This Article is From Feb 18, 2021

Latest News Highlights: India Reports 11,610 New COVID-19 Cases, 100 Deaths In Last 24 Hours

The death count due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,55,913 in the country with 100 more fatalities reported in a 24-hour period, the ministry''s data updated at 8 am showed.

Latest News Highlights: India Reports 11,610 New COVID-19 Cases, 100 Deaths In Last 24 Hours

There are 1,36,549 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country.

New Delhi:

With 11,610 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has climbed to 1,09,37,320, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,06,44,858, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

The death count due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,55,913 in the country with 100 more fatalities reported in a 24-hour period, the ministry''s data updated at 8 am showed.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has climbed to 1,06,44,858, which translates to a national COVID-19 recovery rate of 97.33 per cent, while the case fatality rate stands at 1.43 per cent.

There are 1,36,549 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country currently, which accounts for only 1.25 per cent of its total caseload, the data stated.

Meanwhile, Kiran Bedi thanked the government for a "life time experience" as the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, after she was removed from the top post last night amid a crisis in the ruling Congress government in the union territory. The Congress government has slipped into a minority after four Congress leaders resigned from the Assembly since last month.

"Thank all those who were a part my journey as Lt Governor of Puducherry-The People of Puducherry and all the Public officials," Ms Bedi, 71, tweeted this morning, along with a statement.

Here are the Latest News Highlights:

Feb 18, 2021 05:30 (IST)
As temperatures soar, Kerala government reschedules working hours for labourers

The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to reschedule the working hours for labourers in the state effective immediately till April 30, considering the rising daytime temperatures.

Labour Commissioner S Chitra issued the order to avoid incidences of sunstroke among those workers who are exposed to the hot sun.

The average temperature across the state hovered around 33 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

The order was issued under section 24 and 25 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1958. The sections deal with the working hours of labourers.

"As per the order, the working hours of the labourers have been rescheduled for the period starting from February 17 to April 30. The eight hours of duty will be from 7 AM to 7 PM with a mandatory break of three hours from 12 noon to 3 PM," a state government statement said.
Feb 18, 2021 04:43 (IST)
One-Third Of US Military Refusing COVID-19 Vaccine: Pentagon

Pentagon officials said Wednesday that about one-third of the US military are declining to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, despite significant coronavirus infection levels in the forces. Read Here
Feb 18, 2021 04:30 (IST)
UN urges global Covid vaccine plan, warns of dangerous inequity
The United Nations on Wednesday led calls for a coordinated global effort to vaccinate against Covid-19, warning that gaping inequities in initial efforts put the whole planet at risk. 

Foreign ministers met virtually for a first-ever UN Security Council session on vaccinations called by current chair Britain, which said the world had a "moral duty" to act together against the pandemic that has killed more than 2.4 million people. 

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced alarm that just 10 nations have administered 75 percent of doses so far -- and 130 countries have had none at all. 

"The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities," Guterres said.
Feb 18, 2021 04:13 (IST)
Bengal reports 133 new COVID-19 cases, 2 fresh fatalities

West Bengal's COVID-19 tally rose to 5,73,012 on Wednesday as 133 more people tested
positive for the infection, while two fresh fatalities pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 10,237, a health bulletin said. 

Kolkata reported the highest number of new cases at 44, while the fresh fatalities were reported in the metropolis and neighbouring North 24 Parganas district. 

As many as 249 more people were cured of the disease, taking the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state to 97.36 per cent.  The state now has 3,736 active cases, while 5,59,039 people have recovered from the disease so far.
Feb 18, 2021 03:00 (IST)
E-electoral photo identity card facility has received good response in Rajasthan: Poll officer

The e-EPIC (electronic-Electoral Photo Identity Card) facility introduced by the Election Commission of India has received a good response in Rajasthan, which has become the leading state where people are using the facility, officials said on Wednesday. 

A total of 59.85 percent of voters have downloaded online EPIC cards in the state so far, they added. At present, the facility has been extended to those voters whose names have been added to the voter list after January 1, Chief electoral officer Praveen Gupta said. 

He informed that out of 2.24 lakh such voters, 1.34 lakh have downloaded EPIC cards.  "Jaipur has the highest number of downloads in Rajasthan, where 28,565 voters downloaded their EPIC cards," he said.

