Coronavirus LIVE: Kerala reports 6,316 fresh Covid-19 positive cases

A healthcare worker looks at vaccine
Coronavirus updates: On Tuesday, India reported a significant drop in the number of fresh Covid-19 cases. Its case tally now stands at 9,505,483. The country's death toll has mounted to 138,257. With 1,828,826 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 886,227, Andhra Pradesh 868,000, Tamil Nadu 783,319 and Kerala 608,357. Delhi recorded 4,006 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 574,000, while 86 more fatalities pushed the toll from the disease to 9,260. 

In the wake of reporting of two adverse events which occurred with the volunteers during the vaccine trial, the fear and hesitation among the people to take the vaccine is growing. However, the union health ministry on Tuesday said that the government doesn't intend to immunise each individual with the Covid-19 vaccine.

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 64,346,292. While 44,618,168 have recovered, 1,490,196 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 14,102,948 cases, and 276,914 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 9,499,710 cases, Brazil (6,388,526), Russia (2,322,056), France (2,230,571).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


UK records another 16,170 coronavirus cases with 648 deaths

Another 16,170 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,659,256, according to official figures released on Wednesday. The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 648 to 59,699, the data showed, Xinhua news agency reported. The figures came as a new tier system of coronavirus restrictions replaced the month-long national lockdown in England which ended on Wednesday. Under the new system, shops will be allowed to re-open across England, giving a Christmas bonanza to the struggling retail sector, but all bars and restaurants in the toughest Tier 3 areas will remain closed.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of British Retail Consortium, said as billions of pounds were lost in sales during the lockdown, businesses were looking forward to welcoming back customers. "Every purchase we make is a retailer helped, a job protected and a local community supported," Dickinson told the BBC. Putting about 98 per cent of England into Tier 2 and 3 restrictions, the new tier system was backed Tuesday by 291 votes to 78 in the House of Commons (lower house of the British Parliament). Under Tier 1, people in the areas will be urged to work from home wherever possible.

In Tier 2 areas, pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals along with alcoholic drinks. In Tier 3 areas, all pubs, bars and restaurants must close except for delivery, takeaway and drive-through. Hotels and indoor entertainment venues must also close in these areas. To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the US are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

US Covid vaccine tipped to begin before Dec 15; 100 mn to get shots by Feb

The chief advisor of the US Covid-19 vaccine development programme is confident that at least 100 million people would have got coronavirus shots by the end of February 2021 and this operation would have covered the entire "at risk" population comprising the elderly, frontline workers and those with comorbidities. Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Moncef Slaoui said he hopes to have emergency use authorization for at least one vaccine by December 10 or 11.

Slaoui pointed to "exceptionally good data" from both the vaccines which have applied for emergency use authorization - Pfizer and Moderna. He is hoping for a "breakthrough" from a Johnson and Johnson vaccine that has now recruited more than 28,000 subjects. "Now the breakthrough that we hope with this vaccine is that it's a one shot vaccine, with very fast efficacy achieved and 100 per cent compliance, so to speak, since everybody will get one shot and get the full vaccination schedule." Warp Speed CEO General Gustave Perna, confirmed his team is ready to ship vaccines "within 24 hours" of approval from the US Food and Drug Administration.

Pfizer confident there will be more doses than needs by end of 2021

 Pfizer's chief executive Albert Bourla said on Wednesday he was confident that by the end of 2021 there would be more vaccine doses than required to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. "I feel very comfortable that by the end of 2021 we'll have more doses that we will need," Bourla told a virtual conference hosted in Athens.

"We are doing everything we can to increase the manufacturing capacity ... but the challenge is that we need to increase it in the next few months."

Moderna Inc’s Covid-19 vaccine could be approved for emergency use within 24 to 72 hours after the US health regulator’s advisory committee meeting: Reuters

Police check vehicles of commuters in Amritsar as night curfew imposed from Dec 1

Govt making 'U-turn' on PM's assurance that every citizen will get Covid vaccine: Congress

The Congress on Wednesday attacked the Central government for saying that every person in the country does not need to be inoculated against COVID-19, while dubbing it a "U-turn Sarkar" and seeking clarity on who all will be administered the coronavirus vaccine. Criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the opposition party said while he had announced that every Indian will get vaccinated against the novel contagion, the Health ministry later announced that everyone in country need not be immunized.

