Today, the total number of deaths in the UK stands at more than 150,000. It is a sobering reminder of why societies cannot ignore Covid. It hasn’t gone away.
A government spokesman said: “Every death from this virus is a tragedy and our sympathies are with everyone who has lost loved ones.

“We are thankful for the collective national effort and the hard work of frontline health and social care staff and volunteers for administering vaccines to tens of millions of people and keeping people safe. Their tireless efforts have saved thousands of lives.”

However, he added “the pandemic is not over” and urged people to “play their part” by getting vaccinated.

It comes after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said a fourth Covid jab was not needed for most people yet.

Data suggests that three months after getting a booster dose, protection against hospital admission remains at about 90% for people aged 65 and over.

The JCVI said the priority therefore remained to get first, second and third doses to people who have not already had them.

The prime minister has said he hopes England can “ride out” the current wave of infections without further restrictions, although he acknowledged parts of the NHS would feel “temporarily overwhelmed”.

England is currently under Plan B restrictions, which includes mandatory face masks in most public indoor spaces, Covid passes for entry to some large venues and advice to work from home where possible.

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