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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Coronavirus Highlights: India’s tally breaches 98 lakh with over 30,000 new cases, 442 deaths

With 442 new fatalities, the death toll now stands at 1,42,628.

By: Express Web Desk | Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune | Updated: December 13, 2020 8:39:06 am
Chennai, Chennai Coronavirus Test, Chennai COVID-19 Test, Chennai CoronavirusHealth workers collect swabs at a fever camp in Chennai. Express Photo: Srinivas K

Coronavirus India HIGHLIGHTS India’s Covid-19 caseload went past 98 lakh after the country recorded 30,006 new cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Saturday. Out of the total 98,26,775 cases, over 3.59 cases are active while over 93.24 lakh people have recovered after testing positive. With 442 new fatalities, the death toll now stands at 1,42,628. Kerala and Maharashtra remain the biggest contributors of new cases, reporting more than 4,000 each.

India’s first indigenous mRNA vaccine candidate developed by Gennova has received approval to initiate human trials, the Department of Biotechnology said Friday. The mRNA vaccines are different from the conventional models of vaccine in the way in which they produce an immune response. These vaccines are “scientifically the ideal choice” and they are considered safe as they are “non-infectious, non-integrating in nature,” DBT said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday ordered the extension of night curfew in the state till January 1, 2021 across the state. The chief minister also extended curbs on the number of people at gatherings until New Year. Directives have been issued to the Punjab police to ensure strict compliance by people in the state, especially in marriage halls.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has tested positive for COVID-19. Taking to Twitter, the chief minister tweeted that he is under home isolation and is experiencing mild symptoms and urged all those who had come in contact with him over the last five days to keep a watch on their health.

Live Blog
22:54 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Chhattisgarh: 1,632 COVID-19 cases, 16 deaths; 1,073 recover

Chhattisgarh's COVID-19 count climbed to 2,55,761 on Saturday after 1,632 people were detected with the infection, while the number of people who have recovered reached 2,34,037, an official said.

Sixteen deaths were recorded on Saturday, taking the toll to 3,084, he said. The official said 99 people were discharged from hospitals and 974 completed home isolation, leaving the state with 18,640 active cases.

(PTI)

21:41 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Telangana govt forms committees from state to mandal level for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

Gearing up for distribution of COVID-19 vaccine when it is made available, the Telangana government has constituted committees at the state, district and mandal levels for planning and execution, with priority to high risk groups, followed by others. The committees would undertake a structured review of all aspects related to preparedness and implementation of COVID-19 vaccination, a Government Order said.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) of the committee, during the preparatory phase, include ensuring active engagement of "line departments" for various activities related to the vaccine introduction as and when it is made available, among others. The various ToR of the panel include oversight on overall micro planning and other operational aspects of COVID-19 vaccine introduction.

(PTI)

21:29 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Free COVID-19 vaccine for all in Kerala: CM Vijayan

COVID-19 vaccine will be made available free of cost to all people in Kerala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Saturday. “No one will be charged for the vaccine. This is the stand of the government,” he told reporters at Kannur.

Kerala is the latest to announce free of cost COVID-19 vaccine for its people. States, including Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh, have already made a similar announcement. Click here to read

(PTI)

19:48 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Emergency use authorisation for COVID vaccine only after detailed analysis: Niti Aayog member

The emergency use authorisation for COVID-19 vaccine would be given by the country's drug regulator after analysing all aspects of safety and efficacy, Niti Aayog member V K Paul Paul said on Saturday.

Addressing the 93rd annual convention of industry body FICCI, he said that management of the immunisation programme and election process in the country gives the government confidence that even the vaccine initiative could also be successfully imparted to the target groups.

"We have three applications today for the emergency use authorisation on sound principles. We have Pfizer, we have Bharat Biotech and we have Serum and they have not only met the deadline, they have overtaken the deadline," Paul said. Terming the current period as an inflection point, he said that decisions regarding the vaccine would roll out in a matter of a few days.

(PTI)

18:25 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Delhi records 1,935 fresh cases; positivity rate 2.64%

Delhi recorded 1,935 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday with over 73,000 tests being conducted, even as the positivity rate dropped to 2.64 percent, authorities said. The positivity rate from December 3 to December 7 had successively dipped to 4.96 percent, 4.78 percent, 4.2 percent, 3.68 percent and 3.15 percent respectively.

However, on December 8 it had risen again to 4.23 percent, falling again to 3.42 percent on December 9 and 2.46 percent on December 10. It had risen to 3.33 percent again on December 11. The fresh cases came out of 73,413 tests conducted the previous day, including 32,578 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi health department.

Forty-seven fatalities were recorded, pushing the toll in the national capital to 9,981, the bulletin said. The active cases tally on Saturday dropped to 17,373 from 18,676 the previous day. The bulletin said that the total number of cases has climbed to 6,05,470.

