LIVE: 447 adverse events following vaccination seen so far, most are minor

India has rolled out two coronavirus vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin
Coronavirus LIVE updates: India's Covid-19 caseload climbed to 10,558,710 on Sunday with 15,144 fresh infections while recoveries surged to 10,196,885, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.58 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The country continues to be second-most-affected globally, and ranks 13th among worst-wit nations by active cases, according to data from Worldometer.

The first Covid-19 vaccine shots in India were given on Saturday to more than 190,000 frontline healthcare and sanitary workers as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the world's largest inoculation drive against the pandemic that has caused 152,311 deaths and upended millions of lives in the country.

India has rolled out two coronavirus vaccines — Covishield and Covaxin. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the citizens not to pay heed to rumours about the vaccine since experts have given emergency approval following scientific rigour. He said India had a great track record in vaccine production and that 60 per cent of children of the world get vaccines made in India. 

The five most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (1,981,623), Karnataka (929,960), Andhra Pradesh (885,616), Kerala (831,259), and Tamil Nadu (828,952).

World coronavirus update: Coronavirus cases rise unabated across the globe, with more than 94 million infected by the deadly contagion. While 67,758,836 have recovered, 2,029,648 have died so far. The US remains the worst-hit country with 24,099,511 cases, followed by India, Brazil, Russia and the United Kingdom. However, it terms of the total number of active cases, US tops the charts, followed by France, UK, Brazil and Belgium.

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


UK seeks to give 1st Covid shot to all adults by September

The UK government plans to offer a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine to every adult by September as the nations health service battles the worst crisis in its 72-year-history.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Sunday that the government is still opening new vaccination sites and will soon begin trials that will give round-the-clock injections at some locations to help increase the pace of delivery.
“Our target is by September to have offered all the adult population a first dose, he told Sky News. “If we can do it faster than that, great, but thats the roadmap.” Britain has more than 51 million adults in its population of 67.5 million people.
The ambitious vaccination program comes amid crushing pressures on the National Health Service. Already beleaguered hospitals are admitting another Covid-19 patient every 30 seconds, putting the service in its most precarious situation ever, said Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England.
“The facts are very clear and Im not going to sugarcoat them, hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure, he told the BBC. “Since Christmas Day weve seen another 15,000 increase in the in-patients in hospitals across England. That's the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients.” Britains health care system is staggering as doctors and nurses battle a more contagious variant of the coronavirus coupled with cold, wet winter weather that drives people inside, where infections spread more easily.
The surge in infections has pushed the number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 to a record 37,475, more than 73 per cent higher than during the first peak of the pandemic in April. 

Brazil's health agency approves the use of two vaccines

Brazil's health regulator on Sunday approved the urgent use of coronavirus vaccines made by Sinovac and AstraZeneca, enabling Latin America's largest nation to begin an immunisation programme that's been subject to months of delay and political disputes.
Brazil currently has 6 million doses of Sinovac's CoronaVac vaccine ready to distribute in the next few days, and is awaiting the arrival of another 2 million doses of the vaccine made by AstraZeneca and partner Oxford University.
On Saturday night, the health regulator Anvisa rejected an application for use of a Russian vaccine called Sputnik V, submitted by Brazilian company União Química. Anvisa said it didn't evaluate the application because it didn't meet minimum requirements to start an analysis.
Vaccination in Brazil is beginning later than neighbors such as Argentina and Chile despite a robust public health system and decades of experience with immunization campaigns.
The process to present and approve the Covid-19 vaccines was fraught with conflict, as allies of President Jair Bolsonaro sought to cast doubt on the efficacy of the Sinovac shot backed by his political rival, Sao Paulo state's Gov. João Doria.
“The rivalry between Brasilia and the state governments prevented any cooperative work,” said Maurício Santoro, professor of political science at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. “The governor lost the leadership position, but made Bolsonaro act more quickly to guarantee the start of vaccination.”

