Coronavirus LIVE updates: India's Covid-19 recovery rate crosses 96%

Coronavirus live updates: With 21,957 fresh Covid-19 cases, India's caseload now stands at 10,281,229. The country's death toll has mounted to 148,932. With 1,932,112 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 918,544, Andhra Pradesh  881,948, Tamil Nadu 817,077, and Kerala 7,60,932. The daily recoveries have outnumbered the daily new cases since the last 33 days successively. The recovery rate has reached nearly 96 per cent.

With India confirming at least 20 cases of the new UK strain of Covid-19, All India Institute of Medical Sciences director Randeep Guleria on Wednesday said that it is a possibility that the new mutation could have been present in the country even in November as the mutant strain was reported in the United Kingdom in September and there might be people who would have been infected.

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 83,260,611. While 59,049,598 have recovered, 1,816,120 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 20,229,137 cases, and 350,429 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 10,267,283 cases, Brazil (7,619,970), Russia (3,131,550), France (2,600,498).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


574 fresh cases, 13 deaths reported in Delhi

Delhi recorded 574 fresh Covid-19 cases and 13 new fatalities on Thursday, even as the positivity rate slipped to 0.7 per cent, authorities said.
The infection tally in the city mounted to over 6.25 lakh and the death toll rose to 10,536, they said, adding over 81,000 tests were conducted on the previous day.
From December 21-23, the daily case count had been below the 1000-mark. On December 21, 803 cases were reported; 939 on December 22 and 871 on December 23.

Sikkim reports 12 new cases, tally rises to 5,889

Sikkim reported 12 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the tally in the Himalayan state to 5,889, an official said on Thursday.
The state Information Education and Communication (IEC) member Sonam Bhutia said that East Sikkim district registered seven positive cases followed by three in South Sikkim and two in West Sikkim district.

6 deaths, 271 fresh coronavirus cases in Haryana

Haryana on Thursday reported six more coronavirus deaths as 271 fresh cases pushed the state's infection tally to 2,62,325, according to a bulletin.
So far, 2,905 people have died from the infection in the state.
According to the bulletin, two deaths each were reported from Hisar and Panipat and one each from Jhajjar and Kaithal districts. Gurgaon reported the maximum 61 cases, followed by 30 in Faridabad.

Nagpur records 393 new Covid-19 cases; 8 more casualties

As many as 393 persons tested positive for coronavirus in Maharashtra's Nagpur district on Thursday, raising the count of infections to 1,23,767, a district official said.
Apart from this, the district also recorded eight casualties that took the toll to 3,930, the official said.

Wall Street set to end pandemic year on strong note

US stocks were flat in thin trading on Thursday, but the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set to end 2020 with solid gains on hopes of more stimulus and coronavirus vaccines to support the domestic economy.
The three main indexes surged to record highs this week in a stunning recovery since March when the Covid-19 pandemic triggered the steepest global recession in generations and left millions of Americans unemployed.
While the virus continues to take its toll on the economy, unprecedented stimulus from the central bank and the government have helped the benchmark S&P 500 index climb almost 70% from its March low, putting it on course for a more than 15 per cent gain this year.

Kerala sees over 5,000 new virus cases; 32 UK returnees test positive

As many as 32 people, who recently returned from the UK, have tested positivefor COVID-19 in Kerala, while the state recorded 5,215 fresh infections and 30 more fatalities on Thursday.
The samples of the infected people have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for further testing to ascertain if it is the new variant, Health Minister K K Shailaja said in a press release.
While the total caseload climbed to 7,60,932, recoveries touched 6,92,480 and 65,202 people are undergoing treatment for the virus. The toll has gone up to 3,072 with 30 more deaths being added to the tally after they were confirmed due to the infection. READ MORE...

Tamil Nadu hospital treats Covid-19 patients with over 70% lung involvement

Three COVID-19 patients, two of them with lung involvement between 75 and 95 per cent, were discharged after succesful treatment in a Tamil Nadu government facility, a top Health department official said on Thursday.
The treatment of the two men and a 68-year old woman at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) and their recovery and discharge was significant and a success story, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said.
The men, aged 37 and 45, had 75 and 95 per cent lung involvement (infection of the lungs) respectively. The younger of the men was in the Intensive Care Unit for 45 days and later shifted to a ward and put on oxygen support for more 45 days, following which he has recovered.

