Coronavirus LIVE: Delhi logs highest single-day fatality count; 7,486 cases

A healthcare worker wearing PPE collects a swab sample from a policeman, during a check-up campaign for the coronavirus disease set up inside a police station, in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Coronavirus update: India has reported nerely 38,617 fresh Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. The total caseload now stands at 8,912,907. The country's death toll has mounted to 131,031. Delhi recorded 6,396 fresh Covid-19 cases taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 495,000 on Tuesday. Ninety-nine more fatalities pushed the death toll to 7,812.

Amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in the NCR, particularly in the national capital, authorities in Noida have decided that people coming from Delhi to Noida will be randomly tested for the virus from today onwards.

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 56,016,137. While 38,926,873 have recovered, 1,342,715 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 11,688,474 cases, and 254,125 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 8,912,907 cases, Brazil (5,911,758), France (2,036,755), Russia (1,971,013).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


Iraq reports 2,349 new Covid-19 cases, warns curfew may return

The Iraqi Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 2,349 new Covid-19 cases, warning "a full or partial curfew" could return amid the surge in cases.

"If we notice an increasing number of infections, then we will have to re-impose a full or partial curfew," said Riyadh Abdul-Amir, head of the ministry's Public Health Department, said in a press release, as the country's total number of cases has reached 526,852.

The ministry carried out many awareness campaigns but the citizens always failed to adhere to health protective measures, he noted.

663 ICU beds to be added in hospitals; restrictions could be in Covid hotspots: Delhi CM

Over 660 ICU beds are planned to be added in various city government hospitals in the next few days in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases here, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday. He was interacting with reporters after visiting GTB Hospital in east Delhi, accompanied by Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain.

A meeting was held with doctors at GTB Hospital and they have agreed to add over 230 ICU beds in the next two days, Kejriwal said. "In all, 663 ICU beds shall be added in various Delhi hospitals in the next few days," Kejriwal said, adding that "despite such a huge surge in cases, our doctors have managed the COVID-19 situation well".

He visited the facility of the city government in east Delhi to review the preparedness and facilities in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases here.

New York City schools to close again as city fights coronavirus

New York City is shuttering schools to try to stop the renewed spread of the coronavirus, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday in a painful about-face for one of the first big U.S. school systems to bring students back to classrooms this fall.

The nation's largest public school system will halt in-person learning Thursday, the mayor and schools chancellor said. The city had said since summer that school buildings would close if 3% of all the coronavirus tests performed citywide over a seven-day period came back positive. As the rate neared that point last week, de Blasio advised parents to prepare for a possible shutdown within days.

The mayor said the rate has now passed that mark.

Norwegian Air seeks bankruptcy protection as pandemic takes toll

Norwegian Air has asked an Irish court to oversee a restructuring of its massive debt as it seeks to stave off collapse amid the coronavirus pandemic, the budget airline said on Wednesday.

Norway's government last week rejected the airline's plea for another injection of state funds, and the company said the following day it was at risk of having to halt operations in early 2021 unless it got access to more cash.

"The main purpose here is to come out of this process quite shortly with a company that is 'investable', where we can be attractive again for investors," Chief Financial Officer Geir Karlsen told Reuters.

Delhi Covid hospitals can engage 4th, 5th year MBBS students: Govt

Covid hospitals of Delhi govt are permitted to engage 4th and 5th year MBBS students, Interns and BDS doctors to assist duty doctors at honorarium of Rs 1000 (8 hrs shift) and Rs 2000 (12 hrs shift) per day. In case of interns, honorarium would be over and above their stipend: Delhi govt

Assam's Covid-19 tally reaches 210,865 with 169 new cases

Assam's Covid-19 tally reaches 210,865 with 169 new cases; 3 new deaths take toll to 969: Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

7,486 fresh Covid-19 cases in Delhi, tally to over 500,000

7,486 fresh Covid-19 cases in Delhi take tally to over 500,000; death toll rises to 7,943 with 131 more fatalities: Authorities

J&K Covid-19 tally reaches 104,155 with 574 fresh cases

Jammu and Kashmir's Covid-19 tally reaches 104,155 with 574 fresh cases; 9 new deaths take toll to 1,613: Officials

1,791 new coronavirus cases in Karnataka, tally 866,000

1,791 new coronavirus cases, 1,947 recoveries in Karnataka, tally 866,000, active cases 25,146; toll 11,578 with 21 more deaths: Health Dept

802 new Covid cases in Punjab, tally 143,000

802 new coronavirus cases in Punjab, tally 143,000, active cases 5,937; toll 4,541 with 31 more deaths: health bulletin

Third phase trial of Covaxin to start on Nov 20

Third phase trial of Covaxin to start on 20 Nov. 200  volunteers to be administered the vaccine early to study its anti-bodies response. There'll be 2 doses;2nd dose to be given 28 days after first dose. Expecting vaccine's efficacy to be more than 90%: VC, PGI Rohtak, Haryana

Chhattisgarh records 2,048 new coronavirus cases, 23 deaths

With 2,048 new Covid-19 cases and 23 fatalities, Chhattisgarh's caseload rose to 2,15,413 while death toll reached 2,646 on Wednesday, a health official said. The number of people who have recovered increased to 1,93,997 after 232 people were discharged from hospitals while 1,170 patients completed their home isolation during the day.

The state now has 18,770 active cases. Raipur district reported 227 new cases, taking its total count to 43,883, including 635 deaths.

