Latest News Live Updates: The recovery rate is 97.16 per cent.
India's COVID-19 tally of cases rose to 1,08,02,591 with 12,408 new infections being reported in a day, while the recoveries surged to 1,04,96,308, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday.
The death count increased to 1,54,823 with 120 daily new fatalities, the data showed.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to recuperated pushing the national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.16 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.
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.
Here are the Latest Highlights:
India Fastest Country To Reach 5 Million Covid Vaccination-Mark: Centre
India has become the first country in the world to reach the 5 million COVID-19 vaccination mark in just 21 days, the Union Health Ministry said as nearly 53 lakh beneficiaries have been administered shots under the countrywide inoculation exercise till Friday evening.
The USA, the UK and Israel have reached 5 million vaccinations in 24, 43 and 45 simultaneous days respectively.
"The countrywide COVID-19 vaccination program was conducted successfully on the twenty-first day as well," the ministry said.
The cumulative number of healthcare workers vaccinated against COVID-19 is nearly 53 lakhs.
A total of 52,90,474 beneficiaries were vaccinated through 1,04,781 sessions, as per the provisional report comprising data collected till Friday 6 pm.
Over Rs 120 Crore Operational Cost For Covid Vaccination Drive Given To States, Union Territories: Centre
During the initial phases, the COVID-19 vaccine is being provided to healthcare workers and frontline workers for which, apart from free of cost supply of vaccines, the operational cost of Rs 123.49 crore has been released to the states and UTs, Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Choubey informed the Lok Sabha on Friday.
The minister further said no time limit has been set for completion of the COVID-19 vaccination drive in any state or UT presently.
The immunization drive against the novel coronavirus was rolled out from January 16 across the country.
The distribution of vaccines to states and UTs is being done as per the beneficiaries' data load registered on the CO-WIN portal, Mr Choubey said in a written reply.
Delhi Records 154 Fresh Covid Cases, 2 Deaths
Delhi recorded 154 fresh COVID-19 cases on Friday, while the death count rose to 10,873 with two new fatalities, even as the positivity rate stood at 0.26 per cent, authorities said.
The fatality count on Friday was same as that on February 2, the lowest in the last 10 months.
These new cases came out of the 59,964 tests conducted the previous day. The positivity rate stood at 0.26 per cent, according to the latest bulletin issued by the Delhi Health Department.
The infection tally in the city stood at over 6.35 lakh and the death count mounted to 10,873 with two new fatalities, authorities said.
174 Doctors, 116 Nurses, 199 Health Workers Died Due To Covid: Centre
A total of 174 doctors, 116 nurses and 199 healthcare workers have died due to COVID-19 in the country, the government informed Lok Sabha on Friday, citing data from states received under an insurance scheme.
In written reply to a question, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said that duly implementing a series of containment measures including lockdown and promotion of COVID-19-appropriate behaviours, India has been able to successfully manage and blunt the aggressive progression of the virus.
Elaborating on the measures taken to contain the pandemic, the minister said dedicated health infrastructure focused on COVID-19 was identified and earmarked to manage surge in cases.
Congress Extends Support To Nationwide ''Chakka Jam'' Called By Farmers
The Congress on Friday extended support to the countrywide ''chakka jam'' called by farmer unions on February 6, saying party workers will stand shoulder to shoulder with farmers in their protest.
The Congress also hit out at Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who defended the three new farm laws and criticised the Opposition while speaking in Rajya Sabha.
Whatever the agriculture minister said was "not only totally bereft of facts" but also "grossly objectionable", the party claimed.
Farmers At Ghazipur Plant Flowers In Response To "Iron Nails"
Farmers at Ghazipur on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border on Friday planted flower saplings along a road stretch, saying it was their response to "iron nails" fixed in the area by the police.
Stringent security measures like multi-layered barricading, concertina wires, had come up along with iron nails cemented on roads around the protest site in the wake of the January 26 violence in Delhi.
"The police had fixed iron nails for farmers but we have decided to plant flowers for them," Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait said.
