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Coronavirus Highlights: Active cases across Maharashtra dipped by nearly 36% in Dec

Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Live News Updates: With 23,067 cases reported in the 24 hours ending 8 am Friday, coronavirus infections in India now stand at over 1.01 crore. Of these, 2.81 lakh are currently active.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 26, 2020 9:39:09 am
Healthcare staff collect swab in Thane (Express photo by Deepak Joshi)

Coronavirus India Live Updates:  India reported 23,067 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Friday, taking the coronavirus infections tally over 1.01 crore. Of the total  1,01,46,845 cases, 2.81 lakh are currently active while over 97.17 lakh people have recovered after testing positive. As many as 336 new deaths took the death toll to over 1.47 lakh. Kerala, among the fastest-growing states in India, is the only state to report more than 5,000 cases on Thursday.

Fifty-one lakh people in Delhi — comprising healthcare staff, frontline workers, people with co-morbidities, and those aged above 50 — will be administered Covid-19 vaccine in the first phase, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Thursday. The Delhi government’s plan is in line with the recommendations made by the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration of Covid-19 (NEGVAC). Kejriwal said Delhi has made all arrangements to receive and store vaccine doses.

Five Covid-positive flyers from the UK went untraceable after landing at the Delhi airport on Tuesday. While three of them were traced by Tuesday night and admitted to Lok Nayak hospital in the capital, one managed to reach Ludhiana while another reached Andhra Pradesh before they were brought back on Wednesday, The Indian Express has learnt. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain Thursday said that the Delhi govt. will will approach the Delhi airport authorities over the same.

Meanwhile, a new potentially more infectious variant of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in Britain in cases linked to South Africa, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said. South Africa’s health department said last week that a new genetic mutation of the virus had been discovered and might be responsible for a recent surge in infections there. Read our explainer on Mutated coronavirus vs tests and vaccines here. 

Live Blog

Coronavirus (COVID-19) LIVE updates: 24,712 new cases reported in India, tally now stands at 1.01 crore; New more infectious coronavirus variant from South Africa found in the UK. Follow the latest news and developments

01:17 (IST)26 Dec 2020
Beaches, riverfronts in Raigad to observe night curfew; Janjira fort also closed till Jan 2

PEOPLE REDRAWING New Year's plans after the state government imposed a night curfew till January 5 will also have to strike out beaches in Alibaug and Mandwa or Janjira Fort in Raigad district from their options.

The district collector of Raigad on Thursday issued an order closing the fort, a popular tourist draw, for visitors from Friday to January 2 with a view to prevent crowding at the site as people gather there for New Year's celebrations on December 31. While there will be no restrictions on celebrations at hotels and resorts in Raigad, the night curfew from 11 pm to 6 am will be imposed in public areas, including beaches and riverfronts.

Given the coastal district's proximity to Mumbai, Thane and Pune, beaches in Raigad, mainly Alibaug, Murud and Shrivardhan, are expected to see a number of tourist arrivals for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

Raigad district administration will also set up nine checkpoints where health workers will conduct preliminary health checks on arriving tourists for Covid-19 screening. The checkpoints will be set up at Mandwa, Revas, Kharpada, Vadavli toll naka, Matheran, Vakan Phata, Tamhani Ghat, Varandh Ghat and Shivaji Maharaj Chowk in Poladpur taluka from December 28 to January 1, the district administration said.

00:15 (IST)26 Dec 2020
Morocco acquires 65 million vaccine doses from China, UK

Morocco announced it has acquired 65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinopharm and Britain's AstraZeneca, as the north African kingdom prepares to launch a COVID-19 vaccination program that aims to immunize 80 per cent of the country's adult population. Health Minister Khalid Ait Taleb announced the figure at a Cabinet meeting Thursday, but didn't say whether the first doses have already arrived in Morocco. The government didn't indicate whether the vaccines were purchased or provided by Covax, the global project to provide vaccines to developing countries, or a combination of both. Morocco has one of the most advanced vaccination plans in the region. The country has also reported the second-highest number of virus infections and deaths in Africa, after South Africa. PTI

22:35 (IST)25 Dec 2020
AMC starts online registration facility for Covid vaccination

THE Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has launched an online registration facility for Covid-19 vaccination for those who missed the ongoing door-to-door survey covering the entire city that commenced from December 10.

