Latest News Highlights: South African Covid Strain In 4 Returnees, Brazil Variant In 1, Says Centre

Latest News Highlights: There are 187 cases of the UK strain, the government said.

Latest News Highlights: South African Covid Strain In 4 Returnees, Brazil Variant In 1, Says Centre

Latest News Live Updates: South African variant is circulating in 41 countries around the world

New Delhi:

The South African strain of the coronavirus has been detected in four people in India and the Brazil variant has been seen in one, the government said today. All five have been quarantined.

There are 187 cases of the UK strain, the government said.

The South African variant is circulating in 41 countries around the world including the United States.

The UK COVID-19 variant has now spread to 82 countries and the Brazilian strain of Covid has spread to nine countries.

Meanwhile, the daily new infections fell below 10,000 for the fourth time this month taking India's tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,09,25,710, while fresh fatalities remained below 100 for the tenth time this month, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Tuesday.

A total of 9,121 new cases were reported in a day, while the death count increased to 1,55,813 with 81 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Here are the Latest News Highlights:

Feb 17, 2021 05:22 (IST)
New COVID-19 cases down 16 percent last week: World Health Organization
The number of new cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide fell by 16 percent last week to 2.7 million, the World Health Organization said. The number of new deaths reported also fell 10 percent week-on-week, to 81,000, the WHO said late Tuesday in its weekly epidemiological update, using figures up to Sunday.

Five of the six WHO regions of the world reported a double-digit percentage decline in new cases, with only the Eastern Mediterranean showing a rise, of seven percent.
Feb 17, 2021 04:55 (IST)
Rahul Gandhi to visit poll-bound Puducherry today
As Puducherry Assembly polls are slated to be held later this year, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will visit the Union Territory today. During the visit, the former Congress chief will interact with the people of Puducherry.

"Rahul Gandhi will visit and interact with the citizens of Puducherry on February 17," Congress tweeted from its official Twitter handle.
Feb 17, 2021 03:47 (IST)
Adverse Event Cases After Coronavirus Vaccination Just 1 In 2,000: Centre
Just one out of 2,000 beneficiaries report minor effects post vaccination against COVID-19, the Centre said on Tuesday, noting that the rate of adverse event following immunisation has been recorded at 0.05 per cent.
Feb 17, 2021 03:02 (IST)
India's Fight Against COVID-19 Is Inspiring World: PM Modi
India's fight against COVID-19 is inspiring the world, though at the beginning of the pandemic other countries worried about the country's situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

India is following a human centric approach to furthering global good, which is based on a healthy balanced welfare and well-being, he said, virtually delivering the valedictory address to ''Heartfulness Practitioners'' on the platinum jubilee celebrations of Heartfulness Institute of Shri Ram Chandra Mission.
Feb 17, 2021 02:21 (IST)
New Tech To Pick Out People At High COVID-19 Risk In England For Vaccines
A new risk-prediction model devised by Oxford University scientists is to be deployed as new technology by the National Health Service (NHS) in England to help clinicians identify a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19.
Feb 17, 2021 01:51 (IST)
Feb 17, 2021 01:03 (IST)
COVID-19 vaccination coverage to healthcare, frontline workers crosses 88.5 lakh doses
The COVID-19 vaccination coverage to healthcare and frontline workers has crossed 88.5 lakh doses on Tuesday. According to a statement by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), 88,57,341 vaccine doses were administered through 1,90,665 sessions, as per the provisional report till 6 pm.

This includes 61,29,745 Healthcare Workers (HCWs) who have taken the first dose and 2,16,339 HCWs who have taken the second dose, along with 25,11,257 Frontline Workers (FLWs) (1st dose). While the countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on 16th Jan 2021, vaccination of the FLWs started from February 2, 2021.
Feb 17, 2021 00:02 (IST)
RT-PCR Covid Test Mandatory For Travellers From Brazil, South Africa In Bengaluru
The Karnataka government on Tuesday made RT-PCR test for international travellers, who have visited or transited through Brazil or South Africa during their journey, mandatory upon arrival at Bengaluru airport.

"In view of new variants of SARS-COV-2 identified in Brazil and South Africa, it is mandatory that international travellers who have visited or transited through Brazil or South Africa, irrespective of their negative RT-PCR test before boarding the flight, should additionally undergo RT-PCR testing at Bengaluru airport," said Health and Family Welfare Services commissioner in a statement.
Feb 16, 2021 23:33 (IST)
Delhi Records 94 New COVID-19 Cases, Lowest In Over 9 Months: Government
Delhi recorded 94 fresh COVID-19 cases today, the lowest in over nine months, while the positivity rate slipped to 0.17 per cent in the city, authorities said.

One fatality was also registered, taking the number of deaths due to the viral disease to 10,894 in the national capital, according to the latest health bulletin issued by the Delhi government.

