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COVID-19: UK records another drop in coronavirus infections as number of first jabs hits 22.2 million


The UK has recorded another drop in COVID infections, with 5,177 reported in the last 24 hours.

The latest figure is down from the 6,035 coronavirus cases recorded last Sunday.

The daily figures on deaths are due to be released later today after a processing error in data for England.

Meanwhile, a total of 23,335,514 COVID-19 jabs have been given in the UK so far, according to government data up to 6 March.

Of these, 22,213,112 were first doses – a rise of 416,834 on the previous day.

Some 1,122,402 were second doses, an increase of 31,562.

NHS England said on Sunday a further 90 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England.

The patients were aged between 34 and 97. All except three, aged between 54 and 87, had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between 17 January and 6 March, with the majority being on or after 3 March.

On Saturday, the government announced a further 158 coronavirus-related deaths and 6,040 cases in the previous 24-hour period.

The latest figures come as the government prepares to begin easing the national lockdown in England with pupils returning to schools on Monday.

One person can also meet another from a different household outside for recreation and not just exercise from Monday, as part of the roadmap for lifting lockdown.

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COVID catch-up plan for pupils

Students have spent months learning remotely and those returning to secondary schools will find additional safety measures including face coverings in classrooms and rapid coronavirus tests.

Longer school days, shorter summer holidays and five-term years are all options under consideration to help pupils catch up on lost learning, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told Sky News.

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Some scientists have raised concerns the increased levels of interaction could push the reproduction number – the R value – above 1, causing coronavirus to spread faster.

But Boris Johnson has said he is “very hopeful” the return of pupils will go to plan as he warned the risk of keeping classrooms locked outweighed a school-led spike in COVID-19 cases.

The prime minister said: “I think the risk is actually in not going back to school (on Monday) given all the suffering, all the loss of learning we have seen.”



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