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UK reports no new daily COVID-19 deaths for first since last year

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FILE: Pedestrians pass a sign on a bus stop in West Ealing in London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
FILE: Pedestrians pass a sign on a bus stop in West Ealing in London, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.   -   Copyright  Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP
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No one was reported to have died from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours in the United Kingdom, official data released on Tuesday showed.

The figure is unprecedented since July 30 last year.

But it comes amid concerns in the country over the fast-spreading Delta variant, which was first detected in India and now accounts for the majority of new cases in Britain.

After weeks of decline, new cases were on the rise with an additional 3,165 infections reported on Tuesday, bringing the cumulative total to 4.5 million since the pandemic began.

Over the past seven days, new infections increased by 31.9%, according to the UK government's coronavirus dashboard.

British health authorities are speeding up the vaccination race to contain the new variant, which scientists say is more transmissible than the UK's previously dominant strain. Current vaccines appear to be effective against it.

The UK is one of the world's leading countries for coronavirus vaccinations. About three-quarters of British adults have had one dose, while almost half have received both doses.

Yet many experts are urging the UK government to postpone plans to lift remaining restrictions on June 21, warning more people need to be inoculated before measures can be eased safely.

The government says it will announce on June 14 whether the easing of restrictions will be delayed.

The UK is the European country with the highest number of coronavirus deaths, with a total 127,782 lives lost to the pandemic.