The online registration facility is for residents to be covered in the first phases including -frontline workers, those above 50 years of age and those below 50 years but with co-morbid conditions- and have not registered yet with the health workers yet.

“The online registration facility added yesterday on the official website is for those who have been missed out in the door to door survey due to any reason,” said AMC’s medical officer of health Dr Bhavin Solanki.   

21:32 (IST)25 Dec 2020
1,005 new COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths in Karnataka

Karnataka added 1,005 new COVID- 19 cases and five related fatalities, taking the infection count to 9,14,488 and the toll to 12,044, the health department said on Friday. The day also saw 1,102 patients getting discharged after recovery and there were 13,508 active cases in the state. The state's cumulative COVID-19 tally stood at 9,14,488, including 12,044 deaths and 8,88,917 discharges, the department said in its bulletin. A total of 13,300 patients were stable in isolation at designated hospitals, while 208 are in Intensive Care Units. As many as 578 fresh cases were from Bengaluru Urban district, which also accounted for four of the five deaths, followed by Dharwad 1. Four of the deceased had a history of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), while the patient in Dharwad had Influenza Like illness (ILI). PTI

20:45 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Active cases across Maharashtra dipped by nearly 36 % in Dec

After a brief spike in Maharashtra’s coronavirus active cases in the last week of November following Diwali celebrations, the total active cases in the state have dipped by nearly 36 per cent since the beginning of December, from 89,098 cases to 56,823 cases, in the 25 days of the month.

State health officials believe that in view of a night curfew and the enforcement of stringent closing timings for restaurants and bars for the upcoming 10 days, subdued Christmas and New Year celebrations may not lead to a significant spike in cases in a manner that Diwali festivities had. Since March, Maharashtra has recorded two significant spikes, both following festivals - Ganpati Visarjan celebrations in September and Diwali in November.

19:20 (IST)25 Dec 2020
For first time since April 1, no new Covid-19 cases in Dharavi Friday

Dharavi in Mumbai, India's largest slum, reported zero Covid-19 cases on Friday, the first time since April 1, when the first coronavirus case was reported here. At present, there are 12 active Covid-19 cases in Dharavi: eight are in Home quarantine, while four are in Covid care centres.

17:59 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Maharashtra: Thane district reports 416 new cases, nine deaths

With the addition of 416 coronavirus positive cases, Thane district's total case count has gone up to 2,40,619, an official said on Friday. These new cases were reported on Thursday, he said.

The fatality count in the district increased to 5,910 with the virus claiming nine more lives during the day. As 2,30,432 patients recuperated, the recovery rate of the district reached 95.76 per cent. There are 4,277 active cases at present, while the district's mortality rate is 2.46 per cent, he said.

(PTI)

17:42 (IST)25 Dec 2020
UK returnee tests COVID-19 positive in Assam

A traveller from the UK, who arrived here a few days ago, has tested positive for COVID-19 and the swab samples have been sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune to ascertain whether the patient has contracted a new strain of coronavirus, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday.

The person returned to the state recently amid concern over the detection of a mutated and more infectious strain of COVID-19 in the European country and has been admitted to Guwahati Medical College Hospital here, he told reporters.

(PTI)

16:36 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Puducherry logs 29 new coronavirus cases, overall tally rises to 37,914

The union territory of Puducherry registered 29 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours while no fresh fatality was reported, a top Health department official said on Friday. The 29 new infections took the overall tally in the union territory to 37,914, Director of Health and Family Welfare S Mohan Kumar said in a release.