Raigarh district recorded 219 new cases, Janjgir- Champa 209, Korba 200, Rajnandgaon 142, Durg 132, Bilaspur 129 and Balod 119, among other districts. "Of the latest fatalities, two took place on Wednesday and 12 on Tuesday while nine had taken place earlier but were added to the tally on Wednesday," the official said.

Chhattisgarh's coronavirus figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,15,413, New cases 2,048, Death toll 2,646, Recovered 1,93,997, Active cases 18,770, people tested so far 21,99,345.

Nagpur district reports 389 COVID-19 cases, 175 recoveries

Maharashtra's Nagpur district on Wednesday registered 389 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 1,07,213, the local administration said. A District Information Office release said seven more Covid-19 patients succumbed to the infection, taking the death toll to 3,538.

Besides, 175 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, pushing the tally of recovered cases to 1,00,374, it said. The number of active cases in the district stood at 3,301, the release added.

Coronavirus vaccine update: Pfizer says analysis shows 3.8% of participants experienced fatigue

Pfizer Inc on Tuesday updated its analysis of the safety profile of its COVID-19 vaccine seen during its large, late-stage trial, saying that 3.8% of participants experienced fatigue after receiving a second dose of the shot.
It said the updated analysis was based on 8,000 trial participants. Pfizer said in a previous analysis that 3.7% of 6,000 volunteers had experienced fatigue.
Pfizer also added that there was a second adverse event with a frequency of at least 2% in the trial. The U.S. drugmaker said 2% of participants experienced headaches after the second shot.

1,209 new coronavirus cases in Madhya Pradesh, 13 deaths

Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday recorded 1,209 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking its case tally to 1,86,655. Thirteen fatalities pushed the death toll to 3,115.
A total of 918 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the state's recovery count to 1,74,202.
Since Tuesday evening, three persons died in Indore and one each in Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khargone, Ratlam, Vidisha, Raisen, Khandwa, Katni and Chhatarpur. Of 1,209 new cases, Bhopal accounted for 238, Indore 194, Gwalior 123 and Jabalpur 44.

Coronavirus LIVE: Only 50 people to be allowed at marriage functions in Delhi

Only 50 people will now be allowed at marriage functions in the national capital instead of 200 as the Delhi Disaster Management Authority on Wednesday reverted to the earlier cap on the number of guests in the wake of a spurt in coronavirus cases in the city.
The order was issued after Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is also the DDMA's chairman, approved the Delhi government's proposal to allow only 50 people to attend any marriage function. The Delhi government had on October 31 allowed marriage gatherings of up to 200 persons. It had earlier imposed a cap of 50 persons during the unlock period.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that the Aam Aadmi Party government had decided to withdraw the order allowing 200 guests at a wedding, as it mulled reimposing certain restrictions to check the spike in cases.

Haryana reports 2,562 new coronavirus cases; state tally 207,039

Coronavirus latest update: 1,791 new cases in Karnataka, 21 deaths

Karnataka reported 1,791 new COVID-19 cases and 21 more deaths, taking the total number of infections to 8,65,931 and the toll to 11,578. The day also saw 1,947 patients getting discharged after recovery.
Out of the 1,791 fresh cases reported on Wednesday, 933 were from Bengaluru Urban alone.
As of November 18 evening, cumulatively 8,65,931 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 11,578 deaths and 8,29,188 discharges, the health department said in its bulletin. It said that out of 25,146 active cases, 24,510 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and are stable, while 636 are in Intensive Care Units.

Indian worker in Singapore charged for violating Covid-19 guidelines

A 25-year-old Indian national working in Singapore was charged on Wednesday for violating COVID-19 guidelines. Parthiban Balachandran was charged with three counts under the Infectious Diseases Act, Channel News Asia reported.
If convicted, Parthiban faces a fine of up to SGD 10,000, up to six-month jail or both.
During Singapore's circuit breaker on May 23, Balachandran, who was a suspected coronavirus case, allegedly left a car park at Singapore General Hospital where he was to wait for the result of his COVID-19 test, took a public bus and then a taxi to the airport where he loitered for about four hours, the report said.

5,011 new coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, 100 deaths

Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally rose to 17,57,520 with the state reporting 5,011 new cases of infection on Wednesday, the health department said.
With 100 new deaths being reported during the day, the state's death toll rose to 46,202, it said in a statement.
A total of 6,608 patients were discharged from hospitals on Wednesday, which took the number of recovered persons to 16,30,111, the department said in a statement. There are 80,221 active cases in the state.

Covid-19 LIVE: 162 new coronavirus cases in Goa

Goa's coronavirus caseload went up to 46,344 on Wednesday with 162 new cases of infection coming to light. The COVID-19 death toll in the state reached 670 as three more patients succumbed to the infection. The number of recovered patients in the state rose to 44,310 with 178 persons getting discharged on Wednesday.
The number of active cases in Goa is 1,364.
"A total of 1,716 samples were tested during the day," the official added. Goa's COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 46,344, new cases 162, death toll 670, discharged 44,310, active cases 1,364, samples tested to date 3,26,365.

Gujarat records 1,281 coronavirus cases, 1,274 recoveries; 8 die

Gujarat reported 1,281 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its COVID-19 tally to 1,91,642. Eight more COVID-19 patients died, raising the state- wide fatalities to 3,823, it said.
At the same time, 1,274 patients were discharged from various hospitals, said the department in a release.
With this, the number of recovered cases in Gujarat rose to 1,75,362, with the recovery rate increasing slightly over last day to 91.50 per cent. The government said it is increasing the number of daily testing for the virus in order to detect new cases and contain its spread after noticing a spike in the last few days.

