No coronavirus updates from the BBC today. There is constant live coverage throughout the day of a funeral happening at 3:00pm, so unfortunately news from the rest of the world just doesn't exist, or at least must take a back seat.
Our Coronavirus coverage summary today is mainly from The Guardian.
Global death toll tops 3mThe global death toll for coronavirus has topped 3 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University .
On Saturday, it was revealed there were 3,000,225 deaths and global cases now stand at 139,963,964.
It comes after a surge of cases in India, as a new wave of the pandemic increased the total cases to almost 14.5m, second only to the United States, which has reported more than 32m infections.
The Indian coronavirus mutation could “scupper” the UK’s march to freedom, a leading scientist has warned, despite the lockdown and vaccine programme causing cases to fall to a seven-month low.
Britain should be on guard against a third wave after possible vaccine-busting mutation recorded in England and ScotlandThe Indian coronavirus mutation could “scupper” the UK’s march to freedom, a leading scientist has warned, despite the lockdown and vaccine programme leading to cases falling to a seven-month low.
Covid-19 infections across the UK dropped to the lowest level since the autumn, according to the latest figures.
But a professor of immunology has called for Britain to be on its guard against a third wave after a possible vaccine-busting mutation was recorded in England and Scotland.
Public Health England (PHE) reported that 77 cases of the B.1.617 variant, which was first discovered in India, have been found.
Prof Danny Altmann of Imperial College London said that as a result, those arriving in the country from India should be subject to a hotel quarantine if the UK is to shut out variants that could set back the prime minister’s lockdown-easing plans.
But despite the warnings, Downing Street has insisted Boris Johnson’s trip to India later this month – his first major international visit since securing a Brexit trade deal with Brussels – will go ahead.
It comes as the group advising ministers on vaccine deployment recommended that pregnant women should be offered a Covid-19 jab at the same time as the rest of the population.
Should India be placed on the "red list" of hotel quarantine countries?In the UK, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) was asked whether India should be placed on the “red list” of hotel quarantine countries following the discovery of a new variant there.
Prof Adam Finn said there was a need to remain cautious about international travel. “I think we’re going to go on seeing restrictions on travel for some time to come, with the pandemic raging in so many countries around the world,” he told Times Radio.
“We’ve got very big epidemics going on in India, in Brazil and in other countries that have previously been less affected. This is going to be a problem.
“We’re going to need to continue to be really quite careful to avoid moving the virus around, so I think travel won’t go back to normal yet.”
Pressed on whether Boris Johnson should still be visiting India later this month, Finn added: “I’m sure he’s going to take lots of care to avoid getting infected.
“If you mean the message of going there, well, I think he has to balance up the importance of the trip. The prime minister’s in a different position from the rest of us, of course.”
Russia records 9,321 new coronavirus cases over last 24 hoursRussia on Saturday reported 9,321 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, including 2,822 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 4,693,469. The country also reported another 398 deaths, raising the official toll to 105,193.
Fourth consecutive day in Thailand of more than 1000 new cases per dayHundreds waited in grim silence at a Bangkok stadium to get free Covid-19 tests on Saturday as a spiralling infection rate gripped Thailand, on a fourth consecutive day of more than 1,000 new cases.
The capital appears to be at the centre of the kingdom’s third wave after infections were traced back to a nightlife district earlier this month.
In the past 10 days, the national infection total has jumped from 29,900 to more than 40,500 – the sharp increase probably due to a highly infectious variant of the virus originally found in Britain.
“Nearly 10,000 new cases were found within this week,” said Taweesin Visanuyothin, a spokesman for Thailand’s Covid-19 taskforce.
He added that nearly 12,000 patients were still receiving treatment in hospitals, including temporary field sites.
At the stadium testing centre, health workers in full-body PPE shepherded people through a disinfection cabin and directed them to wait in lines for the nasal swab.
Dubai to allow breastfeeding women to take the vaccineThe Dubai health authority said it would allow women who are breastfeeding and those planning on conceiving to take the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine, according to the Dubai media office.
In a Twitter post, the media office said this was in line with the latest international studies and guidelines on coronavirus vaccines. It also said the DHA was cutting the time frame of vaccine eligibility for those who have previously contracted Covid-19 to 10 days from three months, provided the case was mild or asymptomatic.