This Article is From Feb 16, 2021

Latest News Highlights: About 18-19 Vaccine Candidates Against Covid In Pipeline, Says Health Minister

Latest News Highlights: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that in the next 2-3 weeks, vaccinations against COVID-19 will be started for people above 50 years of age.

Latest News Highlights: About 18-19 Vaccine Candidates Against Covid In Pipeline, Says Health Minister

Highlights: No new Covid case reported in 188 districts of the country, Harsh Vardhan said

New Delhi:

About 18-19 vaccine candidates against COVID-19 are in the pipeline and in different clinical trial stages, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Monday.

Addressing the media, Mr Vardhan said that in the next 2-3 weeks, vaccinations against COVID-19 will be started for people above 50 years of age.

"About 18-20 vaccine candidates against COVID-19 are in the pipeline and are in preclinical, clinical and advanced stages," Mr Vardhan said. He further said that India will be supplying vaccines to 20-25 other countries.

Dispelling rumours surrounding the vaccines, Mr Vardhan said the vaccines in the public domain are safe and effective.

He said no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 188 districts of the country in the last 7 days, while no new cases have been reported in 21 districts in 21 days.

India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,09,16,589 with 11,649 new infections being reported in a day, while the daily deaths were recorded below 100 for the ninth time this month, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The death count increased to 1,55,732 with 90 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Meanwhile, Disha Ravi -- the 22-year-old activist arrested in the Toolkit case -- and two other wanted activists, held a Zoom meeting before the Republic Day to plan a social media buzz on the tractor rally, the Delhi Police said today. Criticised heavily by celebrities and opposition parties over Disha Ravi's arrest, the police met the media this afternoon regarding the case, filed after the Toolkit was shared by Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg and helped draw global attention to the farmers' protest.

Here are the Latest News Highlights:

Feb 16, 2021 04:52 (IST)
Palestinians accuse Israel of preventing COVID-19 vaccine transfer to Gaza
The Palestinian Authority (PA) accused Israel on Monday of holding up the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines into Gaza, where Palestinians have yet to receive any doses. A Palestinian official told Reuters that the PA tried to send 2,000 doses of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine from the occupied West Bank to Gaza on Monday, but that Israel stopped the shipment at a West Bank checkpoint "and informed the Palestinians there was no approval to continue to Gaza."

An Israeli security official said the PA's request to send the 2,000 doses was "still being examined" and that "an approval hasn't yet been given". The body charged with approving the transfer is Israel's national security council, part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, the Israeli security official said.
Feb 16, 2021 03:49 (IST)
Feb 16, 2021 02:54 (IST)
Pfizer Vaccine Sharply Reduces Symptomatic Covid Cases: Report
Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine appears to reduce symptomatic coronavirus infections by more than 90 per cent in the real world, according to Israeli researchers.
Feb 16, 2021 02:07 (IST)
Mumbai civic body staff to get 3 chances for free vaccination
Every employee of the Mumbai civic body will get three opportunities for free COVID-19 vaccination, an official release said. This decision was taken at a meeting of the "Task Force" set up to streamline COVID-19 vaccination-related issues in the civic areas, it said.

"If any employee does not go for vaccination at all for three times, his name will be removed from the list of free vaccinations," stated the release issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Feb 16, 2021 01:32 (IST)
Coronavirus Live Updates: Delhi reports 141 new COVID-19 cases
Delhi reported 141 new COVID-19 cases, 134 recoveries and two deaths on Monday. According to the Delhi Health Department, the total count of cases in the national capital has gone up to 6,37,087 including 1,036 active cases and 6,25,158 recoveries. The death stand stands at 10,893.
Feb 16, 2021 00:56 (IST)
Younger People Half As Likely As Adults To Catch COVID-19, Study Says
People under the age of 20 are about half as likely to be infected with COVID-19 as adults, and they are also less likely to transmit the disease to others, according to a new modelling study.
Feb 16, 2021 00:19 (IST)
Karnataka reports 368 new COVID-19 cases
Karnataka reported 368 new COVID-19 cases and 430 discharges on Monday. According to the Karnataka state health department, the total count of COVID-19 cases in the state is 9,45,638.

