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A coronavirus variant that was first detected in India has been found in 86 districts across the UK, health secretary Matt Hancock said. Authorities have identified 2,323 cases of the variant, with cases doubling in the past week in Bolton and Blackburn in England, Hancock said.
With 86 local authorities confirmed to have five or more cases of the variant, Hancock said it was vital that people get vaccinated. Most people with the variant known as B.1.617.2 in areas around Bolton hadn’t received a vaccine shot, he said.
At least 200 million doses of Covid vaccines have been given in the EU, according to AFP data. The milestone indicates the EU should be on track to meet its goal of fully vaccinating 70% of adults, about 255 million people, by July end.
In Canada, Krista Brodie, a female armed forces veteran, was picked to lead the country’s vaccine roll-out, replacing Dany Fortin, who was removed due to charges of sexual misconduct.
Australian man trapped in India dies from Covid
An Australian citizen of Indian-origin, 47-year-old Govind Kant from Sydney, died from Covid-19 on Tuesday after he had flown to India for personal matters before Australia’s flight ban was announced. Kant’s employer, Trina Solar, confirmed the death.
The US is seeing its fewest number of Covid deaths since the start of the pandemic. The seven-day moving average of deaths was 545 on May 16, and “the last time our seven-day-average was this low was in March 2020,” said Rochelle Walensky, director of the US CDC.
With inputs from Anirudh Bhattacharyya in Toronto