LONDON - Britain reported 146 new deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test on Tuesday, the highest daily total since March 12, as the impact of last month's surge in cases fed through into fatalities, government data showed.
The number of new cases reported on Tuesday fell to 23,510 from 25,161 on Monday - less than half the peak of 54,674 recorded on July 17, shortly before most social distancing measures were removed in England.
But coronavirus cases have begun to creep up again, with 196,047 Britons infected with COVID-19 in the past week, 7% more than the week before and the highest rolling seven-day total this month.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government went ahead with easing COVID-19 restrictions in England due to the broad roll-out of vaccinations which he said had largely broken the link between infections and subsequent hospitalization and death.
Three quarters of British adults have now received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 89% have received at least one.
Britain has suffered 130,503 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, the second-highest total in Europe after Russia and one of the highest in the world.
However, deaths and hospital admissions have been much lower after the most recent wave of cases than before. Some 622 COVID deaths were recorded in the past seven days, up 15% on the week before but well below weekly death tolls above 8,000 at the start of this year.