Coronavirus Cases in India: The recovery rate is 96.16 per cent.
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.
This paves the way for the roll out of at least two vaccines in India in the coming days.
The Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, has tied up with AstraZeneca to manufacture Covishield.
Covaxin has been indigenously developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
Meanwhile, India added 18,177 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 4.7 per cent lower than on Saturday. In this period, India reported 217 deaths linked to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,49,435.
Here are the LIVE updates on Coronavirus Cases:
"Bharat Biotech Vaccine Could Be Back-Up For Now," Says AIIMS Chief
Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trial, is likely to be the "back-up" vaccine in the coming days, Dr Randeep Guleria, the chief of Delhi's All-India Institute of Medical Sciences said today as two vaccines got emergency approval from the country's drug regulator.
Politics has started over the approval to Covaxin, with several opposition parties pointing out that the vaccine was approved without the full process.
Congress's Shashi Tharoor tweeted, "The Covaxin has not yet had Phase 3 trials. Approval was premature and could be dangerous. @drharshvardhan should please clarify. Its use should be avoided till full trials are over. India can start with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the meantime".
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan criticised Congress and other opposition leaders over their comments on Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, which was cleared for emergency use in the country along with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India.
Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Jairam Ramesh, and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had pointed out that Covaxin lacked efficacy data to show the vaccine's effectiveness before it was approved for emergency use.
"Disgraceful for anyone to politicise such a critical issue. Sh @ShashiTharoor, Sh @yadavakhilesh & Sh @Jairam_Ramesh don't try to discredit well laid out science-backed protocols followed for approving #COVID19 vaccines. Wake up & realise you are only discrediting yourselves," Harsh Vardhan tweeted.
No Covid Safety, 65 Arrested For Partying At Hookah Bars In Delhi
Sixty-five people have been arrested from two illegal hookah bars in Delhi's Rohini after police raids. Coronavirus norms were also being violated at the bars, police said, saying social distancing was not followed at either establishment.
26 people, including four staff members, were arrested from Uptown Cafe in Rohini's Sector 9 on January 1. Ten hookahs have also been seized by the police in the raids.
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.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Top Scientist Rejects Trump Claim That US Covid Deaths Overcounted
Two top U.S. health officials on Sunday disputed a claim by President Donald Trump that federal data on COVID-19 cases and deaths in the United States is overblown, and both expressed optimism that the pace of vaccinations is picking up, Reuters reported.
"The deaths are real deaths," Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on ABC News' This Week, adding that jam-packed hospitals and stressed-out healthcare workers are "not fake. That's real."
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: At 3, Mumbai reports lowest COVID-19 deaths since March last year
Mumbai on Sunday reported three COVID-19 deaths, which are the lowest in a single day since March last year, city civic commissioner I S Chahal said.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Aim is to run vaccination process without glitch, tackling administrative, public challenges, says AIIMS Director
With vaccine roll out on the cards after Drugs Controller General of India''s (DCGI) approval, the country needs to tackle public and administrative challenges to have a smooth vaccination roll-out, said Randeep Guleria, Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Sunday.
"The challenges are going to be both from the administration point of view and public point of view. From the administration, the challenge is to ensure that things run smoothly, and from point of view of public the challenge is to reassure them that this is a safe and effective vaccine," said Dr Guleria.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: US officials defend troubled vaccine rollout
US officials on Sunday defended the stumbling campaign to vaccinate millions of Americans against the coronavirus, saying they expected much more to be done in coming weeks after delays.
"There have been a couple of glitches, that's understandable," top US scientist Anthony Fauci said on ABC. He said there would always be challenges in "trying to get a massive vaccine program started and getting off on the right foot."
Some 4.2 million Americans have received initial doses of the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, but that is far below official predictions of 20 million by the new year, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Egypt probes Covid-19 deaths due to alleged lack of oxygen
Egypt said Sunday it had opened an investigation into the deaths of four Covid-19 patients in an intensive care unit allegedly due to lack of oxygen, which had sparked a public outcry.
"The prosecutor's office in Al-Husseiniya (in the northern Sharqiya province) summoned the director of Al-Husseiniya hospital to question him over the deaths of four people due to lack of oxygen," a judicial source told AFP, without specifying the dates of the deaths.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Bihar reports 282 new COVID-19 cases, 2 fresh deaths
Bihar's COVID-19 tally rose to 2,53,933 as 282 more people tested positive for the virus, while two fresh fatalities pushed the death count to 1,405, a health department bulletin said on Sunday.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: In Canada, shippers race to move cancer treatments as COVID-19 grounds flights
Medical companies and shippers in Canada are racing to transport time-sensitive radiochemical materials used to treat cancer, as a pandemic-induced drop in passenger flights has narrowed transportation options and created cargo delays, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Veteran US broadcaster Larry King in hospital with COVID-19
Legendary talk show host Larry King is in a hospital here with COVID-19, multiple US media outlets reported on Sunday. The 87-year-old former CNN interviewer has been at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre for over a week, PTI reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Schools, colleges to reopen in Bihar from Monday; Centre issues safety guidelines
Educational institutions including schools, colleges, universities, coaching institutes will reopen in Bihar from Monday after a gap of over nine months since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, PTI reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Pope criticises people going on holiday to flee COVID-19 lockdowns
Pope Francis condemned on Sunday people who had gone abroad on holiday to escape coronavirus lockdowns, saying they needed to show greater awareness of the suffering of others.