The total number of discharges has gone up to 9,27,580 while the active cases stand at 5,772. With two new deaths due to COVID-19 on Monday, the count has gone up to 12,267.
Feb 15, 2021 23:46 (IST)
Kamal Haasan Calls For Tamil Nadu Poll Candidates Online, Rs 25,000 Fee
Actor-politician Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) will begin accepting online applications from party members as it selects candidates for the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Assembly elections, it was announced Monday evening.

Applications will open Sunday, February 21, and potential candidates must pay Rs 25,000 to be considered, the party said, adding that non-party members could also apply or be nominated.

The Tamil Nadu and Puducherry elections are scheduled for May.

Last month Kamal Haasan, who is recovering from a follow-up surgery in connection with a mild infection of his right leg bone, said his party had been allotted the "battery torch" symbol.
Feb 15, 2021 22:42 (IST)
AstraZeneca Covid Jabs Cleared By WHO For Global Distribution Under Covax
The World Health Organization gave emergency use approval to AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccines on Monday, allowing distribution to some of the world's poorest countries to begin.

"The WHO today listed two versions of the AstraZeneca-Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use, giving the green light for these vaccines to be rolled out globally through Covax," a WHO statement said, referring to the programme aimed at equitable distribution of doses.

The two versions given the seal of approval are being produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), and in South Korea.
Feb 15, 2021 21:38 (IST)
Will Send Covid Vaccine To Canada In "Less Than A Month": Serum Institute
The Serum Institute of India will ship the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Canada in less than one month, Serum's chief executive said on Monday.

"As we await regulatory approvals from Canada, I assure you, @SerumInstIndia will fly out #COVISHIELD to Canada in less than a month; I'm on it!" CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Twitter, referring to a brand name for AstraZeneca's vaccine.

With several vaccine manufacturing facilities, India is fast emerging as a key supplier to the world.
Feb 15, 2021 21:01 (IST)
Activist Nodeep Kaur Gets Bail In Two Cases, Files Petition For Third
Nodeep Kaur, a 23-year-old Dalit labourer and trade union activist from Punjab who has been behind bars in Haryana since last month, got bail today in one of the cases filed against her. The activist had got bail in another case last week. A petition requesting bail in the third case was also filed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. She will remain in jail until the court decides on her request.

Ms Kaur has been granted bails in FIR number 26 and 649. The petition for bail in FIR number 25 - in which she is charged with attempt to murder - was filed today in Punjab and Haryana High Court. The hearing is expected after a week, sources said.
Feb 15, 2021 20:18 (IST)
Night Curfew In 4 Gujarat Major Cities Extended Till February 28
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, the Gujarat government on Monday extended till February 28 the night curfew in four major cities of the state- Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot.

However, the duration of the night curfew has been curtailed by an hour and will be in force between 12am to 6 am instead of the earlier 11 pm to 6 am.

"Night curfew will be imposed in four metro cities of Gujarat from midnight to 6 am from 16th to 28th February," Pankaj Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of State Home Department said.
Feb 15, 2021 19:26 (IST)
Total vaccination carried out is of 85,16,385 beneficiaries. 61,54,894 healthcare workers vaccinated. Of which, first dose of vaccine has been given to 60,57,162 while second dose has been given to 97,732 beneficiaries: Mandeep Bhandari, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry

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Feb 15, 2021 19:09 (IST)
Haryana Minister Gets Twitter Notice For "Destroy" Tweet On Activist
A tweet by Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij - in which he says those with "seeds of anti-nationalism... should be destroyed... whether Disha Ravi or anyone else" - has been investigated and "is not subject to removal" under rules governing extreme speech online, Twitter said Monday.

