THE UK coronavirus death toll today rose by 147 in 24 hours in England alone as the total hits 36,822.
It is one of the lowest rises since March as the deadly bug's spread continues to slow.
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The figures refer to those who have died in all settings – including care homes, hospices and the wider community.
Nine more people in Scotland have died after contracting the bug, bringing the country's total to 2,270.
Another seven people died in Wales, meaning the number of fatalities has reached 1,267.
Northern Ireland has recorded one more death today, with the death toll now at 506.
The rise comes after the death toll grew by 282 in 24 hours – the lowest Saturday total since March.
It comes as…
- Boris Johnson is set to ease restrictions on open-air activities
- Britain's leading scientist has warned there is only a 50 per cent chance of success to find a vaccine
- Dominic Cummings has been accused of breaking lockdown three times
- The lockdown has cost more lives than it saved, a Nobel laureate scientist warned
However, data suggests Britain's overall death toll from the virus is far higher than the total reported by the Government so far – and has already passed 45,000.
The number of cases are falling across the country, despite more people being tested for the killer bug.
Boris Johnson is tomorrow set to ease restrictions on open-air activities in the latest step back to normal life.
Mr Johnson is expected to give the go-ahead for market stalls, car sales centres and garden fetes from next month.
National Trust parks will also be told they can open for business providing indoor attractions remain out of bounds.
Even some non-essential shops could be given the all-clear to open again. Mr Johnson wants to salvage the summer for families confined for the past nine weeks.
And he is keen to make the countryside accessible again — but in “slow steps”.
But the Government still needs to fulfil the five requirements needed to end lockdown.
But the scientist leading Britain's hunt for a coronavirus vaccine has warned there is only a 50 per cent chance of success.
Professor Adrian Hill, who heads a team of experts at Oxford University, said the chances of discovering a vaccine were being rapidly reduced as Covid-19 cleared up.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced this week a $1.2billion deal with the US government to produce 400million doses of an unproved coronavirus vaccine, dubbed ZD1222, which was first produced in Prof Hill’s lab.
The British government has also agreed to pay for up to 100m doses, saying some 30m may be ready for UK citizens by September.
Any vaccine would allow countries to lift any lockdown restrictions, allow people to return to work and get the economy moving again.
Meanwhile, lockdown cost more lives than it saved, a Nobel laureate warned.
Michael Levitt, a Stanford University professor, says the country will emerge from Covid-19 within just weeks.
A coronavirus study has also predicted the date the UK will be free from the bug – suggesting the nation could be free by September 30.
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