Covid: Zero coronavirus deaths reported in the UK for first time since last summer - but questions remain over 21 June

The Government has reported zero daily Covid deaths for the first time since last July – although concerns remain over rising case numbers

No deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 were reported on Tuesday, according to the Government.

It is the first time this has happened since July 30, 2020. It means the UK total remains at 127,782.

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Zero coronavirus deaths were reported for the first time since last July - but scientists are still concerned about infection rates

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, there had been a further 3,165 lab-confirmed cases in the UK.

Vaccine job ‘not done’

The news of zero deaths comes amid warnings that the job of the vaccination programme is not yet “done”, according to an immunisation expert.

Scientists are split on whether the Government should press ahead with the final stages of easing social restrictions later this month.

Professor Adam Finn, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said there are still many people who are vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 as he warned “the idea that somehow the job is done is wrong”.

Experts are divided over whether the final stage of easing social restrictions should press ahead on 21 June amid a surge in cases of the new ‘Delta’ variant first identified in India.

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Will lockdown restrictions be eased as planned on 21 June?

Downing Street has said that Boris Johnson still sees nothing in the data to suggest the plan to end all legal lockdown restrictions on June 21 will need to be delayed.

Asked about the Prime Minister’s plans amid warnings over the spread of the Indian variant, a No 10 spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has said on a number of occasions that we haven’t seen anything in the data but we will continue to look at the data, we will continue to look at the latest scientific evidence as we move through June towards June 21.”

Prof Finn, from the University of Bristol, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “There’s vulnerability across the country. The idea that somehow the job is done is wrong.

“We’ve still got a lot of people out there who’ve neither had this virus … nor yet been immunised, and that’s why we’re in a vulnerable position right now.”

He told LBC that pressing ahead with the easing of restrictions on June 21 “may be a bad decision”.

Professor Ravi Gupta, a member of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), said a delay of a few weeks could have a significant impact on Britain’s battle against the pandemic and recommended it should be made clear to the public that it would be a temporary measure based on the surge in cases of the new variant.

“Even a month delay could have a big impact on the eventual outcome of this,” Prof Gupta told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon announced that much of the country would remain in Level 2 restrictions, with Glasgow moving from Level 3 to Level 2.

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