Delhi had recorded 96 coronavirus cases on January 27, which was the lowest then in over nine months and the first time that the daily cases' count was below the 100-mark in that month.

No death due to COVID-19 was recorded in the city on Saturday, the second time in February when the single-day fatality count was nil.
Feb 16, 2021 23:04 (IST)
Amid Rising Cases, Mumbai Mayor's Lockdown Caution
As Mumbai records a surge in Covid cases, a lockdown is a possibility, a top Mumbai official warned today. But whether the city will go into lockdown mode once again would depend on the people, said Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar.

The Mayor noted that most people travelling on trains did not wear masks.

"It's a matter of concern. Most people travelling in trains don't wear masks. People must take precautions or we will head towards another lockdown," Kishori Pednekar said.

"Whether a lockdown will be implemented again is in the hands of people."
Feb 16, 2021 22:32 (IST)
Follow Covid Norms Or Face New Lockdown, Warns Maharashtra Chief Minister
Concerned over the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown.

After reporting 4,092 COVID-19 cases on last Sunday, highest single-day tally in more than a month, Maharashtra registered 3,663 new cases on Tuesday, 461 of them in Mumbai.

This was the seventh straight day when the state's daily count remained above the 3,000-mark, indicating a steady rise in infections as compared to the previous few weeks.
Feb 16, 2021 22:01 (IST)
Kiran Bedi Removed As Puducherry Lt Governor Amid Congress Crisis
Kiran Bedi has been removed as Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement released late Tuesday night.

The statement from President Ram Nath Kovind's office said that Tamilisai Soundararajan, the Governor of Telangana, had been directed to discharge the functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, until a new appointment is made.
Feb 16, 2021 21:26 (IST)
Over 100 Covid Cases In One Bengaluru Apartment Complex After 2 Parties
An apartment complex in Karnataka capital Bengaluru has been declared a containment zone after 103 of its residents tested positive for coronavirus. According to district officials, the surge in Covid cases was recorded just days after two marriage anniversary parties were organised in the residential society.

The new coronavirus cluster has emerged in South Bengaluru's Bilekhali area's SNN Raj Lakeview apartments.

The district administration had started a mass testing drive last week in the apartment complex after around two dozen cases emerged from there in a couple of days.
Feb 16, 2021 20:31 (IST)
Over 87 Lakh COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Administered In India So Far
Over 87 lakh COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in India so far, informed the Union Health Ministry here on Tuesday.

"We have administered over 87,40,000 vaccine doses. Out of this, 85,70,000 are first doses and over 1,70,000 are second doses. These numbers are increasing," said Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Union Health Ministry at a press conference in New Delhi.

He added, "Active cases in the country are less than 1,40,000. Average daily deaths in the previous one week have also decreased to 93 and the cumulative positivity rate in the country is decreasing, as of now it is 5.27 per cent."
Feb 16, 2021 20:01 (IST)
Will Increase Covid Vaccination Sites Up To 5 Times, Says Centre
India will increase the number of its COVID-19 vaccination sites by up to five times after administering nearly 9 million shots in a month, a government official said on Tuesday, amid concerns about the speed of coverage in the country.

Having reported the highest number of coronavirus infections after the United States, and with the world's biggest vaccine-making capacity, India says it has been the fastest to reach many inoculation milestones.

However it is vaccinating around 300,000 front-line workers a day, a total that will have to increase sharply to meet the government's target of covering 300 million of its 1.35 billion people by August, experts say.
Feb 16, 2021 19:23 (IST)
Amnesty International India's Assets Attached In Money Laundering Case
The Enforcement Directorate has attached movable properties - worth Rs 17.66 crore- of the global human rights advocacy group, the Amnesty International, which had last year announced that it was winding down its India operation because of the alleged "witch hunt" from the central government.

Feb 16, 2021 18:50 (IST)
Warm Clothes, Time With Family Daily For Disha Ravi In Cops' Custody
A Delhi court today said Disha Ravi, the 22-year-old climate activist charged with sedition, and whose arrest raised questions over due process followed by Delhi Police, will be allowed a copy of the FIR (detailing charges against her), a remand application and a fresh set of clothes.

The court also allowed Ms Ravi access to her lawyer - a basic right of those accused and one she did not enjoy when produced before the court on Monday - and her family while in police custody.