United States sees record 3,744 daily deaths from Covid-19

The United States saw a new daily high of 3,744 deaths from coronavirus in the past 24-hour period, according to data published Thursday by Johns Hopkins University. This is the second straight day of record virus-linked deaths. A day before, the country saw 3,725 fatalities.
An additional 229,042 cases of infection were recorded on Wednesday, taking the US nationwide tally to 19,745,136. The overall death toll stands at 342,414.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues the vaccine rollout. It says 12,409,050 doses have been distributed and 2,794,588 people have received the first shot of the two-component vaccine as of early Wednesday.

Delhi govt reduces number of dedicated beds for Covid-19 patients in govt hospitals from 4,696 to 2,140

227 new Covid-19 cases, 3 deaths reported in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday recorded 227 new COVID-19 cases, while three virus-related deaths took place in the last 24 hours, taking the caseload to 1,20,971 and the total fatalities to 1,883. Of the fresh cases, 132 were from Kashmir and 95 from Jammu division of the Union territory, they said.
The officials said Jammu recorded the highest with 70 cases followed by 51 in Srinagar district. The number of active cases dropped to 3,009 in the UT, while 1,16,079 patients have recovered so far, the officials said. Meanwhile, the UT reported three COVID-19 deaths with two from Jammu division and one from the valley in the last 24 hours.

3,509 new coronavirus cases in Maharashtra, 58 deaths

Maharashtra's COVID-19 caseload rose to 19,32,112 on Thursday with 3,509 fresh cases being reported. As many as 58 coronavirus patients died during the day, taking the death toll to 49,521, thestate health department said.
On the other hand, 3,612 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the number of recovered persons to 18,28,546. There are 52,902 active cases in the state.

Algeria to use Sputnik V during mass vaccination against Covid-19

Algeria will use the Russian Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine when its scheduled mass vaccination against Covid-19 starts in January, the media reported.
According to a report in TSA news portal, the Algerian government took the decision following a meeting on Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad.
On December 20, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune instructed Djerad to pick a vaccine to launch mass vaccination in January.

Health Ministry releases communication strategy to support Covid-19 vaccine rollout

The Union Health Ministry on Thursday released a communication strategy to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in India that seeks to disseminate accurate and transparent information by alleviating apprehensions and ensuring its acceptance. The 88-page document details information to guide national, state and district level communication activities to enable information about COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination process reaches all people, across all states in the country.
"The communication strategy that supports the COVID-19 vaccines rollout in India seeks to disseminate timely, accurate and transparent information about the vaccine(s) to alleviate apprehensions about the vaccine, ensure its acceptance and encourage uptake," it said.
According to the document, the strategy aims at managing and mitigating any potential disappointment expressed by unmet demand for the vaccine or 'eagerness' amongst people and addressing vaccine 'hesitancy' that could arise because of apprehensions around vaccine safety, efficacy apart from any other myths and misconceptions.

Pakistan to procure 1.1 million Covid-19 vaccines from Chinese company Sinopharm

Pakistan has decided to pre-book 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm, the health ministry said here on Thursday, as the number of coronavirus cases reached 479,715 after 2,475 new infections were detected in the country.
China on Thursday granted conditional approval to the country's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm. The approval came a day after Sinopharm said its vaccine showed 79.34 per cent efficacy and a 99.52 per cent antibody-positive conversion rate in the interim results of Phase III clinical trials.
The decision to procure the vaccine was made in the meeting of a special cabinet committee on Wednesday after Sinopharm said that its vaccine was 79.34 per cent effective, the Ministry of National Health Services said.