(PTI)

17:45 (IST)12 Dec 2020
1,520 new COVID-19 cases take UP's tally to 5,64,132; death toll 8,056

The COVID-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 8,056 on Saturday with 32 more fatalities, while 1,520 new cases pushed the infection tally to 5,64,132, a health department bulletin issued here said.

The number of those who have recovered and have been discharged from hospitals rose to 5,35,985 with 1,761 patients fully recovering from the infection in the past 24 hours, it said. The number of active cases in the state currently stands at 20,091, the bulletin said.

(PTI)

17:17 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Mizoram reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

Mizoram on Saturday reported sixteen new COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 4,024, an official said. Of the new cases, six each were reported from Aizawl
and Lawngtlai districts, and four from the Kolasib district,
he said.

Eight of the patients have travel history, the official said. Two patients have developed symptoms, while the rest
are asymptomatic, he said. The state at present has 197 active cases.

(PTI)

16:16 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Odisha's COVID-19 death toll crosses 1,800-mark, 335 new cases reported

Odisha's COVID-19 death toll crossed the 1,800-mark on Saturday as four more patients succumbed to the disease, while 335 new cases pushed the tally to 3,23,364, a health department official said.

Four fresh fatalities - two from Sundargarh and one each from Balasore and Malkangiri districts- increased the coronavirus toll in the state to 1,802. Khurda district, of which Bhubaneswar is a part, has accounted for 308 fatalities, followed by Ganjam (245), Sundargarh (154), Cuttack (137) and Puri (110).

Fifty-three COVID-19 patients have also died due to comorbidities, the official said.

(PTI)

16:12 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Explained: Where are we in the Covid-19 vaccine race?

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE received US regulatory authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, making it the first inoculation against the new coronavirus to get a regulatory green light in the United States.

The following is what we know about the race to deliver vaccines to help end the coronavirus pandemic Click here to read the complete report

15:34 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Pune schools to remain closed till January 3, 2021

Schools in Pune city will remain closed till the 3rd of January, 2021. The Pune Municipal Corporation has postponed reopening of schools in its jurisdiction. (ANI)

15:15 (IST)12 Dec 2020
7 new COVID-19 cases in Andamans; tally rises to 4,798

Seven more people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, pushing the tally in the Union Territory to 4,798, a health department official said on Saturday. Of the fresh cases, five were detected during contact tracing while two have travel history, he said.

Seven more people were cured of the disease on Friday, taking the total number of recoveries in the archipelago to 4,659, the official said.

(PTI)

15:11 (IST)12 Dec 2020
38 more fresh cases of coronavirus in Puducherry, tally rises to 37,444

Puducherry posted 38 fresh COVID-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total number of those infected by the virus to 37,444. The toll remained 619 as no related deaths were reported in the union territory in the last 24 hours ending 10 am on Saturday.

Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release that Puducherry region registered 17 new cases of infection out of the total 38 cases followed by Karaikal (six) and Mahe (15).

(PTI)

11:55 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Jharkhand reports 174 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths

Jharkhand's COVID-19 caseload rose to 1,11,177 as 174 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Saturday. The COVID-19 death toll increased to 995 after two more patients succumbed to the disease, he said. Two new fatalities were reported from Bokaro and Hazaribagh, the official said. Ranchi district registered the maximum number of fresh cases at 93, followed by Bokaro (20) and Dhanbad (12). Jharkhand now has 1,694 active coronavirus cases, while 1,08,488 people have been cured of the disease so far, the official said. (pti)

10:21 (IST)12 Dec 2020
India's first mRNA vaccine candidate gets nod for human trials

India's first indigenous mRNA vaccine candidate developed by Gennova has received approval to initiate human trials, the Department of Biotechnology said Friday. The mRNA vaccines are different from the conventional models of vaccine in the way in which they produce an immune response. These vaccines are "scientifically the ideal choice" and they are considered safe as they are “non-infectious, non-integrating in nature," DBT said.

"They are expected to be highly efficacious because of their inherent capability of being translatable into the protein structure inside the cell cytoplasm. Additionally, mRNA vaccines are fully synthetic and do not require a host for growth, for example, eggs or bacteria. "Therefore, they can be quickly manufactured in an inexpensive manner under cGMP conditions to ensure their availability and accessibility for mass vaccination on a sustainable basis," the DBT added.

Gennova has completed all preliminary work and should be initiating the Phase 1/2 human clinical trial soon since the approval from the DCGI office has been received. (With PTI)

09:50 (IST)12 Dec 2020
India's Covid-19 tally breaches 98 lakh

India's Covid-19 caseload went past 98 lakh after the country recorded 30,005 new cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Saturday. Out of the total 98,26,775 cases, over 3.59 cases are active while over 93.24 lakh people have recovered after testing positive. With 442 new fatalities, the death toll now stands at 1,42,628.

