Daily COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to about 14,000. (File)
A total of 1.08 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered till now with 1.86 lakh jabs given today, the Union Health Ministry said. Of the 1,08,38,323 doses administered, Joint Secretary in the Union Health ministry Mandeep Bhandari said 72,26,653 vaccination doses were administered to healthcare workers and 36,11,670 to frontline workers whose inoculation started on February 2. Of the 70,52,845 vaccination doses, 63,52,713 healthcare workers were administered the first dose while 8,73,940 healthcare workers were administered the second dose.
Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have recorded an "upsurge" in daily new cases of COVID-19, the Union Health Ministry said. In a statement, the ministry said in the last seven days, Chhattisgarh has also seen a rise in daily active new cases. In the last 24 hours, 259 daily new cases have been reported, it said.
Kerala continues to report a high number of daily new cases and in the past week, Maharashtra has exhibited a spike in the number of daily new cases, accounting for the highest number of daily new cases in the country on Saturday, the ministry said in the statement.
Daily COVID-19 cases in the country climbed to about 14,000 after nearly 22 days taking India's tally to 1,09,77,387, while the recoveries surged to 1,06,78,048, according to Union Health Ministry data updated this morning. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,06,78,048 which translates to a national recovery rate of 97.27 per cent and the case fatality rate stands at 1.42 per cent. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 1.5 lakh.
Here are the Highlights:
Peru suffering medical oxygen crunch amid Covid spike
Hundreds of Peruvians waited in long lines Saturday to get medical oxygen for loved ones with Covid-19, amid a shortage of the gas in the pandemic's second wave.
In San Juan de Lurigancho, a largely poor area just northeast of the capital, more than 200 people waited in front of a new plant opened by the San Marcos parish and the municipality of Lima, which provides free medical oxygen.
People had to show a medical order and a photocopy of the patient's identity document.
There was tight police surveillance at the plant, as in almost all medical oxygen sales spots around the country.
The first person in line had arrived Friday afternoon, sleeping on the street.
Maharashtra reports 6,281 new COVID-19 cases, 40 deaths
Maharashtra reported 6,281 new COVID-19 cases, 2,567 discharges, and 40 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the State Health Department on Saturday.
With this, the total cases in the state increased to 20,93,913 including 48,439 active cases and 19,92,530 total recoveries. The deaths reached to 51,753 including the new deaths.
Mumbai reported 897 new COVID-19 cases, 571 recoveries, and three deaths, as per Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation today.
Britain To Offer All Adults A COVID-19 Vaccine By End Of July
All adults in Britain will be offered a first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday ahead of a planned announcement on the cautious reopening of the economy from lockdown.
Johnson will set out a roadmap to ease England's third national lockdown on Monday, having met a target to vaccinate 15 million Britons from higher-risk categories by mid-February.
Britain now aims to give a first dose to all over-50s by April 15, the government said, having previously indicated it wished them to receive the shot by May.
If all adults receive a dose by the end of July, it will be well ahead of a previous target that they would receive a vaccine by autumn.
West Bengal's COVID-19 tally mounts to 5,73,580
Four more COVID-19 fatalities in West Bengal pushed the deaths to 10,246 on Saturday, the health department said in a bulletin. The coronavirus tally climbed to 5,73,580 with 193 fresh cases, it said.
West Bengal now has 3,579 active cases, while 5,59,755 people have recovered from the disease so far.
Since Friday, 20,538 samples have been tested, taking the total number of such clinical examinations to 84,09,392, the bulletin said.
Leader of the Opposition writes to Jagan Reddy over conduct of elections by Andhra in Odisha
Pradipta Kumar Naik, Leader of the Opposition in Odisha Legislative Assembly, has written a letter to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy regarding "conduct of elections by Andhra Pradesh in Odisha."
In the letter, Mr Naik requested the Chief Minister to maintain the status quo ruled by the Supreme Court and to respect the spirit of cooperative federalism.
