Coronavirus LIVE: PM Modi to meet CMs over vaccine rollout on Monday

Coronavirus live updates: With 18,106 fresh Covid-19 cases, India's caseload now stands at 10,414,044. The country's death toll has mounted to 150,606. With 1,958,282 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 924,898, Andhra Pradesh  884,171, Tamil Nadu 823,986, and Kerala 795,933. The second nationwide mock drill on the Covid-19 vaccination will be held at three-session sites of 736 districts across 33 States/UTs today.

The objective of the mock drill on vaccination is to simulate the actual vaccine administration event

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 88,458,636. While 63,595,615 have recovered, 1,905,209 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 22,111,198 cases, and 373,799 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 10,414,044 cases, Brazil (7,961,673), Russia (3,332,142), UK (2,889,419).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.

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Assam conducts dry run for Covid-19 vaccination

Assam conducted a dry run for coronavirus vaccination at various health facilities in 14 districts on Friday, official sources said.
Officials of the UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) were present on the occasion.
 
The dry run will be held regularly in 30 districts of the state to prepare the medical staff for the actual vaccination process and plug loopholes in the planned system, sources said.
 
On Friday, the exercise was conducted in Kamrup Metropolitan, Barpeta, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Karimganj, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Morigaon, Jorhat, Hailakandi, Tinsukia, Karbi Anglong and South Salmara districts.
 
The first dry run in the state was held over two days from December 28 in Nalbari and Sonitpur districts and it was followed by another in Kamrup Metropolitan district on January two.
 
The state government has already prepared a list of health workers, including doctors, who will be administered the vaccine in the first stage.
 

Saudi king receives first dose of a coronavirus vaccine

Saudi King Salman has received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the state news agency SPA said on Friday.
 
The agency didn't mention any further details.

UK imposes mandatory Covid tests on all incoming travelers

All passengers arriving in the UK will be required to prove they do not have coronavirus, showing a negative test result taken within 72 hours of the start of their journey.
 
Under new rules announced by the British government, anyone failing to produce the evidence of a negative test will be hit with an immediate fine of 500 pounds ($678). Travelers arriving from countries that are not on the government’s open travel corridor list will be required to isolate at home for 10 days, regardless of their test results.
 
The measures, set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will come into force next week for passengers arriving at a British port by plane, boat or train. The plan is aimed at stopping new strains of Covid-19 coming into the UK, such as one identified in South Africa, as the government accelerates the roll-out of vaccines, Shapps said.
 
“The South African variant is worrying the experts because it may be that the vaccine doesn’t respond in the same way,” Shapps told LBC radio Friday. “If that was the case it would be a tragedy to allow that into the country.”
 
Entry to England will also be banned to those who have traveled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, the government announced, including Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
 
Ministers were criticized for taking too long to impose border restrictions during the first wave of the pandemic last spring. This week British authorities put the country into its third national lockdown as infection rates soared. The death toll from coronavirus now stands at more than 78,000.
 

Covid-19: 960 cases, 15 deaths, 759 recoveries in Chhattisgarh

With 960 Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths reported on Friday, Chhattisgarh's caseload rose to 2,87,556 and toll to 3,469, a health official said.
 
The number of people who have recovered reached 2,75,042 after 97 people were discharged from hospitals and 662 patients completed home isolation during the day, leaving the state with 9,045 active cases, he said.
 
"Raipur district reported 170 new cases, taking its total count to 54,052, including 737 deaths. Durg recorded 99 new cases, Bilaspur 84 and Raigarh 69. Of the 15 fatalities recorded during the day, seven took place on Friday, four on Thursday and four earlier," the official informed.
 
With 28,795 samples examined on Friday, the total number of tests in Chhattisgarh went up to 37,25,190, he added.
 
Chhattisgarh's coronavirus figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,87,556, New cases 960, Deaths 3,469, Recovered 2,75,042, Active cases 9,045, tests today 28,795, total tests 37,25,190.
 

US: Vaccine rollout hits snag as health workers balk at shots

The desperately awaited vaccination drive against the coronavirus in the US is running into resistance from an unlikely quarter: Surprising numbers of health care workers who have seen firsthand the death and misery inflicted by Covid-19 are refusing shots.
 