She will be allowed to meet her lawyer for 30 minutes every day, and her family for 15. Read here.
Feb 16, 2021 18:14 (IST)
India is playing a central role in global vaccination. Our vision for wellness is as much global as it is domestic. The world is looking at health and wellness very seriously especially after COVID19: PM Narendra Modi

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Feb 16, 2021 17:44 (IST)
We have done disembarkations, mandatory RT-PCR tests for travellers coming from UK. Those who tested positive, their genome sequencing being done. This is a good strategy. I hope- we might follow this similar strategy for flights from South Africa & Brazil: Secy, Health Ministry

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Feb 16, 2021 17:32 (IST)
Single Dose Of Pfizer Covid Vaccine Provokes Strong Immune Response: Study
People previously infected with the novel coronavirus respond very strongly to single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of when they were infected and whether or not they had detectable antibodies against the disease prior to receiving the preventive, according to a study.

Researchers from Bar-Ilan University and Ziv Medical Center in Israel noted that the real-world evidence with regard to the COVID-19 vaccine remains scarce even though the clinical trial data are encouraging.

Specifically, the response to the COVID-19 vaccine among those previously infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus is still not completely understood, they said.

The latest study, published in the journal Eurosurveillance, was conducted on a cohort of 514 staff members at Ziv Medical Center.
Feb 16, 2021 17:10 (IST)
Feb 16, 2021 16:47 (IST)
In India, the South African strain of COVID19 has been detected in 4 returnees from South Africa. All travellers and their contacts tested and quarantined: Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR
Feb 16, 2021 16:41 (IST)
24 countries have been sent COVID19 vaccine from India so far: Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) Niti Aayog

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Feb 16, 2021 16:38 (IST)
Today we have 187 UK variant patients. All confirmed cases are quarantined and treated. Their contacts have been isolated and tested. Neutralisation potential with UK variant of the virus is there with the vaccine that we have: Dr. Balram Bhargava, DG ICMR

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Feb 16, 2021 16:32 (IST)
Rajasthan, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Mizoram, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura & Bihar. Chhattisgarh, MP, Uttarakhand, Lakshwadeep, Tripura administered the first doses of vaccine to more than 70% of the registered healthcare workers: Health Ministry
Feb 16, 2021 16:21 (IST)
The number of vaccine doses administered- 87,40,595. Active cases less than 1.40 lakh. Cumulative positivity rate is 5.27%: Health Ministry on COVID19 situation in the country

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Feb 16, 2021 16:09 (IST)
Kerala and Maharashtra with 61,550 and 37,383 active cases respectively account for 72% of the total active cases in the country: Health Ministry
Feb 16, 2021 15:45 (IST)
In New Ladakh Videos, Chinese Troops Remove Tents, Walk To Waiting Trucks
Indian and Chinese tanks were seen disengaging from the south bank of Pangong lake area in eastern Ladakh where they were deployed amid a standoff areas along the Line of Actual Control.

Multiple videos and images released by the Indian Army today show the continued process of disengagement between Chinese and Indian forces on both banks of the lake, seen to be a breakthrough after the forces of both sides were involved in a face-off on this area for nearly a year.

India and China have agreed to pull back troops from both banks of of the bitterly contested lake area high in the western Himalayas, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh  Singh had said last Thursday. The "synchronised and organised disengagement" began last week.
Feb 16, 2021 15:26 (IST)
Odisha Logs 60 New COVID-19 Cases

Odisha's COVID-19 tally climbed to 3,36,322 on Tuesday after 60 more people tested positive for the virus, while one fresh fatality pushed the death count to 1,912, a health official said.
Feb 16, 2021 15:08 (IST)
South Africa Asks Serum Institute To Take Back 1 Million Vaccine Doses: Report

South Africa has asked the Serum Institute of India to take back the one million COVID-19 vaccine doses the company had sent in early February, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday, a week after the country said it will put on hold use of AstraZeneca's shot in its vaccination program. Serum Institute of India, which is producing AstraZeneca's shot, has emerged as a key vaccine supplier.
Feb 16, 2021 14:49 (IST)
Update: 37 Dead As Bus Falls Into Canal In Madhya Pradesh

At least 37 people have died in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district, about 560 km from state capital Bhopal, after a bus fell off a bridge into a canal this morning. 
Feb 16, 2021 14:25 (IST)
India's National Recovery Rate From COVID-19 Now At 97.32 Per Cent

India on Tuesday recorded another landmark achievement as the national recovery rate from COVID-19 touched 97.32 per cent, among the highest in the world, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed. India continues to follow the trajectory of steady decline in active cases with the country''s total active caseload dropping to 1.36 lakh (1,36,872) today.
Feb 16, 2021 13:41 (IST)
32 Dead As Bus Falls Into Canal In Madhya Pradesh, More Feared Drowned

Thirty-two people have died in Madhya Pradesh's Sidhi district, about 560 km from state capital Bhopal, after a bus fell off a bridge into a canal; many more are feared drowned. Seven people have been rescued so far, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said. About 60 passengers were on board the bus when the driver lost control of the vehicle at around 7:30 am.
Feb 16, 2021 12:34 (IST)
Congress Government In Puducherry Slips Into Minority Ahead Of Polls