Kerala adds 6,419 new coronavirus cases, 7,066 recoveries

Kerala recorded 6,419 COVID-19 positive cases on Wednesday and 7,066 recoveries while 69,394 people are undergoing treatment for the virus, which has so far claimed 1,943 lives. In the last 24 hours, 67,369 samples were tested and the test positivityrate was 9. 53 per cent, Health minister K K Shailaja said in a press release.
So far, 56,21,634 samples have been sent for testing. The total virus case load has touched 5,37,791 while as many as 4,68,460have been cured of the disease. Ernakulam accounted for the highest number of cases 887, followed by Kozhikode 811, Thrissur 703, Kollam 693 and Alappuzha 637. The toll has mounted 1,943 to with 28 covid deaths.

Rajasthan records 12 more coronavirus deaths, 2,178 new cases

Twelve more coronavirus-related fatalities were reported in Rajasthan, taking the death toll to 2,101 on Wednesday, while 2,178 fresh cases pushed the infection tally to 2,32,358. Two deaths each were reported from Jaipur and Jodhpur and one each from Ajmer, Barmer, Bikaner, Jalore, Kota, Nagaur, Pali and Sikar.
A maximum of 468 new COVID-19 cases were reported from Jaipur, followed by Jodhpur 302, Ajmer 150, Alwar 125 and Kota 114. Pali recorded 76 fresh cases, Udaipur 75, Sikar 71, Ganganagar 72 and Nagaur 68, among others. There are 19,478 active cases in the state, while a total of 2,10,779 patients have recovered from the disease so far, the report added.

Additional ICU beds will be made available in next few days: Delhi CM Kejriwal

Amid rising cases of COVID-19, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said that steps had been taken to provide around 1,400 more ICU beds in the national capital. Speaking to reporters after visiting Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital, Kejriwal said 663 ICU beds will be increased in the hospitals of Delhi in the next few days and the central government has assured to provide 750 more beds at DRDO facility.
"There is an increase in COVID-19 cases in Delhi but there are enough beds available now. There is a shortage of ICU beds but we are looking into it. There are many cases in Delhi, our doctors and health workers are responding to it very well," he said.
The Chief Minister said he met doctors and authorities at GTB hospital and was thankful to them that they are increasing 238 ICU beds in GTB hospital.

India reported less than 50,000 new daily coronavirus cases for 11th continuous day: Health Ministry

Tripura registers 73 new coronavirus cases, tally rises to 32,112

At least 73 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Tripura on Wednesday, pushing the tally in the state to 32,112, a health department official said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 361 with no patient succumbing to the infection on Tuesday, he said.
West Tripura district, of which state capital Agartala is a part, has accounted for 185 of the 361 COVID-19 deaths, the official said.
Tripura currently has 1,001 active coronavirus cases, while 30,727 people have recovered from the disease and 23 patients have migrated to other states. The state has so far conducted 5,00,018 COVID-19 tests, including 3,02,301 rapid antigen and 1,97,717 RT-PCR tests, the official said.

No lockdown plan, may impose restrictions in marketplaces to prevent Covid-19 spread: Sisodia

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Wednesday the Delhi government has no plan to impose a lockdown but may press some restrictions in market areas for some days to prevent the spread of COVID-19, if such a need arises. Lockdown was not a solution to the pandemic. It could be tackled through proper medical arrangements which the government was doing effectively, he said while interacting with reporters at the Delhi Secretariat.
The national capital has been witnessing a spurt in coronavirus cases since October 28 when daily cases breached the 5,000 mark for the first time. Single-day rise in cases crossed the 8,000 mark on November 11.
"We have no intention of a lockdown. Let me clarify, we have made a general proposal to the Centre with regard to certain regulations like shutdown for some days in the markets where COVID-19-appropriate behaviour and social distancing violations pose threat of rapid infection," Sisodia said.

1,236 fresh coronavirus cases, nine more deaths in Andhra Pradesh

The total confirmed positives of coronavirus increased to 8,57,395 as Andhra Pradesh added 1,236 fresh cases in 24 hours ending 9 am on Wednesday. Also, 1,696 patients got cured and nine more succumbed in a day, the latest health department bulletin said.
The number of active cases reduced to 16,516 after a total of 8,33,980 recoveries and 6,899 deaths, it said.
West Godavari district continued to report new cases in excess of 200 while four other hotbeds Krishna, East Godavari, Guntur and Chittoor reported less than 200 cases each in 24 hours.

In mere 17 days, Delhi see 20% rise in coronavirus cases, 1,250 deaths

November is turning out to be the most challenging month for the national capital in managing the Covid-19 pandemic. As the city added a humongous amount of cases and deaths amid the festive season, an alarming 20 per cent of cases and 16 per cent of deaths have occurred in only 17 days of this month so far.
As per official records, 103,228 cases and 1,250 deaths due to corona have been reported between November 1-16 while 4,147 patients recovered during the same period. Last seven days alone saw 44,210 cases and 823 fatalities.
The national capital has witnessed a sudden spike in coronavirus cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000 level for the first time and it crossed the 8,000 mark on November 11.

