Covid-19: India's cases surge and jab uptake in England's over-50s at 95%

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Here are five things you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic this Thursday evening. We'll have another update for you on Friday morning.

1. World's highest daily cases recorded in India

The world's highest one-day total of new Covid-19 cases has been recorded in India, amid a shortage of oxygen supplies in the country. Some 314,835 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, while deaths rose by 2,104 - an all-time high for the country, which is facing a second wave of the pandemic. Crowds have been forming outside hospitals in major cities, which are filled to capacity. A number of people have died while waiting for oxygen.

Image source, European Pressphoto Agency
Image caption,
Maharashtra accounts for a quarter of India's more than 15 million Covid cases

2. Vaccine uptake in over-50s in England at 95%

Vaccine uptake in over-50s in England has hit 95%, NHS data shows. Among those aged 45-49, take-up is now 59% after vaccinations started being offered to this age group earlier this month. But the percentage of care home workers to receive the jab is still around 80%, despite attempts to get more to come forward.

Image source, Getty Images

3. Leak inquiry into PM's texts to Dyson

Image source, PA Media/BBC
Image caption,
The BBC has seen text exchanges between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and businessman Sir James Dyson

An inquiry into the leak of private messages between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and businessman Sir James Dyson has been announced by No 10. It comes after texts published by the BBC showed the prime minister promising Sir James he would "fix" an issue on the tax status of Dyson staff working in the UK during the pandemic. The texts were sent when the government was asking companies, including Dyson, to help supply ventilators at the beginning of the pandemic. Labour has said the messages are part of a pattern of government "sleaze", but the PM has said he makes "no apology" for trying to get the equipment for the NHS.

4. Half a million on Welsh NHS waiting lists

More than half a million people are now waiting for treatment on NHS waiting lists in Wales, figures suggest. Data published by Stats Wales found that in February waiting lists were at record levels, with 549,353 awaiting treatment or surgery - a 19% rise in a year. This is the equivalent of 17% of the Welsh population. It comes after most non-urgent treatment was postponed in March 2020 to prepare the NHS for an influx of Covid patients.

Media caption,
Christine Evans says she was told she would have to pay around £15,000 for private treatment

5. First person in UK to be vaccinated praises 'incredible' rollout

The first person in the UK to receive a coronavirus vaccine outside of clinical trials has called the rollout of the mass vaccination programme "incredible". Margaret Keenan, 91, was given the Pfizer-BioNTech jab in December. Speaking during an online chat with NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens, she said having the jab was "the best thing I ever did". Latest figures show more than 33 million people in the UK have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while more than 11 million people have received both doses.

Image source, NHS England
Image caption,
Margaret Keenan and May Parsons had an online call with Sir Simon Stevens

And don't forget...

Find more information, advice and guides on our coronavirus page.

When can I have a drink or a meal inside a pub or restaurant? We've had a look at the rules and you can find out here when you might be able to chose to sit indoors to enjoy a pint or a bite to eat.

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