Months before an election, the Congress government has lost its thin majority in Puducherry with four MLAs resigning, two in the past two days. Of the 30 elected MLAs in the assembly, Congress had 15 members and, along with the DMK's two, was just past the majority mark of 16. Read Here
Feb 16, 2021 11:55 (IST)
COVID-19 Caseload In Arunachal Pradesh Climbs To 16,833

Arunachal Pradesh's COVID-19 caseload rose to 16,833 after one more person tested positive for the virus, a senior health department official said on Tuesday. The northeastern state now has only three active cases following the recovery of 16,774 people, he said. Fifty-six people have died due to the contagion.
Feb 16, 2021 11:42 (IST)
No New COVID-19 Case In Andamans For Second Consecutive Day

The union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the last two days, a health department official said on Tuesday. The coronavirus tally in the union territory remained at 5,009, while 4,938 patients have recovered from the disease so far, he said.
Feb 16, 2021 11:02 (IST)
Telangana Logs 129 Fresh COVID-19 Cases

Telangana recorded 129 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the tally to 2,96,802 while one death pushed the toll to 1,619, the government said on Tuesday. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 23, followed by Rangareddy with nine a government bulletin said on Tuesday providing details as of 8 pm on February 15.
Feb 16, 2021 10:16 (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.Previous studies have found differences in symptoms and the clinical course of COVID-19 in children compared to adults.
Feb 16, 2021 09:36 (IST)
COVID-19 News: Over 9,000 Coronavirus Cases In 24 Hours

India's tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1,09,25,710 with 9,121 new infections being reported in a day, while the daily deaths were recorded below100 for the tenth time this month, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death count increased to 1,55,813 with 81 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
Feb 16, 2021 09:17 (IST)
Malaysia To Get First Batch Of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines On February 21

Malaysia will get its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines produced by U.S. and German drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech on Feb. 21, and kick off its inoculation drive five days after that, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Tuesday. Muhyiddin said he will be the first to receive a dose of the vaccine when the campaign starts on Feb. 26.

Feb 16, 2021 08:55 (IST)
Syringe Shortage Hampers Japan's COVID-19 Vaccination Roll Out

Japan is scrambling to secure special syringes to maximise the number of COVID-19 vaccine shots used from each vial, but manufacturers are struggling to ramp up production quickly, raising fears that millions of doses could go waste. Japan, with a population of 126 million, last month signed a contract with Pfizer Inc to procure 144 million doses of its vaccine, or enough for 72 million people, with the vaccination campaign set to start on Wednesday.
Feb 16, 2021 08:10 (IST)
South Korea To Buy More COVID-19 Vaccines For 23 Million People

South Korea has arranged to buy coronavirus vaccines for 23 million more people, its prime minister said on Tuesday, a day after authorities decided to scale back initial vaccination plans, citing delays and efficacy concerns. The deals include vaccines from Novavax Inc for 20 million people and Pfizer products for 3 million, bringing the total number of people to be covered to 79 million, Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said.

Feb 16, 2021 08:00 (IST)
"Not One Death Reported Due To COVID-19 Vaccination": Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday said no death had been reported due to COVID-19 vaccination and no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in 188 districts of the country in the last seven days. Addressing a press conference, Mr Vardhan said India had created a crisis created by COVID-19 into an opportunity and boosted health infrastructure.
Feb 16, 2021 07:34 (IST)
AstraZeneca Covid Jabs Cleared By WHO For Global Distribution Under Covax

The World Health Organization on Monday approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, in a boost for poorer countries where millions of doses are set to be distributed. While inoculation drives have been gaining pace, with nearly 172 million vaccine doses given worldwide, most of the jabs have so far gone to richer countries.
Feb 16, 2021 06:57 (IST)
World needs pandemic treaty to ensure transparency, says UK PM
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that world powers should clinch a global treaty on pandemics to ensure proper transparency after the novel coronavirus outbreak which originated in China. Mr Johnson said he would be keen to agree a global treaty on pandemics where countries agreed to share data, amid British and US concern over access given to a World Health Organization (WHO) mission to China.

Mr Johnson said: "I think what the world needs to see is a general agreement on how we track data surrounding zoonotic pandemics... and we want a joint agreement on transparency."

"I think one of the attractive ideas that we have seen in the last few months has been a proposal for a global treaty on pandemics, so that signatory countries make sure that they contribute all the data they have and we are able to get to the bottom of what's happened and stop it happening again," he added.
Feb 16, 2021 06:40 (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 06:40 (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).

The inoculation drive for frontline workers and healthcare workers is underway in Mumbai. Frontline workers from the BMC and BEST are being inoculated during this drive, which was launched on January 16.