Coronavirus LIVE: 786,842 beneficiaries vaccinated in India since Saturday

A medic administers the first dose of Covishield vaccine to a frontline worker, after the virtual launch of Covid-19 vaccination drive by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at a health center in Visakhapatnam, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (PTI Photo)
Coronavirus live updates: India recorded 13,700 fresh cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The total number of active cases in the country has fallen below 200,000, while the caseload tally stands at 10,596,442. Globally, 96.6 million people have been infected by the virus. The country continues to be second-most-affected globally, and ranks 13th among worst-hit nations by active cases, according to data from Worldometer.

The five most affected states by total cases are Maharashtra (1,994,977), Karnataka (933,077), Andhra Pradesh (886,245), Kerala (857,380), and Tamil Nadu (831,866).

In total 786,842 healthcare workers have received Covid-19 vaccine jabs till the evening of the fifth day of the immunisation drive, according to a provisional report of the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday. Hospitals and health centres across several cities and towns in many states and UTs could not achieve their Covid-19 vaccination targets on Tuesday thanks to continuing hesitancy among health workers in taking the shot.

World coronavirus update: Coronavirus cases rise unabated across the globe, with 96.6 million infected by the deadly contagion. While 69,269,968 have recovered, 2,065,624 have died so far. The US remains the worst-hit country with 24,806,964, 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.


549 new Covid-19 cases, 9 more fatalities in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu logged 549 new COVID-19 cases and nine more fatalities on Wednesday, taking the total infection count to 8,32,415 and the toll to 12,290, the health department said. Recoveries continued to outnumber the new infections with 713 people getting discharged, as the total number of those cured so far rose to 8,14,811, a bulletin said.

The number of active cases continued its decline and stood at 5,314. As many as 60,429 samples were tested in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of specimens examined so far to 1,53,91,518. Of the new cases reported, the state capital logged 150 infections, while the rest were scattered across other districts. The city has so far reported 4,076 deaths

As many as 21 districts added new cases in single digits, while 31 reported zero fatalities, the bulletin said. All the deceased had morbidities or chronic illness. Seven of those who tested positive on Wednesday were returnees from various destinations, the bulletin said.

Chhattisgarh reports 594 new Covid-19 cases, 10 more deaths

With 594 new Covid-19 cases and 10 more deaths being reported on Wednesday, Chhattisgarhs caseload rose to 2,94,949 and the toll to 3,585, a health official said. The number of people who have recovered from the infection reached 2,85,566 after 83 people were discharged from various hospitals, while 408 patients completed their home isolation during the day, leaving the state with 5,798 active cases, he said. With 126 new cases, Raipur districts count rose to 55,416, including 759 deaths.

Durg district recorded 61 new cases, Bilaspur 48 and Raigarh 47, among other districts, he said. Of the 10 fatalities, four took place on Wednesday, two on Tuesday and four occurred earlier but were added to the fatality count now, he said. With 23,401 samples tested on Wednesday, the total number of tests in the state rose to 40,06,514, he added. Chhattisgarhs coronavirus figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,94,949, New cases 594, Deaths 3,585, Recovered 2,85,566, Active cases 5,798, people tested so far 40,06,514.

Coronavirus: 1,355 health workers vaccinated in Pune

As many as 1,355 healthcare workers were administered COVID-19 vaccines at 29 centres in Pune district of Maharashtra on Wednesday, officials said. The target set was to vaccinate 2,900 healthcare beneficiaries during the day, they said. Out of the set target, 1,355 people were vaccinated, which comes to around 47 per cent, the officials added.

On Tuesday, the vaccination percentage was 48 per cent, which marginally dropped to 47 per cent on Wednesday, the district administration said. As per the information shared by the district administration, 15 centres in Pune rural areas recorded 64 per cent vaccination, while Pune city and Pimpri Chinchwad recorded 31 and 27 per cent respectively.

Dr Ashish Bharti,health chief of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), attributed the low turnout to the technical glitches in the system due to which the beneficiaries receive the messages late. Speaking about the good percentage of vaccination in Pune's rural areas, district collector Rajesh Deshmukh said they have been sensitising the healthcare workers from the district to come forward and get vaccinated.

Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and SII could be authorised by WHO in Jan or Feb: Reuters

Maharashtra reports 3,015 coronavirus cases, 4,589 recoveries; 59 die

Maharashtra recorded 3,015 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking its tally to 19,97,992, while 59 more deaths pushed the toll to 50,582, the state health department said. A health department statement said 4,589 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, raising the number of recovered cases to 18,99,428.
There are now 46,769 active cases in the state where 1,39,57,469 people have been tested for coronavirus so far, the statement added.
As many as 62,192 tests were conducted in the state in the last 24 hours for detection of coronavirus, it said. The states COVID-19 recovery rate is 95.07 per cent, while the case fatality rate is 2.53 per cent, the statement said. Out of the 3,015 new cases, Mumbai city reported the maximum at 501.