The vaccination priority will be health professionals on the front line against coronavirus. Vaccination by the federal government could begin on Wednesday, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said last week. Sao Paulo state started immunisation Sunday after Anvisa's decision. As more doses are available, immunisation will be extended to others including the Indigenous population, people over 60 years of age and people with pre-existing diseases, according to the vaccination plan presented by the federal government.

Low turnout for the shot as six states vaccinate 17,000 on Sunday

India vaccinated over 17,000 health care workers in 553 sessions on the second day of the Covid vaccination drive across six states, taking the total number of vaccinations to 224,301. There were more than 400 adverse events following the jab, such as fever, headache and nausea, the health ministry said on Sunday.
The number of vaccinations has been less than half the targeted number, given the government planned to vaccinate 100 beneficiaries per session, for reasons ranging from lack of confidence in the vaccine to technical glitches.
According to the updated figures shared by the health ministry, one the first day of the vaccine launch India had administered the first dose of the Covid antidote to 207,229 beneficiaries — the highest Day One vaccinations in the world, ahead of the UK, the US, and France. However, the number fell short by almost 100,000 in reaching the expected target, with several health workers either not showing up or not willing to take the vaccine being offered.
On Day One, for instance, a controversy had erupted after a letter by Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital doctors was made public, citing apprehension by doctors in taking Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin vaccine instead of Serum Institute’s Covishield, which was being administered in Delhi’s state hospitals. Read more

Madhya Pradesh sees 355 new COVID-19 cases

Madhya Pradesh's Covid-19 tally rose to 2,51,578 on Sunday with the addition of 355 fresh cases, a health official said.
With two more people succumbing to the viral infection, the overall death toll in MP went up to 3,753, he said.

Sero-positivity for Covid-19 found to be lesser in smokers, vegetarians: CSIR

Smokers and vegetarians were found to have lower seropositivity indicating that they may be at a lesser risk of getting infected by coronavirus, according to a pan-India serosurvey conducted by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research in its nearly 40 institutes.
The survey also found that those with blood group 'O' may be less susceptible to the infection, while people with 'B' and 'AB' blood groups were at a higher risk.
For its study, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) took samples of 10,427 adult individuals working in its laboratories or institutions and their family members, based on voluntary participation, to assess the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2.
The study which was piloted by CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), Delhi said of the 10,427 individuals, 1,058 (10.14 per cent) had antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Vaccination drive to pick up momentum in next 5-10 days in Assam: Official

Over 3,500 healthcare workers, including prominent doctors, were administered the Covid-19 vaccine on the first day of the immunisation drive in Assam and the exercise was expected to pick up momentum in the next five to ten days, National Health Mission Director of the state Dr S Lakshmanan said on Sunday.
The state had expected 6,500 beneficiaries to be vaccinated on the first day of the inoculation drive on Saturday, but 3,528 of the targeted people turned up, he said.

447 adverse events reported so far, most of them were minor

207,229 people were vaccinated on Day 1, the highest day one number in the world: Govt

A total of 224,301 beneficiaries vaccinated so far: Health Ministry

12 new cases push Meghalaya's Covid-19 tally to 13,704

Meghalaya's Covid-19 tally rose to 13,704 on Sunday as 12 more people tested positive for the infection, a senior health official said.
The state recorded an all-time low of 148 active coronavirus cases during the day, while the total number of recoveries rose to 13,412 as 12 more people were cured of the disease, Health Services Director Aman War said.

Goa sees 60 Covid-19 cases

Goa's Covid-19 tally went up by 60 to 52,405 on Sunday, a health department official said.
No fresh death due to the viral disease was reported in the coastal state during the day, he said, adding the total toll remained 756.

Lebanon inks final deal for 2.1 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

 Lebanon's caretaker health minister signed a final deal on Sunday to secure 2.1 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's Covid-19 vaccine as the country battles a steep rise in infections.
The vaccines are expected to arrive in batches starting February, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry is also cooperating with the private sector to secure 2 million vaccine doses from Astrazenca and Sinopharm, it added.

