UK coronavirus cases surpass 4 million
Another 15,144 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,013,799, according to official figures released Friday, Xinhua reports.
The country also reported another 758 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 116,287. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
The latest figures were revealed as Britain's coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, has fallen to below one for the first time since July 2020.
The figure is now between 0.7 and 0.9, down from between 0.7 and 1.0 last week, according to the British government's Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
The R number represents the average number of people each COVID-19 positive person goes on to infect.
When the figure is above one, an outbreak can grow exponentially, but when it is below one it means the epidemic is shrinking.
Meanwhile, Britain is stepping up efforts to speed up vaccine roll-out to bring the pandemic under control.
More than 14 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.
Britain aims to complete the vaccination of the top priority groups, which cover 15 million people, by mid-February.
Downing Street has confirmed that all British adults aged 50 and older are expected to be offered a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine by early May. Britain aims to offer all adults their first dose by autumn.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.