The UK’s coronavirus death toll has risen by 137 to 44,131, according to the latest government update.
Data from the Department of Health and Social Care shows the daily figure has fallen significantly compared to the 186 deaths reported last Friday.
However the true number of deaths involving is likely to be over 55,000 – far higher than the total kept by the Department of Health and Social Care.
And the Office for National Statistics had said the total number of excess deaths in the UK – which compares this year to the average for the last five years - is over 65,000.
A further 544 people tested positive in the 24 hours leading up to 9am on Friday, bringing the total to 284,276.
Over the same period 205,673 tests were performed or sent out, according to the government.
The latest daily figures were published after it emerged that the growth rate of Covid-19 transmission in the UK has risen slightly in the last week – albeit the virus is still in retreat..
Government data revealed it is now between -6 and 0 per cent, compared with a rate of -4 to -2 per cent per day last week.
The growth rate reflects how quickly the number of infections is changing day by day and indicates whether the virus is growing (above zero) or shrinking (less than zero)
It comes as England prepares to reopen pubs, restaurants and other leisure venues from 6am on Saturday, except in locked-down Leicester.
Boris Johnson urged Britons to “enjoy summer sensibly” to prevent the country sliding into a second wave of coronavirus.
Ahead of pubs reopening and other lockdown restrictions being eased on Saturday, the prime minister warned: ”My message is, let’s not blow it now, folks.”
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