Latest News Today: India today reported 16,946 fresh coronavirus cases in India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch the nationwide Covid vaccination drive on Saturday, a top official said today. Some 3 lakh people will receive shots on the first day, VK Paul, member of plan body NITI Aayog, told NDTV.
"PM Modi will be beginning the vaccination program. The details are being worked out," Mr Paul told NDTV on the launch of one of the world's largest vaccination programmes two days later.
The vaccination drive will begin with 3,000 sites on Saturday. Each centre will inoculate 100 people a day to begin with.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said the Delhi government has completed all preparations for rollout of the Coronavirus vaccine from January 16, with over 8000 health workers to be vaccinated on every scheduled day in the city.
The Delhi government has received 2.74 lakh doses of the vaccine so far from the Centre which would be sufficient for 1.2 lakh health workers. There are a total of 2.4 lakh health workers in Delhi and more vaccine doses are expected to arrive soon, he said.
Vaccination will begin at 81 centres on Saturday and the number of centres will be increased after a few days to 175 and finally 1000, he said.
The vaccine will be administered on four days of the week-Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. It will not be given in Sunday and two days of the week.
Here are the highlights:
Coronavirus news: Covaxin doses to be sent to six Maharashtra districts
The Covaxin doses received by the Maharashtra government will be distributed in six districts of the state including Pune and Mumbai in the first phase, a senior healh department official said on Thursday.
As the inoculation for coronavirus is set to start on January 16, the state has received 9.63 lakh doses of Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and 20,000 doses of Covaxin, developed indigenously by Bharat Biotech.
"Two thousand doses of Covaxin each will be sent to centres in Solapur, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Mumbai, Pune and Amravati districts," said Dilip Patil, State Immunization Officer.
COVID-19 Latest News: WHO tackles new virus strains, fresh restrictions imposed
Global health experts gathered on Thursday to tackle new coronavirus strains blamed for a fresh surge in infections as countries including Britain and France tightened restrictions to head off a further worsening of the pandemic.
The World Health Organization (WHO) emergency committee session came as their colleagues were seeking the origins of the virus on a long-delayed mission to the pandemic ground zero in Wuhan.
Almost two million of the more than 91 million people who have caught the disease have died, but the figures are widely believed to be an underestimate.
"When you first met almost a year ago, just 557 cases of the disease we now call Covid-19 had been reported to WHO," WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in his opening remarks to the emergency meeting.
COVID-19 latest news: German Chancellor urges tougher shutdown over virus resurgence
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday called for tougher restrictions to contain the country's worsening coronavirus outbreak and pushed for crisis talks with regional leaders, party sources told AFP.
At a meeting of senior members of her centre-right CDU party, Merkel said she wanted to bring forward a planned meeting with state premiers to "the coming week", participants told AFP.
They quoted her as saying the virus could only be stopped with "significant additional measures".
She also voiced concern about the virus strain that recently emerged in Britain and is considered more contagious, saying people urgently need to reduce their social contacts.
Coronavirus news: Israel reaches 2 million vaccinated milestone
The number of people inoculated in Israel for coronavirus passed the two million threshold Thursday, with the prime minister saying there was "light at the end of the tunnel".
Israel "will become the first country to emerge from the corona crisis," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu boasted.
"We see the light at the end of the tunnel," he said, all smiles as he observed an Israeli woman become the second millionth to receive the Covid-19 jab.
"I am the second millionth," to be vaccinated in Israel, read a sign held by 22-year-old Margaret Alsoso as she received her first dose of the vaccine in the city of Ramla near Tel Aviv.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: France imposes 6:00 pm nationwide virus curfew
The French government will impose a daily nationwide curfew at 6:00 pm starting Saturday to fight the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday.
The measure will remain in force for at least two weeks, Castex told a news conference, AFP reported.
Assessing availability, decision on COVID vaccines supply to other nations ''may take some time'', says MEA
India on Thursday said it is still assessing production schedules and availability of the COVID-19 vaccines, and any decision on their supply to other countries "may take some time".
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Sweden passes 10,000 virus deaths
Sweden on Thursday said it had passed 10,000 deaths associated with Covid-19, as it reported a record number of 351 deaths in a day.
The latest tally of deaths reported by the country's Public Health agency brings the total to 10,185 deaths related to Covid-19 in the country of some 10.3 million inhabitants.
