Highlights: Over 17,000 Vaccinated Across Six States On Day 2, Says Centre

First COVID-19 vaccine shots in India were given on Saturday to nearly two lakh frontline healthcare and sanitary workers as Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out the inoculation drive against coronavirus.

Highlights: Over 17,000 Vaccinated Across Six States On Day 2, Says Centre

Around 2.24 lakh people have been vaccinated so far (File)

New Delhi:

Over 17,000 people were vaccinated across six states on Day 2 of the nationwide coronavirus drive, the Health Ministry said Sunday evening, adding that this takes the total number of people vaccinated so far to around 2.24 lakh.

On Saturday (Day 1) 1.91 lakh people were administered the shots with over 3,000 sites active across India. The Health Ministry said the drop in the number of states carrying out vaccination today was part of a "usual strategy" to avoid clashes with immunisation schedules for other illnesses.

At today's briefing the ministry also said that only 447 AEFIs had been recorded over the two days of vaccination, of which only three patients had to be hospitalised. Two of these three have been discharged after treatment (from Delhi's AIIMS and Railway Hospital), while the third was under observation at the AIIMS in Rishikesh.

The WHO defines AEFIs as any untoward medical occurrence which follows immunisation and does not necessarily have a causal relationship with the usage of the vaccine.

"The usual strategy is to avoid days on which there is a holiday or there is routine immunisation for other diseases. Most states are doing it on four days but smaller states like Goa are dping it on two days of the week because they have lesser numbers," Manohar Agnani, the Joint Secretary of the Health Ministry, said.

India added 15,144 coronavirus cases on Sunday, placing its overall number at 1.05 crore cases, the Health Ministry's data showed. The number of fresh infections reported on Sunday were marginally lower than on Saturday. In this period, India reported 181 deaths linked to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,52,274.

Here are the Highlights:

Jan 18, 2021 03:31 (IST)
Brazil Authorises Emergency Use Of 2 Vaccines As Covid Enters Second Wave
Brazilian health regulator Anvisa on Sunday approved emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines from China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd and Britain's AstraZeneca, clearing the way for immunizations as the pandemic enters a deadly second wave.

Minutes after Anvisa's board voted unanimously to approve both vaccines, Monica Calazans, a 54-year-old nurse in Sao Paulo, became the first person to be inoculated in the country, receiving the Chinese vaccine known as CoronaVac.

President Jair Bolsonaro, a coronavirus skeptic who has refused to take a vaccine himself, is under growing pressure to start inoculations in Brazil, which has lost more than 200,000 to COVID-19 - the worst death count outside the United States.
Jan 17, 2021 23:59 (IST)
"It's Our Turn Now": Akshay Kumar Rallies Fans For Ayodhya Temple Funding
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar on Sunday sent out a call to fans to contribute for the Lord Ram temple being built in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya following the landmark Supreme Court verdict in the decades-long dispute over the site.

"It is a matter of great pleasure that the construction of our grand temple of Shri Ram has begun in Ayodhya... Now it is our turn to contribute. I have started, hope you will join too. Jai Siyaram," Mr Kumar tweeted in Hindi along with a video.
Jan 17, 2021 23:33 (IST)
Coronavirus Latest Updates: UP Reports 6 More Deaths, Lowest In 24 Hours
With six more fatalities, the lowest in a 24-hour period so far, the death count due to COVID-19 rose to 8,576 in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday, while the infection tally climbed to 5,96,528 with 404 fresh cases, officials said.

This was the lowest number deaths caused by the viral disease in a span of 24 hours in Uttar Pradesh, they said, adding that on January 2, eight COVID-19 fatalities were reported in the state.

Briefing reporters in Lucknow, Additional Chief Secretary (Medical and Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said 666 COVID-19 patients recovered from the disease in the state in the last 24 hours. With this, the total number recoveries went up to 5,79,071, he added.

The recovery rate of COVID-19 patients in the state is 97.07 per cent and the count of active cases stands at 8,881, the official said.