"The Prime Minister said every Indian will get the Covid vaccine. But, the Prime Minister's statement was turned into a 'jumla' after the Health ministry said the entire country will not be inoculated," the Congress said on its official Twitter handle. "Can the Indian people get some clarity? Will they be getting a vaccine or do they have to be Atmanirbhar when it comes to surviving this deadly virus," the party asked in another tweet.

The Congress accused the government of being a 'U-turn sarkar', alleging that while the Prime Minister announced that every Indian will get the COVID-19 vaccine, a few days later the Health ministry said the government never spoke about vaccinating all citizens in the country.

5 new cases in Andaman & Nicobar, total at 4,723

5 new Covid-19 cases reported in Andaman and Nicobar today; the total number of cases in the UT is 4,723 including 4,583 recoveries, 79 active cases and 61 deaths: UT Administration

West Bengal reported 3,271 new Covid-19 cases, 3,275 discharges

National curbs ended, vaccnation to vulnerable will take months: Boris Johnson

There are immense logistical challenges. The vials are going to be stored at -70 degrees Celsius, each person needs two injections, three weeks apart. So it will inevitably take some months before almost vulnerable are protected. It's vital that we are not carried away with over-optimism or fall into the naive belief that the struggle is over. Today, in England, we have ended national restrictions, opening up significant parts of the economy: UK PM Boris Johnson

Coronavirus LIVE: 403 new cases in Nashik district; 6 fatalities

The Covid-19-tally in Nashik district of Maharashtra rose to 1,01,822 on Wednesday with the addition of 403 fresh cases, health officials said. With six more patients succumbing to the viral infection, the toll mounted to 1,804, they said. t the same time, 208 patients were discharged after treatment during the day, taking the count of recoveries to 96,996, the officials said.

Coronavirus LIVE: Nagpur reports 453 new coronavirus cases; 11 die

Nagpur district in Maharashtra on Wednesday reported 453 fresh coronavirus positive cases, taking the tally of infections to 1,12,733, an official release said.
With 11 deaths due to COVID-19, the overall toll rose to 3,692. A total of 264 patients were discharged during the day, taking the number of recoveries to 1,03,830. The district has 5,211 active cases.

Jammu and Kashmir Covid-19 caseload rises to 111,130 with 452 fresh infections

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 452 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the union territory's tally to 1,11,130, while six more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,708. Of the fresh cases, 258 are from the Jammu division and 194 from the Kashmir division, they said.
Jammu district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 127, followed by 81 in Srinagar, according to the officials. There are 4,951 active cases in the union territory, while 1,04,471 patients have recovered so far, the officials said. Of the six fresh deaths, three each were reported from Jammu and Kashmir regions.

Rajasthan reports 19 more coronavirus deaths, 1,990 new cases

Nineteen more people succumbed to the novel coronavirus in Rajasthan, bringing the toll to 2,350 on Wednesday, while 1,990 fresh cases raised the infection count to 2,72,400 in the state, according to a health department bulletin. The state now has 26,710 active COVID-19 cases. According to the bulletin, a total of 2,43,340 people have been discharged after recovering from the infection in Rajasthan.
The death toll from the pandemic stands at 441 in Jaipur, followed by 244 in Jodhpur, 190 in Ajmer, 162 in Bikaner, 139 in Kota, 107 in Bharatpur, 98 in Udaipur and 92 in Pali.
Of the fresh COVID-19 cases, 610 were registered in Jaipur, 218 in Jodhpur, 195 in Ajmer, 155 in Kota, 130 in Alwar, 96 in Bharatpur, 88 in Nagaur and 76 in Udaipur, besides cases reported in other districts of the state.

