Coronavirus latest news: ‘Brighter days ahead’, Boris Johnson says in Easter message

Boris Johnson has said Britain can look forward to “brighter days ahead” as the country celebrates Easter.

In his Easter message, the Prime Minister acknowledged it had been a “very tough” year, but said the holiday brought fresh optimism.

“This has been a very tough 12 months. But, as ever, the arrival of Easter brings with it new hope,” he said.

“And, this year more than ever, it brings the promise of brighter days ahead for us all.”

Mr Johnson acknowledged coronavirus restrictions meant many Christians would again be unable to celebrate their most important festival in the way they would wish.

However, he paid tribute to the way in which they had shown the teachings of Christ and the message of his death and resurrection “permeate through every aspect of daily life”.

“That’s why I’ve lost count of the number of church leaders and congregations that have stepped up to support us all in these very challenging times,” he said.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

Auto update

2:26AM

Canada surpasses 1 million cases

Canada on Saturday crossed the threshold of one million coronavirus cases as the country faces a third wave of infections, forcing several provinces to tighten restrictions in recent days.

With 2,000 new cases of Covid-19 announced in British Columbia on Saturday evening, Canada topped one million cases since the start of the pandemic, according to figures reported by Canadian broadcasters. Just over 23,000 people have died.

Canada is grappling with a third wave of cases amid the rapid spread of variants, which are more contagious.

The two most populous provinces, Ontario and Quebec, headed into the Easter weekend tightening public health measures.

2:11AM

US stops AstraZeneca vaccine production at Baltimore plant 

US President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday stopped a Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine from making another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

The administration has put Johnson & Johnson in charge of the troubled manufacturing plant, the report said.

The US Health and Human Services’ extraordinary step will render the Emergent BioSolutions facility solely devoted to making the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, and is meant to avoid future mix-ups, according to the report, which cites two senior federal health officials.

Johnson & Johnson said it was “assuming full responsibility”, confirming the changes, the report added. 

1:13AM

Brazil hopes veterinary facilities can help increase vaccine output

Brazil hopes to use veterinary facilities to increase Covid-19 vaccine output, authorities said on Saturday, as the country accounts for the world’s worst daily death tolls and its vaccination efforts lag.

Brazil already makes or finishes coronavirus vaccines at its two main public health institutes, although those efforts have not been enough to supply Latin America’s largest nation.

Marcelo Queiroga, Brazil’s fourth health minister since the pandemic began, said he hoped to include veterinary facilities that make vaccines for pets.

“This is not just to supply the internal market and increase our capacity but also for Brazil, as a leader in Latin America, can offer its vaccines to other countries,” Mr Queiroga told reporters.

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva watches as a nurse prepares a dose of Sinovac's vaccine 

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva watches as a nurse prepares a dose of Sinovac’s vaccine 

Credit:
Reuters

1:09AM

Today’s top stories

More Stories
Judge Rinder Has A Stark Warning For MPs Amid Good Morning Britain Replacement Rumours