Hours earlier Twitter issued a notice to Mr Vij, saying it had deleted the tweet based on a complaint from a user in Germany; the complaint was under Germany's Network Enforcement Act - which obliges social network providers to delete unlawful content within a short timeframe.
Feb 15, 2021 18:23 (IST)
Not one death reported due to Covid-19 vaccination. If there's death after vaccination, it's being investigated. Even routine side effects have a negligible number. Relevant stakeholders working on post-Covid symptoms: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

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Feb 15, 2021 17:56 (IST)
After Disha Ravi, Delhi Police On Lookout For Two More Activists In "Toolkit" Case
Non-bailable warrants have been issued against a Mumbai lawyer and a Pune engineer for allegedly creating a protest toolkit backing the farmers' agitation along with arrested climate activist Disha Ravi and collaborating with pro-Khalistani elements, Delhi Police officials said on Monday.

Lawyer Nikita Jacob and engineer Shantanu, who are absconding, also attended a Zoom meeting organised by "pro-Khalistani" group Poetic Justice Foundation, Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Prem Nath said at a press conference.

The three had created the toolkit and sent it to others, officials said as a fierce political debate broke out between the opposition and the ruling BJP over the action against 21-year-old Ravi in the case related to the "toolkit Google doc" that came to light when it was shared by global climate campaigner Greta Thunberg.

"Disha, Shantanu and Nikita created and edited the toolkit. Disha sent the toolkit to Greta Thunberg through Telegram. Disha deleted a Whatsapp group which she created to spread the toolkit. Due procedure was followed when Disha was arrested," Mr Nath said, news agency PTI reported.
Feb 15, 2021 17:23 (IST)
80-85% frontline workers vaccinated, 20-25 countries to be availed with vaccine. At least 18-20 vaccines are in preclinical, clinical & advanced stages. Expect them in the coming months: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

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Feb 15, 2021 17:00 (IST)
In the last 7 days, no new cases of COVID19 have been reported in 188 districts of the country: Union Health Minister
Feb 15, 2021 16:54 (IST)
We will be in a situation to administer vaccines to those above 50 years of age in March: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan

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Feb 15, 2021 16:38 (IST)
We have got reply from Google on some of the questions regarding the Toolkit Doc: Delhi Police, news agency ANI reported
Feb 15, 2021 16:27 (IST)
Disha Ravi sent "toolkit" document to Greta Thunberg through Telegram app, says Delhi Police at press conference, news agency PTI reported.
Feb 15, 2021 16:18 (IST)
Disha Ravi deleted WhatsApp group which she created to spread the "toolkit": Delhi Police, news agency PTI reported.
Feb 15, 2021 16:16 (IST)
Disha Ravi was arrested in presence of her mother, area SHO in Bengaluru; due procedure was followed: Delhi Police, news agency PTI reported
Feb 15, 2021 16:16 (IST)
Feb 15, 2021 16:10 (IST)
Disha deleted WhatsApp group which she created to spread the "toolkit": Delhi Police., news agency PTI reported
Feb 15, 2021 16:06 (IST)
A team reached Mumbai and conducted searches at her (Nikita Jacob) residence on 11th Feb. She and her associates Shantanu & Disha had created the document. The email account created by Shantanu is the owner of this document & all others are its editors: Prem Nath, Jt CP Cyber Cell
Feb 15, 2021 16:06 (IST)
A woman named Puneet who is based in Canada connected these people to the Pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation. On 11th January Nikita and Shantanu attended a Zoom meeting organised by Poetic Justice Foundation in which modalities were chalked out: Prem Nath, Jt CP Cyber Cell

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Feb 15, 2021 15:37 (IST)
A fire has broken out in the forest area of Mumbai's Aarey Colony; fire tenders present at the spot, news agency ANI reported.
Feb 15, 2021 15:25 (IST)
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tests Covid+ve Hours After He Fainted On Stage

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has tested positive for coronavirus, hours after he fainted on stage during an election rally in Vadodra, and was flown to Ahmedabad to be admitted to a hospital. He has mild symptoms. Two other BJP leaders in the state - Bhikhubhai Dalsaniya and MP Vinod Chavda - have contracted the virus, Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil said. Read Here
Feb 15, 2021 15:16 (IST)
Farmers sitting at Delhi borders for over 80 days in cold, are now bracing themselves for summer. What are they sitting for? PM says laws are for benefit of farmers. When farmers themselves are saying that they don't want it then why are you not withdrawing them?: Priyanka Gandhi.
Feb 15, 2021 14:59 (IST)
COVID-19 Vaccination Drive: Booster Shot Round Begins In Gujarat

