Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi's Covid-19 caseload crosses 600,000-mark

A health worker in personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a man at the Sadar Bazar market to conduct tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Delhi on Wednesday.
Coronavirus live updates: On Wednesday, India reported 31,521 fresh Covid-19 cases. Its case tally now stands at 9,778,027. The country's death toll has mounted to 141,937. With 1,868,172 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 896,563, Andhra Pradesh 873,000, Tamil Nadu 794,020, and Kerala 649,000. Delhi recorded 2,463 fresh Covid-19 cases on Wednesday with over 72,000 tests being conducted, even as the positivity rate dropped to 3.42 per cent.

An expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) will meet today to review the applications of Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for emergency-use authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 69,459,768. While 48,189,133 have recovered, 1,579,721 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 15,810,242 cases, and 296,567 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 9,767,371 cases, Brazil (6,730,118), Russia (2,541,199), France (2,324,216).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


Bihar records 595 new COVID-19 cases, four more deaths

Bihar on Thursday reported 595 new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 2,41,533, as per a bulletin issued by the Health Department.

Two COVID-19 patients each died in Nawada and Supaul districts, following which the toll increased to 1,307, it said.

A total of 442 people recovered in the last 24 hours.

There are 5,286 active cases in the state at present.

So far, 2,34,940 have recovered in the state.

The state has so far tested 1.59 crore samples for COID-19, including 1,26,206 in the last 24 hours, it said.

Of the new cases, Patna accounted for 261, followed by Gaya (33), Muzaffarpur (20), Nalanda (19), Kishanganj and Begusarai (16 each).

Assam Update

Assam reported 140 new Covid-19 cases and 165 discharges today, as per State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma
Total cases: 2,14,305
Total discharges: 2,09,787
Active cases: 3,516
Death toll: 999

Covid-19: 5,076 recoveries in Karnataka; new cases dip to 1,238

Recoveries in Karnataka shot up to 5,076 in a single day, taking the total number of patients cured of the infection to 8,66,664 till date.

"With 1,238 new cases on Wednesday, the state's Covid tally rose to 8,97,801, including 19,206 positive cases," said the state health bulletin on Thursday.

The infection claimed 12 lives in the last 24 hours, taking the state's death toll to 11,912 till date.

Bengaluru reported 701 fresh cases, taking its tally to 3,76,592, including 13,820 active cases, while 3,58,553 recovered so far, with 4,549 in the last 24 hours.

With 8 patients succumbing to the infection, the city's death toll rose to 4,218 since the pandemic broke in the state on March 8.

Of the 258 patients in the intensive care units (ICUs) across the southern state, 114 are in Bengaluru, 19 in Chamarajanagara, 17 each in Kalaburagi and Tumakaru and 10 each in Gadag and Hassan.

Out of 84,270 tests conducted during the day, 15,514 were through the rapid-antigen detection and 68,756 through the RT-PCR method.

"Positivity rate for the day was 1.46 per cent and the case fatality rate for the day was 0.96 per cent," added the bulletin.

Jharkhand update

Jharkhand reported 173 new Covid-19 cases, 220 recoveries and 2 deaths, today
Total positive cases 1,11,003
Total recoveries 1,08,320
Death toll 993
Total active cases in the state are 1,690

1,518 new coronavirus cases in Chhattisgarh; 16 deaths

Chhattisgarh on Thursday reported 1,518 new Covid-19 cases and 16 fatalities, taking the caseload to 2,52,638 and death toll to 3,054, a health official said.

The number of recoveries reached 2,30,238 as 177 people were discharged from hospitals while 1,682 others completed their home isolation period during the day.

There are 19,346 active cases in the state, the official said.

Raipur district reported 210 new cases on Thursday, taking its total count to 48,457, including 682 deaths.

Korba district recorded 137 new cases, Bilaspur 127, Rajnandgaon 102 and Durg 101, among other districts.

Of the latest fatalities, 14 took place during the last 48 hours while two deaths had taken place earlier.

Chhattisgarh's coronavirus figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,52,638, New cases 1,518, Death toll 3,054, Recovered 2,30,238, Active cases 19,346, people tested so far 28,97,496.

Surat registers 196 Covid-19 cases, 269 recoveries; 3 die

Surat district of Gujarat reported 196 fresh cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, while 269 more patients recovered from the infection on Thursday, the state Health Department said.

Three persons from Surat city succumbed to the infection during the period, taking the death toll in the district to 1,095, said a release of the Health Department.

Surat's tally of positive cases rose to 45,804 with the addition of 196 new infections.

While 171 persons were found positive in Surat city, 25 cases were reported from the rural areas, said the release.

