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further six people have died of Covid 19 – with 3,240 more cases today confirmed in the UK.

Data released on Sunday showed that six people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 153,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The Government also said that, as of 9am on Sunday, there had been a further 3,240 lab-confirmed cases in the UK and 22,474 int he last seven days. This is an increase of 26.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, data up to May 29 shows that of the 64,592,019 jabs given in the UK so far, 39,259,168 were first doses – a rise of 190,822 on the previous day.

Some 25,332,851 were second doses, an increase of 440,435.

The continued spread of the Indian coronavirus variant has cast doubt on the ability to scrap restrictions, with ministers considering plans to keep some measures – such as the continued use of face masks and guidance on working from home – in place.

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said hospital bosses were concerned about the transmissibility of the B1617.2 variant and the large number of people who have still to receive doses of the vaccine.

He warned that although hospitals were not expecting to be overwhelmed by a surge of Covid-19 cases, they were already stretched by going “full pelt” on dealing with the backlog of cases built up during the pandemic and urgent care needs.

Hospitals are operating under reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions and increased numbers of coronavirus patients will add to difficulties by requiring wards to be reconfigured, he added.

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