Pfizer ends Covid-19 trial with 95% efficacy, to seek emergency-use authorisation

Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday that final results from the late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine show it was 95% effective, adding it had the required two-months of safety data and would apply for emergency U.S. authorization within days.
The drugmaker said efficacy of the vaccine developed with German partner BioNTech SE was consistent across age and ethnicity demographics, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunization could be employed broadly around the world. Efficacy in adults over 65 years, who are at particular risk from the virus, was over 94%.
The final analysis comes just one week after initial results from the trial showed the vaccine was more than 90% effective. Moderna Inc on Monday released preliminary data for its vaccine, showing similar effectiveness.

663 ICU beds to be added in Delhi govt hospitals soon: CM Arvind Kejriwal

Over 660 ICU beds will be added in various Delhi government hospitals in the next few days in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday. Interacting with reporters after visiting GTB Hospital in east Delhi along with city Health Minister Satyendar Jain, the chief minister said, "We had a meeting with doctors at GTB Hospital and they have agreed to add 238 ICU beds in the next two days."
"In all, 663 ICU beds shall be added in various Delhi hospitals in the next few days," he said.
Despite such a huge surge in COVID-19 cases, doctors have managed the situation well, Kejriwal said. The national capital has been witnessing a spurt in coronavirus cases since October 28 when daily cases breached the 5,000 mark for the first time. Single-day rise in cases crossed the 8,000 mark on November 11.

CM Kejriwal calls all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss Delhi's Covid-19 situation

CM Arvind Kejriwal has called an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the national capital, which has been seeing a spurt in the number of cases in the last couple of weeks, officials said on Wednesday. They said leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), BJP, Congress and other parties have been invited for the meeting.
"The chief minister will hold an all-party meeting to discuss the COVID-19 situation in Delhi. The meeting will be held at 11 am on Thursday," an official said.
The national capital has been witnessing a spurt in coronavirus cases since October 28 when daily cases breached the 5,000-mark for the first time. Single-day rise in cases crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11. On Tuesday, Delhi recorded 6,396 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally to over 4.95 lakh, while 99 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 7,812. The city had recorded 104 deaths in a day on November 12, the highest in five months.

Covid-19 cases in Delhi increasing, but there are enough beds available now: Delhi CM

Phase 3 trial of Covaxin to begin in Haryana on Nov 20, Anil Vij offers to be first volunteer

Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij on Wednesday said the third phase of trial of Covaxin, a potential vaccine against COVID-19, will begin in the state on November 20 and offered to be the first volunteer to get vaccinated.
Covaxin is being developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Last month, the vaccine maker had said it had successfully completed interim analysis of Phase 1 and 2 trials and is initiating Phase 3 trials.

Railways providing coaches with 800 beds to Delhi for Covid-19 treatment; paramilitary doctors start arriving: MHA

To ramp up COVID care facilities in Delhi, 45 doctors and 160 paramedics of the paramilitary forces have arrived in the capital while the Railways is making available coaches with 800 beds at a station here to be used as health and isolation centres, the home ministry on Wednesday said.
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is going to add 250 ICU beds to the existing 250 in addition to creating 35 BIPAP beds in the next 3-4 days at its COVID-19 hospital near the Delhi airport, a home ministry spokesperson said.
These developments come in the wake of 12 decisions taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday after Delhi saw fresh spike in COVID-19 cases. The spurt in coronavirus cases in Delhi has been witnessed since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11.

72 students of 12 govt schools in Haryana's Rewari test Covid-19 positive

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal convenes all-party meeting at 11 am tomorrow to discuss Covid-19 situation

Singapore rolls out Covid-19 insurance coverage for travellers: Report

Travellers arriving in Singapore would be able to purchase COVID-19 insurance cover up to 30,000 Singapore dollars during their stay in the country, a media report said on Wednesday.
In a joint statement, the Changi Airport Group (CAG) and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) said that three insurance companies have developed the travel insurance products and it would cover coronavirus related cost incurred by the travellers during their stay in the country, The Straits Times reported, citing the government statement.
Three insurance companies have developed travel insurance products which provide at least 30,000 Singapore dollars in coverage for COVID-19 related medical treatment and hospitalisation costs, the paper reported.

Coronavirus lockdown at night lifted in Puducherry

All-night lockdown from 10 pm to 6 am that was in force here for some months now in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic was lifted on Wednesday.
Collector T Arun announced this through an order passed today.
The revocation was part of the relaxation of restrictions the government had imposed in keeping with the guidelines of the Union Home Ministry in the context of the COVID-19 situation.

Bihar reports 734 new coronavirus cases, active cases reach 6,275

Bihar has reported 734 new COVID-19 cases so far as on Tuesday, taking the total number of active cases in the state to 6,275, said Bihar Health Department on Wednesday.

World Health Organisation praises Uttar Pradesh govt for Covid-19 management

The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has earned appreciation for its Covid-19 management strategy from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Yogi Adityanath government has issued a statement by Roderico Ofrin, WHO Country Representative, which says that the state's strategic response of boosting contact tracing efforts to mitigate coronavirus spread is exemplary.
Ofrin, in the statement, appreciated the chief minister and the government of the state for tracing high-risk contacts and setting a good example for the rest of the country to follow, the government spokesperson said. The spokesperson added that this level of high-risk contact tracing of positive Covid-19 patients was achieved through 70,000 healthcare workers that worked across the state.

