Another 533 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in the UK and there have been 12,027 new cases, daily figures show.
The number of fatalities recorded is up compared to yesterday’s figure of 454, although the number of cases is slightly down on the 12,057 reported by the government on Thursday.
However, it is a drop from the 758 deaths recorded this time last week, and the 15,144 coronavirus cases reported seven days ago.
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More than 16.8 million people have had their first COVID vaccine dose, after another 452,454 had them yesterday, while 589,591 have had a second jab since the rollout began.
This means a total of 17,465,127 vaccination shots have been administered in the UK.
It comes as the R number in the UK fell to between 0.6 and 0.9 – a slight drop compared to last week, when the range dropped to be below one for the first time since July.
This means that for every 10 people who have the coronavirus, another six to nine people will catch the disease.
Elsewhere, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that as of the week between 6 and 12 February, around one in 115 people in private homes in England had COVID-19.
This compares to one in 80 the previous week – and is the lowest figure since 5 December.
The revelation comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to unveil his “roadmap” for lifting lockdown in England next week.
As number of infections continue to fall, Sky News was told that a “large number” of NHS Test and Trace workers are being let go.
The operators were sent a message from Test and Trace head Dido Harding which thanked them for their “efforts and performance”.
In Wales, there will be “very modest changes” made to lockdown restrictions starting from Saturday – including four people from two different households being allowed to exercise together.
There was a blow for the UK government this morning after its failure to publish details of coronavirus-related contracts was found to be unlawful.
In a High Court ruling, a judge stated that Health Secretary Matt Hancock failed to comply with public procurement laws that state ministers must publish contracts within 30 days of them being awarded.
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