Coronavirus live news: US approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine; Auckland starts second lockdown in a month

8.15pm EST20:15

Nearly 20m receive first dose of Covid vaccine in the UK

8.05pm EST20:05

7.54pm EST19:54

Australian state of Victoria reports zero new cases

The Australian state of Victoria has recorded no new Covid cases for the second day in a row.

The state, which was plunged into a five-day lockdown earlier this month, recorded two cases on Friday which authorities said were linked to the Holiday Inn cluster.

On Sunday morning, local time, the health department said 7,440 test results were received the day before and that no new cases were found.

7.53pm EST19:53

UK records lowest cases in five months

In case you missed this earlier: The British government said a further 290 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 122,705.

Seven days prior, on 20 February, 445 further fatalities from the virus had been recorded.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 143,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The government also said that, as of 9am on Saturday, there had been a further 7,434 lab-confirmed cases in the UK, the lowest daily rise in cases since 2 October.

A week ago, the daily tally of new cases stood at 10,406.

7.46pm EST19:46

FDA approves Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine

The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine for emergency use, making it the third vaccine available to the US public and securing another vital step in the US fight to control Covid-19.

The decision was a formality after an independent expert advisory panel late on Friday afternoon recommended drug regulators approve the one-shot vaccine.

The move is a boost to the Biden administration’s vaccination plans as it seeks to tackle a pandemic that spiraled out of control under Donald Trump amid a largely botched response that was marked by anti-scientific sentiment, skepticism over the wearing of masks, and the promotion of baseless conspiracy theories:

7.42pm EST19:42

7.30pm EST19:30

Auckland lockdown begins

7.28pm EST19:28