- Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, receives his first Covid jab from Prof Jonathan Van-Tam
- The vaccination programme is being extended to all 42-year-olds in England
- India has reported another world record rise in daily cases
- The country reported 379,257 new infections on Thursday, after the official death toll passed 200,000
- Turkey is preparing to enter its first lockdown of the pandemic
- British government has ordered an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
- They will be used for a vaccination booster programme in autumn
- Nearly two-thirds of adults in England have now received a first dose of the vaccine
Good morning and welcome to our coronavirus live page.
Here are the main stories this morning:
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 42, is to receive his first coronavirus jab. The vaccination programme is being extended to all 42-year-olds in England
- India has reported another all-time high in daily cases and deaths as it struggles with a deadly second wave of the pandemic. The country reported 379,257 new infections and 3,645 deaths on Thursday after the official death toll passed 200,000 on Wednesday
- Turkey is preparing to enter its first full lockdown of the pandemic later. There has been a spike in infections after the government started to ease the restrictions in March
- Children's charity the NSPCC says calls and messages to its helpline have risen to record levels. In the year to March 2021 the helpline was contacted almost 85,000 times, up 23% on the previous year
- An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have been ordered by the UK government. They will be used for a vaccination booster programme in autumn
Today's news so far from around the world
- India’s attempts to ramp up vaccinations in the fight against the Covid surge afflicting the nation have got off to a rocky start, with technical and supply issues thwarting attempts to open up jabs to everybody 18 or over.
- India has prioritised imports of oxygen, foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said this morning, adding that 40 countries had pledged their support. Prime minister Narendra Modi has announced that he has reviewed military preparations for assisting with the Covid surge.
- Guardian readers in India have told us what it is like living through the Covid crisis, with one saying: “It’s everywhere you look” .
- India’s health ministry on Thursday said the country had recorded 379,257 new cases and 3,645 new deaths. India’s total number of cases and deaths stood at 18.38 million and 204,832.
- Arundhati Roy says it’s hard to convey the full depth and range of the trauma, the chaos and the indignity that people in India are being subjected to, saying “We are witnessing a crime against humanity”
- The United States has advised its citizens inside India to leave as soon as it is safe.
- Ireland will press ahead with plans to reopen all retail stores, personal services and non-residential construction in May with hotels, restaurants and bars to follow sooner than expected in early June, foreign minister Simon Coveney has said.
- Covid-19 case rates in the UK have dropped below 50 cases per 100,000 people in more than 95% of local areas.
- UK health secretary Matt Hancock has posted a picture of him receiving his Covid-19 vaccine from England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam at the Science Museum in central London.
- Germany’s Spiegel magazine has today cited BioNTech’s CEO saying he expects results by September from trials testing its Covid-19 vaccine in children.
- Business leaders and a Nobel-prizewinning biologist have called upon the government to reform Japan’s vaccination programme, including allowing drive-through inoculations in mass centres. Japan has secured the largest quantity of Covid-19 vaccines in Asia, but it has inoculated only 1.6% of its population so far.
- South Korea’s drug safety ministry has said that Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine and a shot developed by Novavax have been submitted for preliminary regulatory approval.
- Taiwan began moving more than 400 people to a centralised quarantine facility today from an airport hotel after a rare domestic outbreak of Covid-19.
- Australia’s disability royal commission will investigate the Covid vaccine rollout amid complaints that disability accommodation residents and care workers are facing long waits for jabs – despite being in the top priority phase 1a group.
Latest across Europe
- German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is considering improved police protection for critical locations because of recent attacks by protesters against Covid measures. The RKI public health institute was targeted by arsonists and journalists have been attacked during protests. Intelligence officials say they’re now watching some elements of the Querdenker (lateral thinkers) protest movement.
- Turkey goes under its first long lockdown later today, with the highest infection rates in Europe. For the next 17 days intercity travel will be halted without official approval, Turks will be barred from going outdoors for a good reason and alcohol sales will be limited. Read more on the lockdown here.
- In France, President Emmanuel Macron will give updated details tomorrow of his plan for a “gradual and phased exit” from lockdown restrictions. Daily cases numbers have fallen below 30,000 but intensive care cases are still high, at 5,879.
- Dutch ministers will decide today if and how they’ll allow an audience of 3,500 to watch next month’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. There are three televised shows and even more that aren’t televised, and the ministers have to work out if they can be held safely by letting in the public.
- European plane-making giant Airbus has returned to profit in the first three months of 2021 – up €362m. But Chief Executive Guillaume Faury warns the pandemic crisis isn’t yet over and the market remains uncertain. German airline Lufthansa has reported a €1bn loss - but that’s better than the first quarter of 2020.