The total COVID-19 active cases remained below 2 lakh. (File)
India's COVID-19 tally of cases rose to 1,07,90,183 with 12,899 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 1,04,80,455, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
The death count increased to 1,54,703 with 107 daily new fatalities, the data showed.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,04,80,455 pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.13 per cent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.43 per cent. The total COVID-19 active cases remained below 2 lakh.
There are 1,55,025 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 1.44 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.
About one in four of India's 135 crore people may have been infected with the coronavirus, said a source with direct knowledge of a government serological survey, suggesting the country's real caseload was many times higher than reported.
India has confirmed 1.08 crore COVID-19 infections, the most anywhere outside the United States.
But the survey, whose findings are much more conservative than a private one from last week, indicates India's actual cases may have crossed 30 crore. The state-run Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which conducted the survey, said it would only share the findings at a news conference on Thursday.
The source declined to be named ahead of the official announcement. It was not immediately clear how many people participated in the latest survey.
Following another survey done in August and September using blood samples of more than 29,000 people older than 10, ICMR had concluded that one in 15 Indians had COVID-19 antibodies. The figure jumped to one in six in densely-populated urban slums.
Here are the Latest News Highlights:
Johnson & Johnson Requests Emergency Authorisation For Covid Vaccine
Pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson on Thursday submitted an application for emergency authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine with US health authorities, the company said in a statement.
The process could take several weeks, but at the end of it the vaccine would be the third authorized in the United States, after those of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
J&J subsidiary Janssen Biotech "has submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for its investigational single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate," the statement read.
The new vaccine is highly anticipated because it has two big logistical advantages: it can be stored at refrigerator temperatures rather than in special freezers, significantly easing distribution; and it requires just one dose.
Canada extends cruise ship ban to early 2022
Canada said Thursday it was extending a ban on cruise ships entering its waters through February 2022 because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The ban applies to ships carrying more than 100 people, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said in a statement.
"Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems," he said.
If pandemic conditions "sufficiently improve" during the period, he added, the government could move to rescind the order.
The original ban was put in place last April as the pandemic took hold in North America, and was extended several times.
The measure has dealt a severe blow to Canadian port cities such as Vancouver, Quebec and Montreal, where the cruise industry is a vital moneymaker.
Farmers' Protest: "Chakka Jam" To Be Pan India Except Delhi, Says Farmer Leader Rakesh Tikait
Going firm on their demand for repeal of the new agri laws, hundreds of farmers spent another night in the cold and withstood spells of drizzle on Thursday at Ghazipur, their heavily-secured protest site at the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait, leading the stir in Ghazipur since November with his supporters, said the movement at Delhi's outskirts could continue till October this year and would be supported by villagers.
He also took a veiled jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the fortification of the protest sites at Ghazipur, Tikri and Singhu as he shared with the press the details of the proposed February 6 "chakka jam" (blockading of roads as a form of protest).
He said the blockade will not be done in Delhi but will take place in other parts of the National Capital Region, which comprises parts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan, and the rest of country including the southern states.
No French Covid Lockdown For Now: Prime Minister
The French government said Thursday that it would hold off from imposing a new Covid lockdown, as new infection numbers have stabilised and a vaccination rollout is accelerating.
Prime Minister Jean Castex told a news conference that France's death rate throughout the second wave of infections was one of the lowest in Europe thanks to a decision to tighten restrictions last month, including with a 6:00 pm daily curfew.
The potential advantages of a third nationwide lockdown in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus had to be weighed against its cost in "economic, social, human and sometimes even health terms", Castex said.
"This is why a new confinement can only be envisaged as a last resort," he said. "The situation today does not justify such a move."
If, however, the health situation deteriorates, the government would "not hesitate to do what is necessary", he said.
Castex said it was "not the time" to relax current restrictions, which include the closure of cafes and restaurants except for takeout meals, and of large shopping centres, and tough border restrictions, especially for non-EU travel.
Coronavirus Latest Updates: Italy Coronavirus Death Count Passes 90,000, 421 New Fatalities
Italy reported 421 coronavirus-related deaths on Thursday against 476 the day before, the health ministry said, taking the official count since the epidemic emerged a year ago to 90,241, according to health ministry data.
