are the lowest they have been since the autumn, according to the Health Secretary.
Matt Hancock painted a positive picture regarding the state of coronavirus infections in England in a press conference on Friday, with the average number of cases – 6,685 per day – at their lowest rate since late September.
That pattern was repeated on Friday, with the Government confirming that, as of 9am, there had been a further 5,947 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK.
The latest lockdowns have been a “success” but the UK is “still not out of the woods”, the head of the official statistics body has said.
Prof Sir Ian Diamond, the head of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), said there had been “very strong reductions everywhere”, although in the north-east and east of England the decline had “flattened off, potentially”, unlike in the south-west and south-east, which have continued with a decline in cases.
On Saturday a further 185 people who tested positive have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 84,276, NHS England says. Patients were aged between 42 and 96. All except six, aged between 54 and 84, had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths were between 31 December and 5 March. There were 40 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
The Health Secretary said the decrease in cases meant the Government could continue with its plan of replacing the lockdown – with the first easing on Monday with the return of schools, and all restrictions possibly scrapped by June 21 – with the ‘protection that comes from vaccines and regular testing’.
Health authorities in England and Wales have given 20.24m jabs, they have said.
Provisional NHS England data shows a total of 19,258,271 vaccinations took place between 8 December and 5 March, including first and second doses, which is a rise of 422,916 on the previous day’s figures.
Of this number, 18,491,771 were the first dose of a vaccine, a rise of 385,681 on the previous day, while 766,500 were a second dose, an increase of 37,235.
Public Health Wales said a total of 983,419 first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine have now been given, an increase of 16,377 from the previous day. The agency said 168,163 second doses had also been given, an increase of 13,344.
Mail Online / Reuters