No side-effects of Covid-19 vaccine in Maharashtra so far: State Health Minister

There has been no case of adverse reaction or side-effects of Covid-19 vaccine in Maharashtra so far, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday, a day after the inoculation drive was undertaken across the country.
Talking to PTI, Tope also expressed confidence that "everything will be safe".
As many as 18,425 beneficiaries, or 65 per cent of the target for the first day, were given vaccine shot across the state on Saturday, a health department official earlier said.

TMC leaders in Bengal received vaccine meant for health workers: BJP

The BJP on Sunday alleged that several TMC leaders in West Bengal were administered Covid-19 vaccines meant for healthcare personnel and frontline workers, resulting in a shortfall of doses in the state.
Several TMC leaders, including two MLAs, were among the people who received the Covid-19 vaccine in Purba Bardhaman district on Saturday, the opening day of the nationwide vaccination programme.

527 Covid-19 positive women delivered babies at LNJP Hospital since March last year

More than 500 pregnant women have delivered babies while being treated for coronavirus infection at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) in Delhi since March last year when it was declared a dedicated Covid-19 facility, officials said.
The national capital reported its first novel coronavirus case on March 1. After the viral infection began to spread, the LNJP Hospital in central Delhi was converted into a dedicated Covid-19 facility.
It is now one of the 81 sites in Delhi chosen for the mega anti-coronavirus immunisation exercise that was launched on Saturday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Austria tightens lockdown

Austria is extending its lockdown until February 7 in an attempt to bring down still-high infection figures, as authorities worry about the possible impact of more infectious variants of the coronavirus.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Sunday that distancing rules will be toughened, with people asked to stay 2 meters apart instead of 1 meter. They will also be told to wear full protective masks in public transport and shops, rather than just fabric face coverings.

161 fresh Covid-19 cases in Andhra

Andhra Pradesh reported 161 fresh Covid-19 cases, 251 recoveries and one death in 24 hours ending 9 am on Sunday.
Chittoor district reported the highest 52 cases while Kadapa logged zero in a day.

No change in persons infected with new UK strain since yesterday: Health Ministry

There is no change in the total number of persons found positive with the new UK strain of Covid-19 since yesterday, the number of infected persons remains at 116: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

PM Modi should have taken Covid vaccine shot: Congress leader

Senior Congress leader and former UP legislator Pradeep Mathur on Sunday said it would have been better had Prime Minister Narendra Modi taken the coronavirus vaccine shot on the first day of the inoculation drive, thereby injecting confidence among people.
"It would have been better had Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented an example like that of Joe Biden, the president-elect of the US, by getting himself vaccinated. By taking the Covid-19 vaccine shot, he would have injected confidence among people of the country. People are still feeling hesitant in getting themselves vaccinated," Mathur said here on Sunday.

Some didn't turn up for vaccination at the last moment: Delhi Health Minister

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday said some people did not turn up for coronavirus vaccination at the last moment, adding that the government cannot ask anyone to compulsorily take the jab.
He also said that the number of vaccination centres in Delhi will be increased from 81 to 175 soon.
In Delhi, a total of 4,319 healthcare workers - 53.3 per cent of those registered - got the vaccine shots on the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday, the minister said.

Thailand confirms 374 new Covid-19 cases

Thailand on Sunday confirmed 374 new Covid-19 cases, mostly detected among migrant workers, according to the Center for the Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).
Of the new cases, 364 were domestic infections while 10 others were those who had returned from abroad and tested positive in this country, said CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin.

Footfall to Taj Mahal dropped by 76 per cent in 2020 due to Covid

The footfall of tourists to Taj Mahal fell drastically by 76 per cent in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
The international tourism one of the 'Wonders of the World', Taj Mahal, has dropped down to less than one per cent in the year 2020 due to worldwide COVID situation.
"In comparison to 2019, the tourists' footfall to Taj Mahal fell by 76 per cent in 2020. This is applicable in every sector. Around 7,37,000 foreign tourists visited the monument in 2019 while only 1,82,000 visited in 2020. In case of domestic tourists, around 48,35,000 people visited the monument in 2019 while merely 11,34,000 visited in the year 2020," told Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, Superintending Archaeologist.

