The UK has reported 121 more coronavirus-related deaths and 42,076 cases in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data.
It compares with 178 deaths and 38,154 infections yesterday, while last Friday 100 fatalities and 38,046 cases were announced.
Today’s cases figure is the highest since 21 July, when there were 44,104 reported.
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The latest seven-day average for deaths is 114, far below the peak of the second wave in January when it reached more than 1,200.
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Since the pandemic began, total deaths in the UK within 28 days of a positive test stand at 133,041.
An alternative count – recording deaths with COVID-19 mentioned anywhere on the death certificate – is 156,119.
Meanwhile, another 40,002 people had a first dose of a vaccine on Thursday, taking the total to 48,171,998 (88.6% of over-16s).
There were 119,375 second jabs, meaning 43,142,747 are fully inoculated (79.4% of over-16s).
It comes as the UK’s vaccine advisory body said healthy children between 12 and 15 should not get a vaccine. However, the UK’s four chief medical officers are to review the matter before a final decision.
Daily figures also show the number of people in hospital with coronavirus is 7,541 (1,038 of those on mechanical ventilation).
It’s a significant rise from the middle of June, when it was around 1,200, and cases began to rise. However, once again, it’s well down on the 38,000 or so in hospital towards the end of January.
Today’s figures come as England’s R number range was estimated to have fallen from 1.0-1.1 to 0.9 and 1.1.
It indicates the average number of people each COVID-positive person goes on to infect.
An R number between 0.9 and 1.1 means every 10 infected people will, on average, pass the virus on to between nine and 11 other people.
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