HERE'S everything you need to know from the past 24-hours.

  • There have been 141 new Covid-19 cases recorded in the region. The Government said a further 45 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 126,927. Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 150,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The Government also said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 2,763 lab-confirmed cases in the UK. It brings the total to 4,367,291.
  • The benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh any risks for most people, the UK medicines watchdog has said, as European regulators ruled that unusual blood clots were “very rare side effects” of the jab. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK said there were still huge benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19, and has not concluded that it causes rare clots, although it says the link is getting firmer. Due to a very small number of blood clots in younger people and a changing risk/benefit, those under the age of 30 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna instead of the AstraZeneca jab.
  • An unpaid carer has become the first Briton in the UK to receive the Moderna vaccine. Elle Taylor, from Ammanford, got the jab at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen. The 24-year-old works at a further education college in Llanelli as well as caring for her 82-year-old grandmother.
  • The Duchess of Cornwall helped prepare Pfizer vaccines during a visit to an inoculation centre and had a brief encounter with a needle. Camilla gently shook a phial of vaccine mixed with saline solution a number of times after Dr Russell Hearn invited her to join in the process during a visit to the Tottenham Vaccine Centre in north London. She was told each bottle could inoculate six people and replied “Oh there’s going to be six! Goodness, it looks tiny. I always thought you got a whole one."
  • Levels of loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic have tended to be greater in areas with high concentrations of younger people and higher rates of unemployment, new figures suggest. People in areas with higher crime rates or with higher levels of anxiety were also more likely to report feeling lonely. Loneliness rates were lower in countryside areas compared with urban and industrial locations, however.
  • The UK’s services sector rebounded back into growth during March at the fastest rate in seven months, following four months of contraction, according to new data. The closely followed IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) recorded a score of 56.3 last month, compared with 49.5 in February. Anything above 50 is seen as a sector in growth. Activity, new orders and employment were all up during March, with optimism hitting highs not seen since December 2006, as businesses prepare for large swathes of the sector reopening as part of the Covid-19 road map. Forward bookings ahead of lockdown easing later this month helped contribute to an increase in total new work for the sector for the first time in six months.
  • School staff have been handing out clothes, food and furnishings to families who have been struggling financially amid the pandemic, teachers have said. Some children have gone to school with holes in their shoes and without winter coats, while others have been left worried about when they will get their next meal, according to members of the National Education Union (NEU). A survey of more than 10,000 NEU members suggests the majority (52 per cent) of respondents are working with intakes where more than a fifth are considered to be economically disadvantaged. More than two in three (68 per cent) say the Government should reduce child poverty to support the recovery of pupils who have been affected by the pandemic.