India added 43,846 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours till Sunday morning, setting another grim record of highest daily cases in nearly four months. This comes amid a worrying surge in Covid cases that has prompted states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to consider shutting down schools again, restrictions on public gatherings and other virus-fighting measures, including lockdown in their worst-hit districts.
The daily rise in infections on Sunday was the highest recorded in 112 days, as the number of fatalities rose to 1,59,755, with 197 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am Sunday showed.
Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala, Karnataka and Gujarat are the five states that have recorded the highest single-day surge since Saturday, government data showed.
Here are the Latest News Live Updates:
Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, all schools up to class 8 in Uttar Pradesh will remain closed from March 24 till March 31, reported news agency ANI.
All other educational institutions where exams are not underway will remain close from March 25 to March 31, according to the Uttar Pradesh government.
The decision was taken during a high-level meeting of the Chief Minister with officials to combat COVID-19.
Several state governments have announced the closure of schools and colleges following a spike in COVID-19 daily cases in the country.
Telangana Youth Congress staged a protest at the state Assembly on Monday demanding the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to allocate unemployment allowance, reported news agency ANI.
Several Youth Congress leaders including Telangana Youth Congress chief K Shiva Sena Reddy were allegedly arrested during the protest.
Indian officers, selected to become astronauts to crew the Gaganyaan into orbit, have completed their one-year training course in Russia's Zvyozdny gorodok city near Moscow.
Several people suffered injuries when a temporary gallery erected for spectators during a national junior Kabaddi championship collapsed in Telangana's Suryapet on Monday, reported news agency ANI.
The injured have been admitted to a nearby hospital for treatment.
The incident took place shortly after the 47th national Kabaddi championship was launched on Monday.
A 45-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly cheating people of Rs 8 lakh on the pretext of providing them ration for 15 months, the police said on Monday.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the BJP of making false promises to people before the upcoming state elections.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat Shaktisinh Gohil on Monday raised the issue of killing of Asiatic Lions in rail accidents in Gujarat's Gir Forest, reported news agency ANI.
Speaking during the Zero Hour of the Upper House, the Congress leader claimed that 200 Asiatic Lions were killed in accidents on railway tracks in 2019.
"Asiatic Lions are our heritage. If the identity of Gir Forest is found in the whole world, it is due to Asiatic Lions. They are rarest of rare and found inside Gir according to Moonlight Survey in 2020. Their total population is 674 including the number of lions in the zoos and forests. But it could have been more. In 2018, 193 Asiatic lions were killed in accidents on railway tracks. However, in 2019, this number went up to 200," Shaktisinh Gohil said.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday referred to the Antilia bomb scare case and demanded the resignation of Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, saying that the world had "never before" seen a bomb being planted by the police.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed the BJP's victory in municipal elections in Goa and said that the results show people's appreciation towards the party's development agenda, reported news agency ANI.
"Thank you Goa for the continuous support to BJP. The results of the Municipal Elections 2021 show the people's appreciation towards our Party's development agenda. I laud all hardworking BJP Karyakartas who went among people and worked hard during the campaign," PM Modi tweeted.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that the BJP won a majority in five out of six municipal councils which went to polls on March 20. He added that the BJP also won a majority in the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP).
Kolkata joined the league of cities with clean automotive fuel on Monday with the commercial launch of two CNG pumps, officials said, reported news agency PTI.
Staff of Thane Municipal Corporation medical centres on Monday threatened to stop work if action is not taken against a man who assaulted a doctor at a COVID care centre, reported news agency PTI.
Amid the ongoing political tussle in the state, the police on Monday increased the security at the residences of Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh as well as former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in Nagpur, reported news agency PTI.
Odisha's COVID-19 caseload went up to 3,38,963 on Monday after 146 people, including 24 students of a leading management institute, tested positive for the disease, an official said, reported news agency PTI.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has successfully demonstrated free-space Quantum Communication over a distance of 300 metres, for the first time in the country, the organisation said Monday.
Days after writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking asylum for the fleeing Myanmar nationals, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Monday said it was the duty of his government to provide food and shelter to the Myanmarese, who fled their country to take refuge in the state on humanitarian grounds, an official statement said, reported news agency PTI.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal and the University of Nebraska Medical Centre (UNMC) in the US have identified a drug that can be repurposed to treat COVID-19.
According to the team, ''Rapamycin'' is currently being used for treating cancer patients and those who have undergone organ transplantation. Its analogues are commonly available in India and abroad.
The research was published in a peer-reviewed paper recently in the reputed International Elsevier journal, Chemico Biological Interactions. The researchers showed that the biochemical working of this drug molecule points to its promise in the treatment of COVID-19.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led panel won 25 out of 30 seats in the municipal elections in Panaji on Monday.
