COVID-19: Another 738 deaths and 12,718 cases in UK – as over 15.9m have had first vaccine dose

The UK has reported another 12,718 coronavirus cases and 738 further deaths – and almost 16 million people have now had their first dose of a vaccine.

Today’s cases are up on yesterday, when 10,625 new COVID-19 infections were reported, while deaths are down slightly from Tuesday’s 799 fatalities.

Overall the numbers are lower than what they were a week ago – when 13,013 new cases were logged alongside 1,001 deaths.

According to the latest figures, 15,940,972 people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine – and 546,165 have had their second dose.

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It comes after a senior health official warned that the number of people with coronavirus in England would have to drop to below 50,000 before lockdown can be eased safely.

The most recent figures suggested that 695,400 people had the virus nationwide in the week ending 6 February.

NHS Providers CEO Chris Hopson stressed it is “pretty clear” that infections would have to drop considerably before things can start to reopen.

On a visit to vaccination site in Wales today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson also continued to exercise caution by stressing that ministers are looking at “data not dates” when it comes to easing restrictions.

Mr Johnson said his “roadmap” out of lockdown, which he will unveil on Monday, will be based “firmly on a cautious and prudent approach” that ensures the unlocking will be “irreversible”.

“We want to be going one way from now on,” he said.

The PM praised the UK’s “outstanding” vaccine rollout and said the steady drop in infection rates is “very encouraging”, but it is still “early days”.

Yesterday, head of the UK vaccine taskforce Clive Dix told Sky News that there is enough supply to vaccinate every adult with two doses by the end of August.

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