LIVE: Karnataka reports 1,440 new coronavirus cases

Karnataka has reported 1,440 new COVID-19 cases and 16 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 8,87,667 and the death toll to 11,808, the Health department said on Wednesday. The day also saw 983 patients getting discharged after recovery. Out of 1,440 fresh cases reported on Wednesday, 712 cases were from Bengaluru urban alone.
As of December 2 evening, cumulatively 8,87,667 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 11,808 deaths and 8,51,690 discharges, the Health department said in its bulletin. It said, out of 24,150 active cases, 23,832 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 318 are in ICU. Ten of the 16 deaths reported on Wednesday were from Bengaluru Urban, followed by Bengaluru Rural, Chitradurga, Dharwad, Kalaburagi, Kolara and Vijayapura (1).
All the dead were with a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). Among the districts where the new cases were reported, Bengaluru Urban accounted for 712, followed by Tumakuru (80), Mysuru (64), Mandya (52), Chitradurga (46), Hassan (42), Chikkamagaluru (38), Bengaluru Rural (36) and Dakshina Kannada (35) followed by others.

516 fresh coronavirus cases in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand's COVID-19 tally rose to 75,784 on Wednesday with 516 more people testing positive, while 13 more infected patients died. Dehradun district reported the highest number of 194 cases, Haridwar 68, Nainital 67, Udham Singh Nagar 47, Almora 33, Pithoragarh 26, Pauri 20, Chamoli 17, Champawat 16, Tehri 10, Uttarkashi eight, Rudraprayag seven and Bageshwar three, astate health department bulletin said.
Thirteen more COVID-19 patients died in the state, taking the toll to 1,251, the bulletin said. It said 68,838 people have recuperated, 740 migrated and 4,955 are undergoing treatment.

Kerala records 6,316 new Covid-19 cases, recoveries touch 5,924

Kerala recorded 6,316 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the total caseload to 6.14 lakh as the toll mounted to 2,298 with 28 additional fatalities. As many as 5,924 have been cured, taking the total recoveries so far to 5,50,788 and 61,455 people are undergoing treatment for the virus, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told reporters.
The state's covid tally so far has touched 6,14,673.
In the last 24 hours, 56,993 samples have been tested, as the test positivity rate climbed to 11.08 per cent, Vijayan said. So far 63,78,278 samples have been sent for testing. Malappuram recorded the maximum of 822 cases, followed by Kozhikode 734, Ernakulam 732, Thrissur 655, Kottayam 537 and Kasaragod 108.

Uttar Pradesh records 1,799 fresh coronavirus cases, 29 more deaths

Uttar Pradesh's COVID-19 tally surged to 5,47,308 on Wednesday with 1,799 fresh cases, while the death toll climbed to 7,817 with 29 more fatalities, officials said. The number of active cases in the state stands at 22,797, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad said. So far, 5,16,694 people have recovered from the infection. Of these, 2,607 were discharged from hospitals the previous day, he said, adding that the state has a recovery rate of 94.40 per cent.
Uttar Pradesh's death toll has gone up to 7,817. The overall case fatality rate stands at 1.428 per cent, Prasad said. According to a health department bulletin, six fresh deaths were reported from Lucknow, four from Kanpur Nagar, and two each from Varanasi, Rampur, Rae Bareli, and Unnao, among other districts.
Of the 1,799 fresh cases, 236 were reported from Lucknow, 166 from Gautam Buddh Nagar, 162 from Ghaziabad and 157 from Meerut, among other districts, the bulletin said. So far, a total of 1.96 crore tests have been conducted in Uttar Pradesh, including over 1.51 lakh on Tuesday.

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh to take first Covid-19 vaccine shot

With the COVID-19 vaccine in the final stages of operationalisation in India, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday announced that he will take the first shot of the vaccine in the state, once it is cleared by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
According to an official release, the Chief Minister made this announcement at the virtual Cabinet meeting during a presentation to discuss the Covid situation and the state's preparedness to roll out the vaccine. The announcement comes days after, Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij was administered a trial dose of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine 'Covaxin' at a hospital in Ambala.
"It is a matter of pride for India that a company of India has developed a vaccine for coronavirus. Two successful trials have been done and the third phase has begun today. I offer to be the first volunteer so that people without any fear can come forward for vaccination trials. If everything goes well, this vaccine will be in the market soon," Vij had told ANI on November 22.

