The UK has recorded 17 coronavirus deaths in the latest 24-hour period – the lowest daily figure since late September.
The number is a marked fall from last Monday, when the UK reported 52 deaths that had taken place within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test.
The last time the number of daily deaths was lower was on 28 September, when 13 were recorded.
In today’s figures 5,342 cases were reported – a rise on the 4,618 recorded a week ago.
It comes as the UK’s record-breaking vaccination streak has ended, after 367,006 first doses and 52,612 second doses were administered in the last 24 hours.
Saturday had been the third consecutive day with a record number of coronavirus vaccinations as 844,285 people received a jab – a figure that was first reported on Sunday.
During one hour on Saturday, vaccinations were being given out at a rate of nearly 27 every second, NHS England had said.
It meant that roughly 1.3% of the UK population received a vaccination in that 24-hour period – and more than 2.24 million people received a jab over the three record-breaking days.
It comes as the UK moves closer to the end of March, when the supply of vaccines is expected to be reduced due to problems with shipments from India.
NHS bosses have said that people under 50 should not be invited for their first dose in April so that the available supply can be concentrated on those aged over 50 and adults of all ages with underlying health conditions judged to put them at higher risk.
The government is aiming to get the top nine priority groups vaccinated at least once by 15 April and this, combined with the need for people to receive their second dose no longer than 12 weeks after their first, will mean that the under-50s will have to wait longer for their first jab.
The government insists it is on track to offer all adults in the UK at least one dose of the vaccine by the end of July.
Meanwhile, figures for local authority areas in England (in the seven days to 18 March) show:
- Of the 315 local areas in England, 138 (44%) have seen a rise in case rates, 171 (54%) have seen a fall, and six are unchanged
- Barnsley has the highest rate in England, with 483 new cases recorded – the equivalent of 195.7 cases per 100,000 people. This is an increase from the 147.4 per 100,000 in the previous seven days
- Corby in Northamptonshire has the second highest rate, up from 162.0 to 189.7, with 137 new cases
- Redditch in the West Midlands has the third highest rate, up from 157.2 to 164.2, with 140 new cases
- Luton had the biggest week-on-week rise – from 93.4 to 141.7