India added 16,504 coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours, placing its overall number at 1.03 crore cases, the Health Ministry's data showed. The number of fresh infections is 9 per cent lower than on Sunday. In this period, India reported 214 deaths linked to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,49,649.
Meanwhile, India's drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country, paving the way for a massive inoculation drive.
The approval by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) was given on the basis of recommendations submitted by a COVID-19 subject expert committee (SEC) of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).
"After adequate examination, CDSCO has decided to accept the recommendations of the Expert Committee and accordingly, vaccines of M/s Serum and M/s Bharat Biotech are being approved for restricted use in emergency situation," DCGI Dr VG Somani said.
Here are the LIVE updates on Coronavirus Cases:
The chairman of Bharat Biotech - whose coronavirus vaccine Covaxin has been given "restricted use in emergency situation in public interest" - hit out Monday at critics flagging the lack of Phase III trial data and questioning the drug's efficacy. "We don't deserve this backlash," Dr Krishna Ella said.
Addressing a virtual presser this evening Dr Ella said his company had carried out "200 per cent honest clinical trials", had an established track record in producing 16 safe and efficacious vaccines, and was transparent with all data.
"Don't accuse us of inexperience. We are a global company... have manufactured 16 vaccines. It is not correct to say we are not transparent with data. We conduct clinical trials in many countries, including the UK. The point is we are not an Indian company... but a global one," he stressed. Read
Kerala today reported six cases of the mutant coronavirus strain that was first confirmed in the UK. All six who have tested positive had returned from the UK after December 14, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja told reporters.
Among those who tested positive are two people from a family in Kozhikode, another two from a family in Alappuzha, and one each from Kottayam and Kannur.
"A total of 29 samples were sent to a lab in Pune. The first 11 tested negative for the mutated strain. Today, six have tested positive for that strain. They are in isolation and in hospital, under treatment. They were advised quarantine on arrival and their contact lists have been prepared and even they are under observation," Ms Shailaja said.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav today said that he had never insulted the scientists who developed the coronavirus vaccine.
Mr Yadav's comment on Saturday that he could not trust a vaccine which would be used by a BJP government had triggered sharp reactions from the ruling party as well as leaders like Omar Abdullah of the National Conference.
The SP chief had tried to make amends on Twitter the same day, saying he was not referring to the scientists.
UK PM Boris Johnson has announced a national lockodwn with stricter measures in wake of new coronavirus strain. Here are key points from Mr Johnson's presser:
- On 29th Dec more than 80,000 people tested positive. Deaths gone up by 20 percent in the last week.
- Stepping out is NOT allowed unless absolutely essential
- If clinically vulnerable, shielding is advised.
- All schools and colleges shut
- Children of key workers can go to school
- Exams won't go as normal this summer 2021
- Free school meal vouchers to be sent to children below low income families
Punjab reported 229 new COVID-19 cases, 490 recoveries and 24 death on December 4, as per State Health Department- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Total cases: 1,67,441
Total recoveries: 1,58,972
Active cases: 3,069
Deaths: 5,400 pic.twitter.com/n9uvwthG2X
The senior Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said a total of 1,099 travellers arrived at the international airport on Sunday in 15 flights from Europe, West Asia and South Africa.
Of these, 503 travellers were quarantined at multiple facilities in the city, while 538 were sent to other states, he said.
They said the Health Department had collected samples of some teachers and 206 students of Classes 10 and 12 a few days ago.
Six of the students and two teachers were found infected with the virus, they added.
The principal of the school said they had adopted all precautionary measures to check the coronavirus spread.
The temperature of the students is being checked through thermal screening and wearing a mask has been made compulsory for every student and teacher attending the school, he said.
The active cases in the district also came down further to 337 from 364 the previous day, according to the data released by the Uttar Pradesh Health Department for a 24-hour period.
On the brighter side, 42 more patients got discharged during the period, with the overall recoveries reaching 24,605, the fifth highest in a district in the state.
Maharashtra reports 2,765 new #COVID19 cases, 10,362 discharges, and 29 deaths today, as per State Health Department- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Total cases: 19,47,011
Total recoveries: 18,47,361
Total active cases: 48,801
Total Deaths: 49,695 pic.twitter.com/58fCAvcoDp
"Covaxin has shown less than 10 per cent adverse reactions, while others have 60 per cent to 70 per cent adverse reactions. I can assure our vaccine is 200 per cent safe," Dr Ella said on Monday in a press conference via video conferencing.