Uttar Pradesh's coronavirus cases mount to 516,616

Uttar Pradesh's COVID-19 case count mounted to 5,16,616 on Wednesday with 2,390 fresh infections, while the death toll climbed to 7,441 with 29 more fatalities. The number of active cases in the state stands at 21,954, they said.
"The state reported 2,390 new cases in the past 24 hours, while 2,529 people were discharged during the same period," Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters.
The state has 21,954 active cases and the number of those who recovered from the infection is 4,87,221, he said. Twenty-nine more people succumbed to the virus, taking the death toll to 7,441.

Coronavirus LIVE: 45 doctors, 160 paramedics from CAPFs reach Delhi

A group of 45 doctors and 160 paramedics from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have reached the national capital as an additional central support to the Delhi government to tame the rising Covid-19 infections that have pushed the hospitals here to their brink.
The move comes three days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah took stock of Covid-19 situation in the city in presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Among many steps taken after the meeting held by Shah on November 15 on Delhi Covid, Home Ministry Spokesperson Nitin Wakankar in a series of tweets informed that "already 45 doctors and 160 para-medics from CAPFs have reached Delhi for deployment at the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) hospital near Delhi airport and at Covid care centre at Chhatarpur".
"Remaining doctors and medics to reach Delhi in next few days," the Spokesperson said.

Kyrgyzstan's coronavirus cases reach 67,894

Kyrgyzstan's COVID-19 cases reached 67,894 on Wednesday as 425 new cases have been registered across the country in the past 24 hours.
The national headquarters for combating COVID-19 said that the new cases included 110 in the capital city Bishkek and 117 in the northern region of Chui Oblast. The number of recoveries from the coronavirus in Kyrgyzstan increased to 58,846 after 531 more have been added over the past day.
The headquarters also reported five new deaths, taking the national count to 1,212.

House to house Covid survey in Delhi likely from this weekend

To track the Covid-19 virus amid rising cases in the national capital, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in coordination with Delhi government has planned to conduct house to house surveys beginning this weekend. The planning for the survey in Delhi is in advanced stage and it is expected to begin by the weekend and completed by November 25, said the MHA.
The move comes three days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, took stock of the Covid-19 situation in the city and issued orders to curb the menace.
In another step directed by Shah, the Ministry said, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Delhi government are working together to enhance the RT-PCR testing capacity to 60,000 tests by end November. "Testing capacity already enhanced by 10,000 tests per day on November 17."

Covid-19 Factoid: Delhi adds over 6,000 new cases but spike appears dipping

Delhi records over 6,000 new cases in a day
The city added over 7,000 new cases daily before witnessing a drop in new cases additions for two days. Delhi again recorded over 6,000 new cases, the highest daily spike among all India states and union territories (UT). READ ON...

Protein-based Covid-19 vaccine candidates more suitable for India: Scientists

As the world moves into the next stage of COVID-19 management and several vaccine candidates approach end-stage trials, scientists say a critical consideration for India is storage temperature and a protein-based preventive might therefore work best for the country.
The decision on procuring the right COVID-19 vaccine depends on multiple factors, including safety, price and ease of deployment, the scientists added, pitching for a preventive like the one being developed by US firm Novavax that can be stored at lower temperatures rather than those developed from mRNA or viral vectors.
That would potentially rule out the three vaccine candidates that have shown over 90 per cent efficiency over the last few days -- Pfizer-BioNtech with 90 per cent efficacy in Phase 3 trial interim results, Sputnik V with 92 per cent and Moderna with 94.5 per cent raising hopes across the globe that a preventive is on the horizon.

India's daily Covid-19 recoveries more than fresh infections for over 1.5 months

India's daily COVID-19 recoveries have outpaced the new infections for over 1.5 months now, while less than 50,000 fresh coronavirus cases have been reported for 11 straight days, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. A total 44,739 COVID-19 patients recovered the previous day as against 38,617 new cases, it said.
This translates to a net reduction of 6,122 in the active COVID-19 caseload which now stands at 4,46,805 and comprises merely 5.01 per cent of the total cases as on date, it said.
"India has continued the unbroken trend of the daily new recoveries outpacing the daily new additions for more than 1.5 months. The country also reported less than 50,000 new daily cases for the eleventh continuous day," the ministry said.

LG approves Delhi govt's proposal to allow only 50 people at weddings

Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal has approved the AAP government's proposal to allow only 50 people to attend wedding functions in the national capital, officials said on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government has decided to withdraw an order allowing 200 guests to attend weddings in the city, and sent the proposal to the LG for approval.
"The lieutenant governor has approved the Delhi government's proposal to allow only 50 people at marriage functions," the official said.
Kejriwal had on Tuesday said that according to directions and guidelines of the Centre, 200 participants were earlier allowed in wedding ceremonies due to decreasing number of coronavirus cases.

Russia registers 20,985 coronavirus cases in past 24 hours

Russia has registered 20,985 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, down from 22,410 yesterday, bringing the total to 1,991,998, the federal response center said on Wednesday.
"In the past 24 hours, Russia has confirmed 20,985 COVID-19 cases in 85 regions, of which 5,094 (24.3 per cent) were detected actively, with people showing no clinical symptoms," the response center said, adding that the case count has reached 1,991,998.
Moscow reported 4,174 COVID-19 cases, down from 5,882 yesterday. The Russian capital was followed by St. Petersburg with 2,215 cases (up from 2,130 yesterday) and the Moscow region with 864 cases (up from 839 yesterday).