Government's Approach Towards Farmers' Protest Adversarial: 75 Ex-Civil Servants
The central government's approach towards the farmers' protest against the three new farm laws has been an adversarial and a confrontationist one from the very beginning, a group of former civil servants said in an open letter written on Friday.
The letter signed by 75 former civil servants, including Najeeb Jung, Julio Riberio and Aruna Roy, who are part of the Constitutional Conduct Group (CCG) also said that the apolitical farmers are being treated like "an irresponsible opposition to be derided, demonised and defeated".
The repeated, albeit unsuccessful, attempts to polarise the agitation along regional, communal and other lines are also reprehensible, they said.
4G Mobile Internet Services Being Restored In Entire Jammu And Kashmir: Official
High-speed mobile internet services are being restored in the entire Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesperson of the Jammu and Kashmir administration Rohit Kansal said on Friday.
The move comes 18 months after it was suspended in August 2019 when the Centre abrogated special status of the erstwhile state.
"4G mobile internet services are being restored in the entire Jammu and Kashmir," Mr Kansal tweeted.
No ''Chakka Jam'' In Delhi Tomorrow: Samyukt Kisan Morcha
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella body of the farmer unions protesting the three farm laws, on Friday said there would be no ''chakka jam'' in Delhi on February even as it asserted that farmers in other parts of the country will block national and state highways for three hours but in a peaceful way.
In a statement, it said emergency and essential services such as ambulance and school bus will not be stopped during the ''chakka jam'' that is proposed to be held between 12 pm and 3 pm on Saturday.
We Completed 50 Lakh Vaccinations In 21 Days: Health Ministry
52,90,474 Beneficiaries Vaccinated For Covid So Far: Health Ministry
Kerala Police Registers Case Against BJP For Covid Norms Violation During JP Nadda's Rally
Kerala Police on Friday registered a case against the BJP for alleged violations of COVID-19 norms during a public meeting addressed by party president Jagat Prakash Nadda at Thekkinkadu Maidan in Kerala's Thrissur.
Thrissur police commissioner Aadhitya R said that the case has been registered under the Epidemic Act for violating the Covid protocol.
"A case has been registered under the Epidemic Act for violating the COVID protocol in the BJP rally. No case has been registered against BJP National President JP Nadda" he said.
Addressing the rally in Thrissur on Thursday, JP Nadda had criticised the Kerala Government claiming the COVID-19 has been mismanaged in a massive way in the state.
"Chakka Jam" On February 6 To Last From 12-3 PM: Samyukta Kisan Morcha
The "Chakka Jam" on February 6 will last from 12-3 PM, Samyukta Kisan Morcha said Friday, adding that all national and state highways across the country will be blocked.
However, emergency and essential services, like ambulance and school bus, will not be stopped.
Over 6 Lakh Health, Frontline Workers Administered COVID-19 Vaccines In UP: Official
Frontline workers comprising police, home guards, civil defence, revenue, municipal and jail officials in Uttar Pradesh received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines on Friday, a senior government official said.
Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Amit Mohan Prasad said a total of 54,435 people were administered vaccines till 3 pm on Friday and altogether over 6.43 lakh healthcare and frontline workers have been given first dose vaccines in the state so far, which is the highest in the country, he said.
Expert Panel Had Rejected Emergency Use To Pfizer Covid Vaccine: Report
Just two days before pharma major Pfizer announced withdrawal of its application for emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine in India, an expert panel of the country's drugs regulatory authority had recommended against granting such approval to the firm at this stage, officials told news agency Press Trust of India on Friday.
Pfizer on Friday said it has decided to withdraw its application for emergency use authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine in India.
"Have A Backbone", BJP's KJ Alphons Tells Farmer Leader Rakesh Tikait
Stating that hoisting a religious flag at the Red Fort was "treason", BJP leader and former Union minister KJ Alphons on Friday said in Rajya Sabha that farmer leader Rakesh Tikait cannot get away by shedding tears after the violence during their tractor parade seeking the repeal of new farm laws.