India to provide 1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to Nepal

India will provide one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Nepal under grant assistance, the Minister for Health and Population said here on Wednesday. The first installment of the vaccines will be shipped on Thursday, according to Minister for Health and Population Hridayesh Tripathi.
The Indian government has provided one million COVID-19 vaccines to Nepal under grant assistance, he said during a press conference. In the first phase, the vaccines will be administered to frontline health workers, employees and security personnel, according to the minister.

153 more test positive for coronavirus in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand's COVID-19 caseload rose to 95,192 on Wednesday with 153 more people testing positive in the state while three more infected patients died, taking the pandemic toll so far to 1,622.
Dehradun district reported the highest number of 71 cases, Nainital 36, Haridwar 19, Udham Singh Nagar 13,Almora seven, Uttarkashi four and Chamoli, Pauri and Pithoragarh one each, a state health department bulletin said. 
Bageshwar, Champawat, Rudraprayag and Tehri districts reported no new cases on Wednesday. A total of 90,264 people have recuperated from the infection so far, 1,301 have migrated out of the state and 2,005 are under treatment, the bulletin added.

490 new Covid-19 cases in Gujarat; 707 recover, two die

With the addition of 490 coronavirus positive cases on Wednesday, Gujarat's infection count increased to 2,57,342, the state health department said. As the virus claimed the lives of two patients, the death toll went up to 4,371, it said. A total of 707 patients were discharged, which pushed the number of recovered cases in the state to2,47,223, the department said in a release.
With this, the state's recovery rate improved to 96.07 per cent. There are 5,748 active cases in the state at present and 51 of these patients are on ventilator support. Gujarat's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,57,342, new cases 490, deaths 4,371, active cases 5,748.

786,842 beneficiaries in India vaccinated against Covid-19 so far: Health Ministry

In total 7.86 lakh healthcare workers have received COVID-19 vaccine jabs till the evening of the fifth day of the immunisation drive, according to a provisional report of the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday. On Wednesday, 1,12,007 beneficiaries were vaccinated till 6 pm across 20 states and Union Territories, it said, adding the final report for the day will be complied by late in the night.
Ten cases of adverse events following immunization (AEFI) -- four in Delhi, two in Karnataka, and one each in Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and West Bengal -- have required hospitalisation so far, additional secretary in the Health Ministry Manohar Agnani said.
"There has been no case of serious/severe adverse event attributable to COVID-19 vaccination till date," Agnani said.

No case of serious/severe adverse event attributable to Covid-19 vaccination till date: Govt

501 new coronavirus cases in Karnataka, four deaths

Karnataka reported 501 new COVID-19 cases and four related fatalities, taking the total infection count to 9,33,578 and the toll to 12,185, the Health department said on Wednesday. The day also saw 665 patients getting discharged after recovery. Out of the 501 fresh cases reported on Wednesday, 260 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone.
Cumulatively 9,33,578 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 12,185 deaths and 9,13,677 discharges, the Health department said in a bulletin. Out of 7,697 active cases, 7,529 patients are stable and in isolation at designated hospitals, while 168 are in Intensive Care Units. Two of the four deaths reported on Wednesday were from Bengaluru Urban, followed by Chitradurga and Mandya with one each.

LIVE: Deaths from UP and Karnataka not related to vaccination, says Health Ministry

Four people die after vaccination: Their deaths unrelated to the inoculation, says Govt

Four people die after vaccination: three people had pre-existing health problems and their deaths are unrelated to the inoculation. The fourth death is still being investigated, says Health Ministry

Four deaths reported so far post-vaccination against Covid-19: Health Ministry

786,842 beneficiaries in India vaccinated against Covid-19 so far: Health Ministry

LIVE: Health Ministry briefing on Covid-19 vaccination

6,815 fresh coronavirus cases and 7,364 recoveries reported in Kerala today

Uttar Pradesh reports eight more Covid-19 deaths, 390 new cases

Uttar Pradesh recorded eight COVID-19-linked fatalities on Wednesday, taking the death toll to 8,591, while 390 fresh cases pushed the infection tally to 597,628. The number of active cases of the disease in the state stands at 7,873, they said.
"In the past 24 hours, eight deaths and 390 fresh cases were reported in the state and 682 people were discharged," a health bulletin issued said. "There are 7,873 active cases in the state, and the total number of recoveries has risen to 5,81,164. Of the active cases, 2,657 are in home-isolation, while the death toll rose to 8,591," it added.
So far, over 2.65 crore samples have been tested for COVID-19, including more than 1.29 lakh on Tuesday. The state has recorded the highest number of consultations through eSanjeevani, a web-based comprehensive telemedicine solution, in the country, they said. Till now, 4,16,512 people in Uttar Pradesh have used the facility, the officials added.