Covid-19 RT-PCR test price reduced to Rs 400 at private labs in Odisha

The Odisha government on Wednesday slashed the price of RT-PCR tests for detection of COVID-19 at private laboratories to Rs 400 from the existing Rs 1,200, a notification said. In July, the state government had capped the price of RT-PCR tests at private laboratories at Rs 2,200 and it was then reduced to Rs 1,200 in August.
According to the notification issued by the health and family welfare department, anyone undergoing RT-PCR test at private laboratories, within the state, will now have to pay a maximum amount of Rs 400, including GST. The tests will be conducted by private laboratories under the supervision of Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, following ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines, it said.
The tests at government laboratories are free of cost. The state has four ICMR approved laboratories where RT-PCR tests can be done.

NGT extends ban on sale, use of firecrackers until Covid-19 situation improves

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has extended its ban on the sale and use of firecrackers in the national capital region and all cities and towns across the country where the ambient air quality falls under the 'poor and worse' category until the situation created due to the COVID-19 pandemic improves.
"There will be a total ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers during COVID-19 pandemic in the NCR and all cities/towns in the country where the ambient air quality falls under the 'poor' and above category," a bench of the NGT, headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, said in its order on Tuesday.
The tribunal directed to restrict the use of firecrackers in cities and towns, where air quality is 'moderate' or below, to green crackers only and for the duration of not more than two hours and only for the celebration of any specified festivals or permitted occasions will continue.

Italy plans 202 million Covid-19 vaccine doses

Italy will distribute 202.6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines during 2021 in "an unprecedented effort that will require a huge collective commitment.'' Robert Speranza said the vaccines will not be mandatory, but that the doses allotted Italy through an EU collective purchasing agreement would be "enough to potentially vaccinate the entire population."
Speranza emphasized that the distribution of the vaccines would depend on regulatory approval which was still pending from the European Medicines Agency. The first vaccines are expected to arrive in January with Pfizer's vaccine expected to get first EMA approval by Dec. 29 and Moderna by January 12.
Priority will be given first to Italy's front-line health care workers, then residents of nursing homes, then to elderly over 80 before moving to other groups like people with medical risks, law enforcement, teachers and prison workers.

Delhi records 3,944 fresh cases from nearly 79,000 Covid tests; death toll 9,342

Delhi recorded 3,944 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 5.78 lakh on Wednesday, while 82 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 9,342, authorities said. These fresh cases came out of the record 78,949 tests conducted the previous day, including 36,370 RT-PCR tests, while the positivity rate dropped to five percent, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department.
Eighty-two more fatalities were recorded, pushing the toll in the national capital to 9,342. The active cases tally on Wednesday dropped to 30,302 from 31,769, the previous day. According to the bulletin, the total number of cases has climbed to 5,78,324.

Highest single-day spike of 595 coronavirus cases in Indore

Indore recorded the highest single -day spike of 595 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, raising the tally in the worst affected district of Madhya Pradesh to 43,286. So far, 767 people have died due to COVID-19 in the district, which is the state's industrial hub, they said.
On Tuesday, out of 5,274 samples, 595 tested positive for coronavirus.
The daily infection rate of coronavirus in the district has increased to 11.28 per cent. The COVID-19 mortality rate in the district is 1.77 per cent, higher than the current national average of 1.45 per cent, as per an analysis of the government data. As of now, there are 4,556 active COVID-19 cases in Indore, including patients in home isolation.

