COVID-19: UK records another 63 deaths as total to receive first vaccination dose nears 29 milion

Another 63 COVID-related deaths have been recorded in the UK in the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures.

This compares with the 98 recorded on Wednesday.

A total of 126,445 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

Live COVID updates from across the UK and around the world

There were also another 6,397 new infections reported on Thursday, bring the UK’s overall total to 4,319,305.

A further 337,665 people received a dose of a coronavirus vaccine, meaning 28,991,188 people have now had a jab.

This includes 2,775,481 people who have had their two doses, thereby completing their vaccination.

The latest figures have been released as MPs voted in parliament to extend emergency coronavirus laws for another six months.

Despite opposition from some Tory backbenchers, the Coronavirus Act 2020 was passed by 484 votes to 76, a majority of 408.

MPs also approved the regulations underpinning the steps to ease restrictions from 29 March as laid out in Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Health Secretary Matt Hancock highlighted the "crucial" role the Coronavirus Act has played in response to the pandemic.

He noted how it served as "a lifeline to so many people" by helping the NHS and keeping public services open, while allowing for the offer of financial assistance.

To remove the temporary provisions in the act now, he said, "would lose, for instance, measures protecting commercial tenants and renters from eviction".

Up for discussion elsewhere in the UK was that of vaccine certificates, which Boris Johnson has said "there is going to be a role" for in the future.

The prime minister was speaking at a visit to a nursery in west London when he assured "no decisions have been taken at all" ahead of the results of a government review being made public early next month.

However, Mr Johnson said such certification might only be implemented after every adult has been offered a vaccine in July.

"You’ve got to be careful about how you do this," he said.

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