Speaking after his weekly noon blessing, Francis said he had read newspaper reports of people catching flights to flee government curbs and seek fun elsewhere, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Homes of Pelosi and McConnell vandalised amid political tussle over COVID stimulus
The homes of the two highest-ranking members of the US Congress - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - have been vandalised, police said, amid a political battle over a stimulus package to coronavirus-hit Americans. Fake blood and a severed pig''s head were reportedly left outside top Democrat Pelosi''s California house, which was also daubed with graffiti, PTI reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Delhi records 424 fresh COVID-19 cases, lowest in over seven months
Delhi recorded 424 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest in over seven months, and 14 more fatalities due to the disease on Sunday, even as the positivity rate slipped to 0.62 per cent, authorities said. The COVID-19 case tally in the city stands at over 6.26 lakh and the death count due to the disease has climbed to 10,585, PTI reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Tougher lockdown restriction likely on the way, says UK PM Johnson
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that tougher lockdown restrictions were probably on the way as COVID-19 cases keep rising, but that schools were safe places and children should continue to attend where permitted.
Cases of COVID-19 in Britain are at record levels and increasing, fuelled by a new and more transmissible variant of the virus. That has already forced the government to cancel the planned reopening of schools in and around London, with calls from teaching unions for wider closures, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Thailand mulls more restrictions amid second wave of coronavirus
Thailand's government held off from ordering new nationwide business shutdowns on Sunday amid a wave of coronavirus cases but empowered some provincial governors to set their own restrictions and pleaded with the public not to travel.
Thailand, which had largely controlled the virus by mid-2020, saw a second wave of outbreaks beginning in December, Reuters reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Egypt approves Chinese Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine
Egypt has approved the use of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Chinese pharma giant Sinopharm with its rollout to start later in January, the health minister said.
"The Egyptian pharmaceutical authority approved on Saturday the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine," Hala Zayed said late Saturday, on the local MBC Masr channel.
The first batch of the vaccine was delivered in December, with further doses expected this month, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Israel plans 2 million vaccinated by end of January
Israel said Sunday two million people will have received a two-dose Covid-19 vaccination by the end of January, a pace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasts is the world's fastest.
Starting on December 19, when Netanyahu got his first jab, Israel launched an aggressive push to administer the vaccine made by US-German pharma alliance Pfizer-BioNTech.
Health Ministry Director General Hezi Levy said that because of the enthusiastic takeup, Israel would be easing the speed of vaccination to eke out stocks, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Thailand detects first patients with UK-linked strain of COVID-19
Thailand has identified its first four cases of the new coronavirus strain that originated in the United Kingdom, the Thai PBS reported Sunday, citing the chief of the Center of Excellence in Clinical Virology at Chulalongkorn University, Yong Poovorawan.
According to the news outlet, the new mutated strain was found in a family of four UK nationals, who are currently being quarantined at a private hospital, ANI reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Schools are safe, say UK PM Johnson as COVID-19 cases surge
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday schools were safe, and advised parents to send their children in, in areas where rules allow it, responding to concerns about the surge in COVID-19 cases as classes are due to restart after Christmas.
"There is no doubt in my mind that schools are safe, and that education is a priority," he told the BBC.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: COVID-19 found on multiple auto part packaging samples in China
Multiple auto part packaging samples have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in various parts of China after a company engaged in auto part sales reported a confirmed COVID-19 case, ANI reported.
Delhi's Vaccination Plan As India Approves Vaccines For Emergency Use
Coronavirus vaccines will be given in the first phase to around nine lakh healthcare and frontline workers in the national capital, Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain on Sunday charted out the strategy of inoculation drive in the national capital, hours after two coronavirus vaccines got approval for emergency use in the country. Read more
"Bharat Biotech Vaccine Could Be Back-Up For Now," Says AIIMS Chief
Bharat Biotech's coronavirus vaccine, which is still undergoing clinical trial, is likely to be the "back-up" vaccine in the coming days, Dr Randeep Guleria, the chief of Delhi's All-India Institute of Medical Sciences said today as two vaccines got emergency approval from the country's drug regulator. Read more
Saudi Arabia reopens borders closed due to Covid-19
Saudi Arabia on Sunday announced the reopening of borders and the resumption of international flights after a two-week suspension aimed to stem the spread of a new Covid-19 strain.