No firm evidence of food trade spreading coronavirus: FAO

There is no significant evidence of coronavirus being spread through food trade and such reports "need to be minimised", Maximo Torero Cullen, chief economist of the United Nations food and agriculture agency, said on Wednesday.
The FAO has previously said it does not see food production in supplier countries as a source of the novel coronavirus, he told the Global Grain conference.
China says it has found the virus on the packaging of products from 20 countries but foreign officials say the lack of evidence produced by authorities means it is damaging trade.

Railways providing coaches with 800 beds to Delhi for Covid-19 treatment: MHA

As many as 45 doctors and 160 paramedics of the paramilitary forces have arrived in Delhi for deployment on COVID-19 duties while the Railways will make available coaches with 800 beds at a station here to be used as COVID care-cum-isolation facilities, the MHA said on Wednesday.
The Union Ministry of Home Ministry (MHA) also said that the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is going to add 250 additional ICU beds to the existing 250 ICU beds in addition to creating 35 BIPAP beds in the next 3 to 4 days at its COVID-19 hospital near the Delhi airport.
The actions come in the wake of 12 decisions taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday. Delhi has witnessed a spurt in coronavirus cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on November 11.

Coronavirus LIVE: Indiscriminate use of Convalescent Plasma Therapy not advisable, says ICMR

ICMR on Wednesday said that indiscriminate use of Convalescent Plasma Therapy (CPT) should be avoided as it does not reduce mortality in COVID-19 patients. The apex medical research body issued Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) on plasma therapy and advised states to desist from its indiscriminate use.
"ICMR conducted an open-label phase II multicentre randomised controlled trial in India across 39 public and private hospitals on use of convalescent plasma in the management of cases with moderate COVID-19 disease (PLACID Trial). It was concluded that, CPT did not lead to reduction in progression to severe COVID19 or all cause mortality in the group that received CPT as compared to the group that did not receive CPT," said the ICMR in its new advisory.
"PLACID is the world's largest pragmatic trial on CPT conducted in 464 moderately ill laboratory confirmed COVID-19 affected adults in real-world setting wherein no benefit of use of CPT could be established," it said.

39% of Kashmir's population has Covid-19 antibodies: Sero survey

A sero survey conducted in Kashmir has found that two out of every five people in the valley have developed antibodies against the coronavirus. The survey carried out in October found the highest prevalence of antibodies in Pulwama at 43.1 per cent and the lowest in Kulgam at 28.5 per cent.
"We conducted a sero survey in all 10 districts of Kashmir which has revealed that nearly 39 per cent of the 6,200 persons tested negative but had developed antibodies," said Dr Muhammad Salim Khan, head of community medicine at Government Medical College here.
He said the survey was carried out in October on the heels of an exercise in Srinagar which had thrown up almost identical results. While nearly 2,400 people were randomly tested in Srinagar, 400 people each were tested in the rest of the nine districts as part of the survey, he added.

Mumbai reports 541 new Covid-19 infections, taking tally to 270,654

Mumbai reported 541 new cases of COVID-19, taking the tally of infected people in the metropolis to 2,70,654.
According to a report by the Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai, the city reported 1,565 recoveries/discharges and 14 COVID-related fatalities on Tuesday.
As many as 2,47,339 recoveries/discharges and 10,596 deaths due to the deadly pathogen have been reported so far, while the active cases stand at 8,946. Read on...

Coronavirus India update: Five states with most active cases

Maharashtra (82,904)
Kerala (70,191)
Delhi (42,004)
West Bengal (27,111)
Karnataka (25,342)

Coronavirus world update: South Korea sees biggest rise in cases since August

South Korea has recorded its largest daily increase in coronavirus infections in nearly three months as it gets set to tighten social distancing rules in the greater Seoul area.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 313 new cases on Wednesday, raising the country's total to 29,311, including 496 deaths.
It's the first time the country's daily caseload exceeded 300 since late August.
South Korea is struggling to contain a spike in new infections since it eased its stringent social distancing rules last month. The new cases are tied to hospitals, nursing homes, churches, schools, offices and family gatherings.

Coronavirus India update: Five states with most active cases

Maharashtra (82,904)
Kerala (70,191)
Delhi (42,004)
West Bengal (27,111)
Karnataka (25,342)

Coronavirus India update: Five most affected states by cases

Maharashtra (1,752,509)
Karnataka (864,140)
Andhra Pradesh (856,159)
Tamil Nadu (761,568)
Kerala (533,500)

Not possible to conduct local body elections amid Covid: Andhra Chief Secy

Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney has replied to State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar letter regarding local body elections stating that "it is not possible to conduct local body elections" amid the ongoing situation due to coronavirus pandemic.
Sawhney said that the state government will immediately inform the SEC about its preparedness and readiness in resuming the adjourned elections, as and when the situation becomes conducive for the conduct of local body elections. Read on...

Noida begins random COVID-19 tests at borders for people coming from Delhi

Gautam Buddh Nagar health officials were on Wednesday deployed at two key Noida-Delhi borders where they started random COVID-19 testing of people coming from the national capital.
The random testing of inward coming people was announced by District Magistrate Suhas L Y on Tuesday after a meeting with senior administration and health officials amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in Delhi.
Gautam Buddh Nagar Chief Medical Officer Deepak Ohri said teams of health officials are present at the borders at Delhi-Noida-Direct (DND) flyway and at Chilla the two key entry points to Noida from the national capital.
We are conducting rapid antigen-based tests on people randomly so that traffic movement is not impacted. This is being done to check virus carriers and ensure that infection is contained in Gautam Buddh Nagar, Ohri, who was himself present at DND, told reporters.

