The UK has recorded more than 150,000 COVID-related deaths since the start of the pandemic after the latest daily figures showed 313 further fatalities.
It brings the total number of deaths reported within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test to 150,057.
A further 146,390 COVID cases have also been reported, according to the latest government data, taking the total number since the beginning of the pandemic to 14,333,794.
Saturday’s figures compare to 178,250 coronavirus infections and 231 fatalities reported yesterday.
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A total of 47,632,483 people have been double jabbed after 32,455 received their second dose yesterday.
A further 22,526 people have received their first dose, taking the total under that measurement to 51,919,815 and 35,273,945 have now been boosted – accounting for 61.3% of the eligible population.
The UK’s first COVID death was reported on 5 March 2020, less than three weeks before the country went into its first lockdown.
Health secretary challenged over mandatory vaccines
Meanwhile, Sajid Javid has been challenged by an unvaccinated hospital consultant over the government’s policy of compulsory COVID jabs for NHS staff.
During a visit to King’s College Hospital in south London, the health secretary asked ICU staff about the new rules, and Steve James, a consultant anaesthetist, explained his displeasure.
He told Mr Javid: “I had COVID at some point, I’ve got antibodies, and I’ve been working on COVID ICU since the beginning.
“I have not had a vaccination, I do not want to have a vaccination. The vaccines are reducing transmission only for about eight weeks for Delta, with Omicron it’s probably less.
“And for that, I would be dismissed if I don’t have a vaccine? The science isn’t strong enough.”
Mr Javid responded by saying that he respected his opinion but there are also “many different views”, before adding that the government has to “weigh all that up for both health and social care and there will always be a debate about it.”