Here are today’s updates regarding the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK and around the world.
- The UK coronavirus death toll now stands at 41,969, a rise of 233 fatalities in the last 24 hours.
- There have now been 298,136 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK, a daily rise of 1,279
- Boris Johnson has announced the scheme providing free school meals for the poorest families will continue over the summer, following pressure from footballer Marcus Rashford to extend the programme.
- A widely available steroid treatment called dexamethasone can help save the lives of seriously ill coronavirus patients, researchers have found.
- “This is the only drug so far that has been shown to reduce mortality and it reduces it significantly. It’s a major breakthrough,” chief researcher Peter Horby said.
- The Office for National Statistics says about 64,500 more people than usual have died in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Figures also showed the unemployment rate in the UK remained unchanged at 3.9% for the period from February to April.
- New Zealand has confirmed its first new cases of Covid-19 for 24 days after two travellers from the UK arrived in the country.
- In response to the new cases, the government has suspended its policy of granting compassionate exemptions to those quarantining.
- There have been more than eight million confirmed virus cases of coronavirus worldwide, Johns Hopkins University data shows.