Feb 18, 2021 02:43 (IST)
COVID-19: 29,071 more vaccinated in Maharashtra, 7,065 get second dose

As many as 29,071 beneficiaries, most of them frontline workers, received the first dose of
COVID-19 vaccines in Maharashtra on Wednesday, while 7,065 health professionals were administered the second dose, the state government said. 

With this, 7,77,506 people have received vaccine doses in the state since January 16, when the inoculation drive against COVID-19 was launched in Maharashtra along with the rest of the country, an official statement said.  

Out of the 29,071 beneficiaries, 21,112 were frontline workers and 7,959 healthcare workers," it said. 
Feb 18, 2021 02:05 (IST)
Venezuela to begin Covid immunization program with Sputnik V

Venezuela will begin immunizing health care workers and public sector employees on Thursday with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, President Nicolas Maduro announced on Wednesday.

Legislators, armed forces personnel and authorities "whose work in the streets justifies ... their special protection for the state to keep functioning" will be amongst the first to receive their vaccines, Maduro said.

A mass immunization campaign for the general public will begin in April, he added.

The first 100,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Caracas on Saturday, however there is no timetable for any further deliveries.

Venezuela has agreed to acquire 10 million doses of Sputnik V as well as reserving 1.4 to 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford jab through the World Health Organization's Covax system.
Feb 18, 2021 01:30 (IST)
Over 1.22 lakh beneficiaries administered first dose of COVID in single day in Rajasthan

Over 1.22 lakh beneficiaries were administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in a single-day in Rajasthan on Wednesday.

Heath Secretary Siddharth Mahajan said that 1,22,030 frontline workers and 337 health workers got the jabs on Wednesday.

He said that the frontline workers who were administered the dose were from the Panchayti Raj institutions.

Mahajan said that this is the largest number of doses to be given to employees of a single department on a single-day under the vaccination programme that started on January 16.



 
Feb 18, 2021 00:58 (IST)
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurates 5 projects, performs ground-breaking of 17

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday inaugurated five projects and performed ground-breaking of 17 others. 

The industrial units in the metal and downstream, tourism, textile and apparel, cement, plastic and food processing sectors are expected to bring in a total investment of Rs 13,311.53 crore and generate employment for 10,677 people. 

"Odisha is going high with impressive investments in the manufacturing sector, making the position of the state stronger as a manufacturing hub of India," Mr Patnaik said. 

Feb 18, 2021 00:16 (IST)
Won't inconvenience passengers during Rail Roko: Kisan Andolan Committee

Kisan Andolan Committee spokesperson Jagtar Singh Bajwa said there will be arrangements for refreshment for rail passengers to avoid inconvenience to them during Rail Roko protest on February 18.

"We will carry out a peaceful protest in the nationwide Rail Roko program on February 18, from 12 pm to 4 pm. We'll offer refreshments to passengers to avoid inconvenience," said Mr Bajwa.

"We will welcome trains and passengers will flower garlands. We have intensified the campaign to keep farmers active on social media. We instructed dozens of farmers today and also created their profiles on social media," he added.

The farmer unions have called for a nationwide Rail Roko protest on February 18 from 12 pm to 4 pm in protest of the three contentious farm laws.

Feb 17, 2021 23:39 (IST)
India Announces Gift Of 2,00,000 COVID-19 Doses For UN Peacekeepers
India, hailed as the pharmacy of the world, on Wednesday announced a gift of 200,000 COVID-19 doses for UN peacekeepers, PTI reported. 
Feb 17, 2021 22:05 (IST)
Italy reports 369 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, 12,074 new cases

Italy reported 369 coronavirus-related deaths on Wednesday against 336 the day before, the health ministry said, while the daily tally of new infections rose to 12, 074 from 10, 386 the day before, Reuters reported.
Feb 17, 2021 21:42 (IST)
1 new case takes Meghalaya's COVID-19 tally to 13,945

Meghalaya's COVID-19 tally rose to 13,945 on Wednesday as only one more person tested positive for the infection, a senior health official said. Twenty-three more people were cured of the disease, PTI reported. 
Feb 17, 2021 20:57 (IST)
No new COVID-19 case in Nagaland

Nagaland did not report any new COVID-19 case on Wednesday, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said. Five more people have been cured of the disease, taking the recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state to an all-time high of 97.72 per cent, he said.
Feb 17, 2021 20:09 (IST)
UN chief urges "global vaccination plan" for Covid

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday called for a global plan to vaccinate against Covid-19, warning that inequities in initial efforts risked both the world's health and economy.