New single dose vaccine shows protection against Covid-19: Study

Scientists have developed a new vaccine candidate against COVID-19 based on the yellow fever vaccine, a single dose of which protects hamsters and monkeys from infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The researchers at the Rega Institute at KU Leuven in Belgium are currently preparing for clinical trials of the vaccine candidate.
To develop the vaccine, tentatively named RegaVax, the researchers inserted the genetic code of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spikes into that of the yellow fever vaccine. RegaVax is a vector vaccine which uses the genetic code of the yellow fever vaccine virus as a carrier for the genetic code of the coronavirus spikes.
According to an early version of the research paper accepted for publication in the journal Nature, the researchers tested the vaccine in healthy hamsters and monkeys, with another group of the animals receiving a placebo. The researchers first vaccinated the hamsters and then dripped the virus into their noses.

Make those not wearing masks serve at Covid-19 centres: Gujarat HC

Expressing concern and dissatisfaction over the violating the Covid-19 guidelines in Gujarat, the High Court on Wednesday ordered the state government to issue a notification to make those not wearing face masks to perform community services at Covid care centres for five to 15 days. The High Court also expressed "shock" over the way BJP legislator Kanti Gamit allegedly flouted all Covid-19 protocols and guidelines at a family function. The court also asked what the state government was doing about the issue.
A video clip had gone viral on the social media, wherein over 6,000 persons had gathered at his grandson's engagement ceremony, most of them without masks and violating all Covid-19 guidelines.
"This is shocking and unfortunate. What was the police doing when such a large gathering occurred? We are not at all satisfied with the way the government has handled the situation. Incidents like this make all your efforts till now meaningless."
A bench of Chief Justice Vikramnath and Justice JB Pardiwala, during a suo motu hearing on coronavirus and lockdown situation, on which over 50 PILs have been filed, ordered the Gujarat government to issue the notification to ensure social service by face mask norm violators at Covid care centres apart from fine of Rs 1,000.

Second wave of coronavirus in Karnataka expected during Jan-Feb

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for COVID-19 in Karnataka has said that the second wave of the pandemic is expected during January-February in 2021. The panel has asked to keep ready by first week of January, the clinical facilities at an October level (when there was over 10,000 cases per day) in terms of beds, ICUs, ventilators, and so on, both in government and private hospitals or this could be ramped up at a short notice of 2-3 days maximum.
It has also recommended to ban new year public celebrations from December 26 to January 1 and impose night curfew (8 pm to 5 am) during this period.
The TAC, based on the deliberations at its 53rd meeting held on November 24, has given advisory on recognition and containment measures for the second wave of COVID-19 in Karnataka. According to TAC, an early recognition of the second wave of COVID-19 in the state can be done by closely monitoring the 7-day average growth rate and reproduction number (R0) at district and state levels.

Active Covid-19 caseload in India drops to 4.28 lakh after 132 days

India's COVID-19 active caseload has significantly dropped to 4.28 lakh, the lowest after 132 days and comprises just4.51 per centof the total coronavirus infections, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday. The total active cases were 4,26,167 on July 23. There has been a sustained decrease in the number of active cases, the ministry said. The daily new cases added to the country's COVID numbers have been around 30,000 since the past three days.
The number of daily new cases in a span of 24 hours is 36,604.
A total of 43,062 recoveries were registered in a span of 24 hours. The number of daily recovered cases has surpassed the daily new cases since the past five days, the ministry highlighted. The difference in new recoveries outnumbering new cases has also improved the recovery rate to 94.03 per cent as on date, it stated. The total recovered cases stand at 89,32,647.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar inaugurates Phase 3 of Covaxin

UK approves Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for mass roll out, reports BBC

The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for widespread use.
British regulator, the MHRA, says the jab, which offers up to 95% protection against Covid-19 illness, is safe for roll out.
Immunisations could start within days for people in high priority groups.
The UK has already ordered 40m doses - enough to vaccinate 20m people, with two shots each.