More than 2.62 crore samples have so far been tested for the viral disease in the state, including over 1.28 lakh on Saturday, he added.
Jan 17, 2021 22:45 (IST)
Latest News: Centre Seeks Amazon Prime's Reply On Complaint Against 'Tandav': Sources
The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sought a response from Amazon Prime, sources said, after Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam on Sunday filed a complaint against the creators, actors and director of Amazon Prime Video's "Tandav", alleging the web series - which stars Saif Ali Khan and Dimple Kapadia - had "insulted Hindu gods and goddesses" and that this happened "every time".

He referred to scenes he said mocked Lord Shiva and demanded they be deleted and that Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, another actor in the series, apologise. He also called on I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar to set up a censor board to review content streamed by OTTs like Prime and Netflix.
Jan 17, 2021 22:17 (IST)
COVID-19 LIVE Updates: Over 6,000 Beneficiaries Get Covid Vaccines In Tamil Nadu Including State Health Secretary
The second day of the immunisation drive against COVID-19 saw the Health Secretary being administered the vaccine as the total number to get the shots in Tamil Nadu crossed the 6,000 mark on Sunday, with no adverse reaction reported, the government said.

According to updated figures for vaccination on the opening day, 3,027 people were administered Covishield and 99 Covaxin.

On Sunday, 2,847 beneficiaries received Covishield and 183 Covaxin and in total, 6,156 persons, including doctors have got the jabs and no adverse reaction was seen, the Tamil Nadu Health department said in an official release.

The government-led vaccination drive is being held in 160 plus centres across the state, in addition to private hospitals.

Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, overseeing the vaccination exercise in Tiruchirappalli district, was administered the vaccine.
Jan 17, 2021 21:34 (IST)
Forced To Protest As Opposition Is Weak: Farmer Leader Rakesh Tikait
The farmers would not have protested if the opposition of the country had played its role, farmer leader Rakesh Tikait said on Sunday.

"The opposition of this country is weak, hence the farmers are forced to agitate," said Mr Tikait, adding that farmers' protest is an ideological revolution and it would never fail.

"If a few lakh farmers are camping at the borders of Delhi, why is the government not repealing the FarmLaws? I think the agitation will continue... Protesting farmers will not return to their homes till the new farm laws are repealed," he said adding that more than 550 farmers unions of the nation have joined the movement.
Jan 17, 2021 21:03 (IST)
Farmers' Protest Latest Updates | 'Centre's Oppressive Attitude': Farmers Hit Back After Probe Agency's Summons
Farmers protesting the agriculture laws lashed out at the centre Sunday for its "oppressive attitude" after the NIA summoned 40 protest members and supporters, including Punjabi actor Deep Sidhu, as "witnesses" in a case against Sikhs for Justice - a banned separatist group.

Addressing reporters from Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border, where thousands have gathered since late November to demand the repeal of the controversial laws, farmer leader Shivkumar Kakka accused the centre of "torturing" those who were supporting the movement.

"NIA has started to register cases against those who are a part of the farmers' movement or those who have lent their support to it. All farmers' unions condemn this. We will fight this in every possible way," Darshan Pal, another farmer leader, said.
Jan 17, 2021 20:41 (IST)
Coronavirus Latest News: Remaining UP Health Workers To Get COVID-19 Vaccines By Friday, Says Official
The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday said the rest of the health workers in the state will get COVID-19 vaccines by January 22.

Speaking to reporters, Additional Chief Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal said, "The anti-COVID vaccination drive in the state started on January 16, and rest of the health workers will get vaccinated by January 22. There should be no rumours regarding vaccination."

He added that the vaccination drive in the state is being done as per the Centre's guidelines, and there will be no change as far as the vaccine shots are concerned.

A total of 20,076 healthcare workers at the frontline of India's COVID-19 battle got their first jabs in UP on Saturday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi launching the world's largest vaccination drive against the pandemic.
Jan 17, 2021 20:06 (IST)
West Bengal Assembly Polls 2021: Shiv Sena Will Contest West Bengal Assembly Election, Says Sanjay Raut
The Shiv Sena will contest the assembly elections in West Bengal due later this year, the party's Sanjay Raut announced on Sunday, jutting into the high-pitched contest between Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and a surging BJP.

"So, here is the much-awaited update. After discussions with Party Chief Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Shivsena has decided to contest the West Bengal Assembly Elections. We are reaching Kolkata soon," Mr Raut, an MP and the party's top spokesperson, tweeted.
Jan 17, 2021 19:56 (IST)
Latest News: Facebook, Twitter Executives Summoned By Panel Over Social Media Misuse
A parliamentary committee has summoned officials of Facebook and Twitter to discuss the issue of safeguarding citizens' rights and preventing misuse of social news media platforms. The meet will be held on January 21.

