The UK has recorded 30,301 new COVID-19 cases and 121 more coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data.
The figures compare with 35,577 new COVID-19 cases and 127 deaths reported yesterday, and 27,798 cases and 108 deaths reported a week ago.
It takes the total number of deaths within 28 days of a positive test to 136,913 – almost identical to the population of Ipswich (136,913) according to a population estimate published the Office for National Statistics.
On Saturday, a total of 768 people were admitted to hospital with the virus, with a total of 6,733 patients currently in hospital of which 815 are in ventilation beds.
Some 37,787 first doses of a COVID vaccine were administered in the latest 24-hour period, taking the total to have received the first jab to 48,901,277.
Another 33,638 had a second jab, meaning a total of 44,935,470 are now fully vaccinated.
The figures come as the chair of the UK’s antivirals Taskforce has hinted at an interest in a new pill called molnupiravir after “very encouraging” clinical trial results found it cut hospitalisations and deaths by half.
“We are involved in looking closely at all of the options available, but we’re really not in a position to give out the details around specific conversations at this moment in time,” said Eddie Gray.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned care home staff to “get the jab or get another job” ahead of a 11 November deadline for workers in the care field to have received both vaccine doses.
Mr Javid has said he will not extend the deadline to allow more workers to get the second jab, but care home organisations have warned the decision could lead to a shortage in staff.