Health worker dies after jab, death not due to it: Govt

A 42-year-old healthcare worker in Nirmal district of Telangana, who received COVID-19 vaccination, died early Wednesday after complaining of chest pain, with preliminary findings suggesting the death is unrelated to the vaccination, a health official said.
The worker was vaccinated at about 11.30 AM on Tuesday at a Primary Health Centre (PHC) in the district and he is said to have developed chest pain at around 2.30 AM on Wednesday.
He was brought dead to the district hospital at about 5.30 AM, state Director of Public Health G Srinivasa Rao said in a press release. "Preliminary findings suggest that the death seems to be unrelated to vaccination," it said. As per the guidelines, post-mortem would be conducted by a team of doctors.

Indian vaccines reach Maldives: Dr S Jaishankar

Nasal Covid-19 vaccine will be easy to give to children: AIIMS director

A nasal COVID-19 vaccine will be easy to be give to school-going children who bear a "very mild" load of the disease but they are infectious, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said on Wednesday. The noted pulmonologist, who was interacting with the personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) during their 16th Raising Day celebrations here, also said that people who have contracted coronavirus should also get the jab about 4-6 weeks after recovery.
"It (coronavirus infection) is very mild in children but they are infectious. They can spread the disease."
"The vaccines that have come are not approved for children because there have been no studies conducted on children but this (vaccination) is a very important step and trials are being done," he said.

Odisha logs 157 new coronavirus cases, tally rises to 333,723

Odisha's COVID-19 tally on Wednesday surged to 3,33,723 after 157 more people tested positive for the infection. The coronavirus death toll remained at 1,902, as no new fatality due to the infection was reported since Tuesday. The 157 new COVID-19 cases were detected in 24 of the state's 30 districts, 93 were reported from different quarantine centres while the remaining 64 were contact cases.
Sundergarh district recorded the highest of 30 new cases followed by Puri (20) and Sambalpur (18). Six districts- Dhenkanal, Deogarh, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Malkangiri and Nayagarh - did not register any new positive case since Tuesday.
Apart from 1,902 coronavirus fatalities reported so far, 53 COVID-19 positive patients have also died due to comorbidities.

79.2% of the new cases are concentrated in seven States and UTs

Russia registers 21,152 Covid-19 cases in past 24 hours

Russia registered 21,152 COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 21,734 the day before, taking the tally to 3,633,952, the coronavirus response centre said on Wednesday.
"Over the past day, 21,152 coronavirus cases were confirmed across 85 Russian regions, including 2,452 cases (11.6 per cent) that were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the centre said, adding that the cumulative case count has now reached 3,633,952, with the rate of increase falling to 0.59 per cent.
For a second consecutive day, St. Petersburg sees the largest increase, as it confirmed 3,347 new coronavirus cases over the given period, up from 3,281 the day before. It was followed by Moscow with 2,452 cases, down from 3,115 the day before, and the Moscow Region with 994 new cases, down from 1,072 the day before.

Loss of smell may be best sign of Covid-19, research confirms

Loss of smell may be the best predictor of COVID-19 among patients with symptoms of respiratory diseases, according to new research. The findings of two new international studies, published in the journal Chemical Senses, show that there is frequent loss of smell in COVID-19 patients which often lasts for a long time.
Over 4,500 COVID-19 patients from a total of 23 nationalities responded to the researchers' questionnaire. The studies found that the average loss of the sense of smell was 79.7 on a scale from 0-100, indicating a large to complete sensory loss.
"This emphasises how important it is to be aware of this symptom, as it may be the only symptom of the disease," said Alexander Wieck Fjaeldstad from Aarhus University in Denmark.

UAE daily Covid tally crosses 200-mark after over a month

New coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia crossed the 200-mark for the first time in more than a month with 226 infections reported.
The Kingdom has been reporting less than 200 cases regularly. On December 7 last year, 209 new Covid-19 cases were recorded, the Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday.
According to the Ministry of Health, six more patients died over the past 24 hours due to complications caused by Covid-19 over the past 24 hours.

Coronavirus in India: Latest update by MoHFW

Active cases: 197,201 (Net reduction: 3,327)
Deaths: 152,718 (Net increase: 162)
Cured: 10,245,741 (Net increase: 16,988)
Total cases: 10,595,660 (Net increase: 13,823)
Total vaccination: 674,835 (Increase over previous day: 220,786)

Positive Covid tests by Oz Open players believed to be 'virus shedding'

Positive Covid-19 tests attributed to two Australian Open players are now suspected to be instances of 'virus shedding' following evidence of past infections, authorities confirmed on Wednesday.
Victoria's Minister for Emergency Services Lisa Neville has clarified the total number of cases linked to the event that weren't considered shedding was seven, none of which were players, reports Xinhua news agency.
Neville explained that one of the players initially reported as positive on Tuesday was in hotel lockdown and was reclassified as a virus shedding case, while the other who tested positive along with a support staff member was also suspected to be a case of virus shedding, which health officials were working to confirm.

