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UK News

UK reports 20 more COVID deaths and 2,379 cases – as vaccine second doses near 5.5 million


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The UK has recorded 20 more COVID-related deaths and 2,379 new cases in the latest 24-hour period, according to the government’s data.

The figures compare with the 26 fatalities and 2,762 infections announced yesterday.

Last Tuesday, 56 deaths were reported along with 4,040 cases.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, 126,882 people in the UK have died within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test and there have been a total of 4,364,529 lab-confirmed cases.

Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world

Meanwhile, 40,744 people had their first dose of a COVID vaccine yesterday, taking the total to 31,622,367.

Some 64,590 people received their second jab yesterday, meaning 5,496,716 have now had both shots.

More from Covid-19

It comes amid fresh concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and its possible links to rare blood clots.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is reportedly considering proposals to restrict the use of the jab in younger people.

And the head of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) says it is “increasingly difficult” to say there is “no cause and effect relationship” between the shot and “rare cases of unusual blood clots”.

However, Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the EMA, told an Italian newspaper that full evaluation work was still “far from being completed” and that the risk-benefit ratio was still in favour of the vaccine.

Of the 18.1 million people who have had the Oxford vaccine in the UK, 30 people have developed blood clots.

The MHRA confirmed that of those 30 people, seven had died as of 24 March.

The UK regulator has maintained there is no evidence to suggest a causal link between blood clots and the Oxford jab, and that the benefits continue to outweigh any risk.

Also, Boris Johnson says he has not “given up” on allowing Britons to jet abroad from 17 May – as he raised the prospect of holidaymakers being able to use cheaper and faster COVID tests on their return to the UK.

Under the prime minister’s roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, international travel without a reasonable excuse will not be allowed to happen earlier than 17 May.

However, with many countries across Europe suffering a third wave of COVID infections, the government has not yet been able to confirm whether foreign holidays will be allowed beyond that date – leaving many families uncertain whether to book a summer break abroad.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2021

Written by: Rother Radio News

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