In October, officials of both social media platforms were called before a joint parliamentary committee regarding data protection and privacy issues. Read here.
Jan 17, 2021 19:46 (IST)
Bird Flu Outbreak: Dead Crow Samples Test Positive For Bird Flu In Gujarat' Navsari
Samples of three dead crows found in two villages in Navsari in Gujarat have tested positive for bird flu, making it the fifth district in the state to report cases, officials said on Sunday.

Crow carcasses collected from Syada village in Chikhli taluka and Manpur village in Vansda taluka of the district on January 11 tested positive for H5N8 avian influenza virus in RT-PCR tests conducted in a Bhopal laboratory, the official said.

The district collector on Saturday evening issued a notification imposing restrictions over a one kilometre area around the spots where the carcasses were found, officials said.

Gujarat first reported bird flu from Junagadh district on January 8, and on January 11, cases were confirmed in crow samples in Surat, Vadodara and Valsad.

The state's animal husbandry department said the virus detected in the state so far is of a low pathogenic strain limited to wild birds.
Jan 17, 2021 19:29 (IST)
Over 17,000 Vaccinated On Day 2, Adverse Reactions Minor: Health Ministry
Over 17,000 people were vaccinated across six states on Day 2 of the nationwide coronavirus drive, the Health Ministry said Sunday evening, adding that this takes the total number of people vaccinated so far to around 2.24 lakh.

On Saturday (Day 1) 1.91 lakh people were administered the shots with over 3,000 sites active across India. The Health Ministry said the drop in the number of states carrying out vaccination today was part of a "usual strategy" to avoid clashes with immunisation schedules for other illnesses.
Jan 17, 2021 19:21 (IST)
2,07,229 people were vaccinated on day one- the highest day one vaccination number in the world; Higher than the US, UK and France on day one: Health Ministry

Jan 17, 2021 19:20 (IST)
447 cases of AEFI (Adverse event following immunization) reported on 16th and 17th January, only three required hospitalisation: Health Ministry

Jan 17, 2021 19:20 (IST)
In 553 sessions, a total of 17,072 beneficiaries were vaccinated today. A total of 2,24,301 beneficiaries vaccinated so far: Health Ministry
Jan 17, 2021 19:20 (IST)
Today, only six states conducted COVID19 vaccination sessions: Dr Manohar Agnani, Additional Secretary, Health Ministry
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Jan 17, 2021 19:19 (IST)
COVID-19 LIVE Updates: No Side Effects Of Coronavirus Vaccine In Maharashtra, Says State Health Minister
There has been no case of adverse reaction or side-effects of COVID-19 vaccine in Maharashtra so far, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope said on Sunday, a dayafter the inoculation drive was undertaken across the country.

Talking to PTI, Mr Tope also expressed confidence that "everything will be safe".

As many as 18,425 beneficiaries, or 65 per cent of the target for the first day, were given vaccine shot across the state on Saturday, a health department official earlier said.

"There has absolutely been no report of any adverse reaction or side-effects of the vaccine following the drive on Saturday. Everything was safe, it will be safe," Mr Tope said.

The Maharashtra government on Saturday evening announced suspension of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in the state till Monday owing to problems in the Co-WIN app.
Jan 17, 2021 19:01 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Trinamool Leaders Received Covid Vaccine Meant For Health Workers, Says BJP
The BJP on Sunday alleged that several TMC leaders in West Bengal were administered COVID-19 vaccines meant for healthcare personnel and frontline workers, resulting in a shortfall of doses in the state.

Several TMC leaders, including two MLAs, were among the people who received the COVID-19 vaccine in Purba Bardhaman district on Saturday, the opening day of the nationwide vaccination programme.

Many healthcare workers in the state had alleged that they could not get the jab though they were asked to come for it.

"The vaccines sent by the central government are for healthcare staffers, police personnel and other frontline workers who are serving the society in the pandemic situation. Nearly 3.5 crore vials were dispatched by the Centre across the country. These doses are not meant for political leaders.

