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Sunday, 16 May 2021 12:00 GMT

UK records another 2,596 coronavirus cases, 34 deaths


(MENAFN - Trend News Agency) Another 2,596 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,383,732, according to official figures released Friday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.

The country also reported another 34 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 127,225. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

More than 32.5 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

A total of 600 people in the Britain have now contracted the coronavirus variant first emerged in South Africa as surge testing is taking place in parts of London over the past few days, new figures showed.

In the latest development, a coronavirus variant with a "double mutation" was detected in Britain after having first emerged in India. It has been classified as a "variant under investigation".

According to Public Health England, a total of 77 cases of the variant, known as B.1.617, have been found across the country, mostly in England, in the days leading up to April 14.

Paul Hunter, professor in medicine at the University of East Anglia, said the double mutation discovery could be cause for significant concern.

"These two escape mutations working together could be a lot more problematic than the South African and Brazilian variants who have only got one escape mutation," he told The Guardian newspaper.

"It might be even less controlled by vaccine than the Brazilian and South African variants."

As England further eases its lockdown, all shops reopened from Monday along with hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services.

Restaurants and pubs were allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors. Meanwhile, gyms, spas, zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centers can all open.

Experts have warned that despite progress in vaccine rollout, Britain is "still not out of the woods" amid concerns over new variants and the third wave of pandemic on the European continent.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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