The release said 269 Covid-19 patients recovered from the infection - 201 in the city and 68 in the rural parts - and discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours.

Punjab sees 28 more Covid deaths, 635 new cases

Punjab on Thursday reported 28 more deaths due to Covid-19, as the toll crossed the 5,000-mark, while 635 fresh cases took the infection count to 1,58,556, according to a medical bulletin.

Six new fatalities were reported from Mohali; four each from Amritsar and Hoshiarpur; three each from Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala; two from Sangrur and one each from Barnala, Mansa and Moga, the bulletin said.

The new fatalities pushed the death toll to 5,007 in Punjab.

The state has 7,423 active Covid-19 cases, according to the bulletin.

Among the fresh Covid-19 cases, Jalandhar reported 134, followed by 69 each in Mohaliand Amritsar and 63 in Patiala.

A total of 503 coronavirus patients were discharged after recovering from the infection, taking the recovery count to 1,46,126, according to the bulletin.

Twenty critical patients are on ventilator support while 136 are on oxygen support, the bulletin said.

A total of 34,42,386 samples have been collected for Covid-19 testing in the state, itsaid.

Gehlot asks officials to scale up Covid-19 testing in Rajasthan

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday directed the officials to increase the number of testings for the detection of Covid-19, and ensure that arrangements are made for a smooth vaccination programme in the state.

He said scaling up testings is necessary to timely detect the infection so that it can help in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Chairing a meeting to review the Covid-19 situation in the state, the chief minister said delay in investigation poses a threat to people's lives and makes the condition of the patients critical.

Keeping this in mind, he said, health workers and the medical department officials should ensure that people with symptoms such as cold and cough are screened for Covid-19 infection.

The chief minister also reviewed the preparations for coronavirus vaccination in the state and said an adequate number of centres should be set up for inoculation against the pandemic.

He instructed the officials to make adequate vaccination arrangements so that people do not have to face any problem, according to a release.

Ahmedabad reports 278 coronavirus cases, 279 recoveries; 7 die

Ahmedabad district of Gujarat recorded 278 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, while 279 more patients recovered from the infection on Thursday, the state Health Department said.

Of these 278 new cases, the highest for a district in the state, 265 were reported from the city and 13 from villages, said a release by the Health Department.

Ahmedabad's tally of positive cases has now gone up to 53,188, it said.

Seven more patients succumbed to the infection, taking the death toll in the district to 2,152, the release said.

Also, 279 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, taking the recovery tally to 47,981, it said.

While 262 recovered in the city, 17 recuperated in rural areas. Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) declared two more "micro-containment zones" after fresh COVID-19 cases emerged there. The new micro-containment zones included an old-age home in the Ambli area, said an AMC release.

Mumbai records 798 Covid-19 cases, 13 deaths; 743 recover

Mumbai reported 798 new Covid-19 cases - 12th straight day of sub-1,000 infections - and 13 fresh deaths on Thursday, while 743 more patients were discharged following recovery, the city civic body said.

According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) updated data, the tally of Covid-19 cases has now increased to 2,88,689, while the death toll has reached 10,948.

Notably, Mumbai is reporting less than 1,000 daily Covid-19 cases since November 29.

On Wednesday, the financial capital had recorded 716 news cases and 15 deaths.

According to the civic body, the average doubling rate of Covid-19 cases has once again crossed the 300-day mark.

The average doubling rate of Covid-19 cases in Mumbai is 302 days, while the average growth rate of the infection is 0.23per cent, the BMC said.

Maharashtra's Covid-19 tally reaches 1,868,172 with 3,824 new cases

Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally on Thursday reached 18,68,172 with the addition of 3,824 cases. As the virus claimed the lives of 70 patients during the day, the fatality count went up to 47,972. A total of 5,008 patients were discharged on Thursday, which pushed the recovery count of the state to 17,47,199. The number of active cases in Maharashtra is now 71,910.
Mumbai city reported 798 fresh cases, due to which its overall case count went up to 2,88,696, while its death toll climbed to 10,942, of which 13 were reported on Thursday.
The state has so far conducted 1,15,02,427 tests. Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally is as follows: Positive cases: 18,68,172, new cases: 3,824, death toll: 47,972, discharged: 17,47,199, active cases: 71,910, people tested so far: 1,15,02,427.

LIVE: 1,319 new coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh, seven deaths

Madhya Pradesh on Thursday recorded 1,319 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections in the state to 2,19,893. With seven more people succumbing to the viral infection, the death toll reached 3,373. A total of 1,307 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the overall recovery count to 2,03,294.
Of new fatalities, three died in Indore, two in Bhopal and one each in Khandwa and Vidisha districts. Of 1,319 new cases, Indore accounted for 456 and Bhopal 296. The number of cases in Indore district rose to 47,427 including 799 deaths, while Bhopal's case tally stood at 35,137 with 537 fatalities.