"If these vaccines were taken by some TMC leaders, there would be a shortfall," BJP state unit president Dilip Ghosh told reporters.
Jan 17, 2021 18:44 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Will Poor, Underprivileged Get Covid Vaccine For Free? Asks Congress
A day after India rolled out the world's largest inoculation drive against COVID-19, the Congress on Sunday asked whether the government plans to provide free vaccines to all Indians, especially the underprivileged and the poor, and when.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said that though the government claims it will cover three crore people in the first round of the vaccination drive, it is yet to clarify if the remaining population of India will get a vaccine and whether they will get it for free.

"Is the government not aware that 81.35 crore people are eligible for subsidised ration under the Food Security Act? Will the SC, ST, BC, OBC, BPL, APL, the poor and the underprivileged get the vaccine for free or not? If yes, what is the roll-out plan and by when will the government ensure free vaccination," he asked.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP government need to answer...Who will get free corona vaccine? How many people will get the free corona vaccine? Where will you get free corona vaccine," he said.
Jan 17, 2021 18:24 (IST)
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: Won't Call Off Tractor Rally On Republic Day, Say Protesting Farmers
The protesting farmers refused to call off their January 26 tractor rally today, and said the probe by the National Investigation Agency is meant to break their protest. The farmers have planned a huge rally on Republic Day to register protest in the national capital. There are plans to have 1,000 tractors participate in the rally, the farmers have said.
Jan 17, 2021 18:03 (IST)
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: Farmers Prepared To Protest Till May 2024, Says Farm Union Leader
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Sunday said farmers are prepared to protest against the Centre's new farm laws "till May 2024", and termed the ongoing agitation by peasants at Delhi borders as an "ideological revolution".

Addressing a press conference in Nagpur, Tikait said they want a legal guarantee on Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Farmers have been protesting near Delhi since November 26, 2020, demanding scrapping of the three new farm laws, which have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the mandi system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

The Supreme Court last Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three new farm laws till further orders and decided to set up a four-member committee to resolve the impasse over them between the Centre and farmers' unions protesting at Delhi borders.
Jan 17, 2021 17:20 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Some Didn't Turn Up For Covid Vaccination At Last Moment, Says Delhi Health Minister
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday said some people did not turn up for coronavirus vaccination at the last moment, adding that the government cannot ask anyone to compulsorily take the jab.

He also said that the number of vaccination centres in Delhi will be increased from 81 to 175 soon.

In Delhi, a total of 4,319 healthcare workers - 53.3 per cent of those registered - got the vaccine shots on the first day of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday, the minister said.

Jain noted that a similar trend was observed across the country, adding that around 50 per cent of those registered got the jabs on the first day.

"Some people decided not to turn up at the last moment. The vaccination programme is completely voluntary. We cannot ask anyone to compulsorily take the shot even if the person has registered for it," he said.

One "severe" and 51 "minor" cases of AEFI (adverse events following immunisation) were reported among health workers who were administered the coronavirus vaccine in Delhi on Saturday, according to official figures.
Jan 17, 2021 17:00 (IST)
Farmers' Protest LIVE Updates: Supreme Court-Appointed Panel On Farm Laws To Hold Its First Meeting On January 19
The Supreme Court-appointed committee on the three new farm laws is scheduled to hold its first meeting on January 19 at Pusa campus here, one of its members Anil Ghanwat said on Sunday.

The Supreme Court had on January 11 stayed the implementation of the three laws, against which farmers are protesting at Delhi borders for over 50 days now, till further orders and appointed a four-member panel to resolve the impasse.

Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann, however, recused from the committee last week.

Apart from Ghanwat, agri-economists Ashok Gulati and Pramod Kumar Joshi are the two other panel members.
Jan 17, 2021 16:30 (IST)
Farmers' Protest Latest News | "Apart From Repeal Of Laws...": Minister On Centre-Farmer Talks' Round 10
Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar today said most farmers are in favour of the farm laws and the government will hold the next round of discussion on this on Tuesday.  The farm laws were put on hold by the Supreme Court earlier this week amid a 53-day protest by farmers at the borders of Delhi. Saying it was "extremely disappointed" by the government's handling of the crisis, the court had also formed a committee of agricultural experts to deal with the issue, which has, however, been rejected by the farmers.

