UK Covid deaths drop by a quarter in a week as 323 more die and another 9,985 test positive
UK Covid deaths today rose by 323 – down by a quarter on the rise recorded this time last week.
Another 9,985 infections were confirmed, meaning 4,154,562 have now tested positive for the bug in Britain since the start of the pandemic.
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The number of deaths confirmed today is down by 28 per cent on last Thursday’s rise (454).
And it is less than half the size of the figure recorded the Thursday before that (678), showing signs the spread is slowing.
New cases today are also down 17 per cent on last week’s rise (12,057).
They remain almost identical to the number of new infections logged yesterday (9,938).
The latest figures mean a total of 122,070 have now died with Covid in the UK since the start of the outbreak.
It comes as…
It comes as the UK’s Covid alert level was downgraded today – in a hopeful indicator that pressure on the NHS is lifting.
All four chief medical officers made the promising decision to pull the country down from its highest ever alert level – five – to four.
In a Department of Health statement from all four chiefs, they said health services across the four nations remain “under significant pressure” and although patient numbers are high, they are “consistently declining”.
They added: “We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high.
“In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer.
“However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.
“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”
Boris Johnson nonetheless insisted today that the lockdown will not be eased any earlier than planned.
The PM vowed that his timetable was “sensible” and cautious but also irreversible, and the plan provided some certainty for everyone.
The plan will see schools go back on March 8, with summer exams ditched and teachers instead deciding what results students get.
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Marks will not be pegged to previous years, meaning grade inflation could run wild if teachers are generous with their assessed grades.
But Mr Johnson today promised parents the new teacher grading system for A Levels and GCSEs this summer will be “fair” and “durable”.
He said the system was “as good a compromise as we can come to,” insisting it is “the right way forward”.
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