Coronavirus LIVE: Second Covid-19 vaccine dry run to be conducted on Friday

Coronavirus live updates: With 17,908 fresh Covid-19 cases, India's caseload now stands at 10,386,798. The country's death toll has crossed the 150,000-mark. With  1,950,171 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 923,353, Andhra Pradesh  883,587, Tamil Nadu 822,000, and Kerala 784,488. One more patient at a Delhi government-run hospital has been found infected with the UK strain of novel coronavirus, taking the tally in the national capital to nine.

Ahead of the roll-out of coronavirus vaccine in few days, another dry-run will be conducted across the country on January 8.

Meanwhile, the government on Tuesday cleared the air on the restricted emergency use approval granted to two Covid-19 vaccines — Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — as the debate heats up over the move. While Balram Bhargava, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), defended the approval by the Indian regulator based on safety and immunogenicity data, the minutes of the meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) that recommended the approval were also made public.

World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 87,037,655. While 61,707,400 have recovered, 1,879,935 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 21,596,915 cases, and 365,620 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 10,375,478 cases, Brazil (7,812,007), Russia (3,284,384), UK (2,774,479).

Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.


LIVE UPDATES

Another nationwide Covid-19 vaccine dry run to be held on January 8

Ahead of the roll-out of coronavirus vaccine in few days, another dry-run will be conducted across the country on January 8. On January 2, almost all states and Union Territory conducted dry run at 285 session sites spread across 125 districts to assess ability and readiness of authorities to administer shots to hundreds of millions of people, including many in remote corners of the country.
 
It was conducted to test the end-to-end planned operations and the mechanism that has been set up to ensure smooth conduct of the Covid-19 vaccination.
 
On December 28 and 29, the first dry run was conducted in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar district of Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar of Punjab and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts of Assam. READ ON...

Active Covid cases come down to below 12,000 in UP after nearly six months

With 742 fresh cases,the COVID-19 case tally in Uttar Pradesh rose to 5,90,339 on Wednesday. The death toll climbed to 8,441 with nine more fatalities. The number of active cases in the state has now come down to 11,939 of which 4,666 are in home isolation and 1,245 in private hospitals, Additional Chief Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad said.
 
The number of active cases was under the 12,000 mark on July 11, he said.
 
The number of people who were discharged after fully recovering from the infection was 5,69,959, he said, adding that the recovery rate has reached 96.66 per cent. Among the nine deaths, two each have been reported from Gorakhpur and Sitapur, and one each from Prayagraj, Bareilly,Bulandshahr, Kannauj and Bhadohi, a medical bulletin said.

Emergency approval in India to help supply Covid-19 vaccine across the globe: AstraZeneca

Terming approval of its COVID-19 vaccine in India as an important milestone, drug major AstraZeneca on Wednesday said the development would also help in supplying the medication to countries around the world.
 
The company has partnered with the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, for the supply of the vaccine to the Indian government and also to a large number of low and middle-income countries.
 
The drug maker also stated that the vaccine has so far been granted emergency use authorisation in six countries -- India, Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and Morocco for active immunisation of adults. The vaccine has shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, with no severe cases and no hospitalisations more than 14 days after the second dose, it added.

Maharashtra reports 4,382 new coronavirus cases; 2,570 recover

Maharashtra's COVID-19 tally increased to 19,54,553 on Wednesday with the addition of 4,382 infection cases. The virus claimed the lives of 66 persons during the day, which pushed the fatality count further to 49,825. A total of 2,570 patients were discharged on Wednesday after treatment, pushing the recovery tally to 18,52,759.
 
With this, the number of active patients in the state is 50,808 at present.
 
Mumbai city reported 795 positive cases during the day, due to which its overall case count rose to 2,96,320, while its death toll mounted to 11,155, of which eight were reported during the day. With 72,043 new tests, the number of tests conducted so far in the state went up to 1,31,34,019. The state carried out almost 15,000 more tests on Wednesday as compared to Tuesday.

227 more test positive for coronavirus in Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand's COVID-19 tally rose to 92,593 on Wednesday with 227 more people testing positive for the infection, while five infected patients died.
 
Dehradun district reported the highest number of 69 cases, Nainital 60, Haridwar 40, Udham Singh Nagar 13, Uttarkashi 12, Champawat nine, Almora seven, Chamoli five,Rudraprayag four, Tehri and Pauri three each, and Bageshwar two, a state health department bulletin here said.
 
Meanwhile, five more COVID-18 patients died in the state, taking the toll to 1,549, the bulletin said. A total of 86,298 infected people have recuperated from the disease, 1,231 have migrated out of the state and 3,515 are under treatment, it said.

