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Coronavirus India Live Updates: Second dry run on Jan 8; Centre rushes high-level team to Kerala amid rising cases

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccine India Live News Updates: India reported 18,088 new cases on Wednesday, taking the total number of infections to over 1.03 crore. As many as 264 deaths were reported, taking the toll to 1.50 lakh.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 6, 2021 9:03:01 pm
coronavirus news, covid-19 latest update, covid-19 india news, covid vaccine india, coronavirus india dry run, covishield covaxin india vaccine,Dry run for coronavirus vaccine at a Noida hospital (Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

Coronavirus Vaccine India Live Updates: Ahead of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, a second dry run will take place on January 8, Friday, in all districts of the country, news agency ANI reported. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today said it will send a high-level team to Kerala for supporting the state amid rising coronavirus cases. Kerala recorded a total of 35,038 new cases during the last seven days in Kerala.

A total of 71 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far, the Union Health Ministry said today. The new coronavirus variant found in the UK is said to 70 per cent more infectious than the first one. India’s COVID-19 caseload, meanwhile, rose to 1,03,74,932 with 18,088 infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries are nearing one crore. The death toll increased to 1,50,114 with 264 people succumbing to the disease in a span of 24 hours. The active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the 16th consecutive day.

Days after two vaccines — Covaxin developed by Bharat Biotech with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Covishield, a variant of Oxford AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 manufactured under licence by the Serum Institute of India — got regulatory approval, the Union Health Ministry said that they are prepared to roll out the mass immunisation programme within 10 days. The decision on rolling out India’s biggest adult vaccination drive will, however, be taken by the central government, it said.

Meanwhile, minutes from the expert committee’s meetings show how they changed their decision within 24 hours and recommended Bharat Biotech’s Covid-19 vaccine candidate for approval without proof of its efficacy in humans.

In other news, the World Health Organization’s director-general complained about China’s delay in granting visas to an incoming WHO team seeking to investigate Covid-19’s origins. In Europe, one out of 50 people has coronavirus in England now, the British government said. Germany extended its lockdown and tightened restrictions, while Italy strengthened some measures to counter the risk of a resurgence.

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COVID-19 LIVE updates: Ready for vaccination within 10 days of approval, says Health Ministry; Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, Oxford Astrazenenca's Covishield granted emergency approval in India; and more. Follow the latest news on coronavirus pandemic in India and across the globe

21:03 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Telangana guv hails Covid-19 vaccine development, pitches for keeping aside controversies

Raising doubts over clearance for Covid-19 vaccines have the potential to create 'unfounded' panic and keeping aside controversies, people should be made partners in the world's biggest vaccination programme in the country, Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan said on Wednesday.

Observing that the country was poised to emerge as a global supplier of Covid-19 vaccine, she said its role in the massive production and supply of the vaccine was crucial for public health at the global level, especially in the context of underdeveloped and developing countries, she said.

"Keeping aside all the controversies, we must prepare and make the people partner in the world's biggest vaccination programme in our country as stated by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Soundararajan, a medical doctor, said. (PTI)

20:41 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Gujarat sees 665 fresh Covid-19 cases, 897 recoveries

Gujarat on Wednesday reported 665 fresh coronavirus positive cases, taking the tally to 2,49,246, the state health department said.

With four more patients succumbing to the viral disease, the overall death toll in Gujarat mounted to 4,329, it said.

A total of 897 patients were discharged during the day, taking the total number of recoveries in Gujarat to 2,36,323, the department said in a release.

With this, the Covid-19 case recoveryrate in the state has improved to 94.82 per cent. (PTI)

20:40 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Tamil Nadu clocks 811 new COVID-19 infections, 11 fatalities

Tamil Nadu on Wednesday recorded 811 new Covid-19 infections, pushing the tally to 8,23,181 while the toll mounted to 12,188 with 11 more deaths.

Recoveries continued to outnumber the new cases with 943 people getting discharged, totalling to 8,03,328, a health department bulletin said. The number of active cases stood at 7,665.

Health secretary J Radhakrishnan said the government would conduct a Covid-19 vaccination dry run on January 8 in all the districts unlike the earlier one which was held in five districts.

