India today reported its lowest daily rise in new coronavirus infections in 46 days at 165,553 cases during the previous 24 hours, while deaths rose by 3,460. The South Asian nation’s tally of infections now stands at 27.9 million, with the death toll has reached 325,972, health ministry data showed on Sunday.
Good morning, and welcome to the coronavirus global blog. Caroline Davies here, taking you through key developments today. You can get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the UK, there are calls for a more informed debate on the planned lifting of all legal limits on social contact in England on June 21 as Labour questioned if the move would proceed. The continued spread of the Indian coronavirus variant has prompted experts to argue restrictions should remain in place until more people have received both doses of a vaccine amid reports ministers are drawing up plans for a partial end of lockdown. NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said a “much better quality of debate” was needed on the implications of easing measures, according to the BBC. Writing in The Observer, opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer said “weak, slow decisions” by the Government on border policy had allowed the Indian variant to spread.
Meanwhile, leaders of Australia and New Zealand have had their first face-to-face meeting since the coronavirus outbreak prompted both countries to close their borders. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison arrived in the tourist resort of Queenstown for an overnight visit on Sunday. He greeted his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern with a traditional Maori hongi, in which the pair pressed noses together. Morrison is the first major world leader to visit New Zealand since both countries shut their borders last year to contain the virus. The neighbours opened a quarantine-free travel bubble last month, although a recent outbreak of the virus in Melbourne has prompted New Zealand to suspend the arrangement with Victoria state.
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