Covid-19: India joins 'red list' and human-to-cat transmission cases

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

1. India joins UK's 'red list' as travel ban begins

Travel to the UK from India is effectively banned from today, as the coronavirus-ravaged country is moved on to the "red list". While UK and Irish nationals will still be allowed entry, they must quarantine in a government-approved hotel. People have been telling us of the scramble to get back from India, which has seen infections soaring, a rapidly rising death toll and the discovery of a new virus variant.

Image caption,
Biju Mathew flew from Kochi via Mumbai and Frankfurt to Manchester before the ban came into effect

2. One vaccine jab cuts infection risk in all ages

The chances of becoming infected by Covid fell 65% after a first dose of either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines, including in the over-75s and those with underlying health conditions, according to a UK study. The Office for National Statistics and Oxford University research also found a strong antibody response in all age groups from both jabs. The research, taken from two studies which are yet to be peer-reviewed or published, is based on virus tests from 370,000 people.

Image source, PA Media

3. Covid costs push UK borrowing to highest since WW2

UK public sector borrowing reached £303.1bn in the year to March, the highest level since the end of World War Two, according to the Office for National Statistics. It says the pandemic "has had a substantial impact on the economy and subsequently on public sector borrowing and debt", with both tax receipts and National Insurance contributions tumbling.

Image source, Getty Images

4. More evidence of human-to-cat Covid infection

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have identified two separate cases where humans are thought to have passed Covid-19 to their cats. One of the cases, found as part of a screening programme of the UK's feline population, displayed mild symptoms but the other had to be put down. Scientists now want to improve understanding of whether pets can play a role in infecting humans.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
A four-month-old female Ragdoll kitten, like the one in this stock image, had to be put down

5. Freedom for new drivers as tests resume

With driving tests suspended since January, it's been a frustrating time for learners. But Jack Croucher, 22, can finally experience the open road alone, having passed his test with just three days' notice to prepare. "I was really nervous but once I got into the flow of it, it went really easy and I enjoyed it," he tells Newsbeat's Annabel Rackham, who's been hearing from newly qualified drivers.

Image source, Jack Croucher

And don't forget...

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

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