Defending the three farm laws, Mr Alphons said there was nothing wrong in them.
"If you are leading an agitation Mr Tikait, and you tell people take rods with you and then you finally shed tears and say sorry ''I didn't know," have a backbone," Mr Alphons said during a discussion on Motion of Thanks on Presidential Address.
Celebrity manager Rahila Furniturewala and businessman Karan Sajnani sent to judicial custody for 14 days in connection with a drug case related to Sushant Singh Rajput, ANI reported quoting special public prosecutor Atul Sarpande.
BJP President JP Nadda To Launch ''Poribartan Yatra'' In Bengal Tomorrow
BJP president JP Nadda will inaugurate the party's ''Poribartan Yatra'' at Nadia in West Bengal on Saturday, stepping up the party's campaign to end the Trinamool Congress' reign in the state.
The party said in a statement that the yatra will be in five phases and cover all the 294 assembly constituencies in the state where polls are expected to be held in April-May.
Prior to its launch, he is scheduled to attend a few programmes, including joining over 3,000 farmers for lunch at Shahpur village in Malda district.
High Court Prepones Jamia Student's Bail Plea In North East Delhi Riots Case
The Delhi High Court Friday allowed a plea by Jamia Millia Islamia student Asif Iqbal Tanha, arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, seeking advancement of his bail petition in connection with a case related to larger conspiracy in the north east Delhi riots last year.
A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and AJ Bhambhani advanced the date of hearing his petition from March 12 to February 25.
The court allowed the early hearing application noting that special public prosecutors Amit Mahajan and Amit Prasad fairly did not oppose the plea
BJP Urges Election Commission To Deploy Only Paramilitary Force During Bengal Polls
A delegation of West Bengal BJP leaders on Friday submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission of India demanding that Assembly elections in the state be held in many phases and also requested it to deploy only paramilitary force at polling booths to give all parties a level playing field.
The delegation comprising eight members including BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav also demanded the removal of officers working at the "behest of Trinamool Congress".
Court Seeks Progress Report On Inquiry Against Kangana Ranaut Over Alleged Hateful Posts
A magistrate court has directed the Mumbai Police to submit progress report on the inquiry ordered into complaint against actor Kangana Ranaut, her sister for posting alleged hateful messages on social media.
JustIn| Big relief for UPSC aspirants, government agrees to give extra chance to those who missed last attempt due to pandemic
Haryana Police steps up security ahead of ''chakka jam'' on Saturday
Haryana police have stepped up security measures in view of the protesting farmer unions'' call for a countrywide ''chakka jam'' on Saturday, an official said.
Senior police officers have been asked to personally supervise security and traffic arrangements at vital junctions and roads while district police chiefs have been directed to ensure deployment of adequate personnel, according to an official communication issued to them.
"In view of the January 26 incidents in Delhi, some anti-social elements and aggressive youth creating law and order problems, cannot be ruled out," as per the communication dated February 4.
"It is assessed that as part of the protest programme on February 6, protesting farmers/unions may attempt road blockades of important national highways, state highways and interior roads," it said, asking the police to ensure necessary security arrangements are in place.
The police commissioners and district police chiefs have also been asked to make all out efforts to liaise with local leaders of farmer organisations to ensure peaceful conduct of their proposed programme, it said.
JustIn| Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar tells Rajya Sabha protests limited to only one state, farmers being instigated
No fresh COVID-19 case in Arunachal Pradesh for second consecutive day
Arunachal Pradesh did not report any fresh COVID-19 for the second consecutive day on Friday, a senior health official said.
The state's coronavirus tally stands at 16,829, State Surveillance Officer Lobsang Jampa said.
One more person was cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 16,765, he said.
Arunachal Pradesh now has eight active cases, while 56 people have succumbed to the infection so far.
The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state stands at 99.61 per cent.
Watch: Aero India show underway in Bengaluru for the third day.