The government ordered the lifting of "precautionary measures related to the spread of a new variant of coronavirus", the Ministry of the Interior said, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 363,000 cases, including over 6,200 deaths -- the highest among the Gulf Arab states -- but has also reported a high recovery rate.
Riyadh suspended international flights and access through land crossings and ports on December 21.
Other Gulf countries, Oman and Kuwait, who had taken similar measures, have also lifted them in recent days.
But travellers returning from Britain, South Africa or "any country where the new variant of the coronavirus is spreading" are subject to more restrictions, the statement added.
COVID-19: Thane district's count rises by 333, death number by 7
With the addition of 333 coronavirus positive cases, the infection tally in Thane district of Maharashtra climbed to 2,43,871, an official said on Sunday.
These new cases were reported on Saturday, he said.
As seven patients succumbed to the infection during the day, the death toll went up to 5,974 in the district, where the mortality rate is 2.45 per cent, he added.
So far, 2,34,005 patients have recuperated from the infection, which took the recovery rate to 95.95 per cent.
There are 3,892 active cases in the district at present, the official said.
Telangana logs 394 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths push number to 1,549
Telangana recorded 394 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total positives to over 2.87 lakh while three fatalities pushed the toll to 1,549, the state government said on Sunday.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 81, followed by Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiriwith 36 and 31 respectively, it said in a bulletin, providing details as of PM on January 2.
The total number of cases stood at 2,87,502 while recoveries were 2,80,565.
As many as 5,388 patients are under treatment and 40,190 samples were tested on Saturday.
"Happy New Year, All Risks Paid Off': Adar Poonawalla On Vaccine Approval
All the risks taken by Serum Institute have finally paid off, tweeted Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of the Pune-based vaccine manufacturer, shortly after the country's drug regulator cleared its Covishield vaccine for emergency approval in India. Mr Poonawalla reiterated that the "Covishield" vaccine -- developed by Serum Institute of India in partnership with the Oxford University and pharma major AstraZeneca - is "safe and effective" against coronavirus and added that the vaccine "is ready to roll out in the coming weeks". Read more
World Health Organization welcomes India's decision giving emergency use authorization to COVID-19 vaccines: Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region
Assam's COVID-19 toll climbs to 1,051, tally at 2,16,289
Assam reported two more deaths due to COVID-19, pushing the death toll to 1,051, while the coronavirus tally mounted to 2,16,289 with 38 fresh cases, the National Health Mission (NHM) said in a bulletin.
The overall positivity rate stood at 3.58 per cent against total testing of 60,38,661 samples so far, it said.
The state reported 80 single-day recoveries, taking the total count to 2,12,069, NHM said late on Saturday.
Assam now has 3,166 active cases and the patients are being treated at different hospitals and Covid Care Centres (CCCs) across the state, while some are in home isolation.
Just In| Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Bharat Biotech's Covaxin get final approval by drug regulator, will be India's first vaccines
Over 4.2 Million Administered With Covid Vaccine In US: Top Health Body
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered 4,225,756 first doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Saturday morning and distributed 13,071,925 doses.
The tally of vaccine doses distributed and the number of people who received the first dose are for both Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, vaccines as of 9:00 AM ET on Saturday, the agency said.
According to the tally posted on Dec. 30, the agency had administered 2,794,588 first doses of the vaccines and distributed 12,409,050 doses.
Japan to consider new COVID-19 emergency declaration
Japan will consider issuing a new emergency declaration after governors in the capital region urged action to tackle a record surge in COVID-19 cases, the head of the nation's pandemic response said on Saturday.
The government needs to consult with health experts before deciding on a new declaration, Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told reporters after a meeting with Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and leaders from three neighbouring prefectures.
"The national government and the three governors shared the view that the situation in the Tokyo area is getting more severe such that an emergency declaration may be necessary," Nishimura said.
As an interim measure, restaurants and karaoke parlors in the Tokyo area would be asked to close at 8 p.m., while businesses that serve alcohol should close at 7 p.m., he said.
Thailand reports 315 new coronavirus cases in second wave
Thailand confirmed 315 new coronavirus cases on Sunday in a second wave of infection where the majority of the cases were local transmission.
The new cases include 21 cases imported from abroad, the government's COVID-19 taskforce said.
Thailand has confirmed a total of 7,694 coronavirus cases and 64 deaths since its first case last January.
The government is eyeing tougher measures to restrict businesses and limits people's movement in 28 provinces, including the capital Bangkok to curb the spread of the virus.