LIVE: 830 new coronavirus cases in Uttarakhand, tally surpasses 80,000-mark

Uttarakhand's COVID-19 tally rose to 80,476 on Thursday with the detection of 830 fresh cases, while 12 more deaths pushed the toll to 1,332 in the state, according to a bulletin.
Dehradundistrict reported a maximum of 273 new cases, Nainital 105, Haridwar 63, Pithoragarh 61, Rudraprayag 55, Almora 53, Chamoli 51, Tehri 44, Udham Singh Nagar 37, Bageshwar 24, Pauri 37, Champawat 17 and Uttarkashi 10, a state health department bulletin said.
A total of 72,479 COVID-19 patients in Uttarakhand have recuperated, 933 have migrated out of the state and 5,742 are under treatment, the bulletin issued said.

Coronavirus LIVE: 1,592 new Covid-19 cases in Rajasthan, toll touches 2,500

Fifteen more people succumbed to COVID-19 in Rajasthan, bringing the death toll to 2,500 on Thursday, while 1,592 fresh cases raised the infection count to 2,87,219 in the state, according to an official report.
Three new fatalities were reported from Jodhpur; two each from Ajmer, Jaipur and Kota, while Dausa, Dungarpur, Ganganagar, Jhunjhunu, Pali and Udaipur registered one death each due to COVID-19, the report said. Jaipur recorded a maximum of 365 fresh cases of the novel coronavirus. Jodhpur, Kota, Ajmer and Alwar reported 166, 91, 82 and 81 new COVID-19 cases, respectively while rest of the cases were reported from other districts.
A total of 2,65,689 patients have recovered from the infection and the number of active COVID-19 cases stands at 19,030 in the state, according to the report.

Delhi reports 1,575 new Covid-19 cases, 3,307 recoveries and 61 deaths today

Kerala's Covid-19 caseload crosses 6.50 lakh mark; 4,470 new cases

Kerala's COVID-19 caseload crossed the 6.50 lakh mark on Thursday, with 4,470 new cases being reported while 4,847 people have been cured of the infection. In the last 24 hours, 52,769 samples have been tested and the test positivity rate dipped to 8.47 per cent, Health minister K K Shailaja said in a press release. So far, 68,08,399 samples have been sent for testing. With 4,847 recoveries today, presently 59,517 people are undergoing treatment and 5,91,845 have recuperated.
The total COVID cases in the state has touched 6,54,041.
Malappuram accounted for 700 new cases, Kozhikode 578, Ernakulam 555 and Thrissur 393. The toll has climbed to 2,533 with 26 more deaths confirmed due to the virus infection. Of the positive cases, 37 are heath workers, 77 had come from outside the state, 3,858 were infected through contact and the source of infection of 498 people is not known, the release stated. As many as 3,16,491 people are under observation in various districts, including 13,924 in hospitals.

Five new coronavirus cases in Dharavi

The COVID-19 tally in Dharavi, the biggest slum in Mumbai, rose to 3,741 on Thursday with the addition of five cases, a senior official of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said. On Wednesday, only one positive case was reported from the area. Out of the 3,741patients from this densely-populated slum pocket, 3,415 have already recovered and got discharge from hospitals, the civic official said.
There are 15 active cases in Dharavi at present. Spread over 2.5 square kms of area, Dharavi is considered the largest slum in Asia with a population over 6.5 lakh.

Coronavirus LIVE: 4,470 new Covid-19 cases reported in Kerala today

SpiceJet ties up with Om Logistics for Covid-19 vaccine transportation

No-frills carrier SpiceJet on Thursday announced its partnership with Om Logistics for COVID-19 vaccine transportation. The strategic partnership aims to not only provide a speedy and seamless solution for COVID-19 vaccine movement and delivery, but also to create a sustainable cold chain network both domestically and internationally, SpiceJet said in a release.
Recently, the Gurugram-based airline said its dedicated freighter division SpiceXpress has the capability to transport sensitive drugs and vaccines in controlled temperatures ranging from (-)40c to (+)25c.
SpiceJet, in its endeavour to provide seamless end-to-end cold chain solutions for the COVID-19 vaccine delivery, has partnered with Om Logistics Ltd, the airline said in a release.

