Britain recorded its third-highest daily Covid-19 death toll on Saturday, but the number of new infections dropped to its lowest level this year.

The number of people who died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test rose by 1,295 to 88,590.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 104,000 deaths involving Covid-19 nationwide.

A further 41,346 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus were recorded, down from 55,761 on Friday and the lowest daily total since 27 December. 

The latest data brings the total number of cases in the UK to 3,357,361 and comes as doctors across the NHS face an “immediate reality” of having to choose which patients are prioritised for care.

Meanwhile, the number of people in the UK to have been given a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine was 3,559,179 as of Friday, according to government data published on Saturday – marking a rise of 324,233 from Friday’s figures.

The total number of jabs administered in the UK, including both first and second doses, is 4,006,440.

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