Over 36,000 ventilators delivered to govt hospitals amid Covid-19 pandemic: Govt

The Health Ministry said on Thursday that it had ensured delivery of 36,433 ventilators to government hospitals in the country and the average cost now ranges between Rs 2-10 lakh as the domestic industry took up manufacturing of the equipment.
The ministry underlined that all public health facilities in the country had only around 16,000 ventilators from the Independence till pre-COVID times. But in less than 12 months, 36,433 'Make in India' ventilators have been supplied to all the public health facilities, it said in a statement.
All export restrictions on ventilators have now been removed and 'Make in India' ventilators are being exported. The year witnessed tremendous achievements in the medical supplies sector in the country, the ministry said. READ ON...

Total of 800,000 Israelis vaccinated against Covid-19 since start of campaign, says Netanyahu

Over 150,000 Israeli citizens received a vaccine against the coronavirus over the past day, taking the total count of those vaccinated to 800,000, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.
The mass vaccination campaign in Israel kicked off on December 20, as the country has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The priority groups to get inoculated include medical workers, students of medical schools, employees of geriatric institutions and government officials. Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin have already got inoculated.
"More than 150,000 Israelis got vaccinated yesterday [Wednesday], and a total of 800,000 people have already been inoculated against the coronavirus. World Champions! We will continue doing this way and become the first to get out of the pandemic, re-open our economy and return to life," Netanyahu wrote on Twitter.

79.87% of new Covid-19 cases from 10 States and UTs: Health Ministry

Coronavirus LIVE: All states, UTs to conduct Covid-19 vaccine dry run on Jan 2

A dry run for COVID-19 vaccination will be conducted by all state and union territory administrations on January 2 to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges, the Centre said on Thursday. The activity is proposed to be conducted in all state capitals in at least 3 session sites.
Some states will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support, while Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital, the Union Health Ministry said.
"The objective of the dry run for COVID-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels," the ministry said.

Covid-19 vaccine dry run will be conducted by all State and UT govts on Jan 2

Govt placed orders for procurement of 83 crore syringes for Covid-19 vaccination

In anticipation of the much-awaited COVID-19 vaccine, the government has placed orders for procurement of nearly 83 crore syringes to be used for coronavirus vaccination and the Universal Immunization Programme, a statement from the Union Health Ministry informed on Thursday.
According to the statement, bids have been invited for 35 crore more syringes and as many as 36,433 ventilators have been delivered to government hospitals across the country in the last nine months, with the cost ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, considerably more cost-effective than the Rs 15 lakh price tag in February-March.
"This is important because from the independence of the country till pre-COVID times, all the public health facilities in the country had only about 16,000 ventilators but in less than 12 months 36,433 'Make in India' ventilators have been supplied to all the public health facilities," the statement said.

Coronavirus LIVE updates: India's Covid-19 recovery rate crosses 96%

India has recorded 96.04 per cent COVID-19 recovery rate on Thursday, which is one of the highest globally, according to the Union Health Ministry. The total recovered coronavirus cases have crossed 98.6 lakhs (98,60,280), the Ministry added. The gap between active cases and recovered cases is continuously increasing and stands at 96,02,624, it stated.
The Health Ministry said that the active cases have drastically declined to 2.57 lakh. The total positive cases of the country are 2,57,656 and now comprise merely 2.51per cent of the total cases, they added.
With a high number of COVID patients recovering every day and the sustained fall in the mortality rate, India's steady trend of registering dipping active cases continues, the Health Ministry said in a release.

Odisha logs 315 new Covid-19 cases, 2 deaths

Odisha has recorded 315 new Covid-19 cases, and 328 recoveries, the State Health Department informed on Thursday. The new 315 cases were reported from 27 of the 30 districts of the state, with 181 persons in quarantine.
As per the Health Department, the number of active cases in the state stands at 2,592. With two more deaths recorded on the same day, the death toll has reached 1,873. With this, Odisha has registered 3,29,621 cases of novel coronavirus so far including 3,25,103 recoveries.