Cutis Biotech files suit against Serum Institute of India for using 'Covidshield' name for Covid-19 vaccine

UK police to get stricter with fines for Covid-19 lockdown breaches

The UK police will get stricter with its enforcement of the new nationwide lockdown that legally came into force on Wednesday and have urged the public to fully comply with the rules, which call for people to stay at home except for limited reasons to be outdoors.
 
Scotland Yard said people in obvious, wilful and serious breach of the restrictions are increasingly likely to face fines or fixed penalty notices, which range between 200 pounds and 10,000 pounds.
 
In practice this will mean that all those attending parties, unlicensed music events or large illegal gatherings, can expect to be fined not just the organisers of such events. Similarly, those not wearing masks where they should be and without good reason can expect to be fined not reasoned with, the Metropolitan Police said.

Delhi govt asks schools to submit innovations done by teachers for ensuring education in Covid-19 times

The Delhi government has directed schools here to submit the innovations done by teachers and management committee members to ensure education in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the practices undertaken by them for COVID-19 management. Schools in the national capital are closed since March last year. Though several states have partially reopened schools, the Delhi government has announced that schools will reopen only after a vaccine is available.
 
Teaching and learning activities moved online since the closure of schools, prompting teachers to innovate with teaching methods.
 
"Considering teachers and SMC (School Management Committee) members have played a crucial role both in the management of COVID-19 and innovations in the light of school closures, they must be highlighted," the Directorate of Education (DoE) said in a letter to school principals.

73 detected to have new UK Covid mutant strain: Health Ministry

The Central government on Wednesday said that a total of 73 persons have been detected with the new "more transmissible" UK coronavirus mutant strain, and they are being kept in physical isolation in health facilities.
 
Out of these total cases, eight have been detected by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Delhi, 20 at the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB) in Delhi, and 11 at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) in Bangaluru.
 
Three such cases have been detected at the Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad, one at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in West Bengal and 30 in the National Institute of Virology, Pune.
 
According the Health Ministry, all these persons have been kept in single room isolation in designated Health Care facilities by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine.

Total number of cases infected with new strain of Covid-19 now stands at 73: Health Ministry

Delhi reports 654 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths in last 24 hours

Delhi recorded 654 fresh COVID-19 cases and16 more fatalities on Wednesday, even as the positivity rate stood at 0.88 per cent. The infection tally in the city rose to 6.28 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,625. The national capital had recorded 442 cases on Tuesday with a positivity rate of 0.55 per cent.
 
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday had tweeted that the positivity rate had been below one per cent for the past 11 days, and fresh cases were the lowest since May 17. From December 21 to 23, the daily cases count had been below the 1000-mark.
 
On December 21, 803 cases were reported, 939 on December 22 and 871 on December 23. However, on December 24, 1,063 cases were recorded, dropping again to 758 on December 25 and 655 on December 26. On December 27, 757 cases were recorded while on December 28, the daily cases count was 564, the lowest in the last five months. On December 29 and 30, the city recorded 703 and 677 cases respectively.

Delhi reports 654 new coronavirus cases and 16 deaths in last 24 hours

Indian team to start training, get access to physio after all 824 participants clear Covid-19 test

The entire Indian badminton contingent cleared the COVID-19 test on Wednesday and is set to begin training ahead of the Yonex Thailand Open, starting next week. The Indian team, part of the Green Zone, consisting of players and all stakeholders such as umpires, line judges, personnel from BWF, Badminton Association of Thailand, medical staff, and TV production crew, were tested after arrival in Bangkok.
 
The Asia leg in Bangkok consists of two Super 1000 events -- Yonex Thailand Open (January 12-17) and Toyota Thailand Open (January 19-24) followed by the USD 1,500,000 HSBC BWF World Tour Finals (January 27-31).
 
"The Asian Leg in Bangkok received a boost with all 824 participants in the Green Zone quarantine bubble testing negative for COVID-19," BWF said in a statement. "Players are now cleared for training under strict safety protocols."

Over 1 million people in Russia have now been vaccinated with Sputnik V: Statement

Increasing gap between Covid-19 recovered and active cases of India: Health Ministry

Georgia reports 1,800 new Covid-19 cases

Georgia on Wednesday reported 1,800 new COVID-19 cases, taking its total to 233,879, according to the country's National Center for Disease Control and Public Health.
 
Data from the center showed that 489 more patients have recovered in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 223,276.
 
Meanwhile, 20 people died in the last 24 hours, raising the death toll to 2,666. Georgia reported its first confirmed case on February 26.

