UK records 13,308 new COVID-19 confirmed cases, 621 deaths

London: Another 13,308 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,027,106, according to official figures released Saturday. The country also reported another 621 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 116,908. 

These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

Earlier Saturday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he is “optimistic” ahead of his announcement expected on February 22 about a “roadmap” for easing England`s lockdown.

Johnson said his plan would prioritize the reopening of schools from March 8, followed by non-essential retail and then hospitality venues.

“Our children`s education is our number one priority, but then working forward, getting non-essential retail open as well and then, in due course as and when we can prudently, cautiously, of course, we want to be opening hospitality as well,” he said during a visit to Billingham, northern England, where the new Novavax vaccine will be manufactured.

“I will be trying to set out as much as I possibly can in as much detail as I can, always understanding that we have to be wary of the pattern of disease. We don`t want to be forced into any kind of retreat or reverse ferret,” he said.

“I`m optimistic, I won`t hide it from you. I`m optimistic, but we have to be cautious,” he added.

Britain is stepping up efforts to speed up vaccine roll-out to bring the pandemic under control.

More than 14.5 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

Britain aims to complete the vaccination of the top priority groups, which cover 15 million people, by mid-February.

Downing Street has confirmed that all British adults aged 50 and older are expected to be offered a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by early May. 

Britain aims to offer all adults their first dose by autumn.England is currently under the third national lockdown since outbreak of the pandemic in the country. 

Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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