Coronavirus live news: Johnson expected to pause lifting restrictions; India reports lowest cases since March
India confirms 70,421 new infections over the past 24 hours; Boris Johnson prepares to put final lifting of restrictions in England on hold; US death toll nears 600,000
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India on Monday reported 70,421 new Covid infections over the past 24 hours, the lowest since 31 March, data from the health ministry showed.
The country’s total case load now stands at 29.51 million, while total fatalities are at 374,305, the data showed. India added 3,921 deaths overnight.
Boris Johnson is facing a furious backlash from Tory MPs as he prepares to put the final lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England on hold/
Press Association: The Prime Minister is expected to announce the ending of social-distancing rules – which had been slated for June 21 – will be delayed for four weeks to July 19, with the BBC reporting early on Monday the decision had been signed off by senior ministers.
The move follows warnings from scientists that the rapid spread of the Delta variant first identified in India risks a “substantial” third wave if it is allowed to spread unchecked.
Mr Johnson is expected to appeal to the public to show patience, with one last push to ensure that when controls do finally end it is “irreversible”.
However, it comes as a huge setback to many businesses – particularly in the battered hospitality sector – which had pinned their hopes on a full summer reopening to recoup some of the losses of the past year.
There was deep frustration among lockdown sceptics on the Conservative benches who said there was no reason not to end the restrictions as those most at risk of death or serious illness are now fully vaccinated.