UK records another 2,657 coronavirus cases, 11 deaths

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Football fans arrive at Wembley Stadium before the Carabao Cup Final, as part of coronavirus events trial in London, Britain, on April 25, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Another 2,657 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,444,631, according to official figures released Thursday.

The country also reported another 11 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 127,651. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.

Earlier Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain is "anxious" about the coronavirus variant first detected in India and his government is "ruling nothing out" to tackle its spread in the country.

The consortium of scientists studying new variants in the country, COG-UK, has identified a total of 1,723 cases of the Indian variant known as B1617.2.

Although some of these will be duplicates, it is more than triple Public Health England's confirmed figure last week of 520, according to Sky News. Scientists have raised concerns that the current vaccines may be less effective against the new variants.

However, Johnson said the easing of lockdown will go ahead as planned for now.

From May 17, pubs, bars and restaurants in England will be permitted to open indoors, while indoor entertainment will also resume, including cinemas, museums and children's play areas.

People in England will be allowed to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30 people, and meet indoors in groups of up to six or as two households.

Meanwhile, all remaining accommodation including hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen from next Monday, according to Johnson.

The British government's roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21.

According to the latest official figures, more than 35.9 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine.

However, experts have warned that despite progress in vaccine rollout, Britain is "still not out of the woods" amid concerns over new variants, particularly those first emerged in South Africa, Brazil and India, and the third wave of pandemic on the European continent.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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