Aero India to conclude today.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh attends Startup Manthan 2021 in Bengaluru.
RBI monetary policy statement
Here the the highlights:
- Key lending rate left unchanged at 4%
- GDP growth projected at 10.5% in 2021-22
- Inflation has eased below tolerance level of 6% and outlook on growth has improved significantly. It's the need of the hour to support growth.
- CPI inflation target cut to 5.2% from 5.8% for current quarter (Q4FY21) and 5.2-5% from 5.2-4.6% for H1FY22
- While 2020 has tested our capabilities and endurance, 2021 is setting stage for a new economic era in the course of our history.
Coronavirus News Updates: No fresh COVID-19 fatality in Jharkhand, tally rises to 1,18,897
Jharkhand has not reported any fresh COVID-19 fatality in the past 24 hours, even as 58 new cases pushed the tally to 1,18,897, a health department official said on Friday.
The coronavirus death toll remained at 1,077 in the state.
Ranchi district registered the maximum number of fresh cases at 33, followed by East Singhbhum at nine and Dhanbad and Dumka at three each.
A total of 6,561 health workers received the shots of COVID-19 vaccine at 163 centres across the state on Thursday, and one case of adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) was reported, the official said.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Thane district records 254 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
With the addition of 254 new coronavirus cases, the infection count in Thane district of Maharashtra rose to 2,54,896, an official said on Friday.
The new cases were reported on Thursday.
As three more patients succumbed to the infection, the death toll in the district increased to 6,168, he said.
The COVID-19 mortality rate stood at 2.42 per cent, the official said.
So far, 2,45,504patients have recuperated from the infection, reflecting a recovery rate of 96.32 per cent, he said.
JustIn| 12,408 fresh COVID-19 cases in India, nearly 4% lower than yesterday; 1.08 crore total cases, 1,54,823 deaths
JustIn| A total of 19,99,31,795 samples tested for COVID-19 up to 4th February. Of these, 7,15,776 samples were tested yesterday: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)
Latest visuals from Ghazipur border (Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border) where farmers' protest against three agriculture laws enters 70th day.
Schools in Delhi reopen for Class 9 and Class 11; visuals from Rajkiya Sarvodaya Kanya/Bal Vidyalaya in West Vinod Nagar area.
The government had resumed schools for classes 10 and 12 on January 18.
PM Modi speaks to South Africa President Ramaphosa over COVID-19 management
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephone conversation on Thursday with South African President Matemela Cyril Ramaphosa, about the measures New Delhi and Pretoria are taking to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Spoke to President Cyril Ramaphosa about the measures India and South Africa are taking to fight the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and internationally. India's capacity to produce medicines and vaccines is supporting the efforts of many nations, including our friends in Africa," the Prime Minister tweeted.
According to a release by the Prime Minister's Office, the two leaders also discussed possibilities of collaboration between India and South Africa in various international fora, to facilitate access and affordability of vaccines and medicines, it stated further.
"The leaders agreed that officials of both countries would remain in touch over the coming days to exchange experiences and explore the potential for collaborative efforts against the pandemic," the release read.
House impeachment managers ask Trump to testify, his lawyers call it ''public relations stunt''
House impeachment managers asked former US president Donald Trump on Thursday to testify during the Senate impeachment trial about his conduct on January 6. The move was immediately described as a "public relations stunt" by his lawyers.
In a letter, lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin requested Trump to provide testimony under oath, either before or during the Senate impeachment trial, about his conduct on January 6.
The letter comes after Trump's legal team filed an answer to the Article of Impeachment, denying incontrovertible facts about the president's conduct on and leading up to January 6 and asserting that "...the 45th president of the United States performed admirably in his role as president, at all times doing what he thought was in the best interests of the American people".
Trump's lawyers Bruce L Castor and David I Dchoen were quick to decline the ask. "We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt," they wrote. "As you know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding," they said.
Canada Extends Cruise Ship Ban To Early 2022 Amid Pandemic
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.
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.