Only 55 coronavirus deaths were recorded in the UK over 24 hours, according to new government figures, marking the lowest daily reported death toll since lockdown measures were introduced.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said 40,597 people had died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 5pm on Sunday, up by 55 from 40,542 the day before.
The figures are at odds with those released by NHS England today, which reported that a further 59 people had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number in England to 27,490.
No deaths were reported in London hospitals for the second day in a row. NHS England said a “small number” of people had died and these would be included in figures in the next few days.
Public Health Wales said a further three people have died after testing positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of deaths in Wales to 1,401.
Another 42 people have tested positive, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 14,438.
Nicola Sturgeon said the figures were “very encouraging”.
“I can’t tell you how long I have waited to be able to report such a development and I know all of you will have longed to hear that," the First Minister said during the daily press briefing in Edinburgh.
However, she said it was likely that more deaths from the virus were likely to be reported in the coming days.
The death toll for Northern Ireland has not yet been released.