It is happening in nursing homes and, to a lesser degree, in hospitals, with employees expressing what experts say are unfounded fears of side effects from vaccines that were developed at record speed.
 
More than three weeks into the campaign, some places are seeing as much as 80 per cent of the staff holding back.
 
“I don't think anyone wants to be a guinea pig,” said Dr. Stephen Noble, a 42-year-old cardiothoracic surgeon in Portland, Oregon, who is postponing getting vaccinated.
 
“At the end of the day, as a man of science, I just want to see what the data show. And give me the full data.” Alarmed by the phenomenon, some administrators have dangled everything from free breakfasts at Waffle House to a raffle for a car to get employees to roll up their sleeves.
 
Some states have threatened to let other people cut ahead of health care workers in the line for shots.
 
“It's far too low. It's alarmingly low,” said Neil Pruitt, CEO of PruittHealth, which runs about 100 long-term care homes in the South, where fewer than 3 in 10 workers offered the vaccine so far have accepted it.
 
Many medical facilities from Florida to Washington state have boasted of near-universal acceptance of the shots, and workers have proudly plastered pictures of themselves on social media receiving the vaccine. Elsewhere, though, the drive has stumbled.
 
While the federal government has released no data on how many people offered the vaccines have taken them, glimpses of resistance have emerged around the country.

Maharashtra: Doctors at govt hospitals warn of token strike

Medical officers including doctors in 18 state-run hospitals in Maharashtra said on Friday that they would go on a one-day token strike on January 11 if they did not get salary hike as per the 7th pay commission.
 
The government had assured that the 7th pay commission's recommendation will be implemented but did not fulfill the promise, a doctor from a state-run hospital here said.
 
Dr Ranjeet Mankeshwar, dean of J J Hospital here, however, warned in a letter on Friday that doctors will face action under the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1979 as well as the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 if they took part in the protest.
 
Doctors should not resort to agitation amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said, adding that no leave will be granted till January 11.

Jharkhand reports 207 new Covid-19 cases, 188 recoveries

Harsha Vardhan visits Hindustan Biotech plant in Tamil Nadu to inspect vaccine dry run

Two returnees from UK test Covid positive

Two passengers who arrived on a flight from the UK have tested positive for Covid-19.  Flight ops b/w India & the United Kingdom resumed today after a week of suspension due to new Covid strain. The first flight carrying 256 passengers arrived in Delhi today from London.

614 new coronavirus cases in MP, nine deaths, 809 recoveries

Madhya Pradesh on Friday recorded 614 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections in the state to 2,47,436. With nine more people succumbing to the viral infection, the death toll rose to 3,691. As many as 809 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the state's overall recovery count to 2,35,421.
 
Of new fatalities, two died in Indore and one each in Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khargone, Morena, Barwani and Damoh districts. Of 614 new cases, Bhopal accounted for 168 and Indore 148. The tally of cases in Indore rose to 56,254, including 902 deaths, while Bhopal's case tally stood at 40,566 with 588 fatalities.

I participated in medical trials for Covaxin: Ecuador's Envoy to India

Coronavirus LIVE: PM Modi to meet CMs over vaccine rollout on Monday

With the Covid-19 vaccination drive expected to commence next week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to chair a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the states. The meeting is likely to be held at 4 p.m. on Monday, said sources.
 
In the meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to discuss the detailed plans to roll Covid vaccines in all the states, following the Drug Controller General India's (DCGI) approval for the restricted emergency use of two vaccines Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
 
The information comes on a day when Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced that the government is in the process of ensuring vaccination for all and the drive will start soon.
 
On January 3, two intramuscular vaccines - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India - were approved for restricted emergency use. Both are two-dose vaccines.

Bankers union demands Covid-19 vaccine shot on priority basis

The All India Bank Employees' Union (AIBEA) on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide the Covid-19 vaccine to bankers on priority basis.
 
In a letter, AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam requested Modi to include bank employees and officers under the prioritised category along with other Covid-19 warriors for the purpose of vaccination, as they have extended their continuous services to the people during the entire pandemic period.
 
Even when buses and trains did not ply and planes did not fly, bank branches, right from the metropolitan to the small hamlets, remained open to serve the people, he said, adding that many bank employees and officers became a victim of this infection and have lost their precious lives in discharge of their duties. READ ON...

Maharashtra's Covid-19 case count rises by 3,693, death toll by 73

Maharashtra's coronavirus tally on Friday increased to 19,61,975 with the addition of 3,693 cases. As the virus claimed the lives of 73 patients during the day, the fatality count mounted to 49,970, he said.
 
A total of 2,890 patients were discharged from hospitals post-treatment on Friday, pushing the recovery count to 18,58,999.
 
There are 51,838 active cases in the state at present. Mumbai city reported 654 positive cases on Friday, which pushed its overall infection count to 2,97,639, while its death toll rose to 11,173 with 11 fresh fatalities.

UK travellers with Covid-19 symptoms will be isolated: Delhi CM Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that passengers arriving from the UK will be kept at an isolation facility if they are found Covid-19 positive, in a step to protect city residents from the new strain detected in the country.
 
"To protect Delhiites from exposure to virus from UK, Del govt takes imp decisions. All those arriving from UK, who test positive will be isolated in an isolation facility," Kejriwal announced in a series of tweets, after chairing a cabinet meeting.
 
He also said that the UK passengers with negative Covid reports will be taken to a quarantine facility for seven days, followed by seven days home quarantine.
 
Kejriwal's announcement comes a day after his request to the Central government to extend the ban on UK flights till January 31 against the backdrop of new coronavirus strain which so far has infected a total of 82 persons in India.

DGCA issues guidelines to airlines for carrying Covid-19 vaccines packed in dry ice

Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday issued guidelines to all aircraft operators who plan to transport COVID-19 vaccines packed in dry ice to various parts of the country. Dry ice transforms into carbon dioxide gas at temperatures higher than -78 degrees Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure and therefore it is classified as "dangerous goods" by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it said.
 
"All operators while engaging in transportation of COVID-19 vaccines packed with dry ice shall establish the maximum quantity of dry ice that can be loaded in a given cargo hold or in the main deck (passenger cabin) when a passenger version is deployed for all cargo operations," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) noted.
 
The country is preparing for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the second nationwide mock drill on the drive was conducted on January 8.

319 new Covid-19 cases, 308 recoveries in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh reported 319 fresh coronavirus cases, 308 recoveries and one death in 24 hours ending 9 am on Friday. The cumulative confirmed positive cases so far touched 8,84,490 after 1.22 crore sample tests, with an overall infection positivity rate of 7.24 per cent, a health department bulletin said.
 
The total recoveries stood at 8,74,531 and deaths 7,127, leaving 2,832 active cases, it said.
 
Krishna district reported 46 fresh cases and one death in a day. Chittoor added 44 and Guntur 39 new cases while 10 other districts reported less than 30 fresh cases each. After a lull for several days, wherein it saw daily new COVID-19 cases below 10, Kurnool added 26 anew in 24 hours, pushing its active caseload upwards to 97.

UK approves Moderna vaccine for rollout against Covid-19

The UK's regulatory authority on Friday approved a third COVID-19 vaccine for use in the country, made by the company Moderna.
 
However, supplies of the new jab are not expected to be available until the spring in a few weeks' time as the UK has pre-ordered 7 million doses. In trials with more than 30,000, the Moderna vaccine offered nearly 95 per cent protection from severe COVID.
 
The Moderna vaccine works in a similar way to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being offered by the National Health Service (NHS). It requires temperatures of around -20C for shipping -- similar to a normal freezer. In comparison, the Pfizer/BioNTech one requires temperatures closer to -75C, making transport logistics much more difficult.

Bharat Biotech seeks DCGI's nod to conduct trials of nasal Covid-19 vaccine

The Bharat Biotech International Limited has sent a proposal to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for conducting the phase 1 trials of a nasal vaccine against COVID-19, ANI reported on Friday.
 
"Bharat Biotech sent an application to DCGI for conducting the phase 1 trials of a nasal vaccine against COVID-19. The matter is yet to be taken up," the official said.
 
A nasal vaccine could save on medical equipment, such as syringes, and save time taken for vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines of Serum Institute of India's 'Covishield' and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' were granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation by the DCGI on January 3. This comes a day after Bharat Biotech announced the successful completion of volunteer enrolment for phase-3 clinical trials of 'Covaxin.'

Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong receives Covid-19 vaccine

Urging Singaporeans to get inoculated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday received his first dose of the vaccine, becoming the first member of the Cabinet to take the jab. Lee, 68, posted a video of himself being injected in the arm at a hospital on his official Facebook page.
 
"We got vaccinated early to show Singaporeans we are confident that the vaccine is safe and effective," he said in a post accompanying the video.
 
According to Channel News Asia, Lee received the shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine along with Singapore General Hospital (SGH) staff at the official launch of vaccinations for healthcare workers.
 
Talking to reporters at SGH, Lee said he was happy to see the start of inoculations for healthcare and frontline workers. "I took the opportunity to have my own jab this morning and now I'm done 30 minutes waited, nothing happened," he said.

Delhi reports 444 Covid cases, 823 recoveries and 10 deaths in last 24 hours

Covid-19 vaccination dry run successful in Kerala

The Kerala health department on Friday said that the dry run for Covid-19 vaccination was carried out successfully at 46 centres across 14 districts in the state. The department said in a statement that the exercise was successful in both the urban and rural areas of the state.
 
"All the mandatory trial runs were conducted in all the centres of the state," the statement added.
 
The state has requested the Centre for 5 lakh doses of Covid vaccine. The health department officials said that even if the quantity of doses is more, the department has all the facilities available to store them. The Covid vaccine is slated to reach here from Chennai and the health department has put in place all the proper distribution channels across the state.

All those arriving from UK, who test positive will be isolated: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

South Korea reports 674 new Covid-19 cases

South Korea on Friday reported 674 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number of infections to 67,358. The daily caseload stayed below 1,000 for four straight days, but it hovered above 100 for 62 days since November 8, 2020m due to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province, as well as imported cases, reports Xinhua news agency.
 
The daily average number of confirmed cases for the past week was 799.
 
Of the new cases, 186 were Seoul residents and 236 were people residing in Gyeonggi province. Forty-one were imported from overseas, lifting the combined figure to 5,647.

Active cases account for 2.16% of total Covid-19 caseload in India

The steady fall in the number of fresh COVID-19 cases in the country has ensured the contraction of its active caseload, which stands at 2,25,449 as on date and accounts for only 2.16 per cent of the total infections, the health ministry said on Friday. Only 18,139 people tested positive for the viral disease in the country in a span of 24 hours, it said, adding that with 20,539 recoveries in the period, a net decline of 2,634cases in the number of active cases was registered.
 
Providing figures that show the change in the number of active cases in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said Maharashtra recorded the maximum positive change with an addition of 307 cases, whereas Kerala showed the maximum negative change with a drop of 613 cases.
 
The number of daily recoveries is increasing exponentially and stands at10,037,398, the ministry said. It added that 79.96 per cent of the new recoveries were reported from 10 states and Union territories.

Puducherry logs 20 new Covid-19 cases, tally rises to 38,389

The union territory of Puducherry reported 20 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours taking the overall tally to 38,389, a top Health department official said on Friday,
 
The 20 new cases were identified after the examination of 3,411 samples, Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release.
 
No fresh fatality was reported during the last 24 hours and the toll remained at 636, he added.
 
As many as 36 patients were discharged after recovery during the last 24 hours from hospitals.

Ryanair cuts full year traffic forecast to below 30 mn

Europe's largest budget airline Ryanair said that it has cut its full year traffic forecast for the fiscal year 2021 from below 35 million to between 26 million and 30 million, largely due to the recently announced Covid-19 lockdowns in Ireland and Britain.
 
The newly announced lockdowns and travel restrictions, in addition to a few other European Union countries this week, will materially reduce its flight schedules and traffic forecast in the first quarter of this year, the Dublin-based airline said in a statement on Thursday.
 
Ryanair said it now expects that its January traffic will fall below 1.25 million passengers and its February and March traffic numbers could drop to as little as half a million respectively, reports Xinhua news agency.

COVID-19: Active cases account for 2.16 pc of total caseload in India

The steady fall in the number of fresh COVID-19 cases in the country has ensured the contraction of its active caseload, which stands at 2,25,449 as on date and accounts for only 2.16 per cent of the total infections, the health ministry said on Friday.
 
Only 18,139 people tested positive for the viral disease in the country in a span of 24 hours, it said, adding that with 20,539 recoveries in the period, a net decline of 2,634cases in the number of active cases was registered.
 
Providing figures that show the change in the number of active cases in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said Maharashtra recorded the maximum positive change with an addition of 307 cases, whereas Kerala showed the maximum negative change with a drop of 613 cases.

Kerala continues to report the highest daily new cases at 5,051

Kerala continues to report the highest daily new cases at 5,051. It is followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh with 3,729 and 1,010 new cases, respectively. 81.22% of the new cases are from 10 States and UTs: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

82 persons detected with new UK mutant strain in India

A total of 82 persons found with new mutant variant of SARS- CoV-2 virus so far: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Cutting COVID-19 infectious period even by one day could prevent millions of cases, study says

A vaccine or medication that could shorten the infectious period of COVID-19 in patients, even by one day, may potentially prevent millions of cases and save billions of dollars, according to a new modelling study.
 
The research, published in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, noted that some vaccines and drugs may have subtler effects by which even if they cannot prevent or cure COVID-19, they may still reduce how long an infected person is contagious.
 
In the study, scientists including those from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health in the US, assessed the potential value of shortening the infectious period in COVID-19 patients.
 
The researchers created a computational model that simulates the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and used it to explore how a vaccine or medication that can reduce the contagious period might alleviate the clinical and economic impact of the disease.

Karnataka to get 1,390,000 vaccine vials in few days: Health Minister

Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Friday said the state is expected to receive 13,90,000 vials of vaccine against COVID-19 in a day or two.
 
"The big good news for Karnataka is that I have received information from the Union Health Ministry that tomorrow or the day after probably we will be receiving 13,90,000 vials of vaccine for the state. It's a big happy news for all of us," Sudhakar said.
 
Speaking to reporters after visiting a private hospital here, where vaccination dry run is being conducted, he said, the vaccination will be first administered to health care workers. Read on...

Another dry run for Covid vaccination roll-out in Delhi; AIIMS among sites

The authorities will on Friday conduct the second dry run for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Delhi that will span across several districts of the national capital, officials said.
 
The districts include South Delhi, South East Delhi and North West Delhi and New Delhi, they said.
 
The first dry run for COVID-19 vaccination roll-out was held in Delhi on January 2 for which three sites were chosen across the national capital. Read on...

Initial severity of Covid-19 not associated with later respiratory complications: Study

A new study examines the recovery of lung function and overall wellness in individuals who had varying degrees of Covid-19 severity. Little is known about lung health following infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, and whether later respiratory problems, fatigue and ill health are associated with the disease's initial severity.
 
The study was published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society
 
In "Persistent Poor Health Post-Covid-19 Is Not Associated With Respiratory Complications or Initial Disease Severity," Liam Townsend, MD, and co-authors looked at a number of measures of recovery for 153 patients who were followed in an outpatient clinic a median of 75 days after their Covid-19 diagnoses.

We should be able to give Covid-19 vaccines to our countrymen soon: Vardhan

In the next few days, we should be able to give Covid-19 vaccines to our countrymen, said Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan after his visit to the session site in Government General Hospital in Chennai to review the second dry run for coronavirus vaccination on Friday.
 
"In a short time, India has done well by developing vaccines... In the next few days, in the near future, we should be able to give these vaccines to our countrymen. It will be given to our healthcare professional followed by frontline workers," the Minister said. Read on...

Raging Covid cases expected to have restrained US labour market in December

The US economy likely created the fewest jobs in seven months in December or even shed workers as the country buckled under an onslaught of Covid-19 infections, marking the start of what is expected to be a bleak winter.
 
Despite the anticipated weakness in the Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday, the economy is unlikely to fall back into recession, with additional pandemic relief approved by the government in late December providing a backstop. More fiscal stimulus is expected. Read on...

PM Modi should take first shot of Covid-19 vaccine, then, we will also take it: RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav

PM Modi should take first shot of Covid-19 vaccine, then, we will also take it: RJD leader Tej Pratap Yadav

Raging Covid cases expected to have restrained US labour market in December

The US economy likely created the fewest jobs in seven months in December or even shed workers as the country buckled under an onslaught of Covid-19 infections, marking the start of what is expected to be a bleak winter.
 
Despite the anticipated weakness in the Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday, the economy is unlikely to fall back into recession, with additional pandemic relief approved by the government in late December providing a backstop. More fiscal stimulus is expected. Read on...

Pfizer study suggests vaccine works against virus variant

New research suggests that Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in two contagious variants of the coronavirus that erupted in Britain and South Africa.
 
Those variants are causing global concern. They both share a common mutation called N501Y, a slight alteration on one spot of the spike protein that coats the virus. That change is believed to be the reason they can spread so easily.
 
Most of the vaccines being rolled out around the world train the body to recognize that spike protein and fight it. Pfizer teamed with researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston for laboratory tests to see if the mutation affected its vaccine's ability to do so.

Australia's third-largest city enters 3-day lockdown after new strain case

Australia's third-largest city of Brisbane will enter a three-day lockdown from Friday afternoon after a local resident was found to be infected with the mutant strain of COVID-19.
 
According to the Health Department of the state of Queensland where Brisbane locates, the Greater Brisbane area will enter lockdown from 6:00 pm Friday to 6:00 pm (local time) next Monday. Local residents can only leave home for essential purposes including buying essentials like groceries or medication, working or studying if not able to do so from home, exercising and healthcare, or providing care. Read on...

DATA STORY: India now 13th among most affected countries by active Covid cases

India on Friday reported a net reduction of 26,34 to take its count of active coronavirus cases to 225449, and 77.84 per cent lower than the September 18 peak of 1,017,754. India’s share of global active coronavirus cases has declined to 0.98 per cent (one in 102).  Read on...

Coronavirus in India: Latest update by MoHFW

Active cases: 225,449 (Net reduction: 2,634)
Deaths: 150,570 (Net increase: 234)
Cured: 10,037,398 (Net increase: 20,539)
Total cases: 10,413,417 (Net increase: 18,139)

Global Covid-19 caseload nearly 88 million: Johns Hopkins University

The overall global coronavirus caseload has increased to nearly 88 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 1.89 million, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
 
In its latest update on Friday morning, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed that the current global caseload and death toll stood at 87,952,778 and 1,895,925, respectively.
 
The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 21,543,310 and 364,735, respectively, according to the CSSE. Read on...

Lockdown imposed in city near Beijing as Covid-19 cases more than double

Lockdown measures were being imposed in a northern Chinese province where coronavirus cases more than doubled in the region near Beijing that's due to host some events in next year's Winter Olympics.
 
Rail, air and highway connections to the Hebei capital of Shijiazhuang, a city of at least 10 million people, have been suspended and prevention and control measured tightened over urban communities and villages in the area. Classes have been suspended and school dormitories isolated. Read on...

France ready to tighten coronavirus curbs, says Prime Minister Castex

The French government may have to tighten coronavirus restrictions amid increasing pressure on its hospital system, Prime Minister Jean Castex said Thursday.
 
"We will not only keep the measures already in place ... but will be ready to toughen them the moment we see that it is necessary," Castex told a news conference. Read on...

Brazil reports 1,524 single-day Covid deaths, toll surpasses 200,000

Brazil's COVID-19 case tally is nearing 8 million, while the related death toll has topped 200,000, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
 
Over the past 24 hours, the South American country reported 1,524 coronavirus-related fatalities, taking the overall death toll to 200,498.
 
At the same time, Brazil confirmed 87,843 COVID-19 cases and the total reached 7,961,673. Read on...

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