Here are the top-10 developments on this front over the past 24 hours.
The number of active cases now stands at 4,28,644, down nearly 7,000 since Tuesday, according to the data from the Union Health Ministry.
Maharashtra, India's worst COVID-19-affected state, added 4,930 new cases, with the total number of infected people reaching 18,28,826. The state also reported 95 deaths, which took the fatality count to 47,246.
The major infected states were Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Delhi.
Union heath secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said the government had never spoken of inoculating the entire country when a coronavirus vaccine is approved. "I want to make it absolutely clear. I repeatedly say that before discussing the topics related to science, it would be good to know the factual information about it and then analyse it. So the vaccination of the whole country was never spoken of," he said on Tuesday when asked by when the government would be able to vaccinate the whole country.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed in on the local authorities' practice of pasting cautioning posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients. It said this leads to people being stigmatised and treated as "untouchables". The Centre, however, informed the top court that the practice is aimed at protecting other people.
The government on Tuesday said it had found no reason to stop the Oxford vaccine trials in India after reviewing a Chennai volunteer's allegation of serious adverse effects, including memory loss and change in behavior. The Adar Poonawalla-led Serum Institute of India also said the vaccine was "safe and immunogenic" and the Data and Safety Monitoring Board and the Ethics Committee had "independently cleared" the trials after examining the complaint.
In a first, COVID-19 patients and those in quarantine will be allowed to vote through the postal ballot facility in Kerala's local body election, scheduled for December 8, 10, and 11. Special polling teams will carry application and declaration forms as well as the postal ballots for coronavirus patients, who will be categorised as "special voters". Up to 24,621 "special voters" have been listed by the state poll panel till now and the list will be updated daily.
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the biotech firm Regeneron are investigating whether technology developed for gene therapy can be used to make a nasal spray that will prevent infection with the new coronavirus. The idea is to use a weakened virus as a delivery truck to carry genetic instructions to cells within the nose and the throat, which will in turn create powerful antibodies to stop SARS-CoV-2 from invading our bodies.
England on Wednesday ended a month-long lockdown but most of the country remained under restrictions as a new regional system for cutting coronavirus infection rates kicked in. The four-week lockdown, which began in November, was imposed to stop surging rates of infection, ease pressure on health services, and to allow families to gather for Christmas.
Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are in a tight race to launch their COVID-19 vaccines in Europe after both applied for emergency EU approval on Tuesday, though there was uncertainty over whether a rollout could begin this year. The applications came a day after Moderna sought emergency use for its shot in the US and more than a week after Pfizer and BioNTech did the same.