It has also won many wards in other councils for which counting is underway.
The panel was led by newly-inducted Atanasio Monserrate, who joined the BJP in 2019.
"I am just a worker of the BJP party, the party selected me to run this campaign," said Monserrate after the win.
Uday Madkaikar, former Mayor of the Municipal Corporation said the party was assured of winning all the 30 wards but yet, 25 is not a small figure.
The revised interval applies only to Serum Institute of India's Covishield - the vaccine developed by Oxford AstraZeneca -- and not to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin, the centre said in its letter today.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) candidate from Karur, Senthil Balaji has been booked under section 6 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for making remarks against Government officials, informed Karur police on Monday.
Senthil Balaji had reportedly said in a poll campaign, "Tell me if any official stops you from mining sand in a bullock cart, he won't be there again."
More than 6 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been sent to 76 nations, while 4.5 crore doses have been administered to beneficiaries in the country till now, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday.
He also called for making the vaccination drive a "Jan Aandolan" (mass movement).
"Until this morning, nearly 4.5 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given to the people in this country. More than six crore doses have been sent to 76 nations," Mr Vardhan said during a media interaction at the Institute of Microbial Technology (CSIR-IMTECH).
"Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party (BJP) president JP Nadda have called for making the vaccination drive a ''jan andolan'' (mass movement)," he said.
In a major boost to entrepreneurship in life sciences, Mr Vardhan, the Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, inaugurated IMTECH Bio-Innovation Centre which is an extension of the Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)-CCMB, Hyderabad.
The aim of the IMTECH Bio-Innovation Centre is to become a hub for life sciences, biotechnology start-ups and MSMEs from all over the country in a short span of time.
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Param Bir Singh on Monday took charge as the Director General (DG) of Maharashtra Home Guard, a police official said.
Mr Singh reached the Home Guard office in south Mumbai around noon but avoided speaking to media persons.
Under flak for "mishandling" of the bomb scare outside Mukesh Ambani's residence, the Maharashtra government on March 17 transferred Mr Singh from the post and appointed senior IPS officer Hemant Nagrale, who was holding additional charge of Maharashtra DGP, as the new commissioner of Mumbai Police.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was ailing and in hospital at the time he had allegedly met police officer Sachin Vaze and discussed an extortion racket, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sahrad Pawar said today, ruling out the possibility off his resignation. Addressing the media amid a political storm over former Mumbai police chief Param Bir Singh's corruption allegations against the home minister, Mr Pawar said, "Anil Deshmukh was in hospital during that period. So it such situation question does not arise about the resignation". The Shiv Sena this morning questioned the need for Mr Deshmukh's resignation if the key parties are open to the idea of probing the issue, moving from its initial conclusion that the minister should go. Mr Pawar said there was no pressure from the Sena regarding the resignation of Mr Deshmukh, who is from the NCP.
The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca was 79% effective in preventing symptomatic illness a large trial in the United States, Chile and Peru, the company said on Monday, paving the way for it to apply for US approval.
The vaccine was 100% effective against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation and was safe, the drugmaker said on Monday, releasing results of the late-stage human trial study of more than 32,000 volunteers across all age groups.
The data will give credence to the British shot after results from earlier, separate late-stage studies raised questions about the robustness of the data.
It will also help allay safety concerns that have disrupted its use in the European Union after a small number of reports of rare blood clots in people who have received the shot.
After briefly halting its use, many European countries have resumed using the shot in their inoculation programmes after a regional regulator said it was safe, while several country leaders are also taking the vaccine to boost confidence.
Former Mumbai top cop Param Bir Singh's allegations against home minister Anil Desmukh are just meant to remove attention from the investigation into the Mukesh Ambani security scare case, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said today. Mr Singh's corruption allegations against the home minister have landed the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government into a huge controversy since last week. Mr Pawar had questioned the officer's motive yesterday, pointing out that he had made the allegations only after being moved out over the lapses in the investigation into the Ambani bomb scare case.
"The important issue is the Ambani bomb scare case. After the arrests made by the Anti-Terror Squad, it is now clear who killed Hiren. During the investigation it will be revealed why did these two kill Mansukh Hiren... on whose behalf," Mr Pawar told reporters.
"The Mumbai ATS is probing is in the right direction. Now to divert that, vague allegations have been levelled by Param Bir Singh," Mr Pawar said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan' wife Bushra Bibi also tested positive for COVID-19 a few hours after the PM himself got infected with the virus on Saturday.