The new cases were identified at the end of testing of 2,973 samples and 44 patients were treated and discharged during the last 24 hours ending 10 AM Friday. No fresh fatality was reported for a second straight day and the death toll remained at 629.

(PTI)

16:34 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Plan to impose night curfew at tourist places in Pune district

With an aim to put curbs on the New Year celebrations considering the coronavirus situation, the district administration in Pune has sent a proposal to the Maharashtra government seeking imposition of night curfew at some popular places, a senior official said on Friday. District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said that the administration seeks to impose night curfew in some areas close to Pune civic limits and tourist places like Lonavala, Aambi Valley, Mulshi dam, Tahmini Ghat, Khadakwasla and Lavasa from the midnight of December 25 till January 5.

"In view of the COVID-19 situation, a proposal has been sent to the state government to impose night curfew at these places, where revellers go to celebrate the New Year. We are awaiting the government's nod," he said. Night curfew has been already imposed in the city in the wake of a new coronavirus variant being detected in the UK.

(PTI)

16:30 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Odisha reports 325 new COVID-19 cases, 3 fresh deaths

Odisha on Friday reported 325 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the coronavirus tally in the state to 3,27,867, a health department official said. The COVID-19 death toll in the rose to 1,853 with three fresh fatalities in the last 24-hours, he said. The three fatalities were reported from Balasore, Dhenkanal and Khurda districts, he said.

The new COVID-19 cases were detected in 24 of the 30 districts of Odisha, with 187 reported from different quarantine centres, while the remaining 138 are local contact cases. Khurda district of which the state capital Bhubaneswar is a part, recorded the highest number of new cases at 36, followed by Sundergarh (33) and Angul (32).

Six districts - Boudh, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada, did not report any new positive cases in the last 24 hours, he said.

(PTI)

16:27 (IST)25 Dec 2020
UP reports 13 more COVID-19 deaths, 1,285 new cases

Uttar Pradesh reported 13 more COVID-19 fatalities and 1,285 new cases on Friday, pushing the death toll to 8,279 and the infection tally to 5,79,982 in the state. Currently, there are 16,159 active cases in the state, and 5,55,544 people have recovered from the disease so far, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, Amit Mohan Prasad told reporters here.

He said the recovery rate in the state stood at 95.78 per cent. Prasad said over 1.43 lakh samples were tested for the disease on Thursday, and the total number of tests conducted so far was around 2.31 crore. Of the total active cases, 7,317 are in home-isolation, 1,663 in private hospitals and the rest are undergoing treatment in government hospitals.

(PTI)

12:40 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Mumbai night curfew: Violators let off with a warning on Day 1

On the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, when the Maharashtra government-imposed night curfew began in the city, the Mumbai Police let off most of those who were found on the roads after the designated hour with a reprimand and a warning.

A senior police officer said, “Since it was the first night of the curfew, we let people off after giving them a warning. However, in the next few days we will start taking action.”

The Mumbai Police had warned that all vehicles found on the roads during curfew hours without a valid reason would be impounded.

12:37 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Govt issues guidelines for amusement, entertainment parks

Days after the state government allowed reopening of amusement and entertainment parks, the Tourism department on Thursday issued guidelines for safe and secure operations amid Covid-19 pandemic.

As per the standard operating procedure (SOP), all customers would be screened at entry points of amusement and entertainment parks and similar establishments for symptoms of Covid-19. Only those found asymptomatic would be allowed, the guidelines stated.

The SOP added that only those wearing a face mask or cover would be allowed to enter premises and customers would have to wear the mask at all times on the premises. 

11:17 (IST)25 Dec 2020
South Korea sets highest daily coronavirus toll, struggles to contain latest surge

South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Friday 1,241 new coronavirus cases were reported the day before, the highest daily count recorded, with a large outbreak at a prison in Seoul. 

