The UK reported seven deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid on Sunday, the lowest daily toll in nearly seven months.

At the peak of the second wave, the government had reported 1,820 deaths in a single day, on 20 January. The last time the tally of daily recorded fatalities was lower than this weekend was on 13 September, when five deaths from the virus were logged.

The UK’s total death toll now stands at 127,087, although separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been about 150,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

For the fourth consecutive day, more than 400,000 second vaccine doses were administered in the UK, according to the latest government data, as the country neared 40m jabs in total since the inoculation programme began in December.

A record total of 475,230 second jabs were given on Saturday, taking the total number of vaccine doses administered to 39,587,893. Of these, 32,121,353 were first doses – a rise of 111,109 on the previous day.

On Friday, 450,136 second doses and 106,878 first doses were administered.

Public Health England said earlier this week that analysis suggested the vaccination programme prevented 10,400 deaths in those aged 60 and older in England up to the end of March, an additional 4,300 since the previous update.

From 8 December 2020 to the end of March 2021, more than 15m vaccine doses were given to adults aged 60 and over.

The Office for National Statistics said in its latest update that in the week ending 26 March, 528 fewer deaths were registered in England and Wales than the five-year average, a reduction of 5%. This is the third consecutive week that deaths have been below the five-year average.

In the same week, deaths involving Covid-19 accounted for 7.2% of all deaths in England and Wales, compared with 9.3% in the previous week.

The government also said that as of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 1,730 lab-confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK, down from 2,589 the day before, bringing the total number of confirmed infections to 4,369,775 since the pandemic began.

This content first appear on the guardian

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