The daily deaths reported have not necessarily occurred in the last 24 hours and are often several days old, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Jordan's king gets coronavirus jab
Jordan's King Abdullah II received a Covid-19 vaccine jab on Thursday, a day after the country launched its inoculation campaign.
Abdullah was vaccinated alongside his son and Crown Prince Hussein and his uncle Prince Hassan, the royal palace said in Twitter posts accompanied by pictures of them getting a shot in the arm, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: UK to ban South American, Portugal arrivals over Brazil virus strain
Britain will ban all arrivals from South America, Panama, Cape Verde and Portugal from 0400 GMT Friday over fears of importing a new coronavirus variant in Brazil, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Covid vaccine consignment reaches Himachal Pradesh
A consignment of an anti-Covid vaccine comprising its 93,000 doses reached Himachal Pradesh's capital Shimla on Thursday evening, PTI reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: WHO deplores 95% of vaccine doses limited to 10 countries
The World Health Organization's European branch on Thursday said 95 percent of vaccine doses so far administered worldwide were limited to 10 countries and called for a more equitable distribution.
In terms of total doses the top countries are the US, China, the UK, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Russia, Germany, Spain and Canada, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Africa CDC says nations must act fast to prepare for Covid vaccines
African governments must take urgent steps to prepare for distribution of coronavirus vaccines, the continent's health watchdog said Thursday, after the African Union announced it had secured 270 million doses, AFP reported.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Fourth US lawmaker tests positive for COVID-19 after US Capitol attack
Representative Andriano Espaillat on Thursday said he had tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the fourth member of Congress to announce they had contracted the coronavirus following a mob attack on the US Capitol last week, Reuters reported.
"I am following guidance from my physician and quarantining at home after having tested positive for COVID-19," he wrote on Twitter.
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Nagaland receives first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine
Nagaland on Thursday received its first consignment of 26,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, an official said. The vials arrived from Delhi at Dimapur Airport in an aircraft, PTI reported.
WHO Deplores 95% Of Covid Vaccine Doses Limited To 10 Countries
The World Health Organization's European branch on Thursday said 95 per cent of vaccine doses so far administered worldwide were limited to 10 countries and called for a more equitable distribution.
In terms of total doses the top countries are the US, China, the UK, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Italy, Russia, Germany, Spain and Canada.
"Collectively, we simply cannot afford to leave any country, any community behind," WHO's regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge, said at an online press conference.
Maharashtra Reports 3,579 New Covid Cases, 3,309 Recoveries And 70 Deaths
5,000 Pilgrims Allowed For Makaravilakku Prayers At Sabarimala Amid Covid
Amid strict COVID-19 protocol, hundreds of devotees on Thursday offered prayers at the famous Lord Ayyappa temple in Kerala on the auspicious occasion of ''Makaravilakku'', marking the culmination of the over two-month-long pilgrimage.
The hill temple, which used to witness a heavy rush on the occasion every year, was thronged by only a few pilgrims due to the strict safety guidelines in place in the wake of the virus outbreak.
As per the government directive, only 5,000 pilgrims were permitted to climb the holy hills to offer prayers on the day, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) officials said.
Andy Murray's Australian Open Participation In Doubt After Positive Covid Test
Andy Murray's participation in the Australian Open has been thrown into doubt after it was revealed on Thursday he had tested positive for coronavirus.
The British former world number one was due to travel to Australia on one of a series of charter flights laid on by tournament organisers but is still isolating at home in London.
No Foreign Head Of State As Republic Day Chief Guest Due To Covid: External Affairs Ministry
Our Meetings With Government Will Continue Till We Resolve Deadlock: Bharatiya Kisan Union Leader
Bharatiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday said the protesting farmer unions will attend the scheduled ninth round of talks with the government and asserted it is necessary to continue the dialogue to resolve the deadlock and end the agitation.
Mr Tikait also said the protesting unions will attend the meeting with union ministers on Friday.
"Let's see what happens tomorrow. But, our meetings will continue with the government till our protest ends as it is necessary," he said.
Domestic Passenger Numbers Growing Towards Pre-Covid Levels: Aviation Minister
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday that number of domestic passengers is growing steadily towards pre-Covid levels.
"Number of domestic passengers grows steadily towards pre-COVID figures. 2,35,564 passengers on 2,238 flights, total flight movements 4,480, total footfalls at airports 4,69,871," he said.