Third wave of Covid-19 pandemic in Delhi 'on the wane': Satyendar Jain

The third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the national capital is not over yet but it is "definitely on the wane", Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Thursday. Delhi recorded 2,463 new COVID-19 cases and 50 fatalities on Wednesday, the lowest number of deaths in a single day since November 1. As the positivity rate slipped to 3.42 per cent, Jain had on Wednesday tweeted thatit washeartening to see that the national capital is "emerging victorious" in the battle against the coronavirus.
"Cases are falling, and death count in a day is lowest in the last 40 days. The situation has improved, and we can definitely say the third wave of the pandemic here is on the wane. It is not over, but on the wane," he told reporters on Thursday. On plans of COVID-19 vaccination, he said, healthcare workers and frontline staff will be administered the vaccine first, followed by the elderly and then others.
"If we have vaccine availability, we can vaccinate the entire population in a week's time, we have the preparations ready," he added.

Novel Covid-19 antibody test gives results in 20 minutes

Scientists have developed a new accurate and reliable test to detect antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, which gives results in less than 20 minutes. The serological assay, described in the journal Scientific Reports. is as accurate as the most reliable antibody tests currently available, but is less complex and can be performed much faster.
The gold standard for serological testing is a complex laboratory method called ELISA that takes four to six hours to run and provides quantitative results indicating the strength of the immune response.
Simpler assays using test strips provide rapid results, but are less reliable and do not quantify antibody levels, the researchers said. The new method, called biolayer interferometry immunosorbent assay (BLI-ISA), provides complete quantitative results in less than 20 minutes.

Smell and taste loss first Covid-19 infection symptom: Study

Loss of smell and taste are common in people who have Covid-19 infections and now a new study found that these symptoms often occur before other symptoms, like fever or shortness of breath. According to the study, published in the journal Neurology, almost two-thirds of the people admitted to an Italian hospital with Covid-19 in March experienced losing their senses of smell and taste. Additionally, about 22 per cent of those with an impaired sense of smell and taste said it was their first symptom of infection.
"While many people show evidence of Covid-19 infection in the lungs, we found there could be more at play than what a person's lungs can tell us," said study author Francesco Bax from the Santa Maria della Misericordia University Hospital in Italy.
The study involved 93 people with an average age of 63 who were admitted to the non-intensive Covid-19 unit of the hospital in March 2020. The participants either tested positive for the virus with a swab test, or they showed signs of lung problems with a chest X-ray or scan. They were also interviewed about their symptoms.

There are 18,800 Covid-19 beds in Delhi and over 13,000 are vacant: Health Minister Satyendar Jain

Coronavirus LIVE: India's cumulative Covid-19 tests cross 150-million mark

India's cumulative tests for detection of COVID-19 has crossed 15 crorewith one crore tests added in just 10 days, the Union Health Ministry said underlining comprehensive and widespread testing on a sustained basis has resulted in bringing down the positivity rate. The country has also reportedless than 40,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for eleven continuous days, the ministry underscored. A total 9,22,959samples were tested in a day which has increased India's total cumulative tests to15,07,59,726.
"The past one crore tests were added in just 10 days. Comprehensive and widespread testing on a sustained basis has resulted in bringing down the positivity rate," the ministry said.
In a span of 24 hours, 31,521persons were found to be COVID-19 positive in the country while37,725new recoveries were registered in the same duration which has led to a further contraction of the active caseload. India's present COVID-19 active caseload of3,72,293 consists of just3.81 per centof total infections reported so far. The total recovered cases have surpassed92.5 lakh (92,53,306).

Increasing gap between Covid-19 recovered and active cases of India: Health Ministry

Coronavirus tally in Andamans rises to 4,783 with five new Covid-19 cases

Five more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, raising the tally in the Union Territory to 4,783, a health department official said on Thursday. The death toll remained at 61 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported, he said.
Of the fresh cases, four were detected during contact tracing and one has travel history. The Union Territory now has 75 active cases, and 4,647 people in the archipelago have recovered from the disease so far. The Andaman and Nicobar administration has conducted 1,44,401 sample tests for COVID-19, and the positivity rate stands at 3.31 per cent.

Gates Foundation announces additional $250 mn for Covid-19 research

The Seattle-headquartered Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday announced that it will offer an additional $250 million to fund the research, development and equitable delivery of tools for Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. In a statement, the Foundation called for global commitments to make Covid-related scientific innovations available in 2021 to everyone who needs them.
"We are confident that the world will get better in 2021, but whether it gets better for everyone depends on the actions of the world's leaders and their commitment to deliver tests, treatments, and vaccines to the people who need them, no matter where they live or how much money they have," said Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Foundation.
This funding will support continued innovation to develop tests, treatments, and vaccines that are easier to scale and deliver, to ensure there are many options that are less expensive and can be used in different settings, according to the statement.