Taking to Twitter this evening, Imran Khan thanked everyone for their good wishes and prayers for him and his wife. "I want to thank everyone in Pakistan & abroad for their good wishes and prayers for the quick recovery of the first lady and I from Covid 19," he wrote.
Imran Khan got infected just two days after he received his first vaccination against the disease. The 68-year-old former top cricketer received a shot of the Chinese-produced Sinopharm vaccine on Thursday, as the country battles a third wave of the virus.
The Pakistan Prime Minister and First Lady Bushra Bibi are feeling "comfortable with mild symptoms," his top communication aide said today.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill, in a tweet in Urdu, said that the prime minister and the first lady are thankful to their well-wishers for their good wishes.
"We are building safe, orderly and humane ways to address the needs of vulnerable children," he said on ABC's "This Week."
The police conducted a raid at a hookah parlour at Ghatkopar and arrested six persons for allegedly violating the coronavirus norms, an official said on Sunday.
The raid was conducted late on Saturday night, he said.
"Based on a tip-off, action was taken against the hookah parlour. Many people there were found not wearing mask despite the instructions. The manager of the joint and its customers were arrested during the operation," the official of Tilak Nagar police station said.
India added 46,951 new coronavirus infections in 24 hours till Monday morning, setting another grim record of highest daily cases in nearly four months. This comes amid a worrying surge in Covid cases that has prompted states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to consider shutting down schools again, restrictions on public gatherings and other virus-fighting measures, including lockdown in their worst-hit districts.
Mumbai reported 3,775 new coronavirus cases on Sunday - the highest single-day spike since the pandemic began in December 2019, and the second consecutive day with over 3,000 new cases. The city also reported 10 deaths linked to the COVID-19 virus.
According to data from the government, the overall growth in new Covid cases in the city (for the week ending Saturday) has risen to 0.63 per cent and the case fatality rate to 2.15 per cent.
Across Maharashtra - the worst-affected state, and one of five accounting for 83 per cent of all active cases in the country - 30,535 new cases and 99 deaths were reported in the past 24 hours.
Maharashtra has reported an alarming increase in Covid infections over the past weeks; it has reported over 25,000 new cases in each of the past three days, and there are nearly two lakh active cases in the state as of Sunday night.
Earlier today the centre said the state accounts for over 60 per cent of daily new cases.
Maharashtra on Sunday reported 30,535 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest rise in a single day, the state health department said.
With this, the state's overall tally of the infections mounted to 24,79,682 while 99 fatalities pushed the count to 53,399, it said.
The fresh spike in the cases came just three days after Maharashtra recorded its highest rise in a single day at 25,833. The previous highest spike was 24,896 in September 2020.
A statement from the Health department said 11,314 patients were discharged during the day, taking the overall count of recoveries in Maharashtra to 22,14,867.
Mumbai reported 3,779 fresh COVID-19 cases in the day while ten patients died to the viral infection, taking the overall tally to 3,62,675 while the toll mounted to 11,586, it said.
Actor and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Dev on Sunday claimed that the work done by the Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal is unparalleled, asserting that the chief minister can score 10 goals in the upcoming elections even with a broken leg.
Puducherry Lieutenant Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan on Sunday launched the "Mask-up Puducherry" campaign to ensure that all the people wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, reported news agency ANI.
Under this movement, a van will travel across the Union Territory to spread awareness among the people regarding the COVID-19 protocols.
Ms Soundararajan distributed face masks and hand sanitizers to people in the Muthialpet area. She urged everyone not to lower their guard against the virus.
Doctors at a private hospital in Bhopal removed a 16 kilogram tumour from the abdomen of a 20-year-old woman after performing a 6-hour-long surgery on Sunday.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sougata Roy on Sunday termed the BJP's manifesto and promises as "hollow" and "jumlas" respectively amid an intense battle for power in West Bengal.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Sunday informed that it has collected Rs 40 crores from April 2020 to March 21, 2021 from 20 lakh offenders who violated the mandatory face mask rule to prevent the spread of COVID-19, reported news agency ANI.
Maharashtra reported 30,535 fresh COVID-19 cases, 11,314 recoveries, and 99 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the State Health Department.With these new cases, the cumulative count has surged to 24,79,682 including 2,10,120 active cases and 22,14,867 recoveries. The COVID-19 death count in the state stood at 53,399. The fatality rate in the state now stands at 2.15 per cent.
Mumbai reported 3,775 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total number of coronavirus cases in the capital city to 3,62,654.
He spent three decades of his life living like a destitute -- wearing torn clothes, spending days working at an eatery in Uttarakhand just for food enough to survive, nights at a nearby bus stop even in bone-chilling winters, and his plight kept only to himself as he spoke and understood nothing except Kannada.