10 new mass vaccination centres to open up across UK

Ten new large-scale centres, including a rugby ground, racecourse, food court and a cathedral, will open up next week across Britain to join the seven already delivering vaccines to immunise against Covid-19, the UK's National Health Service (NHS) said on Sunday.
It comes as a further 324,233 vaccine doses were administered across the UK to take the total above 3.5 million, a milestone hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a "fantastic national effort".
The state-funded health service leading the UK's "biggest" vaccination programme in history also confirmed more than 1 million people aged 80 or over have been invited to book a coronavirus jab at a Vaccination Centre.

Schools in Mizoram to reopen for Class 10 &12 students from Jan 22

The Mizoram government has decided to allow reopening of schools for students of class 10 and 12 from January 22 and places of worship from February.
According to the new unlock guidelines issued on Saturday schools and hostels will reopen from January 22 for students of class 10 and 12.
The guidelines said churches will be allowed to open with 50 per cent sitting capacity or 200 attendees on every Saturday and Sunday noon time from first February.

Odisha reports 183 fresh Covid-19 cases

Odishas Covid-19 tally on Sunday mounted to 333,310 after 183 more people tested positive for the virus, while a fresh fatality pushed the death toll to 1,900, a health department official said.
Of the 183 new cases, 106 have been reported from different quarantine centres, while 77 detected during contact tracing.
Angul district recorded the highest number of 20 new cases, followed by Sambalpur (19) and Sundergarh (18).

Maldives President lauds Modi for vaccine rollout

Puducherry logs 35 new Covid-19 cases

The union territory of Puducherry logged 35 new Covid-19 cases taking the overall tally to38,646, a top Health Department official said on Sunday.
No fresh fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours, Director of the Department of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release.
The death toll remained at642, he added.

Telangana coronavirus update

Telangana's Covid-19 tally climbs to 291,666 with 299 fresh cases, death toll rises to 1,577

Congress alleges govt procuring vaccine at inflated prices

The Congress on Sunday questioned the procurement of Covid vaccines, alleging that the government has procured the vaccines at inflated prices despite the manufacturers claiming they would supply the vaccines without seeking profit.
Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, addressing a press conference, said, "Why should the Modi government pay Rs 95 per dose more to Bharat Biotech for a vaccine that has been developed with the expertise and experience of scientists of government-run ICMR and pay more for a vaccine that has only been tested on 755 individuals and is yet to be cleared after phase-3 trials?"

Kolkata nurse stable, experts trying to ascertain cause behind illness post Covid jab

The health condition of a 35- year-old nurse, who fell ill here following the administration of Covid-19 vaccine, is currently stable, and a medical board of experts has been formed to find out why she fainted after taking the shot, a senior official said on Sunday.
The health department official, who is also a prominent doctor, said the experts are examining her condition as of now, and the analysis might take some time.
"She is is stable. We have formed a board of experts to take care of the treatment procedure. Let's see how quickly we can analyse the reason behind her illness and come up with a solution. As of now, she is responding well to the treatment," the official told PTI.
The health department is also consulting vaccine expert Dr Shantunu Tripathy, who was earlier associated with School of Tropical Medicine, he said.

Italy faces a political crisis amid a pandemic

Former Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is testing his already low popularity by provoking a political crisis that could bring down Italy's coalition government at a critical juncture in the coronavirus pandemic.
Renzi orchestrated the resignations of two ministers from his tiny but key Italia Viva party. The outcome of his power play will become clearer this week, when Premier Giuseppe Conte addresses both houses of Parliament. If Conte makes a successful bid for support, he could go on to form what would be his third coalition government since Italy's 2018 election.

Los Angeles becomes first US county to top 1 million Covid-19 cases

The Los Angeles County became the first in the US to surpass 1 million Covid-19 case since the onset of the pandemic early last year, local health officials said. The most populous county in the country, home to 10 million residents, on Saturday reported 14,669 new confirmed cases and 253 additional fatalities, pushing its cumulative infection tally to 1,003,923, while the death toll stood at 13,741, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
There are 7,597 Covid-19 patients currently hospitalised in the county with 22 per cent of them in intensive care, Xinhua news agency reported citing the Department as saying in a statement. The Department also confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus strain, which was first discovered in the UK.
The individual found to have contracted the virus is a male, who recently spent time in Los Angeles County but has travelled to Oregon, where he is currently in quarantine. The more contagious variant has been previously detected in Southern California's San Diego and San Bernardino.