The ministry also reported 13,659 new COVID-19 infections over the past 24 hours, up from 13,189 the day before, bringing the total tally of cases to 2.597 million.
Some 270,142 tests for COVID-19 were carried out in the past day, against a previous 279,307, the health ministry said.
Patients in hospital with COVID-19 - not including those in intensive care - stood at 19,743 on Thursday, down from 20,071 a day earlier.
There were 147 new admissions to intensive care units, up from 133 on Wednesday. The total number of intensive care patients rose to 2,151 from a previous 2,145.
"Who Are They Trying To Please?": Hema Malini Reacts To Rihanna, Others
Veteran actor and BJP MP Hema Malini today said she was intrigued by foreign celebrities support to ongoing farmers' protests when India was just a name "they have heard".
"I'm intrigued by foreign celebrities to whom our glorious country, India, is just a name they have heard, boldly making statements about our internal happenings and policies!" Hema Malini tweeted.
Mehul Choksi, Company's Flat, Mercedes Benz Car Attached In PNB Case
The Enforcement Directorate has attached assets worth over ₹ 14 crore belonging to Gitanjali Group and its promoter and jeweller Mehul Choksi, one of the main accused in the over ₹ 13,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) loan fraud case.
The properties attached, under the anti-money laundering law, include a flat measuring 1,460 sq feet at O2 Tower in Goregaon in Mumbai, gold and platinum jewellery, diamond stones, necklaces made of silver and pearls, watches and a Mercedes Benz car, the Enforcement Directorate said in a statement.
A provisional order for attachment has been issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) for the assets worth a total ₹ 14.45 crore that are in the name of Gitanjali Group of companies and its director Mehul Choksi, it said.
India Had Estimated 74 Million Covid Cases by August: Report
Nearly seven per cent of India's population aged ten and above was exposed to SARS-CoV-2, amounting to an estimated 74.3 million infections by August, with the seroprevalence being highest in urban slum areas followed by urban non-slum and rural areas, the findings of ICMR's second national serosurvey stated.
According to the findings which have appeared in the Lancet Global Health pre-print, the overall seroprevalence of below 10 per cent in India indicates that a large proportion of the population remains susceptible to novel coronavirus infection.Read
"Humans For Hhumans": Sonakshi Sinha On Farmers Protest
A day after a raft of celebrities led a government-backed pushback against international criticism of authorities in India trying to stifle the two-month-long farmers' protest, actor Sonakshi Sinha joined the handful of public figures who spoke out against the concerted campaign.
"The voices raised are about the violation of human rights, suppressions of free internet and expression, state propaganda, hate speech and abuse of power," Sonakshi Sinha posted as an Instagram story.
"Journalists are being harassed. Internet has been banned. Protesters are being vilified through state and media propaganda. Hate speech (desh ke gaddaro ko, goli maro sardaro ko resurfaced) is flourishing. THAT is the issue that's taken global centre stage," she wrote.
"To re-iterate, news tonight will try to paint a picture that 'outside forces' are trying to meddle in the functioning of our country. Please don't give in to that narrative. It's human, standing up for other humans. THAT'S the narrative," Ms Sinha added.
After US Remarks On Farmers' Protest, India Cites Capitol Hill Violence
The foreign ministry today said it has "taken note" of the US remarks on the ongoing farmers' protests, but underscored that it is "important to see such comments in their entirety". Pointing out that "India and the US are both vibrant democracies", ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the US "has acknowledged steps taken by India in agricultural reform".
The ministry, however, added: "The incidents of violence and vandalism at the historic Ref Fort on the 26th of January have evoked similar sentiments and reactions in India as did the incidents on the Capitol Hill on the 6th of January and are being addressed as per respective local laws."
On the blockage of internet access in parts of the National Capital Region, which has resonated in the US, the government said it was "understandably taken to prevent further violence".
Jyotiraditya Scindia, Digvijaya Singh's Amusing Exchange In Parliament
An exchange between BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia and his former Congress colleague Digvijaya Singh made for an amusing interlude in the Rajya Sabha today, in the middle of a discussion on the farmer protests.
