Coronavirus live news: more countries report suspected cases of new Covid variant | World news






Philippines extends travel ban





India finds new strain in travellers from UK





Authorities fear new variant has spread around the world

Hello and thank you for reading our live coverage. I’ll be with you for the next few hours. Here’s a brief summary of where we stand:

  • Several countries are on alert over the new, more virulent variant of the virus. South Africa, one of the first to suffer, is facing tighter restrictions after it is believed to have caused a sharp increase in cases.
  • The UK – where it has also hit – must vaccinate 2m people per week to avoid a third wave, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Without a substantial vaccine rollout, the researchers said, 2021 could be even worse than 2020.
  • England in particular was bracing itself as it emerges the latter’s hospitals have more Covid-19 patients than during April’s first-wave peak and a health boss warns doctors and nurses are “back in the eye of the storm”.
  • More than 80.86m people have been reported to have been infected globally and 1,768,392 have died, according to a Reuters tally. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified.

If you’d like to draw my attention to anything, your best bet’s probably Twitter, where I’m KevinJRawlinson.

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