Fight against Covid-19 is the one against an unknown enemy: Narendra Modi

In our country, rumours spread quickly. Different people for their personal gains or due to irresponsible behaviour spread various rumours. Maybe rumours will be spread when vaccination begins, some have already begun. I appeal to the people of the country that fight against Covid-19 is the one against an unknown enemy. Be careful about such rumours and as responsible citizens refrain from forwarding messages on social media without checking: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Last day of year is to remember India's frontline Covid warriors: PM Modi

Last day of year is to remember India's frontline Covid warriors: PM Modi

India registers 21,822 new Covid-19 cases, tally crosses 10.2 million

India's Covid-19 caseload increased to 1,02,66,674 with 21,822 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.60 lakh pushing the national recovery rate over 96 per cent, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death toll increased to 1,48,738 with 299 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. Read on...

Amid global criticism, China approves Sinopharm vaccine for general use

Amid global criticism over the efficacy of the Sinopharm vaccine against COVID-19, China on Thursday approved the country's first coronavirus vaccine for general public use, reported New York Times (NYT).
Sinopharm's subsidiary Beijing Institute of Biological Products said that the efficiency of its vaccine had exceeded 79 per cent based on an interim analysis of Phase 3 trials.
They plan to vaccinate 50 million people in China by mid-February, when hundreds of millions are expected to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday, reported NYT.
However, Sinopharm has provided no breakdown of results and left many questions unanswered, adding to a lack of clarity that has dogged China's coronavirus vaccine development for months.

Telangana's daily Covid count dips further to 415

In a further drop in new Covid cases in Telangana, the health authorities on Thursday reported 415 new infections during the last 24 hours.
The new cases detected out of a sample size of over 43,000 pushed the state's tally to 2,86,354.
Three more persons succumbed to the virus during the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 1,541.
The fatality rate remained 0.53 per cent against the national average of 1.4 per cent.
According to director of public health and family welfare, 44.96 per cent of the deaths occurred due to Covid while 55.04 per cent had comorbidities.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) reported 91 new cases during last 24 hours. This is the fifth time in a week that the daily count of cases dropped to below 100.

Coronavirus in India: Latest update by MoHFW

Active cases: 257,656 (Net reduction: 4,616)
Deaths: 148,738 (Net increase: 299)
Cured: 9,860,280 (Net increase: 26,139)
Total cases: 10,266,674 (Net increase: 21,822)

Singapore further tightens coronavirus control measures on air crew

Crew members of Singapore carriers will have to undergo stricter Covid-19 control measures with immediate effect following coronavirus cases involving a steward and a pilot.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Wednesday that it was tightening measures to ensure the safety and well-being of the crew and to safeguard public health in Singapore.
Flight crew, who layover in "high-risk destinations", will be required to undergo polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on three occasions - upon arrival in Singapore, and on the third and seventh day following their return, reported the Channel News Asia, citing a CAAS statement. Read on...

Coronavirus in India: 1,127,244 samples were tested yesterday

A total of 17,20,49,274 samples tested for Covid-19 up to December 30. Of these, 11,27,244 samples were tested yesterday: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

Vaccines, stimulus set tone for 2021 as year ends on bullish note

Global commodity markets are poised to end 2020 on a strong note, with recovering demand and widespread stimulus packages buoying prices after a roller coaster ride caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Roll-outs of vaccines to combat the virus and trillions of dollars' worth of fiscal support are expected to boost investment and spending in 2021. Read on...

Sec 144 imposed from 6 pm in Mangaluru City ahead of new year celebration

In order to curb the further spread of coronavirus infections, Section 144 imposed have been imposed in Mangaluru City ahead of the New Year celebrations.
The prohibitory orders will be in force from 6 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1, 2021. Mangaluru City police commissioner Vikash Kumar and additional district magistrate of Mangaluru city have issued prohibitory orders under Section 144 (1).

4 new coronavirus variant cases reported in Sweden

Sweden has reported four cases of a new, more contagious Covid-19 variant first discovered in Britain, the country's Public Health Agency confirmed Wednesday.
"We always expected to find further cases of this new virus strain. This shows that our extended efforts to analyze and handle cases have been fruitful," state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell said in a written statement.

