• Germany in discussions to buy Russia’s Sputnik vaccine
• Virus prevalence in England rose last week (ONS)
• Japan imposes new measures in Tokyo, Okinawa and Kyoto
• EMA reviews link between J&J vaccine and blood clots
• UK house prices rose 1.1% MoM in March
• The estimated R number in England is unchanged at 0.8-1.0.
• Over the past four months, the vaccine programme has prevented 10,400 deaths in the over-60s in England, new analysis by Public Health England suggests.
• Major UK sporting bodies have backed vaccine passports and testing, including: the Football Association, the Premier League, the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Rugby Football Union, the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon, and Silverstone motor-racing circuit.
• Germany has started talks on buying the Sputnik drug, according to Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.
• A study published this week by France’s Pasteur Institute concludes that since the British variant is dominant in France, 90% of adults will need to be vaccinated before the country can get back to normal life.
• In Wales gyms and leisure centres will be able to open from 3 May – instead of 10 May – while two households can ‘bubble up’ to meet indoors from the same date.
• The Halifax has said that UK house prices rose 1.1% MoM in March, according to figures based on the lender’s own mortgage data. As a result, the average house price was 6.5% higher than a year ago, meaning a typical home was valued at £254,606 in March.
• Russia has asked Slovakia to return 200,000 doses of its Sputnik V vaccine, which have sat in storage since they were delivered on 1 March. Slovakia’s drug regulator says the doses are different to those reviewed positively by the Lancet.
• An estimated 1 in 340 people in England had Covid-19 in the week ending 3 April, the latest figures from the ONS show, a slightly higher prevalence than the previous week’s 1 in 370 figure.
• The EMA has said it was looking into Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine regarding blood clots.
• Japan will impose tougher coronavirus measures in Tokyo, Okinawa and Kyoto from next week through 11 May, to curb a rise in infections.
• Iceland is revising a new rule requiring anyone arriving from a high-risk country to stay in a special quarantine hotel for five days or submit a second negative test. The courts have ruled that the mandatory hotel stay is illegal.
• South Korea will re-impose a ban on nightclubs, karaoke bars and other nightly entertainment facilities.
• Hospitals in Mumbai have halted vaccinations today, citing shortages in supply.
AstraZeneca vaccine developments
• The Netherlands and Portugal have joined several other countries in limiting the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to over-60s.
• France is to give under-55s who received AstraZeneca jab a second dose of different vaccine.
• Hong Kong has requested AstraZeneca suspend delivery of its vaccine amid fears of side effects and concerns over its efficacy against new variants.
• Australia has announced that people under 50 should not receive the AstraZeneca vaccine due to risk of blood clots.
• Greece will limit use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the over 30s.
• Jet2 – has announced that it will suspend flights and holidays up to and including 23 June because of the continued uncertainty around the government’s framework.