Of the 811 cases reported in Tamil Nadu, the State Capital logged 228 new Covid-19 cases while the rest was scattered across other districts. (PTI)

19:35 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Cases of new UK mutant Covid strain go up to 73 in India

The number of people who have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 73, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. These cases include the 58 which were announced by the ministry till Tuesday.

"The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel coronavirus first reported in the UK now stands at 73," the ministry said.

All these people have been kept in single room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments, the ministry had said on Tuesday.

Their close contacts have also been put under quarantine. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. Genome sequencing on other specimens is going on, the ministry said. (PTI)

19:12 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Bengal theatre owners write to Mamata for allowing full occupancy

Citing huge losses and "no instance of the spread of Covid-19 through cinema halls", owners of single-screen theatres in West Bengal have shot off a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urging her to allow full occupancy in the halls.

The theatre owners, in a letter sent to Banerjee on Tuesday evening, said that they have suffered huge losses while complying with the rule of 50 per cent occupancy in cinemas since the reopening of the establishments in the third week of October.

"There has been no report on the spread of the pandemic by way of screening of films in cinema halls in and around the country since the time the halls reopened," the letter signed by Eastern India Motion Pictures Association (EIMPA) president Piya Sengupta said.

She said theatre owners are suffering huge losses as no new Bengali or Hindi films are being released due to the occupancy restrictions. (PTI)

18:42 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Second countrywide dry run on January 8

Ahead of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, a second dry run will take place on January 8, Friday, in all districts of the country, the government has said. (ANI)

18:37 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Centre rushes high-level team to Kerala amid surge in Covid-19 cases

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare today said it will send a high-level team to Kerala for supporting the state amid rising coronavirus cases. Kerala recorded a total of 35,038 new cases during the last seven days in Kerala.

17:56 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Delhi govt asks schools to submit innovations done by teachers for ensuring education in COVID 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. (PTI)

17:12 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Delhi records 654 fresh Covid-19 cases, lowest in over 7 months

Delhi records 654 fresh Covid-19 cases, lowest in over seven months; death toll rises to 10,625 with 16 new fatalities.

17:09 (IST)06 Jan 2021
EU agency ponders approval for Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine

The European Union's medicines agency was meeting Wednesday to consider giving the green light to Moderna Inc's Covid-19 vaccine, a decision that would give the 27-nation bloc a second vaccine to use in the desperate battle to tame the virus rampaging across the continent.

The meeting of the European Medicines Agency's human medicines committee (CHMP) comes amid high rates of infections in many EU countries and strong criticism of the slow pace of vaccinations across the region of some 450 million people.

The EMA has already approved a coronavirus vaccine made by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech. Both vaccines require giving people two shots.

Ahead of the meeting on the Moderna vaccine, the agency said in a tweet that its experts were "working hard to clarify all outstanding issues with the company." It did not elaborate on what those issues were. Moderna also declined to comment. (AP)

16:16 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Pakistan relaxes procurement rules to purchase Covid-19 vaccine on emergency basis

The Pakistan government has relaxed the rules to procure Covid-19 vaccine on emergency basis, officials said on Wednesday.

The decision to relax the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) rules to purchase the vaccine was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday, they said.

As per the decision, there will be no need to fulfil the tender requirement to procure the vaccine, which will be purchased from any of the six companies registered with the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS).

"The federal cabinet, in order to save human lives timely and on an emergency basis, accorded approval for the purchase of Covid-19 vaccine by the Ministry of Health," said a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office. (PTI)

14:58 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Delhi: Covid vaccine dry run held at Hindu Rao Hospital, other civic facilities

Another dry run for the Covid-19 -- vaccination roll-out was held at the Hindu Rao Hospital and a few other civic facilities in the city on Wednesday, officials said.

North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash said, all guidelines that will be followed when vaccination begins, were followed during the exercise. "In NDMC area, Hindu Rao Hospital and Kasturba Hospital were chosen for the dry run that took place this morning. I inspected the arrangement made at Hindu Rao," he said.

Prakash said 34 people were given dummy vaccines at the Hindu Rao Hospital.

In the reception area in the hospitals, a waiting zone has been made, where people will come and after verification of their names through CoWIN app, they will be taken one by one for vaccination. (PTI)

14:28 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Gujarat: 11 staffers at secretariat complex test +ve 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.

