Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.
India reported a record rise in coronavirus infections of 273,810 on Monday, taking its overall case load past 15 million, second only to the United States globally. The country’s deaths from Covid rose by a record 1,619 to reach a total of 178,769, according to health ministry data.
Meanwhile in the UK, healthy, young volunteers who have previously had Covid-19 will be deliberately exposed to the virus for a second time to see how the immune system reacts as part of a new study.
Here are the key developments from the last few hours:
- Half of all adults in the US have received at least one Covid-19 shot, the government announced Sunday, while nearly one third of all adults (32.5%) have been fully vaccinated.
- Dr Anthony Fauci expects the use of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine to be resumed in the US after it was temporarily suspended, he said.
- Turkey recorded a further 318 deaths from Covid-19 in the space of a day, its highest daily total so far, data from the Health Ministry showed on Sunday, as well as 55,802 new infections.
- Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Sunday he would send federal healthcare workers to help Toronto and the province of Ontario battle a third wave of infections that has forced shutdowns of schools and businesses.
- More hospital beds will be freed for Covid-19 patients, India’s health ministry said Sunday, as states appealed for additional supplies of oxygen and treatment drugs amid a worsening wave of infections gripping the country.
- The UK recorded 10 further deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test on Sunday, the lowest death toll since September, as well as 1,882 new infections.
- A “huge” backlog of patients in English hospitals caused by the coronavirus pandemic could take up to five years to clear, NHS Providers has said. Around 4.7 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of February - the highest figure since records began in August 2007 - according to data from NHS England.
- Muslims hoping to perform the Umra pilgrimage to Mecca must be vaccinated against coronavirus, Saudi state TV said on Sunday.