LONDON, May 7 : Another 2,490 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,431,043, according to official figures released Friday.
The country also reported another 15 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 127,598. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
More than 35 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.
Earlier Friday, Public Health England declared a coronavirus strain first detected in India, known as B1617.2, as “variant of concern”.
Responding to the latest development, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “What we’re doing there is making sure that we are absolutely ruthless in the surge testing, in the door-to-door tracking of any contacts.”
“At the moment we’re looking carefully at the way the Indian variant seems to function, we don’t see any evidence that it is resistant to the vaccines or in any way more dangerous,” he said.
The British government is expected later Friday to unveil quarantine-free holiday destinations as foreign trips would be allowed from May 17.
Experts have warned that despite progress in vaccine rollout, Britain is “still not out of the woods” amid concerns over new variants, particularly those first emerged in South Africa, Brazil and India, and the third wave of pandemic on the European continent.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.