Jyotiraditya Scindia, speaking in parliament for the first time since his crossover last year from the Congress - his party of 19 years - to the BJP, targeted what he called the double standards of the Congress-led UPA government on the farm laws at the centre of a massive farmers' agitation outside Delhi. The Congress and other opposition parties have supported the demand of farmers that the laws be repealed. Mr Scindia sought to highlight what he alleged was the Congress's flip-flop on the laws. Read
New York City's Indian-Origin Health Commissioner Tests Covid+
Dr Dave A Chokshi, New York City's Indian-origin health commissioner, has tested positive for the COVID-19 and is experiencing "mild" symptoms, according to media reports.
Mr Chokshi, a 39-year-old physician with expertise in public health, was appointed to the post by Mayor Bill de Blasio in August last year for playing a crucial role in addressing the unprecedented coronavirus challenges faced by the city.
"In New York City and across the country, COVID continues to circulate in our communities, and all of us are potentially exposed to the virus. A testament to this fact is that I recently got tested and received a positive diagnosis for COVID-19," Mr Chokshi was quoted as saying by New York Post on Wednesday. Read
Over 21% Of India's Population May Have Had COVID-19, Shows Sero Survey
Over 21 per cent of the population, aged 10 years and above, showed evidence of past exposure to COVID-19 in the ICMR's latest national serosurvey, the government said on Thursday, noting that a large proportion of people are still vulnerable to the infection.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) third national serosurvey was conducted between December 7 last year and January 8.
Presenting the findings of the survey, ICMR Director General Dr Balram Bhargava said 21.4 per cent of the 28,589 people, aged 18 years and above, surveyed during the period showed evidence of past exposure to the coronavirus infection. While 25.3 per cent of children aged 10 to 17 years from the same number of surveyed population have had the disease, he said.
"Briefly Discussed In Team Meeting": Virat Kohli On Farmers' Protest
Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli on Thursday said that the ongoing farmers' protest against new agriculture laws has come up for discussion in his team meeting where everyone has "expressed their views".
Mr Kohli, speaking online to the media ahead of the first test against England in Chennai, did not share the details of the "brief" conversation on the matter.
"Any issue which is present in the country, we do talk about it and everyone has expressed what they had to say about the issue. We briefly spoke about it in the team meeting and then we carried on discussing the team's plans," Mr Kohli said when asked about the agitation that has been going on for over two months.
"Still Stand With Farmers": Greta Thunberg After Delhi Police Files Case
Teen climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has been accused of "criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity" in a case filed by the Delhi Police today over her tweets on the farmer protests.
Greta Thunberg's tweets in support of the protests near Delhi against farm laws are among many posts that have drawn international attention over the past two days to the farmers' agitation that began late-November.
The charges that the young activist faces are those of conspiracy and "promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language... and acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony."
Delhi Police Files Case Against Greta Thunberg Over Tweets On Farmers' Protest
Teen climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has been accused of "criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity on grounds of religion" in a case filed by the Delhi Police today over her tweets on the farmer protests.
Greta Thunberg's tweets in support of the protests near Delhi against farm laws are among the posts that have drawn international attention to the farmers' agitation that began late-November.
The 18-year-old's first tweet came soon after one by pop star Rihanna on Tuesday night.
"We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India," she wrote, sharing a CNN story about the protests and the government restricting Internet near protest sites.
Health ministry briefs on Coronavirus crisis
- India's COVID-19 cumulative positivity rate is 5.42 per cent and declining; positivity rate last week was at 1.82 per cent.
- Death due to COVID-19 is also declining
- There are two states that have 70% of the active cases - Kerala and Maharashtra.
- 47 districts haven't reported new COVID19 cases in last 3 weeks and 251 districts have not reported any COVID related deaths in the last 3 weeks
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra meets the family members of the farmer who lost his life during the tractor rally on 26th January in Delhi, at their residence.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh poses for a group picture with Defence representatives of IOR (India Ocean Region) countries at IOR Defence Ministers' Conclave in Bengaluru.
Hardeep Puri performs ''bhoomi poojan'' ceremony of Central Vista Avenue
The ''bhoomi poojan'' ceremony of the Central Vista Avenue was performed by Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS for Housing and Urban Affairs here at India Gate on Thursday.