"Most of the farmers and experts are in favour of farm laws. After the Supreme Court's order, the laws can't be implemented," Narendra Tomar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI today.  
Jan 17, 2021 16:12 (IST)
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: 246 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 Deaths In Delhi
Delhi registered 246 new coronavirus cases, the lowest in around eight months, and eight more deaths on Sunday, as the positivity rate dipped to 0.36 per cent, the Health Department said.
The infection tally rose to 6,32,429 and the death count mounted to 10,746, according to a health bulletin.

This is the 14th time that the daily count stood below the 500 mark in January and the eight consecutive day since January 10 when the figures have stood below the 400-mark.
Jan 17, 2021 15:40 (IST)
Coronavirus Latest News: 10 New Mass Vaccination Centres To Open Up Across UK
Ten new large-scale centres, including a rugby ground, racecourse, food court and a cathedral, will open up next week across Britain to join the seven already delivering vaccines to immunise against COVID-19, the UK's National Health Service (NHS) said on Sunday.

It comes as a further 324,233 vaccine doses were administered across the UK to take the total above 3.5 million, a milestone hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as a "fantastic national effort".

The state-funded health service leading the UK's "biggest" vaccination programme in history also confirmed more than 1 million people aged 80 or over have been invited to book a coronavirus jab at a Vaccination Centre.

There are now 1,000 general practice (GP) led services and more than 250 hospitals offering coronavirus vaccinations, with dozens of new high street pharmacies stores also jabbing people by the end of next week.
Jan 17, 2021 15:26 (IST)
Schools in Mizoram to reopen for Class 10 and 12 students from January 22

The Mizoram government has decided to allow reopening of schools for students of class 10 and 12 from January 22 and places of worship from February.

According to the new unlock guidelines issued on Saturday schools and hostels will reopen from January 22 for students of class 10 and 12.

The guidelines said churches will be allowed to open with 50 per cent sitting capacity or 200 attendees on every Saturday and Sunday noon time from first February.

Churches in Christian majority Mizoram are closed since March 22 last year due to COVID-19 pandemic.

The new guidelines also said any student intending to join his or her hostel must produce a COVID-19 negative certificate obtained within 96 hours before entry into the hostel.
Jan 17, 2021 15:16 (IST)
Odisha reports 183 fresh COVID-19 cases, one more death

Odisha's COVID-19 tally on Sunday mounted to 3,33,310 after 183 more people tested positive for the virus, while a fresh fatality pushed the death toll to 1,900, a health department official said.

Of the 183 new cases, 106 have been reported from different quarantine centres, while 77 detected during contact tracing.

Angul district recorded the highest number of 20 new cases, followed by Sambalpur (19) and Sundergarh (18).

The Health and Family Welfare department expressed regret over the death of a 52-year-old male COVID-19 positive patient from Bhubaneswar, who was also suffering from diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, and had undergone renal transplantation.

Jan 17, 2021 15:05 (IST)
51 Adverse Reactions From Vaccine, One A "Bit Serious", Delhi Health Minister
Delhi Health Minister Satyender Jain said today that there have been 51 cases of minor complications reported from the coronavirus vaccine that was rolled out across the country yesterday. There was one severe case, where the patient was admitted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences. Read more

Jan 17, 2021 14:46 (IST)
Most Farmers Favour Farm Laws, Expect Discussions On Tuesday: Minister
Union agriculture minister Narendra Tomar today said most farmers are in favour of the farm laws and the government will hold the next round of discussion on this on Tuesday.  The farm laws were put on hold by the Supreme Court earlier this week amid a 50-day protest by farmers at the borders of Delhi. Saying it was "extremely disappointed" by the government's handling of the crisis, the court had also formed a committee of agricultural experts to deal with the issue, which has, however, been rejected by the farmers. Read more

Most Farmers Favour Farm Laws, Expect Discussions On Tuesday: Minister
Jan 17, 2021 14:37 (IST)
UK invites PM Modi to attend G7 summit

The United Kingdom (UK) has invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the G7 summit as a guest. The meet is scheduled to be held in Cornwall from June 11 to 14, 2021, said a press release by the British High Commission on Sunday.

The release also stated that Boris Johnson may visit India ahead of the G7 summit.

