CORONAVIRUS deaths have today risen by ten – the second lowest daily toll since September.

The rise brings the total number of fatalities to 127,270, while a further 1,882 people tested positive for the bug.

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Today’s rise in fatalities is a slightly increase on last Sunday’s figure of seven, and the same as the 10 deaths recorded a fortnight ago.

It is also the second-lowest death toll since September 13 last year, when five fatalities were reported.

Cases are also up slightly on last Sunday’s figure of 1,730 – but below the 2,293 infections reported on April 4. 

The rise in infections means that a total of 4,387,820 people have now caught the virus.

Meanwhile, another 139,445 Brits received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine yesterday – meaning over 32 million people have now received their first shot.

And a further 499,635 second doses were given – bringing the total to 9,930,846. It is expected that the UK will pass the 10 million mark tomorrow.

It comes as:

  • UK cases of the Indian variant have doubled in a week amid fears it could 'scupper' the lockdown roadmap
  • A government minister said there is 'no evidence' that the Indian strain can evade vaccines
  • Just eight countries will be on the green list for travel from May 17, sources have claimed
  • Britain is 'on track' to further ease restrictions next month after making 'positive progress' during lockdown
  • Brits flocked to car boot sales as the mercury soared to 17C on the first weekend after Covid rules were eased

No fatalities were reported in Northern Ireland and Scotland, while Wales recorded three further deaths. 

Today’s figures come amid growing concern over the spread of the Indian variant of coronavirus, with Public Health England confirming 77 cases of the strain.

Environment Secretary George Eustice defended the Government's decision not to further restrict travel to the country, but said the situation is being kept “under regular review”. 

Experts have previously warned that the strain could “scupper” Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown were it allowed to become dominant. 

But Mr Eustice said there was “no evidence at the moment” that the strain could evade vaccines or that it is more contagious. 

Mr Eustice also said that despite rising infection rates in India, "it is appropriate" that the Prime Minister's planned trip to the country should go ahead later this month.

Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser for NHS Test and Trace, added that whilst there is not yet enough data to officially classify the new Indian strain as a "variant of concern", investigations are ongoing.

"We have seen a couple of cases (of the Indian variant) that haven't arisen from travel but we're still trying to undergo the investigations to look in great detail at where they might have acquired it from.

"To escalate it up the ranking we need to know that it is increased transmissibility, increased severity or vaccine evading, and we just don't have that yet," she told the BBC.

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