No fresh Covid-19 fatality in Odisha after 6 months

After a gap of over six months, Odisha on Wednesday did not report any fresh fatality due to COVID-19, while 231 new cases pushed the state's caseload to 3,30,921. As many as 133 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 98 infections were detected during contact tracing, he said.
 
Sundergarh district reported the highest number of new cases at 32, followed by Bargarh (25) and Angul (21), the official said.
 
"Happy to share that after over six months, there are no COVID deaths reported in the state on 5th January, 2021. We salute our COVID Warriors whose tireless efforts have made this possible," the state Health Department tweeted.

11 staffers at Gujarat secretariat complex test positive for Covid-19

Eleven people working in a complex of the state secretariat premises in Gandhinagar have tested positive for coronavirus in the last four days, officials said on Wednesday. Gujarat Chief Minister's Office is located on the fourth floor of the complex, known as 'Swarnim Sankul-1', while offices of the deputy chief minister and other cabinet- rank ministers are on the lower floors.
 
Out of nearly 70 employees of the four-storey complex, who were tested as part of a drive recently conducted by the Gandhinagar Municipal Corporation, 11 were found infected with the coronavirus, the civic body's health officer, Dr Kalpesh Goswami, said.
 
"Eleven people, mostly peons and clerks, were found infected with the coronavirus during our testing drive in the last four days. They were referred to hospitals for further treatment," he said.

EU is botching most important stage of Covid management, mass vaccination

European countries have long prided themselves on their strong welfare states, including public-health systems. They are also convinced that the state has a big role to play in fostering the recovery after the pandemic.
 
The painfully slow rollout of Covid-19 vaccines across the European Union is undermining any claims that government knows best, whether at a national or supranational level. Unless Europe gets its mass inoculation programs right, quickly, it will be hard to believe that its political model can deliver better results to its citizens than what’s available in the rest of the world. Read on...

Five states with highest 24-hour net addition to active cases

Kerala (669)
Maharashtra (268)
Andhra Pradesh (95)
Puducherry (16)
Meghalaya (10)

Coronavirus India update: Top 5 states by recovery

Maharashtra (1850189)
Karnataka (901579)
Andhra Pradesh (873427)
Tamil Nadu (802385)
Kerala (717311)

Coronavirus India update: Five states with most active cases

Kerala (63993)
Maharashtra (50223)
Uttar Pradesh (12286)
Karnataka (9656)
West Bengal (9293)

Coronavirus India update: Five most affected states by cases

Maharashtra (1,950,171)
Karnataka (923,353)
Andhra Pradesh (883,587)
Tamil Nadu (822,370)
Kerala (784,488)

Coronavirus India update: Summary of MoHFW data (January 6)

Active cases: 227,546 (Net reduction: 3,490)
Deaths: 150,114  (Net increase: 264)
Cured: 9,997,272 (Net increase: 21,314)
Total cases: 10,374,932 (Net increase: 18,088)

First case of new coronavirus strain registered in Oman

Omani medical workers have identified the first case of a new strain of coronavirus in a foreigner permanently residing in the Sultanate who has arrived from the UK, the Omani Ministry of Health said in a statement.
 
"The new strain of coronavirus was found in a foreign resident of Oman who came from the UK when he had breathing problems while in quarantine. He was tested for the presence of coronavirus before arriving in Oman and immediately after arriving in the Sultanate," the ministry said.

South Korea reports 840 more Covid-19 cases, tally over 65,000

South Korea reported 840 more cases of Covid-19 as of midnight Tuesday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 65,818.
 
The daily caseload stayed below 1,000 for two straight days, but it hovered above 100 for 60 days since November 8 due to small cluster infections in Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi province as well as imported cases.
 
The daily average number of confirmed cases for the past week was 863.7.
 
Of the new cases, 263 were Seoul residents and 269 were people residing in Gyeonggi province.

3 more people test positive for UK variant of Covid-19 in Chennai

3 more people have tested positive for UK variant of Covid-19 in Chennai. So far, 4 people have tested positive for the new variant of the virus: Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr Radhakrishnan in Chennai yesterday

US confirms Covid-19 variant infections in 4 states as vaccine rollout lags

The US has confirmed infections of the Covid-19 variant in four states, as the vaccine rollout nationwide lags behind schedule.
 
New York State reported on Monday its first case of the new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus that was initially discovered in the UK, the Xinhua news agency reported.
 
The case was identified in a 60-year-old man from Saratoga County who had no travel history, according to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo.
 
New York is the fourth state in the country that has confirmed infection of the new strain, which has also been found in California, Florida and Colorado.
 
The variant is thought to be more transmissible but does not appear to make people more ill or increase the risk of death from Covid-19, experts have said.

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