India A Step Closer To Covid Vaccine, Drug Regulator Approval Awaited: 10 Facts
India has moved a step closer to getting a coronavirus vaccine as two candidates - Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and the Serum Institute of India's Covishield - have been recommended by a government-appointed panel to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use in the last two days. The country has been preparing for the vaccine rollout for the last four months, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Saturday as he reviewed the dry run in Delhi. Read more
Just In| India records 18,177 new cases, 4.7% lower than yesterday; 1.03 crore total cases, 1.49 lakh deaths
Australia's COVID-19 cases on the rise as masks made compulsory
Australia's most-populous state of New South Wales (NSW) reported eight new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, while neighbouring Victoria's tally increased by three, as new measures to combat the disease kicked in.
The NSW outbreak started around mid-December in Sydney's Northern Beaches area, where a quarter of a million people are in strict lockdown until Jan. 9. Cases associated with the cluster now total 148.
A smaller cluster in the west of the city, linked to a different genome sequence, has 13 confirmed cases. But the state's chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said authorities are worried as recent transmission at a liquor store occurred with "fleeting" exposure.
"We know these transmission events have happened through very minimal exposure. We are asking members of the community who did purchase alcohol or enter that premises for that period to be very vigilant," Chant told reporters.
India Successfully Cultures UK Coronavirus Strain: Top Medical Body
India has successfully cultured the new coronavirus strain, which originated in the UK, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said on Saturday.
In a tweet, the ICMR claimed that no country has yet reported successful isolation and culture of the UK-variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Culture is the process by which cells are grown under controlled conditions, generally outside their natural environment.
"UK-variant of the virus, with all signature changes, is now successfully isolated and cultured at the National Institute of Virology (NIV) from the clinical specimens collected from UK-returnees," the ICMR said.
Luxury Hotel In Chennai Turns Into Covid Cluster, 85 Test Positive
About 85 people, including staff members, at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai have tested positive for COVID-19 since December 15 last year, a senior official said on Saturday. Of the total of 609 samples collected so far, 85 were found to be positive for the virus.
Mexican Doctor Hospitalised After Receiving Pfizer Covid Vaccine
Mexican authorities said they are studying the case of a 32-year-old female doctor who was hospitalized after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The doctor, whose name has not been released, was admitted to the intensive care unit of a public hospital in the northern state of Nuevo Leon after she experienced seizures, difficulty breathing and a skin rash.
Bharat Biotech's Vaccine Cleared By Panel, Regulator's Approval Awaited
Covaxin, the coronavirus vaccine from Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, has been recommended for "restricted use in emergency situation in public interest" by a government-appointed panel, which submitted its findings to the Drugs Controller General of India on Saturday evening. Read Here
Covid Vaccine To Be Available In UP Around 'Makar Sankranti': Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said COVID-19 vaccine will be available in the state close to the Hindu festival, 'Makar Sankranti', which will be celebrated on January 14.
Speaking at a programme, he said, "We initiated the campaign against COVID-19 in March 2020 under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and at the beginning of this year we could say firmly that the dry run of the vaccine will be held on January 5 across the state and the vaccine will be available near around Makar Sankranti."
The Chief Minister added that a dry run of the vaccine was being held at some places in the state on Saturday.
Mexican Doctor Hospitalised After Receiving Pfizer Covid Vaccine
Mexican authorities said they are studying the case of a 32-year-old female doctor who was hospitalized after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The doctor, whose name has not been released, was admitted to the intensive care unit of a public hospital in the northern state of Nuevo Leon after she experienced seizures, difficulty breathing and a skin rash.
"The initial diagnosis is encephalomyelitis," the Health Ministry said in a statement released on Friday night. Encephalomyelitis is an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.
The ministry added that the doctor has a history of allergic reactions and said that there is no evidence from clinical trials that anyone has developed an inflammation of the brain after the vaccine's application.
Russia Inoculates Over 800,000 People Against Covid, Issues Vaccination Certificates
More than 800,000 people in Russia have been inoculated so far against the new coronavirus and more than 1.5 million vaccine doses have been dispatched, Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Saturday.
Russia, which began rolling out its Sputnik V vaccine in early December, has the world's fourth higher number of COVID-19 cases and is putting high hopes on several vaccines it plans to produce.
From Jan. 1, people who are inoculated in Russia will get an electronic vaccination certificate, the TASS news agency quoted Murashko as saying. The ministry is keeping a database of Russians who have been vaccinated, TASS reported.
The Sputnik V vaccine, which Russia already started supplying to other countries, is administered in two doses, which use different components, 21 days apart.
Russia sent 300,000 doses of the vaccine to Argentina last week, causing frustration at home, with some people arguing that more shots should be made available at home.