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UK reports 259 more COVID deaths, 60,578 cases

The UK has confirmed 60,578 new cases of Covid in the past 24 hours – down 20% from 76,069 last Saturday.

Along with this, a further 259 Brits have died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, bringing the total deaths up to 158,243.

Scotland accounted for 24 of the confirmed deaths and 5,650 of the positive cases, with Northern Ireland recording three confirmed Covid deaths in the past 24 hours, and 3,201 cases.

The rest were in England and Wales.

This comes in the week the UK saw its biggest single-day rise in deaths in almost a year.

On Wednesday, 552 Covid  deaths were confirmed, the highest figure since February last year.

Deaths have continued to remain high, averaging around 250 Brits confirmed to have died a day in the last few weeks.

It is likely that the higher death rates are a consequence of the record high case rate recorded in the new year and into January.