"The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities," Guterres told a high-level Security Council meeting on vaccines.

Feb 17, 2021 19:47 (IST)
First batch of Covid vaccine arrives in Gaza

A first batch of coronavirus vaccines, enough to inoculate 1,000 people, arrived in Gaza on Wednesday, Palestinian and Israeli officials said, after Israel blocked a shipment earlier this week.

The Israeli military department responsible for civil affairs in the occupied Palestinian territories (COGAT) said 1,000 Sputnik "vaccines" had been sent to the coastal enclave, which has been under Israeli blockade since 2007. 

The Palestinian Authority, which controls the occupied West Bank, and Islamist movement Hamas, which runs Gaza, later clarified that the shipment comprised 1,000 two-dose sets of the vaccine, AFP reported. 
Feb 17, 2021 19:14 (IST)
Spanish police seize 4 million fake medical-grade masks

Spanish police on Wednesday said they had seized around four million counterfeit medical-grade face masks at a hotel during a raid on a gathering that violated virus restrictions.

Officers found the masks inside cardboard boxes on the ground floor and in the warehouse of the hotel in Leganes on Madrid's southern outskirts, police said in a statement.

The boxes were "ready to be transported" and marked as containing high-protection KN95 and FFP2 face masks, it said.

In addition, police found a printer that was capable of printing masks with the so-called CE mark, reflecting conformity to European standards, AFP reported. 
Feb 17, 2021 18:09 (IST)
UK virus variant spreading rapidly in Germany: minister

The UK variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in Germany, where it now accounts for more than one in five cases, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Wednesday.

"The mutation that was first discovered in the UK is particularly worrying... We have to expect that it will now become the dominant variant here," said Spahn at a press conference. 

Feb 17, 2021 18:08 (IST)
Zanzibar's vice president dies after suffering Covid
Zanzibar's first vice president Seif Sharif Hamad, who led the island's opposition for three decades, died Wednesday, the president said, after he had been hospitalised for over three weeks with coronavirus.

Tanzania and its semi-autonomous island Zanzibar have played down the threat of of the virus, which President John Magufuli has said has been fended off by prayer, AFP reported. 
Feb 17, 2021 16:53 (IST)
Sweden readying to close gyms, restaurants, hair salons

Sweden, known for its softer approach to the pandemic, is preparing to use new legislation to close gyms, restaurants and hair salons ahead of a feared third wave of virus infections, the government said Wednesday.

Sweden in January adopted a pandemic law giving the government new powers to curb the spread of the virus, AFP reported. 

The country has never imposed the type of lockdown seen elsewhere in Europe, controversially relying on mostly non-coercive measures. 
Feb 17, 2021 16:16 (IST)
Indonesia kicks off second wave of Covid-19 vaccinations
Market traders were among the first to benefit from Indonesia's second phase of mass vaccinations against the coronavirus on Wednesday, as the government looks to right the country's pandemic-battered economy.

Medical teams are now focusing on workers in close contact with the public and people over 60, authorities announced, after a first phase prioritising health workers, 1.1 million of whom have been vaccinated according to the health ministry.
Feb 17, 2021 15:21 (IST)
Vaccine will be available in open market only when prime targets-people to be vaccinated-are covered and there's equivalence of supply-demand. Hopefully there'd be such situation by year-end or before that. Then there would be likelihood of vaccine to come to open market: Dr Rakesh Guleria.


Feb 17, 2021 15:09 (IST)
Mumbai Civic Body To Review, Take Actions Against Violators Of COVID-19 Guidelines

Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) Additional Municipal Commissioner, Suresh Kakani, said on Wednesday that the corporation will review the increase in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai and take strict actions within 10 days if conditions do not improve. "BMC to review the increase in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai. If the cases continue to rise and people ignore COVID-19 norms and regulations, then BMC will not hesitate in taking a strong measure within the next 10 days," he said.
Feb 17, 2021 14:48 (IST)
103 residents of SNN Raj Lakeview apartment in Bommanahalli, Bengaluru tested positive for COVID-19.
Feb 17, 2021 14:00 (IST)
Odisha Reports 75 New COVID-19 Cases, Tally Rises To 3,36,397