Pondy reports no COVID-19 deaths for 5th consecutive day

No fresh coronavirus related deaths were reported in Puducherry for the fifth consecutive day on Wednesday.
However, 56 new infections were recorded, taking the total number of those infected by the virus to 36,465 in the union territory.
Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release that the new cases were identified at the end of examination of 3,583 samples in the last 24 hours ending at 10 am on Wednesday.
He said 195 patients were discharged from hospitals.

E-cigarette users may have increased susceptibility to COVID-19

In a controlled study of smokers, nonsmokers, and e-cigarette users, University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers found that e-cigarette users exhibited significantly altered immune responses to a model of influenza virus infection, suggesting increased susceptibility to disease.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, show that vaping changes the expression of genes and production of proteins in respiratory cells, as well as altering virus-specific antibody production.
"In many of the study participants, we observed more changes to the immune response in e-cigarette users than we did in smokers," said first author Meghan Rebuli, PhD, assistant professor in the UNC Department of Pediatrics and member of the UNC Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma, and Lung Biology.

Bengaluru's COVID-19 fatality rate lowest among major Indian cities: Health Minister

Bengaluru's COVID-19 case fatality rate (1.1 per cent) is the lowest among all major cities in the country, Karnataka Health Minister Sudhakar K said on Wednesday.

"With 3,36,880 recoveries and 17,707 active cases as on Tuesday, city's recovery rate stands at a healthy 93.94 per cent and active rate stands at 4.93 per cent", he tweeted. 


Cipla inks licensing deal with Belgium's MultiG for distribution of COVID-19 antibody test kit

Drug major Cipla on Wednesday said it signed a licensing agreement with a Belgium-based MultiG for the distribution of their COVID-19 rapid antibody test kit, across most emerging markets and Europe.
This licensing agreement is part of Cipla's efforts to enhance global access to life-saving treatments and diagnostic infrastructure for patients in need, the company said in a regulatory filing.
"As part of this agreement, Cipla will be responsible for distribution of the COVID-19 rapid antibody kit that will be manufactured by MultiG" the company added.

Scotland-Ireland women's series in Spain called off due to Covid-19

Scotland women's limited-overs series against Ireland, slated to be played from next week in Spain, has been postponed amid continued concerns about the prevalence of Covid-19.
The teams were due to play two 50-over matches and three T20Is at the La Manga resort, in what was believed to be the first-ever international cricket to be staged in Europe in November.
"Despite significant work and planning from Cricket Ireland, Cricket Scotland, the venue and sports bodies in both nations to mitigate risks in regard to Covid-19, Cricket Scotland advised that the decision to withdraw from the series was made due to concerns at the continuing and evolving high levels of the virus in Scotland, and in light of updated specialist advice received in the last 24 hours on the risks to the players in the current circumstances," Cricket Ireland said in a statement on Tuesday.

Thomas Bach encourages Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes to get vaccinated

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said that athletes for next year's Tokyo Olympic Games are encouraged to get vaccinated, although the IOC will not issue obligatory requirements.
Asked by reporters constantly about vaccines during his visit to the Olympic village and the Olympic Stadium, Bach on Tuesday made it clear that if an effective vaccine is available, the IOC will be happy to see the athletes take it before arriving in Tokyo, reports Xinhua news agency. Read on...

Coronavirus update: Uttar Pradesh government issues advisory, urges social distancing

The Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday issued an advisory for Chhath Puja, urging devotees to perform rituals at their homes or near their homes, and follow social distancing norms.
Keeping in mind the Covid-safety protocol, a notification issued by the UP govt said: "Arrangements be made by local admn at the traditional spots near rivers/ponds for the puja."

Market update: Nifty, Sensex flat as focus shifts to rising coronavirus cases

ndian shares were little changed on Wednesday after rising for two straight sessions, as surging global coronavirus cases stoked fears of a slower economic recovery and dampened optimism around vaccine trial results.
The NSE Nifty 50 index was up 0.09% at 12,885.95 by 0355 GMT, while the S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.12% to 44,010.18. The Nifty 50, which gained 1.4% in the last two sessions, hit a record high on Tuesday.

World shares slip after US retail sales dampen coronavirus vaccine euphoria

Global shares stepped back on Wednesday as soft US retail sales fuelled worries that rising coronavirus cases could stifle a still fragile economic recovery, dampening the euphoria from vaccine trial breakthroughs.
US S&P 500 futures shed 0.3% in Asian trade on Wednesday, a day after S&P500 index lost 0.48%, while Europe's Euro Stoxx 50 futures eased 0.2%. Read on...

Coronavirus India update: Summary of MoHFW data (November 18)

Active cases: 446,805 (Net reduction: 6,596)
Deaths: 130,993 (Net addition: 474)
Cured: 8,335,109 (Net addition: 44,739)
Total cases: 8,912,907 (Net addition: 38,617)

UK records highest daily coronavirus-related death toll since May 6

The coronavirus-related deaths in Britain rose by 598 to 52,745, marking the highest daily number of fatalities since May 6, according to official figures released Tuesday.
Another 20,051 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 1,410,732, the data showed.
England is currently under a month-long national lockdown, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak began in Britain, in a bid to quell the resurgence of coronavirus.
Earlier Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, announced that 11 council areas in Scotland will be placed under the region's toughest coronavirus restrictions from 6:00 p.m. (1800 GMT) on Friday until Dec. 11.

