UK reports 57,725 new COVID-19 cases, 445 deaths

London: The United Kingdom recorded a further 57,725 cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, the fifth day running that it has topped 50,000, and another 445 deaths, official data showed.

Friday’s data had shown 53,285 new coronavirus infections and 613 deaths.

It followed reports that about two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca are set to be supplied every week by the middle of January in the UK.

Margaret Keenan, 90, was the first patient in the UK to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.Credit:

The Times reported AstraZeneca expects to supply two million doses of the vaccine in total by next week, the newspaper reported, citing an unnamed member of the Oxford-AstraZeneca team.

"The plan is then to build it up fairly rapidly – by the third week of January we should get to two million a week," the report added.

The company was not immediately available to respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Britain on Wednesday approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, hoping that rapid action will help it stem a record surge of infections, driven by a highly contagious form of the virus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered 100 million doses for the country as part of an agreement with the company. The company had said it aims to supply millions of doses in the first quarter, adding that first vaccinations are slated to begin this year.

Britain, which has recorded more than 50,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for the last four days, is dealing with a rapid spread of a much more infectious variant of the coronavirus. As of Friday, the UK has recorded 53,285 new COVID-19 cases and 613 deaths.

Reuters

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