Indian capital, Delhi has begun a week-long lockdown after a weekend curfew failed to halt record spike in cases overwhelming health services.
India has had over 200,000 cases a day since 15 April – with 1,620 new deaths reported on Sunday.
UK health officials investigating whether India variant might spread more easily and evade vaccines.
UK PM Boris Johnson has cancelled his planned trip to India next week.
Meanwhile healthy volunteers in UK who have already had Covid are to be deliberately re-exposed to it to test immune responses.
The long-awaited Australia-New Zealand travel bubble, meaning visitors no longer need to quarantine on arrival, has opened.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock making statement in the Commons at 15.30 BST on latest Covid developments.