COVID-19: UK reports another 178 deaths as number of people vaccinated hits 17.7m

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Another 178 coronavirus-related deaths and 10,641 new cases have been recorded, while the number of people to have received a first jab has now passed 17.7 million.

The latest number of deaths reported within 28 days of a postive coronavirus test is the lowest daily figure since 24 October.

It is also is down from the 215 posted yesterday and 230 last Monday, while cases are up from the 9,834 and 9,765 reported on those same days.

However, there is usually a lag in reporting over the weekend, which tends to be reflected in figures released on Mondays.

The number of people who have received their first dose of a COVID vaccine has risen by 141,719 to 17,723,840.

The statistics follow Boris Johnson's address to the House of Commons explaining his roadmap for leading England out of lockdown.

Mr Johnson has announced that all primary and secondary school pupils will return on 8 March as part of the first phase of his plan to ease restrictions.

He will lead a Downing Street news conference at 7pm to give further information about how the phases will work.

On Sunday the Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that all adults in the UK would be offered a vaccine by 31 July.

He said the government is confident it has the supplies to meet the July target - and to vaccinate all adults over 50, and higher risk groups, by 15 April.