Highest number of Covid-19 vaccines administered in UP on first day of inoculation

Of the 1.91 lakh beneficiaries administered COVID-19 vaccine shots on the first day of the countrywide vaccination drive, the highest number of inoculations were carried out in Uttar Pradesh with 21291 people taking the jab. The first COVID-19 vaccine shots in India were given on Saturday.
Of the 208826 total active COVID-19 cases in the country, Kerala has the highest number at 68633 followed by Maharashtra at 53163, UP at 9162, Karnataka at 8713, West Bengal at 7151, and Tamil Nadu at 6128, according to the Health ministry data.
More than one crore cases and 1.5 lakh fatalities later, India took its first steps out of the pandemic with shots of the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines being administered at medical centres across the country.

Four more Covid-19 vaccines in different stages of trial: Serum Institute of India

Apart from Covishield, the Serum Institute of India (SII) is working on four more vaccines against the novel coronavirus, according to Suresh Jadhav, executive director at one of the world's largest vaccine manufacturers. Jadhav informed during a webinar that the firm has been working on five vaccines against the novel coronavirus, including the Covishield which got approval for emergency use roll-out for mass immunization drive began on Saturday.
"For one (vaccine) we have received emergency approval, three others are in different stages of clinical studies while one is in the pre-clinical stage of the trial," he said.
The SII has partnered with Novavax Inc to manufacture its potential Covid-19 vaccine for India and other countries. Under an agreement with the US drug developer, the Pune based drugmaker will develop two hundred crore doses of Novavax's vaccine candidate annually. The drugmaker will also manufacture the antigen component of the vaccine.

Telangana's Covid-19 tests per million population cross 200,000 mark

Telangana's tests per million population for Covid-19 have crossed the 2-lakh mark with 33,298 more tests during the last 24 hours. Tests per million population in Telangana are 2,00,475, which is higher than the national average of about 1.40 lakh. Three months ago, Telangana had crossed the one-lakh mark for tests per million population. The state had initially come in for criticism for fewer tests but later it ramped up the numbers.
There are 19 government-run and 56 private laboratories and 1,076 Rapid Antigen test centres in the state, where about 40,000 tests are conducted daily. The numbers drop on week-ends and holidays.
According to health officials, the daily testing target for the state per World Health Organisation (WHO) benchmark is 140 per million per day. During the last 24 hours, 29,240 more tests were conducted in government labs while 4,058 samples were tested in private labs. With this, the cumulative number of tests conducted in the state rose to 74,61,687.

Pfizer vaccine worries Norway as 29 elderly people die after taking shot

Norway expressed increasing concern about the safety of the Pfizer Inc. vaccine on elderly people with serious underlying health conditions after raising an estimate of the number who died after receiving inoculations to 29.
The latest figure adds six to the number of known fatalities in Norway, and lowers the age group thought to be affected to 75 from 80. While it’s unclear exactly when the deaths occurred, Norway has given at least one dose to about 42,000 people and focused on those considered most at risk if they contract the virus, including the elderly.
Until Friday, the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech SE was the only one available in Norway, and “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine,” the Norwegian Medicines Agency said in a written response to Bloomberg on Saturday. READ ON...

WHO hopes Covid vaccination 'underway in every country in next 100 days'

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged fairness to the access of COovid-19 vaccines, saying he wants to "see vaccination underway in every country in the next 100 days".
Speaking at a virtual press conference from Geneva on Friday, Tedros stressed that efforts should be made to ensure that middle and low-income countries are equally protected. 

High-income countries are disproportionately represented among countries that started vaccinating, the WHO chief said, stressing that the lessons from previous epidemics should not be forgotten. "I know what it's like to come from a continent where not all health services are available," he said. READ ON...