With this ceremony, the work has started for the development and redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue. The Central Vista Avenue starting from North and South Block to India Gate, that includes the Rajpath, its adjoining lawns and canals, rows of tree, Vijay Chowk and the India Gate plaza is a 3 km long stretch.
The government has decided to refurbish and improve the avenue, as part of the comprehensive transformation of Central Vista.
The government approved a proposal for the development of Central Vista Avenue with an estimated cost of Rs 608 crores.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tejasvi Surya takes a sortie on LCA Tejas aircraft at Aero India show in Bengaluru.
PM Modi releases postage stamp to mark beginning of centenary celebrations of Chauri Chaura incident
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday released a postage stamp dedicated to mark the beginning of centenary celebrations of the Chauri Chaura incident in Uttar Pradesh, via video conferencing.
Addressing the people at the event in Chauri-Chaura, Prime Minister Modi said, "Incident of Chauri Chaura was not limited to a police station being set on fire. The message of the incident was huge. Due to various reasons, it was treated as a minor incident, but we should see it in context. The fire was not just in the station but in the hearts of people."
"It is unfortunate that martyrs of Chauri Chaura incident have not been discussed as much as they should have been. Although, they have not been given significance in pages of history but their blood is in the soil of the country and keeps inspiring us," he said.
Coronavirus News Updates: Telangana logs 177 fresh COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths take toll to 1,606
Telangana recorded 177 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the total caseload to 2,95,101, while the death toll rose to 1,606 with two more fatalities, the state government said on Thursday.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 30, followed by Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri districts with 11 each, it said in a bulletin, providing details as of 8 PM on February 3.
Kumram Bheem Asifabad, Medak, Nagarkurnool, Narayanpet and Suryapet districts reported zero cases.
The cumulative recovered cases stood at 2,91,510, while 1,985 were under treatment.
The bulletin said 41,343 samples were tested on February 3.
PM Modi inauguraes the ChauriChaura Centenary Celebrations in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Here are the highlights of his address:
- The strength and courage that helped our freedom fighters in their resolve will also help us all in ours, to make India 'aatmanirbhar' and will take India and all that it has to offer to the world.
- Lots of important decisions have been taken in this year's budget... A much-needed push has been given to infrastructure and to give a push to manufacturing.
- Many said before the budget, that after a year of COVID-19, the taxpayer will have to face a greater burden to help the country's economy. But no additional burden in income tax or other major taxes have been added.
- Despite a pandemic year, despite all the restrictions due to COVID-19, our farmers have ensured a record produce. Our farmers have given their best. Now, if the farmer is aided better, given a larger market to sell their produce, they would enjoy better incentives. They would then be able to do even better.
- Farmers and people in villages will be able to get better benefits, will have easier access to loans and will be able to secure themselves financially. No one will be able to eye their land with evil intensions. Villagers, especially small farmers will gain a lot.
- We as a nation have to move forward as one... move forward united, and must remember that our nation, our contribution towards its betterment comes above all else.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends inauguration of the Chauri Chaura Centenary Celebrations at Chauri Chaura in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, via video conferencing.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: No fresh COVID-19 case in Arunachal, tally at 16,829
Arunachal Pradesh did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the past 24 hours, a health department official said on Thursday.
The total caseload in the northeastern state stood at 16,829, he said.
Two more persons were cured of the disease on Wednesday, taking the total number of recoveries to 16,764, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Lobsang Jampa said.
The recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state stood at 99.61 per cent.
State Immunisation Officer Dimong Padung said 16,876 health workers have received vaccine shots thus far, and seven cases of adverse event following immunisation have been
The health department has been carrying out the inoculation drive four days a week -- Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Watch| Aero India show underway in Bengaluru for the second day.
The show that started yesterday will conclude on February 5.
314 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, 5 more deaths
Thane has added 314 new cases of coronavirus, raising the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 2,54,642, an official said on Thursday.
Apart from these new cases recorded on Wednesday, five more people also died of COVID-19, taking the toll in the district rose to 6,165, he said.
The district currently has a COVID-19 fatality rate of 2.42 per cent, the official said.
So far, 2,45,281patients have recovered from the infection, taking the COVID-19 recovery rate in Thane to 96.32 per cent.
As of now, there are 3,196 active COVID-19 cases in the district, the official said.
