The number of people who have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine has surpassed 13 million in the UK on Wednesday.
Praising the National Health Service and the general public, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a televised news conference that “there is no doubt we have made great strides” in meeting its vaccination target that was set five weeks ago.
The latest statistics revealed that more than 90% of people aged over 75 have been inoculated against the coronavirus as well as 25% of adults in general.
Despite the encouraging data which reveals declining infection and death rates from the virus, the prime minister urged the public to still abide by government restrictions and that it is too soon for people to book holidays both within the UK and across the world.
“I’m afraid it is just too early for people to be certain about what we’ll be able to do this summer. And we hope to be able to say more in the week of the 22nd.” Johnson said, referring to the date in which he will review the current national lockdown.
There has been a backlash against No.10’s new travel restrictions, which includes a 10-year jail sentence for those travelers who break quarantine rules, with many Conservative lawmakers accusing the government of being too harsh on those travelers who lie.
Sir Charles Walker, a senior Tory MP and the vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee that represents backbench Conservative MPs in parliament said in a statement: “Are we really going to lock people up for 10 years for being dishonest about the fact that they’ve been to Portugal? By all means, give them a fine, give them a hefty fine, a few thousand pounds.”
The government, however, has defended its new policy, arguing that the public supports strong action from the government. Furthermore, No.10 has said that MPs will not vote on the new rules as they have already become law.
On Wednesday, 13,013 people had a confirmed positive test of the virus, and between Feb. 4 and 10, 113,336 people had tested positive. This represents a 27.7% decrease in comparison to the last seven days. The total number of cases stands at 3,985,161.
Some 1,000 deaths were reported within 28 days of testing positive for the virus on Wednesday. Between Feb. 4 and 10, 5,516 people had succumbed to the virus. This shows a 25.9% drop in comparison to the previous week. As of Wednesday, 121,674 people have died from the virus.
By the end of Feb. 9, over 13 million people had been administered their first doses of the vaccine with 519,553 people receiving the second. Some 18.9% of the UK population have now received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The number of tests being carried out has also increased with 579,266 people on Tuesday taking a test. Between Feb. 3 and 9, almost 4.5 million tests were carried out, representing a 1% increase.
The number of hospital admissions continues to decrease with 1,872 people being admitted on Saturday. Between January 31 and Feb. 6, 15,780 people were admitted to the hospital with the virus. This is a 22.6% decrease in comparison to the previous seven days.
The latest R range for the UK stands at 0.7-1.0, with the current growth rate at -5% to -2% per day. The R number is a mechanism used to rate the virus’s ability to spread, with R being the number of people that one infected person will pass the virus on to.
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