"Andhra Pradesh Government has conducted elections illegally in some part of Odisha along Andhra-Odisha border. The parts where Andhra Government tried to conduct elections are some villages in Rayagada district by Vizianagram district administration, some villages in Ganjam and Gajapati district by Srikakulam district administration, some villages in Malkanagiri by Vishakapatnam district administration, along with most discussed Kotia of Koraput by Vizianagram district administration," Mr Naik stated.
Delhi reports 152 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death on Saturday
Delhi reported 152 new COVID-19 cases, and one death due to the disease in the last 24 hours, according to the Delhi Health Department's data on Saturday.
With 179 fresh discharges, the overall recoveries reached 6,25,832. The cumulative coronavirus cases in Delhi climbed to 6,37,755 including 1,025 active infections. A total of 450 COVID-19 patients are currently in home isolation.
The deaths due to COVID-19 has mounted to 10,898.
Kuwait bans entry for non-Kuwaiti citizens until further notice: Civil Aviation Authority
Kuwait's Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday announced it was extending an entry ban for non-Kuwaiti citizens until further notice as part of coronavirus restriction measures, it said on Twitter.
Citizens are still allowed to enter but they must spend a week in quarantine at a hotel and another week at home.
Uttarakhand glacial burst: 5 more bodies recovered from Tapovan in Chamoli
Five more bodies have been recovered from the debris of the dam at Tapovan here following the glacial burst in Chamoli, Uttarakhand Director General of Police (DGP) Ashok Kumar informed on Sunday.
A total of 67 bodies have been recovered so far from the debris of dam Tapovan.
NDRF personnel rappelled his way down the mountain to install a gauge in the Dhauliganga river in Chamoli.
"Water level of the river is likely to rise. We are installing a gauge to measure its depth and water level," said Aditya P Singh, Deputy Commandant, NDRF.
After a detailed survey of the lake formed in the upper reaches of Chamoli, ITBP and DRDO teams returned to Joshimath.
Assam reports 16 new COVID-19 cases, 1,50,018 people inoculated
Senior Assam police officers, including Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, were among 5,784 beneficiaries who received vaccine shots on Saturday, according to a bulletin issued by the National Health Mission.
Altogether, 1,50,018 people have been inoculated in the state so far, it said.
Additional Director General of Police LR Bishnoi and IGP Surendra Kumar were among 3,850 frontline workers who received the first dose of vaccine during the day.
At least 1,554 health workers also received the first dose of COVID vaccine and 380 were administered the second dose at 104 sites across the state, the bulletin said. No case of adverse event following immunisation was reported during the day.
Odisha government firm on satisfying people's aspiration: Naveen Patnaik
Amidst the walkout by Opposition BJP and Congress members, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday assured the Assembly that his government is firmly on the path to create a new and empowered Odisha which will satisfy the aspiration of the people.
Mr Patnaik was speaking during the discussion on the motion of thanks on the governors address on the first day of the budget session of the Assembly.
Mr Patnaik physically attended the first day of the session. He, however, addressed the House through the virtual mode when the Opposition and BJP members walked out of the House as part of their ongoing protest against the government's alleged failure to procure paddy from farmers across the state.
Sanjay Raut targets centre over arrest of Disha Ravi
Raising questions over arrest of Disha Ravi in Toolkit case, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Saturday asked, "if Centre feels a threat to the nation from the 21-year-old who is a social activist, is our nation so weak that these 10, 15, 20 year-olds have started becoming a threat to the country?"
He said there should be an open debate on the issue.
He said while Indira Gandhi had officially declared Emergency in the country, there is an "emergency" through "ingit bhasha" (indicative language).
"When an Emergency was imposed during the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi, she had said that officially. After taking signatures of the President she had announced an Emergency. But today''semergency'' is in indicative language. Today also there is an emergency but without any official announcement," he said.
India fought COVID-19 successfully due to collective efforts of people: Om Birla
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Saturday said that India could successfully fight the social and economic challenges of COVID-19 because of the collective efforts of the 130 crore people.
