UK records a further 40 Covid-19 deaths as R rate rises slightly

Barney Davis
·2-min read
<p>A volunteer adds hearts to the Covid memorial wall in Westminster</p> (PA)

A volunteer adds hearts to the Covid memorial wall in Westminster


The Government has recorded an additional 40 Covid-19 deaths over the past 24 hours taking the UK death toll to 127,385.

A total of 2,678 people tested positive for the virus a slight increase from last Friday when the figure was 2,596.

Five deaths were reported to Public Health England in London over the past 24 hours.

England‘s R number has risen slightly this week amid the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Since April 12 people have been allowed to meet friends outdoors, go to beer gardens, play sport and go to shopping centres.

However, the R number has remained relatively stable, with only a small increase this week.

According to the latest Government figures the coronavirus R number (reproduction number) is between 0.8 and 1.

When the figure is above 1, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below 1, it means the epidemic is shrinking.

449,663 vaccines were handed out yesterday, according to NHS England.

Yesterday, it was revealed that the number of rare bloodclots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine have risen to 168 with more than 21.2 million people having had the jab in the UK.

On Friday the European Medicines Agency said the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh the risks of rare blood clots.

In a press briefing on Friday, the agency’s deputy executive director Noel Wathion said: “Based on data from initial clinical trials and early real-world evidence collected as of the start of national vaccination campaigns, we carried out an analysis of benefits and risks during different stages of Covid-19 exposure and how both the vaccine and the disease may affect different age groups in different situations.

“Our interim conclusion is that overall the data showed that the benefits of vaccination increase with age, and with increasing levels of infection in the community.”

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