- Indian hospitals say their patients are dying because of a shortage of oxygen as cases and deaths reach new highs
- The government is despatching special trains and flights to send oxygen supplies to the hardest-hit areas
- India has recorded nearly a million infections in just three days, with 346,786 cases overnight into Saturday
- US health regulators have lifted an 11-day pause on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab linked to blood clots
- Instead they will add a warning label about the potential for very rare side-effect
- This week, Europe's drug regulator also ended restrictions on the J&J vaccine
- Israel has recorded no new daily Covid-19 deaths for the first time in 10 months
- Researchers say people struggling to regain their smell after catching Covid-19 should undergo "smell training"
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
We’ll bring you updates throughout the day from the UK and around the world.
Here are the main headlines this morning:
- For the third day in a row, India has registered the world's highest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with more than 340,000 cases and 2,624 deaths. Hospitals say patients are dying because of a shortage of oxygen as they put out an SOS for urgent supplies
- US health regulators have lifted an 11-day pause on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab , but will add a warning label about the potential for extremely rare blood clots. It comes after Europe's drug regulator also ended restrictions on the J&J jab this week
- Israel has recorded no new daily Covid-19 deaths for the first time in 10 months, as the country pushes ahead with its speedy vaccination drive – it has the highest vaccination rate in the world
- The UK prime minister’s former top adviser, Dominic Cummings, has called for an urgent parliamentary inquiry into the government's conduct over the Covid crisis . He denied leaking details of the second Covid lockdown in England
- Researchers are calling for people struggling to regain their sense of smell after catching Covid-19 to undergo"smell training" rather than being treated with steroids. This involves sniffing different odours over a period of months to retrain the brain to recognise different smells
Hospitals buckle in India under record surgeIndia's healthcare system is struggling to cope as a record surge in Covid-19 cases puts pressure on hospital beds and drains oxygen supplies.
Families have been left pleading for their relatives who are desperately ill, with some patients left untreated for hours.
Crematoriums are organising mass funeral pyres.
On Saturday, more than 340,000 new cases were reported – the world’s highest daily rise for a third day in a row. Another 2,624 deaths, a new daily record, were reported in 24 hours.
Dr Atul Gogia, a consultant at the Sir Ganga Ram hospital in Delhi, told the BBC there had been a "huge surge" in patients, leaving no space in the emergency room.
Find out which countries have the highest cases in the world.
Indian hospital sends oxygen SOS as cases and deaths continue to riseAs reported above, India's healthcare system has been struggling to cope with surging infection numbers.
Now, hospitals have put out an SOS for urgent oxygen supplies.
At the Jaipur Golden Hospital in Delhi, 20 people died overnight because of a lack of oxygen, an official said.
The government says it is deploying trains and the air force to send supplies to hard-hit areas.
It comes as cases and deaths hit new highs for the third day running.
Hospitals in Delhi have warned they are at breaking point. At the Holy Family Hospital, intensive care units are full and there is no room for any more beds.
"Almost every hospital is on the edge. If oxygen runs out, there is no leeway for many patients," Dr Sumit Ray told the BBC.
"They will die. Within minutes, they will die."
India’s peak ‘still weeks away’Today Programme - BBC Radio 4
As we have been reporting, India's healthcare system has been buckling under a continuing surge in cases and a shortage of oxygen.
One of the country's leading virologists says it could hit half a million cases a day in the coming weeks.
Dr Shahid Jameel, director of the Trivedi School of Biosciences at Ashoka University, says it’s difficult to know when India - which recorded more than 340,000 cases on Saturday - will reach its peak.
He told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Right now [given] the rate at which infections are climbing, personally I don’t see a peak coming in the next few weeks.”
The country’s vaccination programme will be a solution for the future, he says, but adds that unfortunately “it’s no longer a solution for the present surge that we’re seeing”.
He says the government needs to do everything it can to speed up the supplies of oxygen and medicines, adding “unfortunately the situation is very bad - we let down our guard, that’s why we are in this situation”.
“The lesson here to be learnt is you have to be on your guard, you have to prepare.
"We should have been stocking up on oxygen, we should have been messaging clearly for people to take vaccines in the months of January and February when the caseload was down.”
Thailand reports 2,839 new coronavirus cases on SaturdayAfter the country recorded another record daily rise in Covid-19 cases and deaths amid a third wave of the pandemic, Thailand curbed shop operating hours on Saturday in shopping malls in 18 provinces, including the capital, Bangkok.
The new hours will restrict operations between 11 am and 8pm for a week from Sunday, the Thai Retailers Association said in a statement.
Restaurants in the malls will be allowed to stay open an hour later, while convenience stores will be permitted to operate from 5am to 10pm.
Officials reported 2,839 new coronavirus cases and eight new deaths on Saturday, bringing Thailand’s total to 53,022 cases and 129 deaths.
US lifts pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccineUS health regulators have lifted an 11-day pause on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 jab, but will add a warning label about the potential for extremely rare blood clots.
Fifteen vaccine recipients suffered from a dangerous blood clot - out of nearly eight million people who were given the jab.
A panel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded the risks were very low.
This week, Europe's drug regulator also ended restrictions on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The UK has pre-ordered 30-million doses of the jab but it hasn't approved it for use yet.