Terming India as ''pharmacy of the world'', the UK lauded the efforts regarding the production of coronavirus vaccine and said, "India already supplies more than 50 per cent of the world's vaccines, and the UK and India have worked closely together throughout the pandemic."

This year the UK has also invited leaders from Australia and South Korea to attend as guest countries to deepen the expertise and experience around the table, said the release.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the first in-person G7 summit in almost two years to ask leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener and more prosperous.
Jan 17, 2021 14:31 (IST)
PM Modi recalls slow train travel on narrow gauge line

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who on Sunday flagged off eight trains connecting different parts of the country to Kevadia in Gujarat, recalled his slow speed journeys on narrow gauge trains of yore.

Speaking after the event, PM Modi said old memories of train travel became fresh after flagging off the trains.

"Very few people may be aware of the Baroda (Vadodara) to Dabhoi narrow gauge line. I used to travel by this narrow gauge line. The funny thing in that journey was the train used to be so slow that you could alight and get in at any place, very comfortably," PM Modi said.

"In fact, for some moments, you could walk along with the train and you felt your (walking) speed was more than the train. I also used to enjoy this sometimes," PM Modi said, adding the stretch is being converted into broad gauge.

Jan 17, 2021 13:24 (IST)
Family of Hyderabad woman confined in UAE seeks Centre's help for repatriation

A woman, who has allegedly been confined in the UAE for the past several years, has sought the help from the Central government seeking her repatriation, said the nephew of the woman on Saturday evening.

Speaking to ANI, Mohammed Kabeer, nephew of victim Maryam said, "My aunt Maryam Begum went missing from Hyderabad when she was working with Mohammed Hussain, a travel agent in 1983. My mother kept searching and asking about her whereabouts but the efforts went in vain. She was not in touch with the family for 27 years, but in 2010 through one of my aunts, we could trace her then. She got in touch with my mother Shajahan."

"Later when we spoke to her, we found out that she was forcefully married to a UAE national in 1983 who had later disowned her and is now forced to work as a housemaid in Fujairah in the UAE. She is native to Mahbubnagar in Telangana. After marriage, she was living in Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE and later moved to Fujairah in the UAE where she is forced to work as a housemaid for her livelihood," he added.

"She cannot come back to India as her agent-husband did not give her passport or any other identification proofs. She tried to reach out for help many times but is not successful yet. We seek help from the Government of India for repatriation," he added.

Jan 17, 2021 12:29 (IST)
PM Modi Flags Off 8 Trains To Boost Connectivity To Statue Of Unity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off eight trains connecting different parts of the country to Kevadia in Gujarat, via video conferencing.

These trains will connect Kevadia to Varanasi, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Rewa, Chennai and Pratapnagar.

PM Modi said these trains will help boost tourism in the tribal region and increase connectivity to the world's tallest statue, the Statue of Unity, which he inaugurated in October 2018 on the occasion of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's 143rd birth anniversary.

The Ahmedabad-Kevadia Jan Shatabdi Express, one of the eight trains, has been equipped with the ''Vista-dome tourist coach'' which offers large viewing areas with rooftop glasses and seats for passengers.
Jan 17, 2021 12:10 (IST)
No let-up in cold wave conditions in Kashmir
Intense cold wave conditions persisted in Kashmir on Sunday, even as the minimum temperatures increased marginally across the valley.

The meteorological department here said a western disturbance is likely to affect Jammu and Kashmir for a few days starting January 22, bringing snowfall and rain to the union territory.

The night temperature in Kashmir improved slightly but remained several notches below the freezing point, a MeT department official said.

Srinagar city -- the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir -- recorded a low of minus 7.6 degrees Celsius, up from minus 8.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, he said.

The minimum temperature in the city last night was still over five notches below the normal for this time of the year, he added.

Pahalgam, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 8.7 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night's minus 9.4 degrees Celsius.

Jan 17, 2021 11:55 (IST)
Farmers' protest: Supreme Court to hear Centre's plea against proposed tractor rally on January 18

The Supreme Court on Monday is scheduled to hear that the Central government's application seeking an injunction against the proposed tractor rally or any other kind of protest which sought to disrupt the gathering and celebrations of the Republic Day on January 26.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde will hear the application on January 18 along with pleas raising the issue of farmers protesting at Delhi borders.