Ready To Hold Talks With Farmers With An Open Mind: Agriculture Minister
The government's ninth round of negotiations with protesting farmer unions will take place as scheduled on Friday and the Centre is hopeful of positive discussions, PTI reported quoting Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday.
"The government is ready to hold talks with farmers' leaders with an open mind," Mr Tomar said.
The farmer unions have been maintaining that they were ready to attend the scheduled talks with the government, even as they have said they do not want to appear before the court-appointed panel.
Kolkata Allocated Highest Number Of Covid Vaccines In Bengal: Health Official
Kolkata has been allocated the highest number of COVID vaccines in West Bengal, at 93,500, for the first phase of the vaccination drive scheduled to begin on January 16, a senior health official said on Thursday.
North 24 Parganas district has been allocated the second-highest number of Covid vaccines at 47,000, followed by Murshidabad at 37,500, he said.
Both Covaxin And Covishield Are Safe: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister
Ahead of the first phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive from January 16, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on Thursday said that both the Covishield and Covaxin vaccines are safe and there is no difference between the two.
"Both Covaxin and Covishield have been properly tested. Our scientists have tested them on all parameters and only then it has been decided to use them. Both the vaccines are safe and there is no difference between the two of them. Both of them will build immunity and antibodies," said the Chief Minister.
Serum Institute Expects WHO Emergency Approval For Astrazeneca Shot Soon: Adar Poonawalla
The Serum Institute of India expects WHO emergency-use authorization soon for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, which it is producing for mid and low income countries, its chief executive said.
"The emergency use licensure from the WHO (World Health Organization) should be available and coming through in the next week or two, hopefully, because we have submitted everything," Adar Poonawalla told the Reuters Next conference on Thursday.
Poonawalla also said his company, the world's biggest vaccine maker, would start stockpiling millions of doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine candidate from around April.
Bhupinder Singh Man Opts Out Of Supreme Court-Appointed Panel On Farm Laws
Bhartiya Kisan Union's national president Bhupinder Singh Mann has stepped down from the Supreme Court-appointed committee to look into the Centre's contentious farm laws, saying he did not wish to "compromise farmers' interests".
"As a farmer myself and a Union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as not to compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country," a statement from Mr Mann today read.
Delhi Orders Opening Of Poultry Market After Samples Test Negative For Bird Flu
Government Conspiring To Destroy Farmers: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday hit out at the Centre over the contentious
farm laws, alleging that the government was "conspiring to destroy" them and assured that his party will stand with them.
Mr Gandhi also accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of trying tovbenefit "two or three of their friends" on the matter.
"The government is not just neglecting them (farmers), the government is conspiring to destroy them. There is a difference," he said.
Puducherry Adds 43 COVID-19 Cases, Tally Reaches 38,567
Puducherry posted 43 new coronavirus cases on Thursday taking the total number of those infected by the virus to 38,567, while the toll surged to 640 with one more death.
Covid Vaccine Reaches All 24 Districts Of Jharkhand
Around 1.62 lakh COVID-19 vaccine has reached all the 24 districts of Jharkhand for the scheduled first phase of the vaccination drive on January 16, a top Health department official said on Thursday.
But the antibodies will not develop immediately after vaccination. The second dose will be administered 28 days after the first dose and 14 days after it the antibodies will develop. Two doses are necessary: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Both Covaxin and Covishield have been properly tested. Our scientists have tested them on all parameters and only then it has been decided to use them. Both the vaccines are safe and there is no difference between the two of them. Both of them will build immunity and antibodies: MP Chief Minister.
Odisha Reports 222 Mew COVID-19 Cases
Odisha's COVID-19 tally rose to 3,32,763 on Thursday as 222 more people tested positive for the infection, while one fresh fatality pushed the state's coronavirus death toll to 1,896, a health official said. As many as 127 new cases were reported in quarantine centres, while 95 fresh infections were detected during contact tracing, he said.
Kolkata Allocated Highest Number Of COVID-19 Vaccines In Bengal
Kolkata has been allocated the highest number of COVID vaccines in West Bengal, at 93,500, for the first phase of the vaccination drive scheduled to begin on January 16, a senior health official said on Thursday. North 24 Parganas district has been allocated the second-highest number of COVID vaccines at 47,000, followed by Murshidabad at 37,500, he said.
