There have been a further 621 coronavirus deaths in Britain – the lowest rise on a Saturday for six weeks – and 13,308 confirmed cases.
The daily number of deaths has reduced by almost half in a fortnight.
The total number of Covid deaths within 28 days of a positive test is now 116,908, while the overall count for lab-confirmed cases is now 4,027,106.
Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 135,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.
A total of 14,556,827 have now received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine and 534,869 a second jab. Boris Johnson has set a target of offering a first dose to 15 million people in the four highest priority groups by Monday.
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Confirmed cases, deaths and hospitalisations continue to decrease with lockdowns still in place, the UK past the peak of the second wave of the pandemic, and the R rate shrinking to 0.7-0.9.
In the last week, there have been 4,816 deaths (within 28 days of a positive test), a decrease of 26.1 per cent (or 1,705 fatalities) compared with the previous week.
Saturday’s total of 621 is a decrease of 25 per cent compared with last Saturday’s figure (828 deaths), 48 per cent on two weeks ago (1,200 fatalities), and 54 per cent from a Saturday record of 1,348 deaths on January 23.
The trend mirrors the fall in confirmed cases which began a few weeks earlier.
There have been 97,272 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the last seven days, a drop of 36,475 (-27.3 per cent) from the previous week.
Cases peaked at the start of January and have been falling steadily since then.
The daily total of 13,308 for Saturday is a 27 per cent drop on a week ago (18,262 cases) and 43 per cent on two weeks ago (23,275).
Government data up to February 12 shows that of the 15,091,696 jabs given in the UK so far, 14,556,827 were first doses – a rise of 544,603 on the previous day.
Some 534,869 were second doses, an increase of 4,775 on figures released the previous day.
The seven-day rolling average of first doses given in the UK is now 441,660.
Based on the latest figures, an average of 221,587 first doses of vaccine would be needed each day to meet the Government’s target of 15 million first doses by February 15.
The latest figures were announced as the Prime Minister said he is “optimistic” he will be able to set out plans for a “cautious” easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England in just over a week.
Mr Johnson said that while the overall number of cases remained high, the infection rate was starting to fall while the rollout of the vaccination programme has made “huge progress”.
“I’m optimistic, I won’t hide if from you. I’m optimistic but we have to be cautious,” he told reporters during a visit to a vaccine manufacturing facility in Billingham, Teesside.
His comments came as scientists continued to urge caution over the easing of the current controls when Mr Johnson sets out his “roadmap” out of lockdown for England on February 22.
Professor Steven Riley, a member of the Spi-M modelling group and one of the Government’s scientific advisers, said ministers risked a third wave of the pandemic as big as the current one if they moved too quickly while senior NHS figures said the health service remained under huge pressure.
Mr Johnson remains under pressure from some Tory MPs to get on with lifting the restrictions and reopening the economy as quickly as possible.
Earlier, the UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll increased by 513, the lowest increase on a Saturday for six weeks.
It is a decline of 45 per cent compared with the most deaths on a Saturday (926 on January 16).
England reported 436 new fatalities, Scotland had 45, Wales recorded 22, and Northern Ireland had 10 to bring Britain’s hospital total to 92,390.
Here is a look at the Covid-19 situation in each UK nation on Saturday.
NHS England announced a further 436 deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in NHS hospitals in England to 78,588.
The latest victims were aged between 21 and 100 years old. All except ten (aged 49 to 89 years old) had known underlying health conditions.
The deaths occurred between January 4 and Friday.
The Midlands had the highest total (96), followed by the South East (79) and London (69).
There were 58 other deaths reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.
Scotland has recorded 45 deaths from coronavirus and 908 positive tests in the past 24 hours, according to official figures.
The number of people who died after first testing positive for the virus within the previous 28 days has fallen from the 67 announced on Friday.
It brings the total death toll under this measure to 6,711.
The number of new Covid 19 cases was 78 higher than the 830 reported on Friday, although they accounted for 4.9 per cent of all new tests – down slightly from the previous day’s 5.2 per cent.
There were 59,820 first doses of coronavirus vaccines administered in the 24 hours up until 8.30am on Saturday and a further 443 second doses, according to the Scottish Government’s figures.
The number of first doses was down 5,058 compared to Friday’s figure, although there were 72 more second doses administered.
A total of 1,173,445 people have now received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccination and 14,009 have received their second dose.
Public Health Wales said there had been a further 22 deaths.
The toll in Wales now stands at 5,106.
There were 400 new confirmed cases to bring the total to 198,761 since the pandemic began.
Northern Ireland’s Department of Health announced 10 more deaths for a total of 1,985.
A total of 303 new cases were confirmed for an overall count of 108,737.