Maharashtra: Schools reopen in Pune after a gap of more than nine months.- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
"Today, we welcomed the students with flowers. We are following all the SOPs in school. We'll also educate students about the precautionary measures," says a school coordinator. pic.twitter.com/H1DWuiiMyP
Six people -- two each in Kozhikode & Alappuzha & one each in Kottayam & Kannur -- have tested positive for new mutated strain of coronavirus: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja pic.twitter.com/21lgdoKEjn- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
8 passengers who returned from Britain have been found positive for the new strain of COVID-19. Five of them are from Mumbai and one each from Pune, Thane and Mira Bhayander. Contact tracing is underway: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope. pic.twitter.com/onIQ9oR4pb- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
No Nepalese citizen is being permitted into the Indian territory through these bridges without written passes. The new rule also applies to those from the Indian side wanting to go to Nepal through these bridges, officials said on Monday.
"The new rule has been brought into force from January 1 this year to contain the spread of coronavirus, especially its new strain which was first found in Britain and has now also entered India," senior official Dharchula AK Shukla said.
Denying allegations that the city-based vaccine maker lacks data of Covaxin, Krishna Ella, chairman of Bharat Biotech, said sufficient data has already been revealed and is available on the net.
"We have four facilities coming up. We are planning around 200 million doses (per annum) in Hyderabad, 500 million doses in other cities," he said.
The infection tally rose to over 6.27 lakh and death count mounted to 10,597, they said. Delhi had recorded 424 cases on Sunday while the positivity rate had stood at 0.62 per cent.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday had tweeted that the positivity rate had been below one per cent for the past 11 days, and new cases were the lowest since May 17.
In the beginning, the cost of vaccine may be a little higher. As the scale of production increases, the price will be controlled by market: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella pic.twitter.com/TGnCvRvtrN- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Mr Naidu, as quoted in a release from Vice President's Secretariat, stressed that this development can benefit not only Indians but the larger humanity. He also appealed the people to express same spirit in taking the vaccine as they did while persevering through the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
We are not a company without experience in vaccines. We have tremendous experience in vaccines. We are touching 123 countries. We are the only company that has got such extensive experience & extensive publication in review journals: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella pic.twitter.com/wPbd0AA5Gv- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Now that vaccine is being politicized, I want to state very clearly that none of my family members is associated with any political party: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella https://t.co/WkHhnleh0Apic.twitter.com/OyXwkoCyaN- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Approval of COVAXIN for emergency use is a giant leap for innovation & novel product development in India. It is a proud moment for the nation & a great milestone in India's scientific capability, a kickstart to the innovation ecosystem in India: Bharat Biotech MD Krishna Ella- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has a licence to produce the shot and has already manufactured close to 50 million doses.
Its CEO Adar Poonawalla told news agency Press Trust of India that the company will start selling the Covishield to the Indian government and GAVI countries in the first stage, followed by the private market.
Lauding the scientists and technicians for the 'Made in India' vaccines, he said the country is proud of them.
"World's biggest COVID-19 vaccination programme set to begin in India. For this, the country is proud of the contributions of its scientists and technicians," PM Modi said, addressing scientists at the National Metrology Conclave.
Preparations related to cold chain infrastructure, survey and training of vaccinators have been completed, Mr Rupani said addressing an event at Ahwa in Dang district.
Total number of persons infected with the new strain of coronavirus in India stands at 38: Ministry of Health- ANI (@ANI) January 4, 2021
Mumbai on Sunday reported three COVID-19 deaths, which are the lowest in a single day since March last year, city civic commissioner IS Chahal said. Read more
Well-known Malayalam poet and lyricist Anil Panachooran died at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday night after suffering a heart attack, the hospital sources said, reported news agency PTI. Read more
A Brazilian association of private health clinics said Sunday it was negotiating with Indian pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech to buy five million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine, which India has just authorized for emergency use.
The Brazilian Association of Vaccine Clinics (ABCVAC) confirmed on its website it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian firm to purchase its Covaxin vaccine, which is currently in the final stage of clinical trials.
Any final deal would be subject to approval by Brazil's health regulator, Anvisa, which has yet to approve any vaccines against the new coronavirus.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro's government faces mounting criticism of dragging its feet on a vaccination campaign in Brazil, which has the second-highest death toll in the pandemic, after the United States.
35 people, including 10 women and three minors were arrested from Sector 8's Mud House restaurant in January 2. Six staff members were also arrested in the raid and 12 hookahs were confiscated as well. Three owners of the hookah bar have also been arrested in the raid.