HERE'S everything you need to know about the pandemic:

  • There were a further 147 new cases of coronavirus in the region in the last 24 hours to Thursday.
  • The Government said a further 11 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, bringing the UK total to 127,651 Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies show there have been 152,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate The Government also said that, as of 9am on Thursday, there had been a further 2,657 lab-confirmed cases in the UK. It brings the total to 4,444,631.
  • The Government is “anxious” about the Indian variant of coronavirus and is “ruling nothing out”, Boris Johnson has said, as he hinted local restrictions may be needed Scientists are keeping a close eye on the spread of the variant across the UK, with new figures from Public Health England (PHE) on Thursday expected to show a big rise in cases. Speaking at a primary school in Ferryhill, County Durham, the Prime Minister said: “It is a variant of concern, we are anxious about it. At the moment there is a very wide range of scientific opinion about what could happen. We want to make sure we take all the prudential, cautious steps now that we could take, so there are meetings going on today to consider exactly what we need to do. There is a range of things we could do, we are ruling nothing out.
  • Three in four people in England aged 60 and over are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, figures suggest. An estimated 75.2 per cent of people in this age group had received both doses of the vaccine as of May 9. For people aged 55 to 59 the figure is 28.6 per cent, while for 50 to 54-year-olds the estimate is 23.0 per cent. People aged 60 and over were in the top seven groups on the priority list for vaccines, with initial doses offered to over-80s from early December and over-70s from mid-January.
  • At least six in 10 adults in the UK are now likely to have Covid-19 antibodies, new figures suggest The estimates range from 59.2 per cent of adults in Scotland to 69.3 per cent in England, with 63.2 per cent for Wales and 63.5 per cent for Northern Ireland. The presence of Covid-19 antibodies implies someone has had the infection in the past or has been vaccinated.
  • National lockdowns sparked by the coronavirus pandemic drove a drop in crime across England and Wales in 2020 including a 9 per cent fall in knife crime, figures show. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published on Thursday, revealed there were 5.6 million crimes recorded by police in England and Wales in the 12 months, a fall of 8 per cent compared with the 6.1 million the previous year. The ONS said the annual drop was mainly driven by “substantial falls” of 15 per cent between April and June as the first lockdown restrictions were introduced.
  • Downing Street said there were “no plans” to reintroduce the tier system in England amid concerns local restrictions could be needed in areas where variants are identified. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “We have set out what we want to do on the road map, moving together as a nation on this, and that has been very successful so far. There are no plans to reintroduce tiering measures, like I say we have got a raft of measures available to us which are already in place, with regards local testing, surge testing and tracing.”