The drive to administer the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to those who have been covered in the first phase began across Gujarat on Monday. As per medical protocols, beneficiaries are supposed to take the second jab, also known as the booster shot, within four to six weeks of the first dose being administered, officials said.
Feb 15, 2021 14:47 (IST)
Why Activist Disha Ravi, Arrested Over "Toolkit", Argued Her Own Case

The arrest of 22-year-old activist Disha Ravi from Bengaluru over a "toolkit" tweeted by climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has not just generated waves out outrage but has also raised questions on procedure. Disha Ravi had no legal counsel when she was produced in court yesterday and sent to five days in police custody. She was arrested on Saturday afternoon from her home in Bengaluru and brought to Delhi, where she was charged with sedition and conspiracy. Read Here
Feb 15, 2021 13:53 (IST)
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has tested positive for coronavirus, said a hospital where the CM is admitted after he fainted in a rally. On Sunday, Rupani, 64, fainted on stage while addressing a rally in Vadodara for the upcoming civic polls in the state, following which he was flown to Ahmedabad and admitted to the U N Mehta Hospital.
Feb 15, 2021 13:32 (IST)
After Disha Ravi, Arrest Warrant For 2 More Activists

After 22-year-old Disha Ravi's arrest, two more activists are wanted by the police in the case involving a "toolkit" shared by climate campaigner Greta Thunberg in support of the farmer protests. Warrants are out against activists Nikita Jacob and Shantanu and they face charges that are not bailable. Read Here
Feb 15, 2021 13:12 (IST)
Second Phase Of COVID-19 Vaccination To Start In Karnataka Today

Karnataka's Health and Family Welfare and Medical Education Minister Dr Sudhakar K on Monday said, the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in the state will begin today. "The second dose of COVID-19 vaccination will begin in the state starting today. As on Sunday, 4,09,836 healthcare workers and 86,798 frontline workers have been administered the first dose of vaccine across the state with a coverage of 50 per cent and 30 per cent respectively," Dr Sudhakar said in a tweet.
Feb 15, 2021 12:17 (IST)
Maharashtra Reports Over 4,000 New Covid Cases, 40 Deaths In 24 Hours

Maharashtra recorded 4,092 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, which took the state's infection tally to 20,64,278, while 40 deaths pushed the count to 51,529, the health department said. A total of 1,355 patients were discharged during the day. With this, the recovery count in the state grew to 19,75,603, it said.
Feb 15, 2021 11:48 (IST)
"Supporting Farmers Not A Crime": Arvind Kejriwal On Disha Ravi's Arrest

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today expressed his opposition to the arrest of 21-year-old eco-activist Disha Ravi saying the move by the Delhi police was an "unprecedented attack on democracy". Read Here
Feb 15, 2021 11:37 (IST)
Fresh COVID-19 Cases Dip Below 100 In Telangana After 8 months

After a gap of eight months, Telangana recorded less than 100 fresh COVID-19 cases while two deaths pushed the toll to 1,618, the state government said on Monday.

Feb 15, 2021 11:09 (IST)
Why Activist Disha Ravi, Arrested Over "Toolkit", Argued Her Own Case

The arrest of 22-year-old activist Disha Ravi from Bengaluru over a "toolkit" tweeted by climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has not just generated waves out outrage but has also raised questions on procedure. Disha Ravi had no legal counsel when she was produced in court yesterday and sent to five days in police custody. She was arrested on Saturday afternoon from her home in Bengaluru and brought to Delhi, where she was charged with sedition and conspiracy. Read Here
Feb 15, 2021 10:46 (IST)
No New COVID-19 Case In Arunachal Pradesh For 2 Days

