Sat, 17 Apr 2021

LONDON, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Another 5,455 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,182,009, according to official figures released Monday.

The country also reported another 104 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 122,953. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

The latest figures were revealed as more than 20.2 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier Monday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson defended his government's measures designed to stop new coronavirus variants from entering Britain after six cases of the P1 variant first found in Brazil were detected in the country.

British officials are also seeking a missing person in England who has been infected with this variant of concern but did not complete the registration form properly.

Johnson said a "massive effort" is under way to prevent the new variant from spreading, including the hotel quarantine and mass tests.

"We have got one of the toughest border regimes anywhere in the world for stopping people coming in to this country who may have variants of concern," he said.

The hotel quarantine rule took effect in England on Feb. 15, which requires travellers from more than 30 "red list" countries, including Brazil, must pay to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days. Critics said the measures came into force too late.

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.

On Feb. 22, Johnson announced his long-anticipated "roadmap" exiting the lockdown. Schools in England will reopen from March 8 as first part of the four-step plan, which Johnson said was designed to be "cautious but irreversible".

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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