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Coronavirus India highlights: Govt has never spoken about vaccinating entire country, says Health Ministry

India detected 31,118 cases of the novel coronavirus in the 24 hours ending 9 am Tuesday, taking its overall tally to 94.62 lakh.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru, Chennai, Guwahati, Mumbai, New Delhi | Updated: December 2, 2020 8:12:25 am
coronavirus, coronavirus news, live news, coronavirus today news, covid 19 vaccine, coronavirus india, coronavirus india news, corona cases in india, india news, coronavirus news, covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, corona cases in india, corona cases in indiaA woman tries on a cardigan at Wellington square, famous for its temporary winter garment market, in Kolkata on November 30, 2020. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

With Serum Institute on the cusp of applying for emergency-use license of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, the Union Health Ministry on Tuesday made it clear that the government had never spoken about vaccinating the entire country. Addressing a press conference, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan also said the “adverse event” in a Serum Institute trial of the Covishield vaccine would not affect vaccine timelines in anyway.

“I just want to make this clear that the govt has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country,” Bhushan said. “Vaccination would depend on the efficacy of the vaccine and our purpose is to break the chain of transmission. If we are able to vaccinate critical mass of people and break virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population,” said ICMR DG Dr Balram Bhargava.

Bhushan also said the initial findings into the “adverse event” allegedly suffered by a vaccine trial participant in Chennai did not necessitate halting of the trials. It is the role of the drug regulator to ascertain or refute if there is any causal link between the event and the intervention, he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a virtual all-party meeting on December 4 to discuss the Covid-19 situation in the country. Floor leads of parties in both Houses of Parliament have been invited to attend. This will be the second such meeting called by the government; the first was held in April, amid the nationwide lockdown.

India detected 31,118 cases of the novel coronavirus in the 24 hours ending 9 am Tuesday, taking its overall tally to 94.62 lakh. This includes 4,35,603 active cases, 88,89,585 people who have recovered and 1,37,621 deaths. The national capital saw the highest number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus in November; it reported 2,612 fatalities, higher than the toll of 2,219 in June. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday capped the price of RT-PCR tests at all private laboratories at Rs 800, down from the existing rate of Rs 2,400.

Live Blog

Coronavirus India highlights: 94.62 lakh Covid-19 cases so far; Rural economy struggles, NREGS demand still on the rise; PM Modi to hold all-party meeting on Friday; Delhi govt slashes RT-PCR test rates; Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh are states with rising active cases. Follow latest news and updates below:

00:07 (IST)02 Dec 2020
Sunny Deol tests positive for Covid-19

Bollywood actor and BJP MP from Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol, has tested positive for COVID-19, the Himachal Pradesh health secretary said on Tuesday. Deol had been staying in Kullu district for some days, Health Secretary Amitabh Awasthi said. Read more

23:59 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am in Punjab

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, Punjab has imposed night curfew between 10 pm and 5 am in several areas.

22:13 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Pro-active steps taken to contain COVID-19, Delhi government tells SC

Delhi government on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that since the start of pandemic in March 2020, it is taking all necessary proactive and preventive steps to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the national capital. It said that Delhi is witnessing the third surge since beginning of November 2020 and with the support and guidance of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and expert agencies like NITI Ayog and ICMR, it has successfully responded to the pandemic of COVID-19 so far.

The Centre had on November 27, blamed the Delhi government for rising COVID-19 cases in the national capital and said that despite repeated exhortations it did not take steps to enhance testing capacity, particularly for RT-PCR, which remained static at around 20,000 tests for a long time.

The Centre had said that Delhi government was well aware that the confluence of winter, festival season and pollution were likely to witness a surge in cases and this foreknowledge ought to have led to strict enforcement and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures being instituted well in time but this was not done. (PTI)

21:02 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Vietnam reports 1st local infection in 89 days

Vietnamese authorities are conducting intensive contact tracing after discovering the country's first confirmed local transmission of the coronavirus in 89 days. State media said Tuesday that a 32-year-old man in Ho Chi Minh City tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday after visiting a flight attendant who was undergoing self-quarantine at his home following his return from Japan two weeks ago. The flight attendant tested positive on Saturday, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said.

Health authorities ordered 137 people who had been in close contact with the man to stay in a central quarantine facility and shut down an English center where he works as a teacher, the newspaper said.

The new case ended Vietnam’s streak of 89 days without any known local transmission of the virus. Earlier, it went 99 days without local transmissions until a cluster of cases broke out at a hospital in Da Nang in central Vietnam in July. (AP)

20:38 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Rajasthan records 19 coronavirus deaths, toll climbs to 2,347

Rajasthan recorded 19 more fatalities due to the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 2,347, according to a health department bulletin. The state also reported 2,331 new cases on Tuesday. The total number of people infected by COVID-19 now stands at 2,70,410 in Rajasthan and out of these 27,974 are under treatment.

As per the bulletin, 2,40,105 people have been discharged after treatment till now. In Jaipur, the death toll due to the virus is 439 till now, followed by 242 in Jodhpur, 188 in Ajmer, 162 in Bikaner, 137 in Kota, 105 in Bharatpur, 96 in Udaipur and 90 in Pali.

