Sat, 17 Apr 2021

LONDON, March 2 (Xinhua) -- Another 6,391 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,188,400, according to official figures released Tuesday.

The country also reported another 343 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 123,296. 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 20.4 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine.

Earlier Tuesday, data from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that coronavirus related deaths in England and Wales are falling fastest among those aged 80 and over thanks to the vaccine rollout in Britain.

Meanwhile, health authorities continue to look for an unidentified person who tested positive for the variant of coronavirus first found in Brazil.

Six cases of the P1 coronavirus variant first found in Brazil have been discovered in Britain. Five have been located while another person has failed to complete the test registration card.

"Our search has narrowed from the whole country down to 379 households in the southeast of England and we're contacting each one," British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs on Tuesday.

There are concerns that this variant may spread more easily, might evade the immune system, or that vaccines might be less effective against it.

The current vaccines deployed in Britain had "not yet been studied against this variant" but that work is under way to "understand what impact it might have," said Hancock.

"We do know this variant has caused significant challenges in Brazil," he said. "So we're doing all we can to stop the spread of this new variant in the UK, to analyse its effects and to develop an updated vaccine that works on all these variants of concern and protect the progress we've made as a nation."

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, British Prime Minister Boris 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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