The Speaker, who took part on the second day of the Basti Mahotsava, said the festival represents the diversity and cultural mosaic of India and it is a confluence of the country''s arts, culture and economy.
He remembered freedom fighters of Basti who took part in India's freedom struggle and hailed their valour and their fight for protecting the motherland.
The Speaker said democracy in the country has a long history and did not come after Independence. "Our democracy has successfully addressed aspirations of our people from all sections of the society," he said.
Coronavirus expected to last long-term despite global vaccine rollout: EU official
The head of the EU's disease control agency warned that the novel coronavirus could last indefinitely even as global infections slowed by nearly half in the last month and vaccine rollouts gathered pace in parts of the world. ECDC chief Andrea Ammon urged European countries in particular not to drop their guard against a virus that "seems very well adapted to humans" and may require experts to tweak vaccines over time, as is the case with the seasonal flu.
"So we should be prepared that it will remain with us," according to Ammon, head of the Stockholm-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
COVID-19 test mandatory for passengers coming to Srinagar airport
Strengthening the preventive measures against COVID-19 in the wake of the rising cases in some states of the country, authorities in Kashmir on Saturday ordered that inbound travellers will not be allowed to leave the airport in Srinagar until their test report is received. The test reports will be issued on the spot before letting the travellers go, an official spokesman said.
In a meeting convened as part of the preventive plan, in-charge Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary issued directions for putting in place required measures to avert the spread of coronavirus in the Valley, the spokesman said.
New Indian Strains Of COVID-19 Could Be More Infectious, Says AIIMS Chief Randeep Guleria
Herd immunity for coronavirus is a "myth" in India because at least 80 per cent people need to have antibodies for the whole of the population to be protected, Dr Randeep Guleria told NDTV today. This, he said, would be difficult if one takes into account the new Indian strains found in Maharashtra -- which could be highly transmissible and dangerous. The new variant, he said, can even cause re-infections in people who have developed anti-bodies to the virus.
Over 2.8 lakh people vaccinated in Delhi till now
Over 2.8 lakh beneficiaries have received COVID-19 vaccine jabs till date in Delhi since the start of the inoculation drive a month ago, according to data shared by officials. Out of these, more than 1.31 lakh are healthcare workers and over 1.53 lakh frontline workers, as per the data.
Coronavirus vaccine shots were administered to over 26,000
beneficiaries in Delhi today, the inoculation figures crossing the 24,000-mark for the third consecutive day. During the day, 26,110 beneficiaries received shots across 302 centres, including 4,351 people who got their second dose, as the inoculation drive picked up pace, according to data. The overall turnout was about 85 per cent.
490 new COVID-19 cases in Karnataka, 5 deaths
Karnataka reported 490 new cases of COVID-19 and5 related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 9,47,736 and the death count to 12,292.
The day also saw 389 patients getting discharged after recovery, pushing the total number of those discharged to 9,29,447, a health department bulletin said.
According to the bulletin, out of 5,978 active cases, 5,851 patients are in isolation at designated hospitals and stable, while 127 are in ICU.
Lockdown unnecessary; double masking, micro-containment zones needed, says expert
A senior member of the Maharashtra government's COVID-19 task force said that lockdown is a draconian measure and has limited efficacy in countering the spread of the virus.
According to task force member and endocrinologist Dr Shashank Joshi, promotion of "double masking" (wearing two layers of face covering) and formation of micro-containment zones could be effective. Maharashtra is witnessing a worrying uptick in infection numbers this month.
"Lockdown is a draconian measure. It seems easy (to enforce) but it is an unwarranted measure. And there is no point in enforcing night curfews," he said at a panel discussion.
Coronavirus Live Updates: Total Of 1,08,38,323 Vaccinated In India
For frontline workers, a total of 36,11,670 vaccinations has been done till date.
Russia registers third vaccine
Russia says 120,000 doses of its third authorised coronavirus vaccine, CoviVac, will reach people by March, following in the footsteps of the Sputnik V and EpiVacCorona shots.