Over 675,000 Turkish health workers get Covid-19 jab

More than 675,000 health workers in Turkey have received the Covid-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac during the first three days of the country's inoculation program, the Health Ministry said. The country started mass vaccination for Covid-19 on January 14 after the authorities approved the emergency use of the Chinese vaccine.
The vaccination program will move on to adults living in nursing homes, people aged 65 and above, and those working in specific sectors after covering over one million healthcare workers.
Turkey received the first shipment of three million doses of vaccines from China at the end of December, as part of a bigger deal, and expects to get more in the upcoming period. On Saturday, the country reported 7,550 new Covid-19 cases, including 902 symptomatic patients, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country reached 2,380,665, the Ministry announced.

LIVE: India reports 15,144 fresh Covid-19 cases; active cases dip below 2%

India's COVID-19 caseload climbed to 1,05,57,985 on Sunday with 15,144 fresh infections while recoveries surged to 1,01,96,885, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.58 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data.
The death toll increased to 1,52,274 with 181 more fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
There are 2,08,826 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which constitute 1.98 per cent of the total caseload, the data showed. The COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.44 per cent.

India's active coronavirus cases stand at 208,826: Union Health Ministry

'If we don't take vaccine, who will?' Healthcare workers make their point

Suman Kumari, a nursing officer at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in New Delhi, returned home early from an out-of-state visit when she learnt vaccination was starting. Having been in close contact with Covid-19 patients for the past year, she was eagerly awaiting a text message from the government telling her she’s eligible for the jab. It thus came as a pleasant surprise when she finally did receive the text.
The very next day, however, she saw the consent form all volunteers needed to sign and started feeling apprehensive. Having witnessed so much controversy around the jab, she was unsure how to proceed. She wasn’t one of the firsts to stand in line to take the shot, as she was worried about its after-effects.
However, with barely an hour left before the vaccination process ended, she mustered up the courage and got inoculated. “Ab toh main aa gayi hoon, ab toh vaccine leni hi thi (Now that I’m here, I knew I needed to take the vaccine),” she said. “How else will I set an example for others?” she added. READ ON...

India reports 15,144 new Covid-19 cases and 181 deaths in last 24 hours: Health Ministry

West Bengal reports 14 adverse events among Covid vaccine recipients

Fourteen cases of adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) were reported in West Bengal on the first day of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday.
"Total 15,707 healthcare beneficiaries vaccinated in the state today. 14 cases of AEFI were reported including one serious case (condition stable) of AEFI admitted at NRS Medical College," the West Bengal Health Department said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has requested the Centre to supply an adequate number of vaccines for not only the frontline workers but also for all people of the state. "The Chief Minister feels that people of the state should get vaccines free of cost. If needed, the State might bear the financial burden," the Government of West Bengal said.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched India's vaccination drive against the novel coronavirus via video conferencing.

No coronavirus vaccination in Mumbai till Monday due to Co-Win app glitch

Covid-19 vaccination will not take place in Mumbai on Sunday and Monday due to unresolved technical issues in Co-Win app.
The decision to put on hold vaccination drive came following instructions from the central government on Saturday evening, BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation said.
The government has put in place a digital application for Covid-19 vaccination process. Beneficiaries who were registered on the app are supposed to receive a personalised text message asking them to vaccinate themselves. Also beneficiaries are supposed to get a one time password after completing verification formalities at vaccination centre. READ ON...


China reports a few new cases of Covid-19

China on Sunday reported 109 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, two-thirds of them in a northern province that abuts Beijing, and no deaths. There were 72 new cases in Hebei province, where the government is building isolation hospitals with a total of 9,500 rooms to combat an upsurge in infections, according to the National Health Commission.
China had largely contained the virus that first was detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019 but has reported hundreds of new infections since December. The Health Commission on Saturday blamed them on travelers and imported goods it said brought the virus from abroad. China's death toll stands at 4,653 out of 88,227 total cases.

