Data on the number of Covid-19 cases in the UK is now so encouraging that outdoor sports for children and small numbers of adults should be allowed immediately as part of an accelerated easing of the lockdown, a leading scientist and adviser to government has told the Observer.
With the prime minister expected to take a cautious approach to lifting restrictions in a statement to the House of Commons on Monday, Prof Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University, whose work feeds into the Sage committee’s sub-group Spi-M, said the data showed there was no need for the government to be “ultra-cautious”.
Read more here:
Mexico’s health ministry on Saturday reported 7,785 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the country and 832 more fatalities, bringing its total to 2,038,276 infections and 179,797 deaths.
The real number of infected people and deaths is likely significantly higher than the official count, the health ministry has said.
In northern China, there are some concerns and complaints among residents who have been in lockdown for more than 40 days.
China recently experienced its worst outbreaks since the early months of the pandemic. Gaocheng, a district of Shijiazhuang city home to 800,000 people, was one of the worst affected, with more than 880 cases.
The South China Morning Post reports there have been no new cases since Monday, and authorities have adjusted the risk level designations of most of the district. But some locals in Jiumen town said they hadn’t been told of restrictions lifting and had been prevented from leaving. They’ve been in lockdown since mid January, and residents are saying they’re running out of food, and have been ordered to take tests multiple times.
“I have done the test 16 times. I have not stepped out of the house for over a month.” He Pengfei, a 30-year-old restaurant owner in Lianzhou town, told the Post. He said he has been forced to shut his business and was going into debt.
China has reported seven new cases in the mainland for Saturday, compared with eight cases a day earlier, the National Health Commission said.
All the new infections were imported cases, it said in a statement. There were no new deaths.
China also reported six new asymptomatic patients, compared with 13 a day earlier. China does not classify asymptomatic cases as confirmed Covid-19 cases.
As of Saturday, mainland China had 89,831 confirmed coronavirus infections, while the death toll remained at 4,636, it said.
Hello and welcome to our continuing coverage of the pandemic. You can catch up on earlier updates here.
Here’s the latest.
Australia has begun its vaccine rollout a day early, with the country’s prime minister among the first people to receive a dose on Sunday. “It’s safe, it’s important, join us on this Australian path that sees us come out of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
All adults in the UK will be offered a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of July, Boris Johnson has said ahead of an announcement on how England will begin to ease its third lockdown.
Israel has reported a 95.8% drop in Covid-19 infection among those who have received two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, its health ministry announced on Saturday.
A further 21 cases of the virus variant first discovered in the UK have been detected in Morocco, its health ministry has said, taking the number of reported cases with the mutation to 24.
Coronavirus cases are rising in a number of Indian states, including Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. The rise in infections comes amid the detection of new virus variants in Maharashtra, the Times of India reports.
France’s number of new coronavirus cases compared with a week earlier increased for the third day in a row, with the health ministry reporting 22,371 new cases on Saturday.
Micheál Martin, the taoiseach, has ruled out reopening Ireland’s hospitality sector until mid-summer due to the high level of Covid-19 cases in the country.
Mexico’s deputy health minister has announced that he has tested positive for Covid-19, adding that his symptoms are mild.
Iran has closed several crossing points at its border with Iraq in an effort to curb the spread of the Covid variant first detected in the UK after it was found in the country.
The UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, acted unlawfully by failing to publish multibillion-pound Covid-19 government contracts within the 30-day period required by law, a high court judge has ruled.
More than 17 million people in the UK have now had a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, according to government figures.
at 2.00am GMT