Delhi coronavirus situation: Positivity rate has declined below 7%

Positivity rate has declined below 7%. It is expected to go below 5% in the next few days. Currently, more than 1,600 ICU beds are available in hospitals in Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Covid-19 situation

Alcohol-free hand sanitiser just as effective against coronavirus as alcohol-based versions

A new study from researchers at Brigham Young University finds that alcohol-free hand sanitiser is just as effective at disinfecting surfaces from the COVID-19 virus as alcohol-based products.
The BYU scientists who conducted the study suspected that the CDC's preference for alcohol sanitizer stemmed from as-yet limited research on what really works to disinfect SARS-CoV-2.
To explore other options, they treated samples of the novel coronavirus with benzalkonium chloride, which is commonly used in alcohol-free hand sanitisers, and several other quaternary ammonium compounds regularly found in disinfectants.
In most of the test cases, the compounds wiped out at least 99.9 per cent of the virus within 15 seconds.
"Our results indicate that alcohol-free hand sanitiser works just as well, so we could, maybe even should, be using it to control COVID," said lead study author Benjamin Ogilvie.
Alcohol-free hand sanitisers, which are also effective against the common cold and flu viruses, have a number of advantages over their alcohol-based counterparts, Ogilvie explained.

Covid-19 cases in India: Five states with most number of deaths

Maharashtra (47,246)
Karnataka (11,792)
Tamil Nadu (11,722)
Delhi (9,260)
West Bengal (8,476)

Novel coronavirus infections may have been present in US as early as December: Study

The novel coronavirus may have been introduced into the US as early as December 13 to 16, 2019, suggests a study which assessed archived samples from routine blood donations collected by the American Red Cross.
While the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the US was identified on January 19, 2020, the scientists, including Sridhar V Basavaraju from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, noted that antibodies reactive against the coronavirus were detected in 106 of the 7,389 specimens.
According to the research, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, 84 of the samples specifically had neutralising activity against the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which enables it to enter host cells.
"The presence of these serum antibodies indicate that isolated SARS-CoV-2 infections may have occurred in the western portion of the US earlier than previously recognised, or that a small portion of the population may have pre-existing antibodies that bind SARS-CoV-2," the researchers wrote in the study.

Russia's permanent mission, Health Ministry to present Sputnik V vaccine at UN today

Russia's permanent mission to the UN and the Health Ministry will hold a presentation, which will provide detailed information on the Russian vaccine against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), mission spokesman Fyodor Strzhizhovsky told Sputnik.
During a speech at the UN General Assembly in September, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that the organisation's employees be provided with the Russian vaccine against coronavirus free of charge. Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, in turn, did not rule out that the vaccine developers would present it at the UN headquarters.
"On Wednesday, December 2, a presentation of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will take place. Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, Russia's Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia, and head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) Kirill Dmitriyev will take part in the event," Strzhizhovsky said.

Coronavirus India update: Five most affected states by cases

Maharashtra (1,828,826)
Karnataka (886,227)
Andhra Pradesh (868,749)
Tamil Nadu (783,319)
Kerala (608,357)

Australia's economy rebounds sharply in third quarter from Covid recession

 Australia's economy rebounded sharply in the third quarter from a coronavirus-induced recession as consumer spending surged though the country's top central banker signalled monetary policy will stay accommodative for a while.
Data out earlier showed the A$2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) economy expanded by a bigger than expected 3.3% in the September quarter, following a 7% contraction in June, as the country largely got COVID-19 under control.
The rebound was led by household spending, which rose 7.9%, driven by massive fiscal and monetary stimulus since March. Read on...

Word leaders to address high-level, special session of UN General Assembly on coronavirus pandemic

World leaders, the top leadership of the UN and vaccine developers will address a two-day, special session of the UN General Assembly on COVID-19 this week and discuss the pandemic's impact as well as the multi-faceted, coordinated response required to address the greatest global health crisis in decades.
The Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in Response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic will take place on December 3 and 4 at the UN Headquarters.
The world organisation said government leaders, United Nations' principals and other relevant stakeholders would be able to engage in dialogue on the impact of the pandemic on people, societies and economies and discuss the multi-faceted, coordinated response required to address this crisis.
Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla will also address the session through a pre-recorded video on December 4.