Global Covid-19 caseload nears 95 million: Johns Hopkins University

The overall global coronavirus caseload has topped 94.9 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 2.02 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University. In its latest update on Sunday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 94,417,649 and 2,020,103, respectively.
The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 23,727,467 and 395,372, respectively, according to the CSSE. India comes in second place in terms of cases at 10,542,841, while the country's death toll soared to 152,093.
The other countries with more than a million confirmed cases are Brazil (8,455,059), Russia (3,507,201), the UK (3,367,053), France (2,931,683), Turkey (2,380,665), Italy (2,368,733), Spain (2,252,164), Germany (2,038,645), Colombia (1,891,034), Argentina (1,791,979), Mexico (1,609,735), Poland (1,429,612), South Africa (1,325,659), Iran (1,324,395), Ukraine (1,192,114) and Peru (1,056,023), the CSSE figures showed.

UP joins Covid vaccination marathon, inoculates 21,000 health workers

Uttar Pradesh on Satruday joined the Covid vaccination marathon by inoculating nearly 21,000 health workers and doctors, including more than 800 in Lucknow, on Day One of the mega pan India drive. A total of 317 vaccination centres were set up across the 75 districts of UP, according to health minister Jai Pratap Singh here. More than a million Covaxin and Covishield doses had already arrived in the state thus far.
The immunisation drive started soon after the address to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning.
In Lucknow, 12 vaccination centres comprised King George’s Medical University (KGMU), Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS), Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), Balrampur Hospital, Veerangana Avantibai Hospital, Era’s Medical College, Sahara Hospital, Medanta Hospital and TS Mishra Medical College, apart from two community health centres on the city outskirts. READ ON...

All travellers to Singapore to undergo mandatory Covid-19 test on arrival

All travellers, including Singaporeans and permanent residents, will need to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced. This will take effect from 11.59 pm on January 24 as part of tighter border measures to manage the risk of imported COVID-19 cases.
Singapore has seen an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, mostly imported or those arriving from other countries.
The Ministry on Saturday confirmed four coronavirus cases from the community (or local), one from the dormitories for foreign workers and 19 imported cases. The dormitory case is a 37-year-old Indian national who was detected through rostered routine testing on January 14. The work permit holder lives in Tuas South Dormitory and works at Chevron Oronite as a thermal insulator installer.

Italy bans flights from Brazil over new Covid variant detection

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza has signed an order banning direct flights to Italy from Brazil after a new variant of the coronavirus was identified in four passengers arriving from that country. The ban is effective immediately through January 31, according to the order posted on the website of the Ministry of Health on Saturday, Xinhua news agency reported.
"I signed an order blocking flights departing from Brazil, and forbidding entry into Italy to anyone who has travelled through Brazil over the past 14 days," Speranza wrote in a statement.
"It is mandatory for anyone already in Italy who came from Brazil to contact health authorities and to get tested (for the virus)," the minister said. "It is essential for our scientists to be able to conduct an in-depth study of the new variant. Meanwhile, we choose the path of maximum caution."

France's coronavirus death toll tops 70,000

France reported 196 Covid-19 deaths in a 24-hour span on Saturday, taking the national tally to 70,142, according to the latest data released by the Public Health Agency. Another 21,406 people tested positive for Covid-19 in one day, bringing the cumulative total of cases in the country to 2,894,347, Xinhua news agency reported.
Over the last seven days, 9,653 Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized, including 1,402 who are on ventilator, the agency added.
A curfew starting at 6 p.m., instead of 8 p.m., came into force on Saturday, forcing shops to close two hours earlier and citizens across the country to stay at home until 6 a.m., in a move to contain the virus spread. France kicked off its Covid-19 vaccination programme on December 27, 2020. As of Saturday, 413,046 people have received the first dose, mostly elderly in nursing homes and frontline caregivers and firefighters, according to the Health Ministry.

China's Heilongjiang reports 12 new confirmed Covid-19 cases

Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province reported 12 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 asymptomatic infections on Saturday, local health authorities said Sunday.
The cases were all close contacts or secondary close contacts of earlier COVID-19 infections in Huiqi Village, Wangkui County.
All the new confirmed and asymptomatic cases have been sent to designated medical institutions, their close contacts and secondary close contacts have been put under medical isolation, and the places they visited have been disinfected.