Arunachal Pradesh did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the last three days, a senior health department official said on Monday. The coronavirus tally in the northeastern state remained at 16,832, the official said.
Feb 15, 2021 10:31 (IST)
No Fresh COVID-19 Case In Andamans, Tally At 5,009

Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not record a single fresh COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, a health department official said on Monday. The coronavirus tally in the union territory remained at 5,009, while a total of 62 people have so far died due to the contagion, he said.
Feb 15, 2021 10:20 (IST)
Activist Disha Ravi arrest unprecedented attack on democracy, tweeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Feb 15, 2021 09:54 (IST)
Auckland Coronavirus Lockdown To Be Reviewed On Tuesday: Jacinda Ardern

The COVID-19 restrictions in Auckland and the rest of the country will remain for now and will be reviewed on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news conference. Auckland's residents were plunged into a new three-day level 3 lockdown on Sunday while the rest of the country was put on level 2 restrictions after three new COVID-19 cases were detected in the city. Jacinda Ardern also said the first shipment of the COVID-19 Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine has arrived in New Zealand.

Feb 15, 2021 09:42 (IST)
11,649 New Coronavirus Cases Take India's Tally To 1,09,16,589

India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,09,16,589 with 11,649 new infections being reported in a day, while the daily deaths were recorded below 100 for the ninth time this month, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

Feb 15, 2021 09:17 (IST)
South Korea Eases Coronavirus Curbs, To Announce Vaccine Plan

South Korea eased some of its strictest social distancing rules for businesses on Monday, but kept limits on private gatherings as authorities prepared to unveil plans for the roll out of the first coronavirus vaccines later this month.The decision comes after a subdued Lunar New Year holiday last week. Daily coronavirus infections rebounded to above 400 ahead of the break, but have dropped since then with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reporting 344 new infections as of midnight Sunday.
Feb 15, 2021 09:05 (IST)
New Zealand's Largest City Enters Lockdown As UK Variants Found

Two coronavirus infections that prompted a snap lockdown of New Zealand's largest city on Monday have been revealed as the country's first cases of the UK strain. New Zealand's health ministry said tests had identified that the infections in Auckland were caused by the highly contagious variant first found in the UK, with no link to any other positive cases detected so far in New Zealand.

Feb 15, 2021 08:47 (IST)
UK Rolls Out Hotel Quarantine For "High Risk" Country Returnees

The UK government will on Monday introduce mandatory hotel quarantine rules for arrivals from dozens of countries deemed "high risk" for coronavirus variants, as it tries to stop new strains spreading. The new policy requires all UK citizens and permanent residents entering England from 33 countries on a wider travel ban list to self-isolate in approved hotels for 10 days and take several Covid-19 tests.
Feb 15, 2021 08:13 (IST)
UK Virus Jabs Hit First Target As New Zealand Puts City In Lockdown

Britain's coronavirus vaccination program has covered all its main target groups of vulnerable people, it said Sunday, hours after New Zealand, so far largely spared by the pandemic, put its largest city into lockdown. The European Union, meanwhile, facing criticism over its sluggish roll-out, confirmed it would fast-track approval of vaccines updated to target variants of the original virus.
Feb 15, 2021 08:04 (IST)
Mexico Gets Over 8 Lakh AstraZeneca Vaccine Doses From India

Mexico received a shipment of 870,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine from India on Sunday, the government said, as the country prepares to prioritize older adults in the next phase of its vaccination campaign. Mexico is also expecting shipments to resume of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech , with 494,000 doses due to arrive on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told a news conference.
Feb 15, 2021 07:52 (IST)
FASTag Must From Monday, Pay Twice The Toll Fee If You Don't Have It

The automatic toll plaza payment system FASTag will become mandatory from today midnight, the centre said on Sunday in a statement. Those who don't install FASTag in their vehicles or have a tag that does not work will have to pay twice the fee for the category of the vehicle they are driving. Read Here
Feb 15, 2021 07:51 (IST)
India's Recovery Rate Among Highest In The World: Health Ministry

India has been recording a steady decline in the number of daily new deaths since October 1, 2020, while the national recovery rate is amongst the highest in the world, the Union Health Ministry said on Sunday.