South Korea had early success in quickly controlling outbreaks with aggressive testing and contact tracing but has struggled to contain the recent surge in cases.Tougher restrictions to stem new cases were taken this week including a ban on social gathering of more than five people, and ski resorts and tourist spots have been shut in a bid to stop the spread during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

"The daily record of confirmed cases was renewed yesterday at 1,241 cases," Chung said at a coronavirus response meeting, adding despite a large majority of the public heeding the government warning, many still flout social distancing rules.(Reuters)

10:52 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Telangana: Seven who returned from the UK test positive for Covid-19

At least seven people who recently returned from the UK have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Telangana. Their samples have been sent to the CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) to find out if they have contracted the new strain of the virus, Telangana health officials said.

On Thursday, state Health Minister Eatala Rajender reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the state and the steps being taken to curb the spread of the disease.

Officials informed the minister that 1,200 passengers had flown to Telangana from or via the UK since from December 9. Covid-19 tests were done on 846 persons. (Read more here)

10:19 (IST)25 Dec 2020
India records over 23,000 new cases, 336 deaths

India reported 23,068 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours ending 8 am Friday, taking the coronavirus infections tally over 1.01 crore. Of the total  1,01,46,846 cases, 2.81 lakh are currently active while over 97.17 lakh people have recovered after testing positive. As many as 336 new deaths took the death toll to over 1.47 lakh. Kerala, among the fastest-growing states in India, is the only state to report more than 5,000 cases on Thursday.

09:34 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Punjab: 216 people who arrived from UK to be institutionally quarantined

As many as 216 people who arrived here from the UK in a December 22 flight will be institutionally quarantined as they might have come in contact with seven of their fellow passengers and a crew member who tested COVID-19 positive on arrival, health officials said on Thursday.

They are from different places, including Amritsar, and are being taken from their homes to quarantine centres, they said.

Punjab's Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Thursday directed all civil surgeons to ensure tracing, surveillance and testing of international passengers who recently arrived from the UK. 

Sidhu in a statement said a list of 1,822 passengers who arrived from the UK at the Delhi airport and then to Punjab has been received by the state authorities, which he added has already been shared with all districts.

09:14 (IST)25 Dec 2020
We will talk to airport authorities: Delhi Health Minister on 2 COVID-positive flyers slipping out report

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Thursday said the city government will approach the airport authorities here over a report that two COVID-positive flyers from the United Kingdom had slipped out from the Delhi airport. Amid mounting concern over a new strain of the virus detected in the UK, the Delhi government on Tuesday had said people who have arrived here recently from that country, are being traced and tested, while an institutional quarantine facility was being set up separately for positive cases at the LNJP Hospital.

At a press conference on Thursday, when asked about the report that two passengers from the UK, who had landed at Delhi airport on Tuesday, had further travelled to Punjab and Andhra Pradesh despite testing positive for COVID-19, Jain said, 'I have also read about it in the newspaper today'.

09:03 (IST)25 Dec 2020
Another UK-returned Delhi resident tests positive for COVID-19

A UK-returned man in Dwarka area here has been found positive for COVID-19 and his family has been quarantined while tracing of others who came in contact with him was underway, officials said on Thursday. Earlier, another person who recently arrived from the UK had tested positive in south east Delhi on Wednesday.

The district authorities have deployed teams to contact those who have returned from the UK in the past four weeks and ensure that they undergo RTPCR tests if they show any symptoms, said a senior government official.(PTI)

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Active cases drop to 2.89 lakh Night curfew in place in Pune on Tuesday. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

Just two weeks after the expert committee scrutinising applications for emergency use authorisation (EUA) of Pune-based Serum Institute of India’s Covid-19 vaccine sought additional late-stage safety and efficacy data, the firm has submitted fresh data to the regulator, government sources said.

“Serum Institute India has submitted additional data. The regulator’s office, internally, will review these documents. Only then they will request the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) to meet,” sources told The Indian Express.

Significantly, the media has reported that the UK regulator is set to “clear” the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, “possibly on December 28 and December 29”. In India, SII which sought EUA from the Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) on December 10 was asked to submit safety data on Phase 2/3 clinical trials in India of its vaccine candidate named Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca.

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