Coronavirus - 30 March


• c.50% of the UK population have Covid antibodies
• Italy introduces five-day quarantine for EU travellers
• Canada suspends AZ vaccine for those under 55
• Some German cities (including Berlin) suspend AZ vaccine for under 60s
• Spain mandates mask wearing outdoors

World news

• A total of 963 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 19 March recorded Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the latest figures from the ONS. It is the lowest figure since the week ending 16 October and is down 36% on the previous week’s total.

• Half of people in the UK have Covid antibodies. In England it’s 55%, Wales 51%, Northern Ireland 49% and Scotland 43%. These figures are up from, roughly, a third of people in the last round of data.

• New cases in the US reached around 60,000 a day over the past week, a rise of around 7%, according to US public health agency, the CDC.

• Joe Biden has said up to 90% of US adults will be eligible for a vaccine by 19 April.

• Spain has made mask wearing outdoors, including on beaches and at swimming pools mandatory.

• It has been confirmed that Scotland’s “stay at home” lockdown order will be lifted on Friday. Hairdressers, barbers, garden centres, click and collect and homeware stores will be allowed to reopen from 5 April.

• In a survey of 77 scientists from 28 countries by the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of organisations including Amnesty International, Oxfam, and UNAIDS, nearly one-third of the respondents indicated that the time-frame before vaccines are ineffective and modified formulations are needed was likely to be nine months or less. 88% of the respondents said persistent low vaccine coverage in many countries would make it more likely for vaccine-resistant mutations to appear.

• Berlin’s state hospital groups Charite and Vivantes have stopped giving women under 55 shots of AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Brandenburg has also paused giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone under 60.

• Visitor numbers at the world’s top 100 museums and art galleries fell by 77% last year, down from 230m in 2019 to just 54m.

• Canada is to pause the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 55 pending new analysis of the shot’s benefits and risks based on age and gender, health officials said.

• South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines are among the countries to be hit by shipment delays to vaccines promised under the COVAX programme after India put a temporary hold on exports.

• South Sudan has postponed the launch of its vaccination campaign but without offering a specific reason for the delay.

• Honduras’ government has said it will temporarily restrict arrivals from South America.

• Scientists at Stanford University have determined the “recipes” for two vaccines using leftovers in vials and published the mRNA sequences on Github.

• Italy is to introduce a mandatory five-day quarantine for EU travellers.