The UK reported only one new death within 28 days of testing positive on Monday, the first time the death toll has been that low since last summer.
Authorities also said they had found 1,694 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, meaning that infections remain steady despite the threat of the novel coronavirus variants. Monday is a public holiday, which has affected the figures reported in the past.
But the latest figures show that the vaccine program appears to be working, as fewer serious illnesses resulting in fewer deaths have been informed.
According to reports and vaccination data, 34,588,600 people have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in England, for a total of 50 million jabs administered across the United Kingdom, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday.
The death registered on Monday brought the total fatalities in the UK to 127,539.
The last time such a low number of daily deaths was reported was on August 30 last year. Although there is often a delay in reporting the number of cases and fatalities over the weekend, deaths in recent weeks have been encouragingly low.
The vaccination program’s success comes as authorities said that the measures could be relaxed.
Boris Johnson said Monday there was a good chance that the one-meter rule for social distancing could be eased starting next month. He also gave the first signs that international travel could resume in the following weeks.
However, he warned that the government would remain cautious to avoid a flood of cases.
During a campaign visit to Hartlepool, the Prime Minister told reporters: “As things stand, and the way things are going, with the vaccine rollout going the way that it is – we have done 50 million jabs as I speak to you today, quarter of the adult population, one in four have had two jabs.”
“You are seeing the results of that really starting to show up in the epidemiology,” he added.
“I think that we will be able to go ahead, feels like May 17 is going to be good. But it also looks to me as though June 21 we’ll be able to say social distancing as we currently have to do it, the one-meter plus, I think we have got a good chance of being able to dispense with the one-meter plus from June 21,” he went on.
However, he stated that it still depended on the data, adding: “we can’t say it categorically yet, we have got to look at the epidemiology as we progress, and we have got to look at where we get to with the disease. But that’s what it feels like to me right now.”