- US President Donald Trump contradicts the head of the main health agency over vaccines and masks
- Mr Trump says a vaccine would be available "immediately" - and not as late as mid-2021
- He also denied Centers for Disease Control director Dr Robert Redfield's suggestion that masks could be more important than a vaccine
- Almost two million people in north-east England are expected to face restrictions as cases rise
- New Zealand is in recession for the first time in 11 years
- There have been nearly 30m confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, as well as more than 939,000 deaths
Hello and thank you for joining our coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. The main headlines on Thursday are:
- President Donald Trump has said there will be an effective vaccine available for mass distribution in the US in a matter of weeks - contradicting one of his top health officials. The president's rival in November's election, Joe Biden, says that Trump's promises can't be trusted
- New restrictions are expected to be introduced in England's north-east region where coronavirus cases have been sharply increasing
- South Africa's president has said he will start to lift the majority of the country's restrictions, which were some of the strictest in the world, claiming that they have "withstood the coronavirus storm"
- New Zealand is seeing a recession for the first time in eleven years as its strict lockdown measures hit the economy. It shrank 12% in the last quarter
- And India has reported another record jump in cases, its health ministry reported. It added another 97,894 cases in the last 24 hours to its tally of 5.1 million infections, the second-highest in the world
- Overall, there have been nearly 30m confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world, as well as more than 939,000 deaths
Restrictions expected for north-east EnglandLocal restrictions are expected to be announced in the north-east of England , where coronavirus cases have been rising.
Nearly two million people in Newcastle, South Tyneside, Sunderland, Northumberland and County Durham are set to be affected by the move.
The measures could include pubs closing at 22:00, people being told not to mix with other households, and public transport only being used for essential travel.
The full announcement is expected to come later on Thursday - with the measures starting at midnight, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick told ITV’s Peston programme.
Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes said it was hoped the temporary measures would prevent a "full lockdown".
New infections records in Ukraine and Czech RepublicBoth Ukraine and the Czech Republic have set new records in their daily rise in infections, reports Reuters news agency.
Ukraine has reported 3,584 new coronavirus infections, the national security council said on Thursday. That brings the country to a total of 166,244 cases, with 3,400 deaths.
Meanwhile for the first time the Czech Republic counted more than 2,000 new cases in a 24-hour period - it reported 2,139 new infections on Wednesday, up from a previous record of 1,675.
Bodies pile up on island as funeral director gets Covid
San Andrés is a Colombian island in the Caribbean
The governor of San Andrés says bodies are piling up on the Caribbean island after its only funeral parlour was hit by coronavirus.
The parlour's owner has Covid-19 and has had to be flown to hospital on the Colombian mainland. Her son has also tested positive, leaving only one employee at work.
Governor Everth Hawkins said his administration was buying refrigerated trucks to store the bodies.
Nine people have died with coronavirus so far on the Colombian island which has a population of about 75,000.
Colombia is the country with the sixth highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world with more than 735,000 infections.
What's the latest in Europe?The latest coronavirus headlines from around Europe:
- In Spain, students are taking part in strike action calling for improved safety measures in schools and universities. They are demanding stricter cleaning measures and better protection for teachers. It comes as the country recorded 239 new deaths from the virus, the highest figure since June. Infections are also rising quickly and a large proportion of these are in the capital, Madrid
- Protest action is also expected in France, where unions are calling for a day of demonstrations over the government's response to the economic hardship caused by the pandemic. The government has predicted 800,000 jobs could be lost this year
- Cases are continuing to rise in many countries. France recorded almost 10,000 new cases over the past 24 hours, the Czech Republic has seen a major rise, and Germany's daily cases were the second-highest since April. But hospital admissions are at a lower level than at the beginning of the pandemic
- And around Europe restrictions are being reimposed in some areas after they were eased following the initial lockdown. You can read our handy country-by-country breakdown of the rules here
Senior Indian minister tests positiveNitin Gadkari, a senior cabinet minister, has tested positive for coronavirus. The news comes just days after at least 17 MPs tested positive as the monsoon session of parliament began on Monday.
"I am at present doing well with the blessings and good wishes of all. I have isolated myself," the minister said.
India has confirmed more than five million cases - the second-highest in the world after the US - and more than 80,000 reported deaths. The country has stepped up testing, which partly explains rising numbers, but experts are worried at the speed at which the virus is spreading.
Over the past week, cases have shot to 90,000 per day. And seven states, which are the worst-affected, account for about 45% of the country's population. But it's death rate remains low, with 60 deaths per million and its case fatality rate, a measure of deaths among Covid-19 patients, is just 1.6%.
Where in the UK is under a local lockdown now?A new local lockdown is expected to be announced in the North East - affecting some two million people.
But where in the UK is currently under tightened restrictions?
It's a growing list.
- People in Rhondda Cynon Taf should not leave the area without a reasonable excuse like going to work or school. Pubs and restaurants must close by 23:00 and people should not meet other households indoors
- Households in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell are not allowed to mix
- People living in Lanarkshire are not allowed to meet other households indoors
- People in Ballymena town, the Belfast council area and certain Northern Irish postcodes are not allowed to go to each other's homes
- People in Caerphilly county are being told not to leave without good reason and should not meet indoors with anyone outside their household
- In parts of Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Lancashire, people cannot meet anyone outside their own household , or support bubble, in an indoor venue
- People in Oldham, Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle should not meet anyone from outside their household
- In Bolton, there are visitor limits on care homes, while hospitality venues will only be able to serve takeaways
- and must close between 22:00 and 05:00
- In Leicester, people cannot meet someone from another household
- in an indoor public venue. However, they can meet other households outside
- People living in Glasgow city, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire are banned from meeting people from another household inside their home
You can read up more on local restrictions here