Thane district's Covid-19 count rises by 390, death toll by 6

With the addition of 390 coronavirus positive cases, the infection count in Thane district of Maharashtra mounted to 2,42,835, an official said on Thursday.
These new cases were reported on Wednesday, he said.
As the virus claimed the lives of six persons, the death toll in the district rose to 5,946.
The mortality rate is 2.45 per cent, he added.

20 million more placed under stringent curbs in UK

The UK government has announced more areas, including Leicester City in England, will enter Tier Four, the highest level of Covid-19 restrictions in the country, meaning an additional 20 million people in the region will be living under the toughest measures.
From Thursday, places such as Leicester City and Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Derby and Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Birmingham and Black Country, Coventry, will be put into Tier Four, reports Xinhua news agency.
The new move will put an additional 20 million people into Tier Four, joining millions in London and parts of the South East and East of England already living under the tightest restrictions.
It means a total of 44 million people will now be in Tier Four, or 78 per cent of the population of England.

UK at 'critical moment' as 1-day rise in Covid deaths nears 1,000: Johnson

The United Kingdom is at a "critical moment" in the fight against Covid-19 as the single-day rise to the country's death toll neared 1,000 on Wednesday, the largest increase since April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
"Yesterday, sadly, we recorded almost 1,000 deaths across the UK for the first time since April. So at this critical moment, with the prospect of freedom within reach, we've got to redouble our efforts to contain the virus," the prime minister said at a press briefing. Read on...

2020 'toughest year' of chancellorship, Angela Merkel tells Germany

In her traditional New Year's address to the nation, German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday described 2020 the toughest year of her chancellorship.
"I don't think I am exaggerating when I say: Never before, in the last 15 years, was a year tougher than the one that's just coming to its end," Merkel said, Deutsche Welle quoted the Chancellor as saying.
Among other large countries in Europe, Germany has faired well in dealing with the pandemic, ahead of France, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain. According to Johns Hopkins University, Germany has detected more than 1.7 million cases and 32,000 fatalities. Read on...

Oil set for 20% drop in 2020 as coronavirus lockdowns weigh on economy

Global crude oil markets have lost about a fifth of their value in 2020 as strict coronavirus lockdowns paralyzed much of the global economy, but prices have rebounded strongly from their lows as governments rolled out more stimulus.
On Thursday, the last trading day of 2020, Brent was trading down 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $51.45 a barrel, as of 0136 GMT and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 0.1%, or 5 cents, to $48.35 a barrel. Read on...

Argentina authorises use of AstraZeneca vaccine against coronavirus

Argentina's National Administration of Drugs, Foods and Medical Devices (ANMAT) on Wednesday approved the use of vaccine from AstraZeneca, a multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company, against Covid-19 in the country.
ANMAT announced the authorization in a statement, noting that "the product has an acceptable benefit-risk balance, which allows for the granting of its registration and conditional approval". Read on...

China is making it harder to solve the mystery of how Covid-19 began

In the year since seafood hawkers started appearing at Wuhan’s hospitals sickened with a strange and debilitating pneumonia, the world has learned a lot about Covid-19, from the way it spreads to how to inoculate against the infection. Despite these advances, a chasm remains in our understanding of the virus that’s killed nearly 2 million people and whipsawed the global economy: we still don’t know how it began.
Where the pathogen first emerged and how it transmitted to humans is a stubborn mystery, one that’s becoming more elusive with each passing month. Before the initial cluster among stall-holders at a produce market in central China, the trail largely goes cold, and the country the novel coronavirus hit first — the place many blame for unleashing the disease on an under-prepared world — now has little incentive to help find the true origin of the greatest public health emergency in a century. Read on...

India will have coronavirus vaccine within days, says AIIMS Director

Terming the approval for Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the UK as a "big step forward", AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Wednesday said that India will have the Covid-19 vaccine within days.
"This is very good news that AstraZeneca got approval for its vaccine by UK regulatory authorities. They have robust data and in India and the same vaccine is being developed by the Serum Institute of India. This is a big step forward not only for India but many parts of the world," Guleria told ANI in an interview. Read on...

Mizoram reported 9 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours

Total cases: 4,204
Active cases: 105
Discharges: 4,091
Deaths: 8

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