A further 343 coronavirus deaths have been recorded in the UK in the lowest Tuesday rise in five months.

The last Tuesday with a lower number of Covid fatalities was on October 20, when 241 deaths were declared.

Today's jump is down by a third on the 548 deaths recorded last Tuesday. 

The latest figures come after weekly Covid deaths also fell by a third, according the Office for National Statistics.

In the week up to February 19, 13,809 deaths from all causes were recorded, with 4,079 mentioning coronavirus on their death certificates.

This is a drop of more than 1,600 (almost a third) compared to the previous week - and less than half the number recorded in mid-January.

Meanwhile, Covid hospital fatalities across the country rose by 315 today, with 279 in England, 33 in Scotland, two in Northern Ireland and one in Wales.

More than 123,000 Covid deaths have been recorded in the UK

It is the lowest daily increase on a Tuesday since 263 fatalities were reported on November 3 and about a 30 per cent drop on last week's total.

The tolls announced on recent Tuesdays were 437 on February 23, 540 on February 16, 583 on February 9 and 860 on February 2.

Of the latest fatalities in England, one was a 17-year-old with no underlying health conditions, with the patients aged between 17 and 102, NHS England said.

Covid deaths have dropped by a third in a week

There tends to be a spike in the daily death toll on Tuesdays due to a lag in reporting fatalities at the weekend.

The latest figures were announced after it emerged up to six in ten people who've had Covid-19  could be vulnerable to catching it again  from the new Brazil variant that was recently discovered in the UK.

Up to six cases have been detected in the UK - three in England and three in Scotland, with the identity and location of one of the carriers in England still a mystery.

A preliminary study from Manaus, where the Brazil variant first emerged in December, showed that protective antibodies did not work against it.

In other news, the number of people dying in England and Wales was  nearly 20 per cent above average  in a week, even as Covid fatalities fall dramatically, latest figures show.

And more than seven million people in England are living in almost 1,000 neighbourhoods where cases are now close to zero, according to a separate analysis of data.

Places with a negligible number of new infections include Hampstead Town and South Kensington in London, Middleton Junction and Hale in Greater Manchester, Anfield West and Mossley Hill East in Liverpool, and most of the city of Bath.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told MPs that there may be a need for a third Covid-19 vaccination dose over autumn against new variants.