Odisha's COVID-19 caseload on Wednesday surged to 3,36,397 after 75 more people tested positive for the virus, a health department official said. The 75 new cases were detected in 17 of the state's 30 districts, with 46 cases reported from different quarantine centres, while the remaining 29 are local contact cases. Sundergarh district reported the highest of 11 new cases followed by nine each in Bargarh and Sambalpur districts. Thirteen other districts did not register any new cases since Tuesday.
Feb 17, 2021 13:49 (IST)
Russia Registers 12,828 COVID-19 Cases In Past 24 Hours

Russia registered 12,828 new COVID-19 cases over the past 24 hours, down from 13,233 the day before, taking the overall tally to 4,112,151, the coronavirus response center said on Wednesday. This is the lowest single-day increase since October 9, when 12,126 new cases were confirmed.
Feb 17, 2021 13:26 (IST)
No COVID-19 Deaths In Last 24 Hours In 18 States, UTs: Health Ministry

Eighteen states and Union Territories, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, have not reported any death due to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. India's cumulative recoveries have been showing a progressive increment on a daily basis, the ministry said. "Eighteen states/UTs have not reported any COVID-19 death in the last 24 hours. These are Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Puducherry, Himachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Ladakh, Assam, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu," the ministry said in a statement.
Feb 17, 2021 12:35 (IST)
COVID-19: 4618 Train Passengers In Mumbai Fined For Not Wearing Masks

The Mumbai Division of Railways and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) have fined 4618 train passengers between February 1 to 14 for not wearing face masks, a mandatory health protocol to be followed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In a joint drive with the BMC, the Mumbai division of Railways has fined 2558 passengers for not wearing a mask in the train, informed the Chief Public Relation Officers (CPRO), Western Railway. A total penalty of Rs 3,28,500 collected from them, CPRO said further.
Feb 17, 2021 12:14 (IST)
Government "Overconfident": Rahul Gandhi As 2 More Covid Strains Reported

The government is being "grossly negligent" and "overconfident" about the coronavirus pandemic in the country, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said today continuing his attacks on the centre on Twitter. Sharing a clipping of a news report that said the South African and Brazilian variant of the virus has entered India, the 50-year-old MP said COVID-19 is "not over yet" even as the country sees a sharp drop in infections. Read Here
Feb 17, 2021 11:53 (IST)
No New COVID-19 Case In Arunachal Pradesh

Arunachal Pradesh did not report any new COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, a senior health department official said on Wednesday. The total caseload in the state remained at 16,833, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said. Arunachal Pradesh currently has three active COVID-19 cases, while 16,774 people have recovered from the disease so far, he said.
Feb 17, 2021 11:16 (IST)
Adverse Event Cases After Coronavirus Vaccination Just 1 In 2,000: Centre

Just one out of 2,000 beneficiaries report minor effects post vaccination against COVID-19, the Centre said on Tuesday, noting that the rate of adverse event following immunisation has been recorded at 0.05 per cent. Dispelling rumours, NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul said the vaccination will not impact fertility in any manner.

Feb 17, 2021 10:29 (IST)
Telangana Adds 148 New Cases To Its Coronavirus Tally

Telangana registered 148 fresh COVID-19 cases taking the total caseload to nearly 2.97 lakh while one related death pushed the toll to 1620.
Feb 17, 2021 09:47 (IST)
India Reports 11,610 New Covid-19 Cases, 100 Deaths In Last 24 Hours

With 11,610 fresh cases, India's COVID-19 tally has climbed to 1,09,37,320, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,06,44,858, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday. The death count due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,55,913 in the country with 100 more fatalities reported in a 24-hour period, the ministry''s data updated at 8 am showed.

Feb 17, 2021 09:31 (IST)
Follow Covid Norms Or Face New Lockdown, Warns Maharashtra Chief Minister

Concerned over the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown. After reporting 4,092 COVID-19 cases on last Sunday, highest single-day tally in more than a month, Maharashtra registered 3,663 new cases on Tuesday, 461 of them in Mumbai.