Indemnity clause: Serum Institute of India knocks on govt door again

Amid adverse events following vaccination coming from across the country, Pune-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) again raised the issue of indemnity in a meeting with the health ministry this week, said someone close to the development.
SII did not wish to comment on the matter. While there are reports of adverse events, no causal link to the vaccine has been established. SII Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla earlier indicated legal indemnity was required to ensure that the vaccination drive could be completed smoothly.
In an interview with Business Standard, Poonawalla, who is also president of the Indian Vaccine Manufacturers Association, had said an indemnity clause during the period of the pandemic would ensure the vaccination drive did not halt if there was an injunction. Read on...

Average US air fares fall to lowest price after Covid-19 pandemic

Average US airfare prices in the three months ending in September fell to the lowest inflation-adjusted price since the government began tracking the issue in 1995, the Transportation Department said Tuesday.
The average ticket price was $245, down 30% over the same period in 2019 and down 7% over the second quarter, when average prices were $262 a ticket.
Prices have declined as air demand has fallen sharply, especially for business travel. US airlines reported 27 million passengers in the third quarter, down from 86 million passengers a year earlier. Read on...

Covid-19 pandemic could be source of global crises for years: WEF

The coronavirus has exposed the “catastrophic effects” of ignoring long-term risks such as pandemics, and the economic and political consequences could cause more crises for years to come, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF’s annual survey of global risks lists infectious disease and livelihood crises as the top “clear and present dangers” over the next two years. Knock-on effects such as asset bubbles and price instability lead concerns over 3-5 years. Read on...

UK coronavirus-related deaths top 90,000

The number of people who have died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test has surpassed the grim milestone of 90,000 in Britain after another 1,610 were confirmed, the media reported on Tuesday.
The latest daily death toll was the highest since the pandemic began in the country, Xinhua news agency reported.
Meanwhile, another 33,355 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, the lowest daily increase since the start of the year, according to the BBC.

Covaxin recipients to be followed-up for 3 months after 2nd dose: ICMR

Following the administration of Covid-19 vaccine 'Covaxin', the recipients will remain at the vaccination site for at least 30 minutes of the observation to record any adverse event, said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its guidelines for the vaccination drive.
The recipients will be followed-up for a period of three months after the second dose of vaccination, it said.
The ICMR has issued the key Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) for the restricted use authorisation of Covaxin under clinical trial mode stating, in case of severe/serious adverse event at any given point of time after vaccination, he/she will report to the nearest health facility for treatment and will also inform the designated vaccinator.

US Covid deaths top 400,000, cases cross 24.16 mn: Johns Hopkins University

The US reached the grim milestone of 400,000 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
With the national case count topping 24.16 million, the death toll across the US rose to 400,022, according to the CSSE data, Xinhua news agency reported.
New York State reported 41,350 fatalities, at the top of the US state-level death toll list. California recorded the second most deaths of 33,763, followed by Texas with 32,729 deaths and Florida with 24,274 deaths, the CSSE tally showed. Read on...

Germany to extend Covid-19-related restrictions until Feb 14: Angela Merkel

Germany will extend and strengthen the coronavirus-related restrictive measures until February 14, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
"Today we held talks again and agreed to introduce new measures... We are doing this as a precautionary measure for the sake of citizens' health, as well as for the sake of the economy and labor market," Merkel said.
"We agreed that all measures that were scheduled until January 31 should be extended until February 14," she said. Read on...

We begin healing together: Biden, Harris pay tribute to victims of Covid-19

US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Tuesday (local time) paid tribute to the thousands of lives lost to the Covid-19 pandemic at a memorial held by the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial at the National Mall in Washington.
"To heal, we must remember," the President-elect said. "It is hard sometimes to remember, but that is how we heal. It is important to do that as a nation. That is why we are here today. Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along this sacred pool of reflection and remember all that we have lost." Read on...

Covid-19: India dispatches 150,000 doses of Covishield vaccine to Bhutan

As a gift from India, the first consignment of 1.5 lakh dosages of Covid-19 vaccine 'Covishield' was dispatched to Thimphu, Bhutan from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai in the wee hours of Wednesday.
According to the sources, a consignment containing 150,000 doses of Covishield will reach Thimphu today. Bhutan is the first country to receive the Government of India's gift of the Covid vaccines, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
In line with India-Bhutan unique and special relations, India ensured a continuous supply of trade and essential items to Bhutan, despite Covid-19 restrictions. Read on...

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

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