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Headlines
• Global weekly cases double in two months, WHO
• Denmark brings forward lifting of restrictions
• Thailand imposes additional measures
• R value weekly in England 0.7-1.0 from 0.8 -1.0
• China's economy grew 18.3% in Q1

World news

• The number of new cases per week has nearly doubled globally over the past two months, approaching the highest rate seen so far during the pandemic, Dr Tedros, the head of the World Health Organization, said today.

• According to the latest estimates from the ONS, around 1 in 480 people in private households in England had Covid-19 in the week to 10 April – down from 1 in 340 the previous week. This is the lowest figure since the week to 19 September 2020 when the estimate stood at 1 in 500.

• Sweden will ease restrictions on citizens who have had at least one vaccination, the Public Health Agency said today. Three weeks after their first shot, people could meet others from outside their socially distanced bubble - even indoors - and that communal activities in care homes for the elderly could resume. Pensioners who have been vaccinated can also go to the shops again.

• Denmark has advanced its reopening plan, allowing indoor serving at restaurants and bars and some limited opening of stadiums from 21 April, earlier than originally planned.

• In Scotland, from today residents will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six from six households outdoors and travel will be permitted across the country.

• David Kessler, chief science officer for the Biden administration has said the US is preparing for the possibility that booster shots will be needed between nine to twelve months after people are initially vaccinated.

• A variant with a double mutation first detected in India has been found in the UK. In total, 77 cases of the variant have been recorded in the UK up to 14 April, according to PHE.

• Japan is to raise the alert level in Tokyo’s three neighbouring prefectures and a forth area in central Japan to allow tougher measures. It will allow heads of the prefectures to mandate shorter hours for bars and restaurants.

• China's economy grew 18.3% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the same quarter last year, slightly below analysts’ expectations of 19%. Industrial output for March rose 14.1% over a year ago, while retail sales grew 34.2%.

• Thailand is to impose additional restrictions for at least two weeks. The country will close schools, bars and massage parlours, as well as ban alcohol sales in restaurants.

• More than 16,000 expired AstraZeneca Covid-19 doses are to be destroyed in Malawi. The vaccines are among 102,000 doses donated by the African Union to the Malawian government last month. Vaccine hesitancy has significantly increased in the country, with health concerns being the primary cause.

• Russia has vaccinated more than 8 million citizens so far.

• Monaco has announced it is easing health restrictions. Restaurants, which have been able to open only at lunchtime, may serve customers in the evening until 9.30pm but they are not allowed to play music and customers must return home by 10pm with a certificate from the restaurant owner. The provisions extend to 2 May.

• Portugal is to lift lockdown on Monday for all but 11 local authorities. Restaurants, shopping centres, high schools and universities will all reopen.

• Two German states will impose further measures from Monday: Baden-Württemberg & Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Most shops and schools will shut.

• Guernsey is to reduce self-isolation periods for people arriving from some areas from 23 April.

• The R value in England is now between 0.7 and 1.0. Last week, it was between 0.8 and 1.0.

• Germany's Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases removes the UK from its high-risk list.