Feb 17, 2021 09:05 (IST)
Joe Biden Says Vaccines Available For All Americans By End July

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday that all Americans will have access to Covid-19 vaccines before August. Biden has previously predicted that vaccines might be available to all by spring, but the White House has recently toned down its optimism, citing difficulties both with availability of vaccines and ability to deliver them.
Feb 17, 2021 08:53 (IST)
Kiran Bedi Removed As Puducherry Lt Governor Amid Congress Crisis

The removal of Kiran Bedi as Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry is "a victory for the people", Chief Minister V Narayanasamy told NDTV late Tuesday night, shortly after Rashtrapati Bhavan withdrew Ms Bedi from the post. The order, which comes as the ruling Congress navigates a crisis of numbers, has been widely seen as a political move by the BJP to negate their rivals' primary campaign platform and further weaken them ahead of elections in May. Read Here
Feb 17, 2021 08:46 (IST)
Ministry of health informed more than 88.5 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses administered.
Feb 17, 2021 08:43 (IST)
Kiran Bedi thanked the government for a "life time experience" as the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, after she was removed from the top post last night amid a crisis in the ruling Congress government in the union territory. The Congress government has slipped into a minority after four Congress leaders resigned from the Assembly since last month.
Feb 17, 2021 08:00 (IST)
Adverse Event Cases After Coronavirus Vaccination Just 1 In 2,000: Centre

Just one out of 2,000 beneficiaries report minor effects post vaccination against COVID-19, the Centre said on Tuesday, noting that the rate of adverse event following immunisation has been recorded at 0.05 per cent. Dispelling rumours, NITI Aayog member (Health) VK Paul said the vaccination will not impact fertility in any manner.
Feb 17, 2021 07:41 (IST)
Over 100 Covid Cases In One Bengaluru Apartment Complex After 2 Parties

An apartment complex in Karnataka capital Bengaluru has been declared a containment zone after 103 of its residents tested positive for coronavirus. According to district officials, the surge in Covid cases was recorded just days after two marriage anniversary parties were organised in the residential society.
Feb 17, 2021 07:28 (IST)
Delhi Records 94 New COVID-19 Cases, Lowest In Over 9 Months: Government

Delhi recorded 94 fresh COVID-19 cases today, the lowest in over nine months, while the positivity rate slipped to 0.17 per cent in the city, authorities said. One fatality was also registered, taking the number of deaths due to the viral disease to 10,894 in the national capital, according to the latest health bulletin issued by the Delhi government.
Feb 17, 2021 07:16 (IST)
New Tech To Pick Out People At High COVID-19 Risk In England For Vaccines

A new risk-prediction model devised by Oxford University scientists is to be deployed as new technology by the National Health Service (NHS) in England to help clinicians identify a new group of people who may be at high risk from COVID-19. Over 800,000 adults will now be prioritised to receive a vaccine as part of the current vaccination cohorts, combining several health and personal factors, such as age, ethnicity and body mass index (BMI), as well as certain medical conditions and treatments.
Feb 17, 2021 07:02 (IST)
North Korea "tried to hack" Pfizer for vaccine info, says South: Reports
North Korean hackers tried to break into the computer systems of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer in a search for information on a coronavirus vaccine and treatment technology, South Korea's spy agency said Tuesday, according to reports.

The impoverished, nuclear-armed North has been under self-imposed isolation since closing its borders in January last year to try to protect itself from the virus that first emerged in neighbouring China and has gone on to sweep the world, killing more than two million people.

Leader Kim Jong Un has repeatedly insisted that the country has had no coronavirus cases, although outside experts doubt those assertions.
Feb 17, 2021 06:45 (IST)
New COVID-19 cases down 16 percent last week: World Health Organization
The number of new cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide fell by 16 percent last week to 2.7 million, the World Health Organization said. The number of new deaths reported also fell 10 percent week-on-week, to 81,000, the WHO said late Tuesday in its weekly epidemiological update, using figures up to Sunday.

Five of the six WHO regions of the world reported a double-digit percentage decline in new cases, with only the Eastern Mediterranean showing a rise, of seven percent.
Feb 17, 2021 06:34 (IST)
Adverse Event Cases After Coronavirus Vaccination Just 1 In 2,000: Centre
Just one out of 2,000 beneficiaries report minor effects post vaccination against COVID-19, the Centre said on Tuesday, noting that the rate of adverse event following immunisation has been recorded at 0.05 per cent.
Feb 17, 2021 06:32 (IST)
India's Fight Against COVID-19 Is Inspiring World: PM Modi
India's fight against COVID-19 is inspiring the world, though at the beginning of the pandemic other countries worried about the country's situation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

India is following a human centric approach to furthering global good, which is based on a healthy balanced welfare and well-being, he said, virtually delivering the valedictory address to ''Heartfulness Practitioners'' on the platinum jubilee celebrations of Heartfulness Institute of Shri Ram Chandra Mission.