Coronavirus India update: Summary of MoHFW data (December 2)

Active cases: 428,644 (Net reduction: 6,959)
Deaths: 138,122 (Net addition: 501)
Cured: 8,932,647 (Net addition: 43,062)
Total cases: 9,462,809 (Net addition: 36,604)

18 Covid patients discharged in Chinese mainland

A total of 18 Covid patients have been discharged from hospitals after recovery across the Chinese mainland, the National Health Commission said in a daily report on Wednesday.
There were 268 confirmed cases still being treated, including eight in severe conditions, the report showed, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sunny Deol tests positive for coronavirus

Bollywood actor and BJP MP Sunny Deol on Wednesday said that he has been tested positive for novel coronavirus.
The Gurdaspur MP shared the update on Twitter, saying he is fine.
"I got myself tested for coronavirus and the reports are positive. I am in isolation and fine," he tweeted in Hindi.

Mexico set to sign Pfizer vaccine deal today

Mexico's government was due to sign a contract on Wednesday with pharmaceutical company Pfizer for the delivery of its coronavirus vaccine, Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said on Tuesday.
Pfizer has submitted the details about its vaccine to Mexico's health regulator, Cofepris, and the country's foreign minister last month said the government expects the vaccine to reach Mexico in December.
Lopez-Gatell said the contract with Pfizer, which developed its vaccine with German partner BioNTech SE, is expected to be signed by Health Minister Jorge Alcocer, and the Finance Ministry was making plans to ensure Mexico sets aside enough money to pay for the Pfizer and other vaccines.

Jharkhand registers 181 fresh Covid-19 cases, 5 additional fatalities

Jharkhand reported 181 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the total number of cases to 1,09,332, according to the data released by the health department.
5 more deaths were also reported on Tuesday, taking the death toll to 969.
Meanwhile, India reported 31,118 new Covid-19 infections in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare's data on Tuesday. Read on...

Lewis Hamilton tests positive for coronavirus, to miss Sakhir F1 Grand Prix

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team says seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend.
The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.
But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive, the team said. Read on...

US airlines to get $17 bn for 4 months of payroll aid under Covid relief

U.S. airlines would receive $17 billion for four months of payroll support under a new $908 billion bipartisan Senate COVID-19 relief proposal, a spokeswoman for Senator Mark Warner said Tuesday.
Warner's office said the plan includes $15 billion for transit systems, $4 billion for airports, $8 billion for private buses and $1 billion for passenger railroad Amtrak.
The $45 billion in transportation assistance is designed to provide assistance for four months.

UK votes for tier-based lockdown as minister says coronavirus under control'

Parliamentarians in the UK voted on Tuesday in the House of Commons to approve the government's tier-based lockdown, as the country's health minister said the novel coronavirus was back under control but vigilance was required.
The new measures, which will come into force at 00:01 GMT, were supported 291 votes to 78.
Several MPs from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling Conservative Party, however, rebelled to vote against the move.
A handful of Opposition Labour MPs are also thought to have defied the party stand of abstention to vote against the changes.

Wall Street stocks hit record highs on promise of coronavirus vaccines

US stocks have an early start to the so-called "Santa Claus" rally, typical for the month of December, as the top equities index S & P 500 and the technology benchmark Nasdaq hit record highs based on the promise of the upcoming coronavirus vaccines.
The S & P 500, a barometer for the top 500 US stocks on the New York Stock Exchange, closed up 1.1 percent at 3,660 on Tuesday after hitting a record high at 3,678. For November, the S & P 500 rose 10.8 percent, its strongest advance since April.

Some 10,000 new coronavirus deaths reported in US within week

The total number of deaths related to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the United States has exceeded 270,000, the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University revealed.
The data showed on Tuesday evening that the number of novel coronavirus-related deaths in the United States has reached 270,003.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to shorten COVID-19 quarantine to 10 days, 7 with negative test

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to shorten the recommended length of quarantine after exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19, as the virus rages across the nation.
According to a senior administration official, the new guidelines, which are set to be released as soon as Tuesday evening , will allow people who have come in contact to someone infected with the virus to resume normal activity after 10 days, or 7 days if they receive a negative test result. That's down from the 14-day period recommended since the onset of the pandemic.

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