On Tuesday, Rajasthan recorded 2,347 new cases, including 692 in Jaipur, 314 in Jodhpur, 169 in Kota, 117 in Alwar, 110 in Udaipur, 95 in Bharatpur, 93 in Nagaur and 84 in Ajmer, besides cases reported in other districts of the state. (PTI)

19:52 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Maharashtra sees 4,930 new COVID-19 cases, 6,290 recoveries; 95 deaths

Maharashtra on Tuesday reported 4,930 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections to 18,28,826, the state health department said. With 95 more patients succumbing to the viral infection, the overall toll mounted to 47,246, it said. A total of 6,290 patients were discharged during the day, taking the tally of recoveries to 16,91,412, a health department official said, adding that the state is now left
with 89,098 active cases. Mumbai city reported 724 new cases, taking its caseload to 2,84,191 while the count of fatalities rose by nine to 10,893, he said. The state has so far tested 1,09,15,683 samples. (PTI)

19:15 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Health ministry asks states to form expert groups to determine COVID-19 test rates

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said it had issued written directions to states and Union Territories to form expert groups to study the market and determine the rates of COVID-19 tests. In response to a question posed at a press briefing, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said deciding the rates of the tests does not come under the purview of the Centre and is a state matter.

"However, the Centre gives recommendations to the state and Union Territories from time to time on deciding the rate of tests in a rational and transparent manner.

"Last week, the Union health ministry wrote to all states to set up an expert group to study the market and determine the testing rates. The states have adopted different ways to fix the rates," he said.

18:24 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Delhi records 4,006 new cases, 86 deaths raise toll to 9,260

Delhi recorded 4,006 fresh COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 5.74 lakh, while 86 new fatalities pushed the toll from the disease to 9,260, authorities said. These fresh cases came out of the 58,456 COVID-19 tests conducted the previous day, including 30,297 RT-PCR tests, while the positivity rate stood at 6.85 per cent, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department. The active COVID-19 case count stood at 31,769 in Delhi on Tuesday, it said. The bulletin said the total number of novel coronavirus cases has climbed to 5,74,380 in the national capital (PTI)

18:18 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Govt has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country, says Health Ministry

The Union government on Tuesday said that it has never spoken about vaccinating the entire country to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. At a press briefing, officials said that there might not even be a need to vaccinate the entire population. On allegations of the 'adverse event' in a Serum institute trial, the government said it will not affect vaccine timelines in anyway. The initial findings into the 'adverse event' allegedly suffered by an Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial participant in Chennai did not necessitate halting of the trials, the Centre said. It is the role of the drug regulator to ascertain or refute if there is any causal link between the event and the intervention, it said.

18:09 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Initial findings into 'adverse event' did not necessitate halting of trials: Govt

The initial findings into the 'adverse event' allegedly suffered by an Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trial participant in Chennai did not necessitate halting of the trials, the Centre said on Tuesday. It is the role of drug regulator to ascertain or refute if there is any causal link between the event and the intervention, it said. On allegation of the 'adverse event' in a Serum institute trial, the government said it will not affect vaccine timelines in anyway. (PTI)

17:41 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Vaccination would depend on efficacy of vaccine: ICMR

"Vaccination would depend on the efficacy of the vaccine and our purpose is to break the chain of COVID19 transmission. If we're able to vaccinate critical mass of people & break virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population," said ICMR's  Dr Balram Bhargava

17:40 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Top 5 states showing a rise in active COVID cases in Nov are Punjab, HP, MP, Haryana and Rajasthan

The top 5 states showing a rise in active COVID cases from Nov 1-Dec 1 are Punjab, HP, MP, Haryana and Rajasthan, said Health Ministry in its briefing on Tuesday.

17:07 (IST)01 Dec 2020
On recent allegation of adverse event in Serum institute trial, govt says it will not affect vaccine timelines

On being asked about the recent adverse event in the Serum Institute of India's vaccine trial, Health Ministry's Rajesh Bhushan said that adverse event will not affect the timeline in any manner whatsoever.

17:06 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Adverse events do occur with drugs or vaccines or any other health intervention: ICMR

'Adverse events do occur with drugs or vaccines or any other health intervention. It is the role of the regulator after collating all data to ascertain or refute whether there is a causal link between the event and intervention,' said ICMR's Dr Balram Bhargava.

16:33 (IST)01 Dec 2020
In November, number of recoveries were more than new Covid-19 cases: Health Ministry

On being asked about the recent adverse event in the Serum Institute of India's vaccine trial, Health Ministry's Rajesh Bhushan said that adverse event will not affect the timeline in any manner whatsoever. He also added that the cumulative positivity rate has decreased in India from 7.15% to 6.69% during Nov 11-Dec 1 period. 'In November 2020, the number of recoveries has been more than the number of new #COVID19 cases,' he said.

16:30 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble deferred till next year amid spike in COVID cases

Singapore and Hong Kong have deferred the launch of their planned air travel bubble till next year, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Special Administrative Region of China. In a statement on Tuesday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said the travel bubble will be deferred beyond December and the exact start date will be reviewed late this month.