13:40 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Grammy Awards shift to March due to pandemic conditions

The 2021 Grammy Awards will no longer take place this month in Los Angeles and will broadcast in March due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. The annual show would shift from its original Jan. 31 broadcast to March 14, according to a joint statement released Tuesday from the Recording Academy and CBS, which broadcasts the ceremony. The statement said the decision was reached "after thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear.''

"The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show,'' read the statement from Recording Academy interim CEO Harvey Mason Jr., CBS executive Jack Sussman and Grammys executive producer Ben Winston.

13:21 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Studies to see if Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses can be halved may take 2 months

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc may take about two months to determine whether doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine can be halved to double the supply of the shots in the U.S., according to the agency. The news comes as the country grapples with a surge in cases, with the number of vaccinations falling far short of early targets. The US government has been considering the move to halve the doses for Moderna’s vaccine, which requires two injections, to free up supply for more vaccinations.

12:26 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Tokyo daily coronavirus cases exceed 1,500

Tokyo's had a record 1,591 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, local media reported, as Japan braces for a new state of emergency for the greater metropolitan area. Rising infections have driven the Tokyo and surrounding areas to the highest level of a four-stage alert, prompting regional governors to urge for a declaration of emergency that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to announce on Thursday. The health ministry held a meeting of infectious disease experts on Wednesday, the second in as many days. They have called for stricter and longer countermeasures, while Suga has sought a more limited response to avoid damaging the economy.

11:46 (IST)06 Jan 2021
71 positive for UK Covid-19 strain in India

A total of 71 people have tested positive for the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in India so far, the Union Health Ministry said today. The new coronavirus variant found in the UK is said to 70 per cent more infectious than the first one.

11:29 (IST)06 Jan 2021
Battling virus surge, UK PM calls off R-Day visit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed “regret” that he would not be able to visit India to be Chief Guest for the Republic Day celebrations. Johnson took this decision in view of the fresh national lockdown in his country, as his government responded to the new, more contagious mutant strain of the novel coronavirus.

Indian government sources said Modi “conveyed his understanding of the exceptional situation and hoped that the UK would overcome Covid challenges successfully”.

Read our explainer on the new strain of coronavirus in the UK

10:49 (IST)06 Jan 2021
China steps up COVID restrictions near Beijing as local infections rise

Chinese authorities on Wednesday shut sections of highways running through Hebei province, which surrounds Beijing, and banned gatherings in the province’s capital in the latest efforts to stave off another coronavirus wave. The province, which entered a “wartime mode” on Tuesday, accounted for 20 of the 23 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases reported in mainland China on Jan. 5, more than the total of 19 cases in the province in the three previous days.

10:15 (IST)06 Jan 2021
WHO ‘disappointed’ at Chinese delays letting experts in

The head of the World Health Organization said Tuesday that he is “disappointed” Chinese officials haven’t finalized the permissions to allow a team of experts into China to examine the origins of COVID-19.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a rare critique of Beijing, said members of the international scientific team began departing from their home countries over the last 24 hours as part of an arrangement between WHO and the Chinese government. “Today, we learned that Chinese officials have not yet finalized the necessary permissions for the team’s arrival in China,” Tedros said during a news conference in Geneva.

A mural spotted at New Friends Colony in New Delhi

With 20 more infections, the number of people tested positive with the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 went up to 58 on Tuesday, the Health Ministry said. “All these people have been kept in single room isolation in designated healthcare facilities by respective state governments and their close contacts have also been put under quarantine,” the ministry said on Monday. Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others.

Amid questions raised by experts and Opposition over the restricted use approval given to Covaxin despite no efficacy data from Phase III trials, Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella Monday said the company had “tremendous experience” in developing vaccines and that criticism against it was a “backlash against Indian companies”. Addressing a virtual press conference, Ella said his company’s work was no less than Pfizer’s, which also came out with a vaccine for coronavirus.

A day after India approved two Covid-19 vaccines, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday lauded the efforts of scientists and said that the country was proud of the research and work done by them to fight the virus. “We’re on the threshold of starting the largest vaccination programme in the world. The entire country is indebted to all scientists and technicians," Modi said. Modi Sunday hailed the two vaccine approvals as a "decisive turning point" for India’s vaccine development.


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