China's irritated trade partners push back on coronavirus food tests

Major food-producing countries are growing increasingly frustrated with China's scrutiny of imported products and are calling on it to stop aggressive testing for the coronavirus, which some say is tantamount to a trade restriction.
China says it has found the virus on the packaging of products from 20 countries including German pork, Brazilian beef and Indian fish, but foreign officials say the lack of evidence produced by authorities means it is damaging trade and hurting the reputation of imported food without reason.
In a World Trade Organization meeting on Nov. 5-6, Canada called China's testing of imported foods and rejection of products that had positive nucleic acid tests "unjustified trade restrictions" and urged it to stop it, said a Geneva-based trade official briefed on the meeting who declined to be identified.
Supported by Australia, Brazil, Mexico, Britain and the United States, Canada argued that China had not provided scientific justification for the measures, said the official.

US FDA approves first Covid-19 test kit for home use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it had approved the first COVID-19 self-testing kit for home use that provides results within 30 minutes.
The single-use test, made by Lucira Health, has been given emergency use authorization for home use with self-collected nasal swab samples in individuals age 14 and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider, the FDA said.
"While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

Mizoram coronavirus update: 37 new cases detected, active count at 504

Thirty-seven new cases of novel coronavirus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Mizoram, taking the tally here to 3,481, said the state's Information and Public Relations Department on Wednesday.
According to the department, there are currently 504 active cases of Covid-19.
A total of 2,972 people were discharged in the state, after recovering from the infection. Five deaths have been reported so far due to the infection in the state. Read on...

Brazil to receive China's Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, eyes Pfizer candidate

Brazil's Sao Paulo state is set to begin importing the first of 46 million doses of China's Sinovac vaccine against Covid-19 this week, while the federal government takes a more cautious approach with a vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc.
Federal health officials met with Pfizer representatives on Tuesday as Brazil seeks to secure vaccine supplies. The Health Ministry said in a statement that it would buy the Pfizer vaccine, currently in Phase 3 trials, if it was proven safe and was registered with health authority Anvisa.
As it draws up immunization plans, the ministry will also meet this week with Johnson & Johnson, India's Bharat Biotech and the makers of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine.
Brazil has the third-highest coronavirus case count in the world, leading many pharmaceutical companies to do trials of their vaccines in South America's largest country.

Coronavirus India update: 37 new cases of Covid-19 in Mizoram, active count at 504

Thirty-seven new cases of novel coronavirus were recorded in the last 24 hours in Mizoram, taking the tally here to 3,481, said the state's Information and Public Relations Department on Wednesday.
According to the department, there are currently 504 active cases of Covid-19.
A total of 2,972 people were discharged in the state, after recovering from the infection. Five deaths have been reported so far due to the infection in the state.

Bank of England's Ramsden sees plus for economy from coronavirus vaccine news

Bank of England Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said on Tuesday that positive news about COVID-19 vaccines could help to reduce the risks facing Britain's economy but the central bank was unlikely to revise up its forecasts as a result.
Announcements over the last two weeks that two vaccines were effective in trials have raised hopes that COVID-19, which has infected 54 million people worldwide and killed 1.3 million, will be largely defeated over the coming year."Assuming the recent positive developments do translate into delivery of vaccinations, then they could ... bolster resilience and mitigate some of the risks of long-term scarring," Ramsden said in an online speech hosted by the University of Nottingham. Read on...

Coronavirus vaccine: J&J expects data for US authorisation of Covid-19 vaccine by February

Johnson & Johnson's chief scientist said the drugmaker is recruiting over 1,000 people per day for the late-stage trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine and expects to have all the data needed to seek US authorization by February or earlier.
"By the end of the year or around the end of the year, we should have 60,000 people in the study," Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J's chief scientific officer, said in an interview ahead of this week's Reuters Total Health conference.
"And efficacy endpoint should be there in the first few weeks or months, January or February, of the new year," he added. Read on...

Goldman Sachs plans further job cuts

Goldman Sachs Group Inc is preparing for a second round of job cuts, three months after it began eliminating around 400 positions, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
The bank had announced "a modest number of layoffs" in September after pausing job cuts earlier this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Task force on the anvil to revive leisure travel amid Covid-19 pandemic

With leisure and vacation travel virtually decimated both in the domestic and the international space because of the Covid-19 pandemic, a task force likely to come up with a plan for reviving the sector.
The task force will comprise key stakeholders and representatives from the government. It will include representatives from airlines like IndiGo, Vistara and Go Air, leading travel associations such as the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH), Travel Agents Association of India, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), and airport operators like Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL). Read on...

Looking for insurance cover? Go for policies that offer wide coverage

Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has launched Covid Shield+, a single-disea­se cover that combines a critical illness (CI) benefit and a term cover. Stan­dard Covid-specific policies like Corona Kav­ach and Corona Rakshak already exist. So, evaluate the pros and cons of this new policy to see if it suits your needs. Read on...

Coronavirus vaccine update: China Covid vaccine gives quick immune response

Sinovac Biotech’s experimental Covid-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered from the disease, preliminary trial results showed on Wednesday. Read on...

Decoded: Why the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine holds promise over Pfizer's

The Pfizer vaccine (more than 90 per cent effective) must be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius. Creating cold chains to deliver this to billions is impossible in any reasonable time. Read on...

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