The Centre, in an application filed through Delhi Police, has said that any proposed rally or protest which seeks to disrupt and disturb the Republic Day celebrations will cause an "embarrassment to the nation".

On January 12, the top court agreed to hear the application of Centre and posted it for hearing on January 18. The Bench had issued a notice on the application and said that it be served upon the farmers'' unions, which are protesting against the new farm laws.

Jan 17, 2021 11:41 (IST)
Amitabh Bachchan Expresses Pride As India Begins COVID-19 Vaccination

A day after India began the vaccination drive against COVID-19, megastar Amitabh Bachchan on Sunday expressed happiness over the "proud" moment.

The 78-year-old actor took to Twitter to expressed hopefulness towards making India COVID-19 free. He also recalled the time when India become polio free.

"It was a proud moment when we made India polio free; it shall be just as proud a moment when we make India COVID-19 free #LargestVaccineDrive @MoHFW_India @UNICEFIndia #largestVaccinationdrive JAI HIND," he tweeted.

PM Modi launched the pan-India rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination drive on Saturday via video conferencing.
Jan 17, 2021 11:34 (IST)
Nitish Kumar seeks help from Bihari diaspora for state's industrial growth

Bihari entrepreneurs settled abroad may rest assured of a hassle-free experience if they choose to set up a venture in their home state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said.

Mr Kumar made an averment to this effect late on Saturday while taking part in a webinar organized by BJANA (Bihar- Jharkhand Association of North America), as part of which he interacted with US-based delegates with roots in the state.

He underscored the fact that despite impressive progress registered in health, education and infrastructure, Bihar lagged behind when it came to industries.

Jan 17, 2021 11:34 (IST)
Nitish Kumar seeks help from Bihari diaspora for state's industrial growth

Bihari entrepreneurs settled abroad may rest assured of a hassle-free experience if they choose to set up a venture in their home state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said.

Mr Kumar made an averment to this effect late on Saturday while taking part in a webinar organized by BJANA (Bihar- Jharkhand Association of North America), as part of which he interacted with US-based delegates with roots in the state.

He underscored the fact that despite impressive progress registered in health, education and infrastructure, Bihar lagged behind when it came to industries.

Jan 17, 2021 11:32 (IST)
Telangana reports 299 fresh COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

The COVID-19 tally edged up to 2.91 lakh in Telangana with the addition of 299 fresh cases, the state government said on Sunday.

Two more COVID-19 deaths pushed the toll to 1,577 in the state where the active cases stood at 4,191, a bulletin said.

Areas under the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of fresh cases with 57 people testing positive, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (26) and Karimnagar (24), the bulletin, providing details as of 8 pm on Saturday, said.

The total number of cases stood at 2,91,666 while recoveries were at 2,85,898.

As many as33,298 samples were tested on Saturday, taking the cumulative number of specimens examined so far in the state to over 74.61 lakh.
Jan 17, 2021 11:32 (IST)
No halt in COVID-19 vaccination sessions, drive to resume from next week: Maharashtra

Amid reports of a halt in vaccination drive for two days due to glitch in Co-WIN app, the Maharashtra Health Department said that no COVID-19 vaccination sessions were planned on January 17-18 and they will continue from the next week as per the Central government's guidelines.

"No Covid vaccination sessions were planned on Sunday 17th or Monday 18th January. So the question of cancellation does not arise. Covid vaccination sessions will be organised in the next week as per GOI guidelines," the health department said.

Earlier, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) stated that COVID-19 vaccination was temporarily suspended till January 18 due to technical issues with Co-WIN App.

"Vaccination is stopped for 2 days due to technical glitch in Co-WIN app and glitch is being rectified by the Central government. So, vaccination will remain stopped for January 17-18 and will resume after that when central government addresses issues of online registration in Co-WIN app," BMC said.
Jan 17, 2021 10:41 (IST)
3 new COVID-19 cases push Andamans tally to 4,982

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported three new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally in the union territory to 4,982, a health department official said on Sunday.

The three new cases were detected during contact tracing, he said.

The union territory now has 25 active COVID-19 cases, while 4,895 people have recovered from the disease so far, the official said.