The CASS has called on passengers on planned flights to contact their airlines regarding changes to travel plans. Under the original deal which was announced in mid-October, the bubble flights would be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked local COVID-19 cases was more than five for either Singapore or Hong Kong.

16:21 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Among all big nations in the world, cases per million in India are the lowest: Health Ministry

"Average daily positivity rate last week was 3.72%. Among all the big nations in world, cases per million in India (at 211 cases/mn ) are the lowest. Last 7 days trends shows that European nations are witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases," said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Health Ministry

16:05 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Latest updates on Covid-19 from around the world

  • India's Covid-19 tally rises to 94.62 lakh after 31.118 new cases on Monday
  • Active cases shrink to 4.60 per cent of total positive cases
  • COVID-19 patients treated as untouchables once posters pasted on their homes, says SC
  • Gujarat govt slashes RT-PCR test price to Rs 800
  • Kerala drug company supplies 2.5 lakh liters of sanitiser to EC for local body polls
  • UK MPs to vote on tier-based lockdown, as health minister says coronavirus 'under control'
  • Trump's controversial coronavirus adviser Dr Scott Atlas resigns
  • Vietnam has 1st local transmission in 89 days
  • COVID-19 drives 40 per cent spike in number of people needing humanitarian aid, says UN
  • Americans face new COVID-19 restrictions after Thanksgiving

15:36 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Active Covid-19 cases shrink to 4.60 per cent of total positive cases

Active cases of COVID-19 in India have remained below the 5-lakh mark, with its share further shrinking to 4.60 per cent of the total coronavirus infections reported so far, according to the Union Health Ministry. The daily new recoveries exceeding new cases has led to a total net reduction of the active caseload to 4,35,603. A net decline of 11,349 cases has been recorded in the total active cases in a span of 24 hours, the ministry said on Tuesday.

A total of 31,118 new infections were added to the national tally in a day. While some states like Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh have witnessed a decline in the active caseload in a span of 24 hours, others such as Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Assam and Goa have reported an addition to their caseload.

In contrast to 31,118 new reported COVID-19 cases, 41,985 cases have recovered in a span of 24 hours.The total recovered cases stand at 88,89,585 which translates to a recovery rate of 93.94 per cent. "The gap between recoveries and active cases continues to grow and presently stands at 84,53,982," the ministry said. (PTI)

15:15 (IST)01 Dec 2020
Gujarat govt slashes RT-PCR test price to Rs 800

The Gujarat government on Tuesday reduced the price of RT-PCR tests conducted by private laboratories for COVID-19 to Rs 800 from Rs 1,500. Deputy chief minister Nitin Patel told PTI that since the prices of test kits have come down, the state government decided to pass on this benefit to people. 'From today, the government-authorised private laboratories will charge Rs 800 for an RT-PCR test, a reduction of Rs 700 from the current rate,' Patel said.

The prices of test kits have come down following large scale production, he said. If a laboratory assistant is called at home to collect samples, the charge for the RT-PCR test will be Rs 1,100, he said, adding that labs charge Rs 2,000 for the home collection service at present. The decision to slash the test rates was taken by the government's core group under the guidance of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, he said. (PTI)

covid 19 india, corona news, corona latest news, india coronavirus, coronavirus live news, corona cases in india, corona cases in india Prime Minister Narendra Modi being briefed during a visit to the Bharat Biotech facility to review the development of indigenous COVID-19 vaccine candidate Covaxin, on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020. (PTI Photo)

PM Modi: Focus now on developing Covid-19 vaccines

Addressing the nation in his monthly radio programme, Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday warned that any kind of laxity in dealing with Covid-19 is still very dangerous. He told citizens to firmly fight against the ongoing pandemic and highlighted that now that the nationwide lockdown is over, the government will be focusing on developing vaccines.

Serum Institute of India: Seeking emergency use license for Covid vaccine

The Serum Institute of India (SII) on Saturday said that it is in process of applying for an emergency use licence for AstraZeneca-Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the next 2 weeks. Addressing a virtual press conference on the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the company's Pune facility, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said: "We discussed the plan, the implementation plan which will happen only after the emergency use licensure, that is granted based on the data that will have to be submitted. We are in the process of submitting that officially to the drug controller of India..."

The vaccine will be distributed initially in India and then the company will look at Covax countries, which are mainly in Africa, he added. Serum Institute of India (SII) is conducting clinical trials of AstraZeneca-Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine candidate in India.(With PTI)

Mumbai: 75% test positive for Covid-19 antibodies, sero survey finds

In one of the highest sero-prevalence rates reported in the country, 605 of 806 patients that underwent antibody testing at five slums in Cuffe Parade tested positive for coronavirus antibodies. Eyebetes foundation, Dr Nishant Kumar and BJP corporator Harshita Narwekar organised the sero-prevalence survey for all slum residents in the ward.

Conducted between October 5 and 10 at five locations in the ward, the tests showed that 75% of the population tested positive for Covid antibodies–much higher than the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) seroprevalence results of 45% in slums and 18% in buildings.

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