Kolkata nurse loses consciousness after taking Covid vaccine, hospitalised

A 35-year-old nurse was admitted to the critical care unit (CCU) of a hospital in Kolkata after she lost consciousness within minutes of taking the COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday, PTI reported.. She is one of the 15,707 beneficiaries who were vaccinated across West Bengal during the day.
Thirteen other 'Adverse Event Following Immunisation' (AEFI) cases were also reported from various parts of the state but those were not serious. AEFI is any untoward medical occurrence following immunisation and might not have a relation with the vaccination process.  Within minutes of taking the vaccine at Dr BC Roy Hospital, the nurse started trembling, complained of uneasiness and fainted in the observation room.
She was rushed to nearby Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital and admitted to the CCU.
"That's probably an allergic reaction. As of now, there is nothing to worry about her as this type of allergic reaction is common in many vaccinations," a senior health department official, who is also a doctor, told PTI.


Rapid blood test to detect severe disease risk of Covid-19 patients

Researchers, including one of Indian origin, have shown that a relatively simple and rapid blood test could predict -- within a day of a hospital admission -- which patients with Covid-19 are at highest risk of severe complications or death.
The study published in the JCI Insight journal indicates that the blood test measures levels of mitochondrial DNA, a unique type of DNA molecule that normally resides inside the energy factories of cells. Mitochondrial DNA spilling out of cells and into the bloodstream is a sign that a particular type of violent cell death is taking place in the body.

"We will need larger trials to verify what we found in this study, but if we could determine in the first 24 hours of admission whether a patient is likely to need dialysis/incubation or medication to keep their blood pressure from dropping too low, that would change how we triage the patient and it might change how we manage them much earlier in the course of the disease," said researcher Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni, Assistant Professor at the Washington University in the US. READ ON...

Delhi reports 51 cases of minor adverse events post vaccination

On the first day of the nationwide coronavirus vaccine rollout, 51 healthcare workers developed minor adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) in the national capital, while one person developed severe side-effects. Out of the eleven districts, South and South-West district witnessed eleven AEFI each, followed by six each in East and West district, five each in South East and New Delhi, four in North-West, two in Central district, one in North district and none in North East and Shahdara. These 51 people had minor side-effects.
According to the data, one person in South district developed severe adverse event following immunisation. The vaccination drive was carried at 81 session sites across the city and in total, 4,319 healthcare workers were inoculated, as against the target of 8,117 set by the government.
Nationwide, as many as 1.91 lakh beneficiaries were inoculated on the first day of the vaccination drive at 3,351 session sites with doses of either Bharat Biotech's Covaxin or Oxford's Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India. Additional Secretary in the Health Ministry, Manohar Agnani, said that no case of post-vaccination hospitalisation was reported.

Security guard develops allergic reaction after Covid vaccinations at AIIMS

A security guard who was administered a shot of Covaxin at AIIMS here on Saturday was admitted at the hospital after he developed an allergic reaction as part of "severe" adverse events following immunisation.
According to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, the security guard, in his 20s, at AIIMS who received the jab after 4 pm, complained of palpitations and developed an allergic skin rash within 15-20 minutes after being inoculated and was admitted to the facility.
"He was immediately managed with appropriate treatment and he improved. He is stable. As a precautionary measure he has been admitted for overnight observation and his condition is being monitored. He is likely to be discharged in the morning," Guleria said. READ ON...

India vaccinates over 190,000 on first day of rollout; Co-Win causes delays

India gave coronavirus vaccine to more than 190,000 health workers across the country on the first day of the vaccination drive, which went off fairly smoothly – barring software glitches that delayed the exercise at many centres, a few minor adverse events following immunisation, and some doctors refusing to take the Covaxin shot.
There was no post-vaccination hospitalisation reported in any of the centres, the health ministry said.
Among those who received the jab today were V K Paul, member health Niti Aayog and chair of the national expert committee on vaccine administration, Randeep Guleria, director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Naresh Trehan, chairman of Medanta and Adar Poonawalla of Pune’s Serum Institute of India. READ ON...

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