The death toll in the archipelago remained at 62 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported in the last 24 hours, he added.
Jan 17, 2021 10:24 (IST)
373 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, 3 more deaths

With the addition of 373 new cases of coronavirus, the infection count in Maharashtra's Thane district has reached 2,49,182, an official said on Sunday.

Apart from these new cases reported on Saturday, three more people died due to COVID-19, raising the toll in the district to 6,052, he said.

The COVID-19 mortality rate in the district stands at 2.43 per cent, he said.

So far, 2,39,004 patients have recovered from the infection, taking the COVID-19 recovery rate in the district to 95.92 per cent.

At present, there are 4,126 active COVID-19 cases in the district, the official said.

Jan 17, 2021 09:55 (IST)
JustIn| 15,144 new Covid infections in India, marginally lower than yesterday; 1.01 crore have recovered so far, 1.52 lakh deaths

Jan 17, 2021 09:13 (IST)
Jan 17, 2021 08:58 (IST)
China reports 109 new mainland COVID-19 cases vs 130 a day earlier

Mainland China reported 109 new COVID-19 cases on Jan. 16, down from 130 a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Sunday.

The National Health Commission said in a statement that 96 of the new cases were local infections, 72 of them in Hebei province surrounding Beijing city, 12 in northeastern Heilongjiang province, 10 in northeastern Jilin province and two in Beijing.

The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 119 from 79 a day earlier.

Shijiazhuang, Hebei's capital and the hardest-hit spot in the latest surge of infections, reported 65 new locally transmitted confirmed cases on Jan. 16, Health Commission of Hebei Province said on its website.
Jan 17, 2021 08:06 (IST)
All travellers to Singapore to undergo mandatory COVID test on arrival

All travellers, including Singaporeans and permanent residents, will need to take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival in Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced.

This will take effect from 11.59 pm on January 24 as part of tighter border measures to manage the risk of imported COVID-19 cases, reported the Channel News Asia.

Singapore has seen an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, mostly imported or those arriving from other countries.

The Ministry on Saturday confirmed four coronavirus cases from the community (or local), one from the dormitories for foreign workers here and 19 imported cases.

The dormitory case is a 37-year-old Indian national who was detected through rostered routine testing on January 14.
Jan 17, 2021 07:42 (IST)
Coronavirus news - AIIMS Worker Developed Allergic Reaction To Vaccine, Stable: Director
A security guard who was administered a shot of Covaxin at AIIMS here on Saturday was admitted at the hospital after he developed an allergic reaction as part of "severe" adverse events following immunisation.

According to AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria, the security guard, in his 20s, at AIIMS who received the jab after 4 pm, complained of palpitations and developed an allergic skin rash within 15-20 minutes after being inoculated and was admitted to the facility.

"He was immediately managed with appropriate treatment and he improved. He is stable. As a precautionary measure he has been admitted for overnight observation and his condition is being monitored. He is likely to be discharged in the morning," Guleria said.
Jan 17, 2021 06:20 (IST)
Coronavirus news: How Many People Were Vaccinated In Each State On Day 1
The first day of COVID-19 vaccination in India saw 1.91 lakh people take the shot, as against a target of inoculating three lakh people by the government. The shortfall is on account of vaccination being voluntary.

Covishield and Covaxin were given to doctors, nurses, other health workers directly linked to fighting the pandemic and those engaged in activity that has high risk of infection. The government decided which vaccine went where; people cannot choose which of the two vaccines they want.
Jan 17, 2021 06:19 (IST)
COVID-19: 1.91 Lakh Get Shots On Day 1 As India Begins Largest Vaccination Drive
Sanitation worker Manish Kumar became the first person in India to be vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the country's giant vaccination drive, paying tribute to frontline workers and scientists and warned citizens against falling for propaganda or rumours over vaccines.

Mr Kumar received his shot at Delhi's premier All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), just one of the over 3,000 vaccination centres established around the country. On the first day of the immunisation campaign, the government said it aimed to vaccinate over 3 lakh people. By the end of the day 1.91 lakh had been inoculated, it said.

Government sources said there was considerable hesitation among people about getting the vaccines, explaining the shortfall in numbers. Officials stressed that the drive was successful, there were no post-vaccine hospitalisations and the only glitches involved the "CoWin" software platform.