Coronavirus hospital deaths in Britain have increased by 293, statistics show – as a week-on-week Saturday decline continues.
A further 257 patients have died in England, 18 in Scotland, 16 in Wales and two in Northern Ireland.
The daily figure is lower by 62 than the number of people who died in hospital a week ago, which totalled 355, and lower by 220 than the Saturday before – 513 on February 13.
It is also a significant drop from a Saturday around a month ago, when 825 people died on January 23.
Hospital deaths rose by 352 yesterday, according to official numbers.
Got a story? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A further 8,523 coronavirus cases were reported in Britain yesterday, taking the total to 4,163,085.
The full death tally across all settings – including care homes and the wider community – will be released later today
Nearly 20million people have received vaccines, including both first and second doses.
The news comes a day after people were warned not to let their guard down and to continue to stick to lockdown rules amid the forecast good weather.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, the deputy chief medical officer for England, yesterday told the public “don’t wreck it now” in a stark message urging for discipline at a Downing Street press briefing.
He said: “In some parts of the UK, case rates are changing, albeit slowly, but in the wrong direction.
“This is not a good sign, and reinforces the fact that, I’m afraid, this battle at the moment is not won.”
“Please don’t be tempted to think well, one home visit might be all right now, weather’s getting better, going to be a nice weekend.
“One small gathering in your house won’t really matter. I’m afraid it does.
“There are some worry signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off the brake at exactly the wrong time.
“It’s a bit like being 3-0 up in a game and thinking ‘we can’t possibly lose’. But how many times have you seen the other side take it 4-3?”
Rishi Sunak is also expected to use next week’s Budget to level with people about the economic challenges the pandemic has created.
The chancellor has warned public finances will face “enormous strains” in the wake of the latest national lockdown.
And it has also been revealed that one dose of the Pfizer vaccine could be enough to provide complete protection from coronavirus in people who have already been infected.
According to research by Public Health England, a single dose of the jab increased the amount of antibodies in a person who had already contracted the disease.
The study, carried out alongside University College London, involved 51 health workers who had undergone regular tests for infection and antibodies since March.
About half of those had been infected and for them a single shot of the Pfizer vaccine increased their antibodies 140-fold compared to their highest levels before inoculation, the Telegraph reports.