Opposition leaders who have reached Ghazipur border to meet the protesting farmers have been stopped by Police.
Coronavirus News Updates: Jharkhand reports 46 new COVID-19 cases, two fresh fatalities
Jharkhand's COVID-19 tally mounted to 1,18,839 as 46 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Thursday.
The death toll rose to 1,077 after two persons from Dhanbad and Ranchi succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, he said.
Ranchi district registered the maximum number of fresh cases at 20, followed by East Singhbhum at eight and Dhanbad, Bokaro and Gumla at three each.
Meanwhile, a 52-year-old man died on Tuesday 36 hours after receiving COVID vaccine in the state, the official said, adding that a preliminary
JustIn| 12,899 fresh COVID-19 cases in India, nearly 17% higher than yesterday; 1.07 crore total cases, 1,54,703 deaths
Steps that would improve efficiency of India's markets welcome: US
Recognising that peaceful protests are a hallmark of a thriving democracy, the US on Wednesday said it welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India's markets and attract greater private sector investment.
"In general, the United States welcomes steps that would improve the efficiency of India's markets and attract greater private sector investment," a State Department spokesperson said, indicating that the new Biden Administration is supportive of the Indian government's move to reform the agricultural sector that attracts private investment and greater market access to farmers.
Responding to a question on ongoing farmers' protests in India, the State Department said the US encourages that any differences between the parties be resolved through dialogue.
"We recognise that peaceful protests are a hallmark of any thriving democracy and note that the Indian Supreme Court has stated the same," the State Department spokesperson said.
Joe Biden to talk about foreign policy during his maiden visit to State Department
A fortnight after he was sworn-in as the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden will visit the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department on Thursday, where he would broadly talk about his foreign policy.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden "will broadly talk about foreign policy" during his maiden visit to the State Department.
"This will not be a laydown of his vision for every issue and every foreign policy issue. He will have plenty of time to do that," she said, lowering down the expectations.
Biden's trip to the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department is seen as an effort to boost the morale of the American diplomats. During his interaction, the president is expected to underscore the role of diplomacy in American leadership overseas.
Oxford To Run Trial Alternating COVID-19 Vaccines
Oxford University announced on Thursday it will launch a medical trial alternating doses of Covid-19 vaccines created by different manufacturers, the first study of its kind.
The trial will show whether different Covid doses -- those created by the Astrazeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech pharmaceutical companies -- can be used interchangeably to allow greater flexibility in pressured vaccine delivery schedules.
The British government's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, said the trial would offer "greater insight" into the use of vaccines against Covid.
"Given the inevitable challenges of immunising large numbers of the population against Covid-19 and potential global supply constraints, there are definite advantages to having data that could support a more flexible immunisation programme," Van-Tam said.
Coronavirus Latest Updates: Haryana Police Personnel To Get COVID-19 Vaccines From Today
Personnel of the Haryana Police are all set to receive their COVID-19 shots, in the second phase of the vaccination drive that begins from Thursday.
As per a statement, the Director-General of Police Manoj Yadava volunteered to be the first to receive the vaccine and will inaugurate the vaccination drive at Police Headquarter, Sector-6, Panchkula at around 11 am.
A spokesperson of the Haryana Police said that the entire police force had worked continuously on the front line when Covid-19 was at its peak, and their efforts had also been consistently recognized at the national level.
"Besides maintaining law and order, each of our officers and jawans fearlessly ensured food to the poor and needy, safe home return of migrant workers and labourers and take care of the elderly. In the lockdown, the humane face of the police comes to fore and that is why police efforts were also consistently recognized at the national level", the spokesperson said.
There are currently 1,055 active cases in Haryana, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. As many as 2,63,989 recoveries and 3,023 deaths have been reported so far.
Centre Says 162 Doctors Died Of COVID-19, Medical Body Puts Number At 734
The Indian Medical Association has expressed shock at the central government stating in Rajya Sabha that 162 doctors died due to coronavirus in the country.
It appealed that a high-power committee be constituted by the government to do a thorough study of the entire data of doctors who have died, and that all those who had died due to the disease will be honoured.
Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey had on Tuesday informed the Upper House of Parliament that COVID-19 has so far claimed the lives of 162 doctors, 107 nurses and 44 ASHA workers in the country.