The new vaccine, still in final stage clinical trials, was produced by the state-run Chumakov Centre based in Moscow and employed a different method of development from Sputnik and EpiVacCorona, using an inactive virus.
Coronavirus Live Updates: Over 200 million vaccine doses administered globally
More than 200 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in at least 107 countries and territories, according to an AFP count based on official sources Saturday.
In total 201,042,149 doses had been given worldwide by 1000 GMT -- a figure that does not include the latest data from China and Russia, who have stopped making their progress public in recent days. Some 45 percent of the injections took places in countries belonging to the wealthy G7 club, whose members account for just 10 percent of the global population.
Its seven countries -- the US, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Japan -- promised Friday to share doses more fairly with worse-off countries.
Delhi court to pass order on Disha Ravi's bail plea on Tuesday
The Delhi Court has reserved an order on bail plea of climate activist Disha Ravi in the Toolkit case. The order will now be passed on February 23.
Toolkit Case: Court's questions while hearing Disha Ravi's bail plea
The police argued that bail can be denied if the accused indulges in tampering of evidences. "Constantly she has been refusing to cooperate with the probe. Her devices have been sent to the FSL experts. Preliminary findings show contents have been deleted. Investigation is still at preliminary stage...That's destruction of evidences," the prosecution argued.
While the police maintained that the conspiracy could be seen only based on circumstantial evidences, Justice Rana asked, "Should I presume that there is no direct link now?"
When the police counsel could still not come up with an answer, Justice Rana said, "Unless I satisfy my conscience, I don't move ahead."
Hearing Ms Ravi's plea today, the court asked, "What is a toolkit?" The judge also asked what was the legal bar that stopped the Bengaluru woman from moving bail. "What is the prosecution story? What are the allegations against Disha Ravi? What are the evidences against her?" the court posed three questions.
Have no connection with Khalistan movement: Disha Ravi
"I am 22, from Karnataka. I have no connection with Khalistan movement, whatsoever," Disha Ravi argued before Justice Dharmendra Rana. "There is no single chat or conversation between me and the (banned organisation) Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) produced by the Delhi police."
She pointed out that the police case had said that "yoga was being targeted". "If I prefer Kung Fu, am I in conspiracy with China? Is that sedition?" Ms Ravi's counsel Siddharth Agarwal asked.
The judge then asked her if she had attended a Zoom call, which, as the police have alleged, was one of the sessions where the January 26 violence conspiracy was hatched. "If there is violence or instigation of violence then it's an offence, but what's the allegation against me? That I was part of a Zoom call? That I spoke during the Zoom call?" her counsel asked.
Mr Agarwal, meanwhile, asserted that the toolkit had nothing to "sow disaffection to the country". Even the reading of Mr Raju showed the same, he said.
Delhi Police oppose Disha Ravi's bail plea in court The Delhi Police have argued
that bail can be denied if the accused indulges in tampering of evidences. "Constantly she has been refusing to cooperate with the probe. Her devices have been sent to the FSL experts. Preliminary findings show contents have been deleted. Investigation is still at preliminary stage...That's destruction of evidences," the prosecution argued.
The court of Justice Dharmendra Rana, however, asked how anyone could impute wrong motives to a person who merely meets someone with bad credentials.
The police answered, "Everyone knows MO Dhaliwal. Why would you meet with such a person." Justice Rana responded: "No. I don't know who is MO Dhaliwal." Mr Dhaliwal is the founder of PJF and the police have accused Ms Ravi of maintaining contact with him, especially during the toolkit episode.
The judge also asked what the evidence was to connect Ms Ravi to the January 26 violence. To which the police responded saying, "In a conspiracy, not everyone will have the same role. Somebody...influenced by the toolkit may be instigated and indulge in violence."
Toolkit Case: What the Delhi Police said in Disha Ravi's bail plea case
The Delhi Police said that Sikhs for Justice, a banned organisation, announced on January 11 a reward for anyone who hoists Khalistani flag on India Gate or Red Fort. The Delhi Police added that somehow this toolkit got leaked on social media and was available in the public domain, the deletion of the same was planned and performed.
Delhi Police said these organisation operated from Canada & wanted someone to hoist a flag at India Gate, Red Fort. They wanted to carry out such activities in the garb of farmers protest and that is why Poetic Justice Foundation is involved.
Vancouver is a hotbed for anti-India activities with regard to Khalistan, the Delhi Police said. It added that an organisation named Kisan Ekta company is in touch with another organisation in Vancouver.
The Delhi police opposed the 22-year-old's petition, saying the toolkit was a gateway to various websites that defame India and its army. Disha Ravi, the only person arrested so far in the case, is closely connected to the Khalistan-backing organisation Poetic Justice Foundation (PJF), the police has told the court.
Hearing in activist Disha Ravi's bail plea on
The online "toolkit", cited by the Delhi police to accuse three persons of sedition over the past few days, was merely a "resource document", environment activist Disha Ravi today told a Delhi court while moving her bail plea.
At NITI Aayog Meet, PM Talks About "Untapped Potential" Of Farm Sector
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today pointed to the "untapped potential" of the farm sector, while marking out the areas for improvement to push the country out of the post-Covid economic slump. He advised extending help to the private sector and increase the Ease of Business in India as a key move to seek foreign investment.
"Even during COVID, India saw a rise in exports in the agriculture sector. We have a lot of untapped potential in this sector. Wastage of our products should be as less as possible and we must thus concentrate on storage and processing," he said while speaking at the sixth meeting of the government's think tank, Niti Aayog.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Attacks Centre Over Rising Fuel Prices
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday said fuel prices have been increasing for 11 days and the common man is suffering as a result of "wrong" economic policies of the Centre.
In a series of tweets, Mr Gehlot targeted the Centre and cleared his stand on the rumours that Rajasthan levies highest tax on fuel prices.
"The Modi government imposes excise duty of Rs 32.90 on petrol and Rs 31.80 per litre on diesel. Whereas during the UPA government in 2014 there was an excise duty of only Rs 9.20 on petrol and just Rs 3.46 on diesel. The Modi government should reduce excise duty in the interest of the public without delay," he tweeted in Hindi.
"Cooperation Between Centre, States Very Important": PM At NITI Aayog Meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke of the need for a solid policy framework as the country tries to shake off the economic downturn induced by the coronavirus pandemic. In this context, he also spoke of the need to increase the cohesion between the Centre and the states.
Addressing the sixth meeting of the government's think tank Niti Aayog, he said the private sector must be allowed to grow and the states and the Centre should both support them.
"We, as governments, have to provide private sectors opportunities to take part in the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India)," he said at the meeting, which was attended by Chief Ministers and Lieutenant Governors of states and Union Territories.
Congress holds half-day bandh in Madhya Pradesh against fuel price rise
The Congress in Madhya Pradesh is observing a half-day statewide ''bandh'' on Saturday to protest against the rising petrol and diesel prices.
Former chief minister Kamal Nath appealed to the people of the state to cooperate and make the shutdown a success.
"Today Madhya Pradesh will observe bandh till 2 pm. People are in distress due to skyrocketing prices of diesel and petrol. The government is busy collecting revenue and it is least bothered about giving relief to the public," Kamal Nath said.
Mission Indradhanush 3.0 To Focus On Children, Women Who Missed Vaccine During Covid: Minister
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan launched Intensified Mission Indradhanush (IMI) 3.0 with a focus on children and pregnant women who missed their vaccine doses during the COVID-19 pandemic. IMI 3.0 will have two rounds starting from February 22 and March 22 and will be conducted in 250 pre-identified districts and urban areas across 29 states and Union territories.
Mumbai Doctor Who Took 1st Shot Of Vaccine Gets Covid, Recovers: Report
A doctor attached to a civic-run hospital who had received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine contracted the viral infection some days ago and has now recovered, a Mumbai civic official said today. An expert from the Maharashtra government's task force said this was not unusual as a recipient of COVID-19 vaccine does not develop immunity immediately.
No New COVID-19 Case In Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, a senior health department official said here on Saturday. The total coronavirus caseload in the state remained at 16,836, State Surveillance Officer Dr Lobsang Jampa said. Arunachal Pradesh currently has five active COVID-19 cases, while 16,775 people have recovered from the disease, and 56 people have succumbed to the infection so far, he said.
13,993 New COVID-19 Cases, 101 Deaths In Last 24 Hours
With 13,993 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has climbed to 1,09,77,387, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,06,78,048, the Union health ministry said on Saturday.
Thane District's COVID-19 Count Rises By 471
With 471 new coronavirus cases, the infection count in the Thane district of Maharashtra climbed to 2,59,668, an official said on Saturday. These new cases were reported on Friday, he said. As the virus claimed the life of eight persons, the death count in the district rose to 6,227.
Temperature Drop Link To COVID-19 Surge Likely: Maharashtra Official
A sudden drop in temperature last week in some parts of Maharashtra may have caused a spike in COVID-19 cases, a senior health official said on Friday. Temperatures in east Vidarbha started dipping due to moisture coming from the Bay of Bengal and this may have "helped the virus to spread with more speed, increasing the number of COVID-19 cases", he claimed.
West Bengal's COVID-19 Tally Mounts To 5,73,387
Three more COVID-19 fatalities in West Bengal pushed the toll to 10,242 on Friday, the health department said in a bulletin. The coronavirus tally climbed to 5,73,387 with 194 fresh cases, it said.
On Plea To Declare Covishield "Unsafe", High Court Notice To Centre
The Madras High Court has issued a notice to the central government over a petition to declare the Serum Institute of India's coronavirus vaccine - Covishield - "unsafe". The petition was filed by a 41-year-old man from Chennai who was a volunteer for the third phase of the Covid vaccine trial and was administered a dose on October 1. He had alleged adverse effects from the vaccine trials, claiming "loss of creativity and business". Read Here
France Reports 24,116 New COVID-19 Cases, 328 Deaths
With 24,116 new infections confirmed in the last 24 hours, France has counted an accumulative total of 3,560,764 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, according to data from the French Public Health Agency. The country's coronavirus-linked toll now stands at 83,964, after registering 328 deaths in the past 24 hours. A total of 9,435 COVID-19 patients remain in the hospital, including 1,764 in intensive care in the last seven days.
Pfizer Says Its Coronavirus Vaccine Can Be Stored In Ordinary Freezers
Germany's BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer on Friday said tests have shown that their coronavirus vaccine can stand warmer temperatures than initially thought, potentially simplifying the jab's complex cold-chain logistics. The companies said they have asked the US Food and Drug Administration to allow for the vaccine to be stored for up to two weeks at minus 25 to minus 15 degrees Celsius (minus 13 to five degrees Fahrenheit), temperatures commonly found in pharmaceutical freezers and refrigerators.
After 3 Months, Maharashtra Records More Than 6,000 New COVID-19 Cases
Maharashtra on Friday reported more than 6,000 new coronavirus infections in a single day for the first time after more than three months, indicating a worsening pandemic situation. As many as 6,112 fresh cases were reported during the day, most of them coming from Akola, Pune and Mumbai divisions, said an official of the state health department.
Priyanka Chaturvedi urges Harsh Vardhan to rope in private hospitals in COVID-19 immunisation drive
Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi on Friday urged Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to rope in private hospitals in the nationwide COVID-19 immunisation drive.
In a letter to Mr Vardhan, she also suggested opening mobile vaccination centres and resolve technical glitches on the CoWIN app among other measures, to ensure easy availability and accessibility to coronavirus vaccines.
"I would urge you to consider roping in private hospitals in the immunisation drive, also consider opening-up more mobile vaccination centres as well as plug the issues faced on CoWIN app," Ms Chaturvedi said in the letter.