UK records 4,715 new Covid cases, 58 deaths

London, March 28 (IANS) Another 4,715 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,329,180, according to official figures released on Saturday.

The country also reported another 58 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 126,573. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test, Xinhua news agency reported.

Nearly 30 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of a coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

Earlier on Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said England is still on course for a “roadmap to freedom,” but warned of the impact of Europe’s third wave of infections on Britain.

Speaking at the virtual Conservative Party spring conference, Johnson said while “we are in a different world from last spring” there was a need to be “honest about the difficulties ahead”.

Johnson said there were still unanswered questions about the impact of a third coronavirus wave from Europe, adding that “bitter experience” had shown a wave like the one in Europe would hit Britain “three weeks later”.

“The question is — is it going to be, this time, as bad it has been in the past? Or have we sufficiently mitigated, muffled, blunted impact by the vaccine rollout? That’s a question we still don’t really know the answer to,” he said.

On February 22, Johnson announced his long-anticipated “roadmap” exiting the lockdown, the third of its kind since the start of the pandemic. The March 8 reopening of schools was the first part of the four-step plan, which is expected to see all legal restrictions in England being removed by mid-June.

The National Health Service (NHS) England has warned that Britain is going to face a “significant reduction” in vaccine supplies from March 29 onwards.

British Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said Friday that the government was “on course” to meet its target of offering a first dose to the top nine priority groups by April 15 and all adults by the end of July.

Experts have warned Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants and the risks of the public breaching restriction rules.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the US as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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