Tokyo's daily infections top 600 for first time

The number of new coronavirus infections in Japan's capital have topped 600 in a day for the first time.
Experts on Tokyo's virus task force say the surge in infections has placed an added burden on hospitals, making it difficult for many of them to carry out treatment for ordinary patients.

DATA STORY: India's share of global active Covid-19 cases shrinks to 1.89%

India on Thursday reported a net reduction of 6,616 to bring its count of active coronavirus cases down to 372,293, the lowest level since July 18. With a continuous trend of daily reductions, India’s share of global active coronavirus cases is down to 1.89 per cent (one in 52). Read on...

Coronavirus India update: Five states with highest 24-hour net addition to active cases

Chhattisgarh (262)
Kerala (193)
Uttarakhand (57)
Punjab (51)
Ladakh (28)

Israel will start Covid-19 vaccinations from December 27, says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

• Israel will start Covid-19 vaccinations from December 27, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday, as the country received its first batch of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. Netanyahu, who was on hand as an air freighter carrying the vaccines landed at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, vowed to be the first Israeli to get the jab. The shipment was the first of eight million doses Israel ordered from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its partner BioNTech.

Coronavirus vaccine: Pune's Gennova gets nod for clinical trials of India's first mRNA vaccine

Pune based firm Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Ltd has been granted permission for phase 1 and 2 human clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine candidate developed by them. This would be the first Indian mRNA vaccine candidate.
The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) on Wednesday granted conditional permission for phases 1 and 2 human clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by them. The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) deliberated on their proposal and granted permission to conduct phase 1 and 2 trials along with animal toxicity study data. DCGI has approved the same. Read on...

IIT placements: Second-generation institutes keep up good show amid Covid-19

The bounty of more jobs and better offers in a calamitous year has extended to the newer Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs), allaying fears of a washout during placements as a result of Covid-19.
Some of the second-generation IITs that Business Standard spoke with have seen more job offers from the start of the first phase of final placements to date than compared to the previous year. Of the 23 institutes, seven are known as older IITs, followed by nine second-generation ones set up roughly a decade ago, and seven third-generation IITs that came up 2015-16 onwards. Read on...

Coronavirus updates: UK issues Anaphylaxis warning on Pfizer Vaccine after adverse reactions

Britain's medicine regulator said anyone with a history of anaphylaxis to a medicine or food should not get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, giving fuller guidance on an earlier allergy warning about the shot.

Moscow's death toll from Covid-19 rises by 74 over past day to 9,645

Moscow has registered 74 deaths of patients infected with Covid-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the Russian capital's death toll to 9,645, the city's coronavirus response center said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Another 74 patients, who were diagnosed with pneumonia and tested positive for the coronavirus infection, died in Moscow," the center said.

Coronavirus world update: Covid-19 cases breach 300,000 mark in Sweden

Covid-19 infections in Sweden topped 300,000 mark after another 7,061 cases were added, according to the data from the Public Health Agency.
The total cases in the Nordic country now stand at 304,793, with 7,296 fatalities, the data showed.
Currently, there are 261 Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs) -- 83 of them in Stockholm, nearing the full capacity of the capital's Covid-19 ICUs for the first time since the pandemic broke out, according to the city's health and medical care director Bjorn Eriksson.

Indian banks risk Rs 12-trn hit till 2024 from Covid-19: McKinsey

Global strategy consultancy firm McKinsey has estimated that banks in India could face a potential hit of Rs 12 trillion till 2024 from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic — with revenue foregone estimated at Rs 5.5 trillion and loan loss provisions about Rs 6.7 trillion.
The crisis of 2008 came from within the financial services industry, but the current one has affected the real economy and banks are economically afflicted alongside other sectors. Read on...

Mizoram reported 17 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours

Curbs may have to be maintained after vaccination: Ramanan Laxminarayan

Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech have applied for emergency use authorisations for their Covid vaccines, which means they may soon be available to the public. However, health economist and epidemiologist Ramanan Laxminarayan, in an interview with Geetika Srivastava, says that masks and small gatherings may stick around for a while, even after vaccination, until the epidemic curve is bent and the case load starts to decrease. Read on...

South Africa declares second wave of coronavirus as cases surge

South Africa has declared a second wave of coronavirus as the number of cases surged with the per day infections exceeding 6,000.
The deadly virus has so far infected 828,598 people and claimed 22,574 lives in South Africa.
"We are now experiencing a second wave, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday.
A total of 6,709 new cases were reported overnight. The virus also claimed 135 lives in the last 24 hours.

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel