Coronavirus LIVE: Covid-19 positive cases go past 1.9 mn in Maharashtra

Coronavirus live updates: With 19,174 fresh Covid-19 cases, India's caseload now stands at 10,086,390. The country's death toll has mounted to 146,254. With 1,902,458 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 910,241, Andhra Pradesh 878,937, Tamil Nadu 809,014, and Kerala 709,000.

Passengers coming from the UK should undergo RT-PCR test and isolated in a separate unit of an institutional facility if found positive, stated the Health Ministry's standard operating procedure issued on Tuesday in view of the new variant of coronavirus detected there.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday sought to calm nerves over the new and more infectious strain of coronavirus gripping parts of the United Kingdom, saying the government was "fully alert".

The new strain of coronavirus, dubbed the "B.1.1.7 lineage" and believed to be far more infectious, has worried countries around the world, many of which, including India, have imposed travel bans on the UK.

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 77,908,246. While 54,774,170 have recovered, 1,712,844 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 18,487,519 cases, and 326,588 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 10,075,422 cases, Brazil (7,264,221), Russia (2,877,727), France (2,479,151).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


Assam's Covid-19 case tally rises to 215,585 with 75 new cases reported today

Odisha to screen people with travel history to UK over reports of new Covid strain

Odisha government asks authorities concerned to undertake mandatory screening of persons with travel history to UK after faster spreading new COVID-19 strain was reported in that country

Telangana govt intensifying airport surveillance over new Covid strain: State health chief

Telangana govt alerted line dept about new virus strain and intensified airport surveillance since yesterday. 7 passengers travelled from the UK to Hyderabad were tested and found negative. They're under quarantine & being monitored, said Dr G Srinivasa Rao, State Director of Public Health.

As for the latest SOP by MoHFW, all the international travellers who have travelled in the last 2 weeks will be kept under surveillance. Our health & frontline workers will monitor their health status. We will test them if required, he added. Rao further said that from December 15 till yesterday, 358 passengers have travelled directly from the UK to Hyderabad. The government is identifying all these passengers and will put them in quarantine and get them tested.

Night curfew orders issued in Pune

After the Maharashtra government on Monday declared night curfew in municipal corporation areas in the state, the Pune police imposed curfew in the city from Tuesday night. It will be in force between 11 pm to 6 am from the night of December 22 to January 5, said the order issued by Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and order) Ravindra Shisave.

Essential services and goods have been excluded from the night curfew, he added. head of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the state government has declared night curfew in municipal corporation areas as a precautionary step amid growing concerns over a new coronavirus variant spreading in Britain.

Jharkhand reports 209 new Covid-19 cases, 246 recoveries

Bhutan to enforce nationwide lockdown for 7 days after rise in Covid cases

Nepal restricts entry of UK passengers amid new Covid-19 strain

Nepal on Tuesday instructed international airlines to ensure it does not carry passengers originating from or transiting through the United Kingdom until further notice to prevent the spread of a new variant of Covid-19 detected in the European nation, which is said to be more infectious than previous variants. In an official notice, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal instructed that incoming flights should not board passengers from the UK.

"This is of your urgent attention to ensure that the aircraft bound to Nepal shall not onboard the passengers originating from or transiting through United Kingdom (UK) due to the severe contagion of new strain of coronavirus in UK. The entry restriction for such passengers into Nepal shall be effective from 2359 hrs NST of 23 December 2020 until further notice," said the notice.The flights include Air Arabia, Air China, Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Korean Air and more.

Gauhati HC issues notices to Centre, Assam govt over 'harassment' of non-Covid patients

The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and the Assam government over alleged denial of proper treatment to non-COVID patients in hospitals across the state. Hearing PIL by the Leader of Opposition of Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia, a division bench comprising Chief Justice (Acting) N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury asked the respondents to reply within three weeks.

The court noted that the petitioner has filed an "additional affidavit giving instances where proper treatment has been denied to the non-COVID patients on the ground of pre-occupation with the COVID patients though these patients would require earlier attention of the hospitals". The PIL was filed on August 14, making the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Assam Government and the state's Health and Family Welfare Department as respondents.

Only 390 of 54,304 Covid recovered patients donate plasma in Gurugram

Four months after the city's health department launched its first dedicated plasma bank for Covid-19 patients, it is finding it difficult to find donors for it. According to the health department, out of 54,304 recovered Covid-19 patients, only 597 have come forward for plasma donation so far. Of these, 390 recovered patients were found to be fit for plasma donation.
Gurugram Chief Medical Officer Virender Yadav said: "Around 760 units of plasma at the Rotary blood bank have been received from 390 patients, after which 397 units of plasma have been given by the blood bank for treatment of other corona-infected patients."
He said there was a need to reach out to the masses through social media and other media platforms to create awareness about plasma donation. Health officials said they are trying to motivate people to donate plasma. Meanwhile, the recovery rate of coronavirus infected patients in Gurugram is steadily improving and now it has increased to 96 per cent as compared to 88.23 per cent in November.

Coronavirus LIVE: Covid-19 positive cases go past 1.9 million in Maharashtra

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 3,106 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections to 19,02,458, the state health department said. With 75 more patients succumbing to the viral disease, the cumulative death toll in the state mounted to 48,876, an official said.
A total of 4,112 patients were discharged after treatment from hospitals during the day, taking the number of recoveries to 17,94,080.
The state now has 58,376 active cases. Mumbai city reported 503 new cases during the day, taking its caseload to 2,87,816 while the fatality count rose by 9 to 11,019. The state has so far conducted 1,22,12,384 tests.

Delhi records 939 fresh Covid-19 cases; positivity rate slips to 1.14%

Delhi recorded 939 fresh COVID-19 cases and 25 new fatalities on Tuesday, even as the positivity rate slipped to 1.14 per cent, authorities said. The infection tally in the city mounted to over 6.18 lakh and the death toll rose to 10,329, they said. This is the second consecutive day when the daily cases count has remained below the 1,000-mark. On Monday, 803 cases were reported, the lowest since August 17.
These 939 cases came out after the 82,386 tests conducted the previous day, including 39,843 RT-PCR tests and 42,543 rapid antigen tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department. On August 17, Delhi had recorded 787 cases.

The active cases tally on Tuesday stood at 8,735. The bulletin said that the total number of cases has climbed to 6,18,747.

Covid-19 testing facility set up at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru

The Bangalore InternationaL Airport Limited (BIAL) has launched a round-the-clock COVID-19 testing facility at the Kempegowda International Airport here.
Located near the arrivals area of the terminal, the NABL and ICMR certified RT-PCR testing centre is managed and operated by Bengaluru-based Auriga Research Private Limited, BIAL said in a statement.
There will be a sample collection kiosk inside the terminal and a dedicated, state-of-the-art laboratory outside the BLR Airport Terminal. A waiting lounge with strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols is part of the facility, the statement read. International arrival passengers unable to get a test prior to boarding their flight can make use of this facility on their arrival at BLR. READ MORE...

Delhi reports 939 new Covid cases, 1,434 recoveries and 25 deaths in last 24 hours

Maharashtra reports 3,106 new Covid-19 cases; state tally rises to 1,902,458

Haryana steps up preparations for Covid-19 vaccination drive

Stepping up preparations for COVID-19 vaccination drive, a senior official on Tuesday said the Haryana government has started registration of healthcare workers who will be vaccinated in the first phase. As of now, the data of more than 1.9 lakh healthcare workers from both government and private sectors has been uploaded on CoWIN portal, a digital platform set up by the Centre for real-time monitoring of coronavirus vaccine delivery.
Sharing details of the preparedness, Haryana's Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Rajeev Arora said the department has already identified 1,800 vaccination session sites and more than 5,000 vaccinators have been mapped for the process of administering the vaccine".
Moreover, to ensure the vaccine reaches every district, the health department has 22 vaccine vans (insulated) for transporting vaccines across the state, he said in a statement. The official asserted that the Haryana government has meticulously prepared the vaccine roll-out plan.

Rajasthan reports 807 new Covid-19 cases and 1,159 recoveries today

Scientists say UK strain unlikely to affect efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines, warn against more mutations

The faster spreading coronavirus strain first detected in the UK is unlikely to make vaccines less effective as of now but the preventives may need to be appropriately altered if more mutations occur over time, say scientists. More than 40 countries, including India, have banned travel to and from the UK, a move several scientists said was necessary in view of the rapid spread of the new viral strain, VUI-202012/0, that was detected on September 21.
According to Jeremy Farrar, director of the London-based research charity Wellcome Trust UK, there is no indication at the moment that the new strain would evade treatments and vaccines.
However, the mutation is a reminder of the power of the virus to adapt, and that cannot be ruled out in the future. Acting urgently to reduce transmission is critical, Farrar said in a statement. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced on Sunday that the rapid increase of a SARS-CoV-2 variant with multiple spike protein mutations have been observed in the UK.

Delhi airport has storage capacity of 2.7 mn Covid-19 vaccine vials at any given time: CEO

The Delhi airport has a storage capacity of 2.7 million vials of COVID-19 vaccine at any given point of time, said a top official of its operator on Tuesday. Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, the CEO of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), said at a press briefing that the vaccine distribution programme, which is likely to begin from January, has been named 'Project Sanjivani' by the airport operator.
"We have a storage capacity of around 2.7 million vaccine vials at any moment of time. If we are able to conduct two rounds of distribution during a day, we can distribute 5.4 million vials daily," he said.
The Centre had last Tuesday said that three firms -- Bharat Biotech, Serum Institute of India and Pfizer -- have sought emergency approvals for their vaccines and they were being examined by the COVID-19 subject expert committee of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO). Jaipuriar said at the briefing that the Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at minus 70 degrees Celsius and therefore the Delhi airport does not have any storage facility for that vaccine.

Active Covid-19 cases slump below 300,000; lowest in 163 days: Health Ministry

In a significant milestone in the fight against Covid-19, the total number of active coronavirus in the country has slumped down to less than 3 lakh after over five-and-a-half months and the recovery rate stands over 95 per cent, said Union Health Ministry on Tuesday.
Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry said, "In the country, active cases are less than 3 lakhs after 163 days. It is after almost 5.5 months, we have less than 3 lakh active Covid-19 cases in the country. It is a big achievement and credit goes to every frontline worker, administration and officials who are engaged in coronavirus containment related work. Currently, the active cases are less than 3 per cent of overall cases. The daily new cases are less than 20,000 after 173 days. More than 16.3 crore tests have been conducted so far."
"Across the world, new Covid-19 cases are rising including in USA, Brazil, UK, Russia and Germany. From Mid September, India is witnessing a sustained and continuous decline in new cases. The cases per million population for the world is 9,697, India's cases per million population stand at 7,300, Russia's 19,719, UK's 30,052 and cases per million population in US stand at 52,915," he added.

RT-PCR test on arrival, separate isolation for Covid-19 positive cases: Centre's SOPs for UK flyers

Passengers coming from the UK should undergo RT-PCR test and isolated in a separate unit of an institutional facility if found positive, stated the Health Ministry's standard operating procedure issued on Tuesday in view of the new variant of coronavirus detected there. India has suspended all passenger flights connecting the United Kingdom from Wednesday till December 31 or till further orders in the wake of the emergence of a mutated strain of the virus there, joining several other countries that have imposed a similar flight ban.
The SOP by the Health Ministry for epidemiological surveillance describes the activities to be undertaken at the point of entry and in the community for all flyers who have travelled from or transited through the UK from November 25 to December 23. It stated that all travellers from the UK will be required to declare, according to existing procedure, their travel history of past 14 days and fill up the self-declaration form to be screened for COVID-19.
All passengers coming from the UK from December 21 to 23 would be subjected to the RT-PCR test on arrival and this has to be ensured by respective state governments, the SOP stated. Those found negative in RT-PCR test at the airport would be advised quarantine at home and followed up.

Coronavirus LIVE update: Recovered cases have crossed 96 lakh, says Health Ministry

Mutated SARS-CoV-2 strain in UK not affecting disease severity, case fatality: Govt

26 states and UTs have less than 10,000 active cases of Covid-19: Health Ministry

26 states and UTs have less than 10,000 active cases of Covid-19: Health Ministry

Two passengers from UK test Covid-19 positive at Kolkata airport

Two passengers, who arrived from the UK, tested positive for COVID-19 at Kolkata airport on Sunday, the airport officials said on Tuesday. The news came amid rising concerns over the discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in the UK.
Meanwhile, five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a London to Delhi flight have tested positive for coronavirus, an official said."Five out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight which arrived at Delhi airport from London last night have tested positive for COVID-19. Their samples have been sent to NCDC for research and they have been sent to the care centre," said a Nodal officer for COVID-19.
India will temporarily suspend all flight operations between India and the UK from 11.59 pm today till December 31, 2020.

LIVE: Teachers are Covid-19 warriors, did not waste academic year, says Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank

New UK Covid-19 strain increased transmissibility: NITI Aayog

Job will be given to a family member of civic volunteers who died of Covid-19: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Job will be given to a family member of civic volunteers who died due to coronavirus: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

India's Covid-19 recovery rate more than 95%, says Health Ministry

Decrease in average daily new Covid-19 cases in past 7 weeks: Health Ministry

UK Covid-19 strain: London returnee's sample to go to NIV for genomic analysis

A passenger who arrived from London via Delhi has tested positive for coronavirus and genomes from his sample would be analysed to see if it matched with the new strain of the pathogen detected in the United Kingdom, a senior official said here on Tuesday. The passenger, who tested positive has been admitted to the state-run King's Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research here, Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan said. His sample would be sent for genomic analysis to National Institute of Virology, Pune for confirmation, he told reporters.

"It has to be seen if it matches with that of the strain seen in the UK."
Also, over 1,000 passengers who arrived from the UK in the past about 10 days were being monitored for symptoms. All international passengers, on arrival, were being tested for coronavirus and they have been advised home or institutional quarantine for 14 days as per guidelines. The Greater Chennai Corporation authorities in coordination with public health department were monitoring the health status of returnees by following measures already in place.
Six passengers, who travelled on Air India's London- Delhi flight, that arrived on Monday have tested positive for COVID-19.