09:36 (IST)12 Dec 2020
Delhi records 2,385 new COVID cases, 60 deaths; positivity rate 3.33 pc

Delhi recorded 2,385 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday with over 71,000 tests being conducted, even as the positivity rate stood at 3.33 per cent, authorities said. The positivity rate from December 3-7 had successively dipped to 4.96 per cent, 4.78 per cent, 4.20 per cent, 3.68 per cent and 3.15 per cent, respectively. However, on December 8, it had risen again to 4.23 per cent, falling again to 3.42 per cent on December 9 and 2.46 per cent on December 10.

These fresh cases came out of 71,679 tests conducted the previous day, including 31,724 RT-PCR tests, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department. Sixty fatalities were recorded on Friday, pushing the toll in the national capital to 9,934, the bulletin said. (PTI)

19:29 (IST)11 Dec 2020
Covid-19: What you need to know today

With 29,398 new cases on Friday, India’s total Covid-19 active caseload dropped to 3.63 lakh, the lowest in 146 days. The difference in the new recoveries outnumbering new cases has also improved the national recovery rate to 94.84 per cent, the Union Health Ministry said.

Meanwhile, the United States is expected to provide emergency use approval for Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid vaccine after an advisory panel recommended for the same to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Elsewhere, Egypt has received its first shipment of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine, which was tested in the United Arab Emirates and is said to be 86% effective. The United Kingdom, on the other hand, has already begun vaccinating people with the Pfizer shot.

Here are the top Covid-19 developments that you need to know today

18:39 (IST)11 Dec 2020
Karnataka earmarks Rs 22.5 crore to store medicines

The Karnataka government Friday announced that it has set aside Rs 22.5 crore to purchase medicines in the wake of a possible second wave of Covid-19 predicted by the technical advisory committee.

Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said, "We have discussed various points to contain the spread of coronavirus infection for the next 90 days. Rs 11.32 crore has been set aside for purchasing rapid antigen kits and another Rs 22.50 crore is earmarked for medicine purchase."

The Minister added that several complaints of private hospitals overcharging for Remdesivir — a drug used for the treatment of coronavirus patients — had come to his notice. "The government rate for Remidisvir is Rs 1800. Action will be taken against such hospitals under provisions of the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (KPME)Act," Sudhakar warned.

(Inputs from Ralph Alex Arakal, Bengaluru)

18:27 (IST)11 Dec 2020
Centre to provide walk-in cooler for Chandigarh: Punjab Health Secretary

Punjab Health Secretary Hussan Lal has said that the Punjab government has made all arrangements for COVID-19 vaccination drive in the state. Lal said that Punjab has a robut cold chain for their universal immunization programme and said that the state has cold chain stores at Chandigarh, Ferozpur, Amritsar and Hoshiarpur. 

"We have adequate teams. Further, the Centre will provide us with a walk-in cooler to be installed at Chandigarh", Lal added. (ANI)

18:17 (IST)11 Dec 2020
Karnataka earmarks Rs 22.5 crore to purchase medicines ahead of possible Covid-19 second wave

The Karnataka government Friday announced that it has set aside Rs 22.5 crore to purchase medicines in the wake of a possible Covid-19 second wave predicted by the technical advisory committee.

Confirming the same, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar said, "We have discussed various points to contain the spread of coronavirus infection for the next 90 days. Rs 11.32 crore has been set aside for purchasing rapid antigen kits and another Rs 22.50 crore is earmarked for medicine purchase."

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Coronavirus India LIVE updates

India will carry out the largest vaccination drive in its history over the course of next year. Top government sources told The Indian Express that the guidelines on administration of the vaccine are based on the crucial question of the likelihood of an adverse event being reported after each dose. Sources said that since each vaccination will take at least 30 minutes, only 100 shots will be administered in each session. Both government and private healthcare facilities will be roped in to conduct the first round of immunisations for frontline healthcare workers.

Meanwhile, the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine has been found to be safe, with only three out of 23,745 participants over a median of 3.4 months experiencing serious adverse events that were possibly related to a vaccine. All three participants have recovered or are recovering, and remain in the trial, Prof Andrew Pollard from the University of Oxford, who is the lead author of the study, said while addressing a virtual media conference following the publication of the interim results of the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials in The Lancet on Tuesday.

Also, Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother, on Tuesday became the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shot outside of a trial as Britain began vaccinating its population. An early riser, Keenan received the vaccine at her local hospital in Coventry, central England, on Tuesday morning at 0631 GMT, a week before she turns 91. Britain began rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Tuesday, the first Western country to start vaccinating its general population in what was hailed as a decisive watershed in defeating the coronavirus.

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