Coronavirus active caseload in India slumps below 300,000

India's COVID-19 active caseload has fallen below 3 lakh, the lowest in 163 days and comprises just2.90 per cent of the total infections, the Union Health Ministry said. The total active cases stand at 2,92,518. On July 12, the active cases had last settled below three lakh at 2,92,258. Less than 20,000 daily new cases (19,556) were added to the national tally in a dayafter 173 days.
A net decline of 11,121 cases has been recorded in the total active cases in a span of 24 hours. The share of active caseload in the total cases has further shrunk below 3 per cent to 2.90 per cent, the ministry highlighted.
"India has achieved a new low in daily cases. Less than 20,000 daily new cases (19,556) were added to the national tally in a dayafter 173 days. The new added cases were 19,148 on July 2," the ministry said.

Coronavirus LIVE: Health Ministry issues guidelines for epidemiological surveillance

Coronavirus pandemic LIVE: Mexico reports 5,370 new Covid-19 cases

Mexico reported 5,370 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 396 relevant deaths on Monday, bringing the national caseload to 1,325,915 and death toll to 118,598, said the health ministry. A total of 987,328 patients have so far recovered from the disease, said the ministry.
According to the Mexican government, the real number of infections is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. Mexico ranks fourth among Latin American countries in terms of documented COVID-19 cases, following Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

Delhi airport: 5 flyers from UK test Covid positive; samples to be checked for new coronavirus strain

Amid the discovery of a new and more infectious coronavirus strain in the UK, five people out of 266 passengers and crew members of a flight have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in India. The flight arrived at the Delhi airport from London on Monday night, according to reports.
Speaking to news agency ANI, the Nodal officer for Covid-19 said that their samples have been sent to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for research and they have been sent to a care centre.

Passengers from UK undergo covid test at Amritsar airport amid concern over new coronavirus strain

In the wake of a new strain of coronavirus emerging in UK, passengers have to get themselves tested for COVID-19 at the Amritsar airport.
Passengers were seen waiting in a long queue on Tuesday at the Amritsar airport to get themselves tested for COVID-19 while scores of people waited outside Amritsar airport to receive their relatives who came from London.
"Authorities are asking passengers to undergo COVID-19 testing but they were tested just before boarding the flight. They should be allowed to go home," said a relative of one of the passengers.

DATA STORY: India's fewest Covid deaths in a day since June 10, lowest jump in cases since July 2

India's active cases now under 300,000, at lowest since July 12; Kerala now worst-hit state by active cases, accounts for 21% of total; Delhi reports fewest daily Covid case addition since Aug 18. Read on...

Coronavirus worldwide update: Number of new global cases over past day tops 575,000

Number of new global cases over past day tops 575,000

Coronavirus India update: Summary of MoHFW data (December 22)

Active cases: 292,518 (Net reduction: 11,121)
Deaths: 146,111 (Net increase: 301)
Cured: 9,636,487 (Net increase: 30,376)
Total cases: 10,075,116 (Net increase: 19,556)

Oil slips again as new coronavirus strain proves 'nightmare before Christmas'

Oil prices fell on Tuesday, extending sharp losses overnight, as the rapid spread of a new strain of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom prompted several countries to close their borders to British travellers and freight.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 30 cents, or 0.6%, to $47.67 a barrel at 0156 GMT, while Brent crude futures fell 26 cents, or 0.5%, to $50.65 a barrel.
Both benchmark contracts slid nearly 3% on Monday, partly erasing recent strong gains on the back of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, seen as key to easing mobility restrictions.
After the UK government warned that a new variant of the virus seemed to be spreading much faster than previous kinds, India, Pakistan, Russia, Jordan and Hong Kong joined European countries in suspending travel from Britain, and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman closed their borders completely.

Vaccine to arrive soon, Covid-19 will have to go ultimately: Athawale

Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday said a Covid-19 vaccine will be available in the country within a month or two and that COVID-19 will have to go ultimately.
"COVID19 vaccine will be available in a month or two. I gave the slogan 'corona go' on 20th February and now the cases are subsiding. It will remain for 6-7 months, ultimately it will have to go away," said Athawale.
Ramdas Athawale had earlier this year coined the slogan "Go Corona, Go".

Trump officials tried to change govt reports on Covid-19, US probe alleges

Trump administration political appointees tried to block or change more than a dozen government reports that detailed scientific findings about the spread of the coronavirus, a House panel investigating the alleged interference said Monday.
Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., said his coronavirus committee investigators have found evidence of a political pressure campaign to bully professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in what may have been an attempt to cripple the nation's coronavirus response in a misguided effort to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity is shorthand for a theory rejected by most public health experts that society can be best protected by allowing younger people to get infected and develop natural immunity until vaccines are widely available. Read on...

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