India Records Less Than 20,000 New Coronavirus Cases Daily Since Last 7 Days: Health Ministry
The ongoing trend of contraction of India's daily new COVID-19 cases continued with the country recording less than 20,000 daily new infections since the last seven days, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. In a span of 24 hours, only 16,946 people were found to be infected with COVID-19 in India. In the same period, the country also registered 17,652 new recoveries ensuring a net decline of 904 cases in the active caseload, the ministry said.
Delhi Starts Covid Vaccination At 81 Centres On Saturday, Will Hike It To 1,000: Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today said his government had made all preparations for the Covid-19 vaccination programme that rolls out across India from Saturday and that he had reviewed the situation. Delhi had received 2.74 lakh vaccines from the Centre, of which 1.2 lakh will be used for health care workers.
PM To Launch Vaccination Drive, 3,000 Sites In Phase 1: NITI Aayog Member
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday launch the nationwide Covid vaccination drive, one of the world's largest, a top official said today. Vaccine quota will be allocated to states according to the coronavirus data, added VK Paul, member of plan body NITI Aayog. Read Here
276 New Covid-19 Cases, 1 More Death in Telangana
Telangana clocked 276 fresh cases of coronavirus, taking the total infection count to nearly 2.91 lakh while one fatality pushed the toll to 1,572. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 53, followed by Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri with 23 and 18 respectively, a government bulletin said on Thursday providing details as of 8 pm on January 13.
Coronavirus News: 16,946 Fresh Covid Cases In India
India added 16,946 fresh Covid cases taking its tally to 1.05 crore cases, the Health Ministry data this morning showed. The number of fresh infections is six per cent higher than Wednesday, when the country registered 15,978 cases. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 1,01,46,763, pushing the national recovery rate to 96.52 per cent, while the Covid case fatality rate stands at 1.44 per cent. Read Here
'Master' Screening: Police Book Case Against Theatre for Covid-19 Violation
After people thronged cinemas for popular Tamil actor Vijay starrer ''Master'', police on Wednesday booked a case against a theatre here for allegedly violating the state government order on permitting only 50 percent occupancy during the screening of films due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WHO Team Arrives In Wuhan For Controversial Coronavirus Origin Probe
A team of experts from the World Health Organization arrived in Wuhan on Thursday to start a highly politicised probe into the origins of the coronavirus, as China reported its first death from Covid-19 in eight months. The 10 scientists, who must complete a two-week quarantine in Wuhan before starting their work, arrived for their much-delayed mission to examine the orgins of the pandemic.
About 3 Lakh Healthcare Workers To Get Vaccine Shots On 1st Day Of COVID-19 Inoculation Drive
3 lakh healthcare workers will be inoculated at 2,934 sites across the country on the first day of the massive nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive which is set to begin from January 16, official sources said. Each vaccination session will cater to a maximum of 100 beneficiaries and the Union Health Ministry has advised states not to organise "unreasonable numbers of vaccination per site per day".
India Reports 16,946 Fresh Coronavirus Cases
India added 16,946 fresh Covid cases taking its tally to 1.05 crore cases, the Health Ministry data this morning showed. The number of fresh infections is six per cent higher than Wednesday, when the country registered 15,978 cases.
New York City To End Trump Contracts Over US Capitol Siege, Says Mayor
New York City declared on Wednesday that it will cut business ties with the Trump Organization, and at least two companies made similar moves, citing the storming of the US Capitol last week by a crowd that President Donald Trump had egged on. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who accused the outgoing president of stirring the crowds, said the move affects three contracts with the company to operate a carousel in Manhattan's Central Park, skating rinks and a golf course in the Bronx.
"No One Above Law": US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi After Trump Impeached
Donald Trump's impeachment Wednesday confirmed that "no one is above the law," US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the defiant Republican president was impeached for the second time in 13 months. "Today in a bipartisan way the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States," the top Democrat in Congress said at a ceremony at which she signed the article of impeachment.
Trump Asks Americans To Be "United" But Doesn't Mention Impeachment
US President Donald Trump urged Americans to be "united" and avoid violence in his first comments after being impeached Wednesday -- while avoiding any mention of impeachment at all. Read Here
Trump Impeached For Unprecedented Second Time
Donald Trump became the first US president in history to be impeached twice when the US House of Representatives voted Wednesday to charge him with inciting last week's mob attack on Congress. "Today, in a bipartisan way, the House demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States," Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the vote.
Coronavirus news: WHO says around 28 million vaccine doses injected so far
The World Health Organization said Wednesday that about 28 million vaccine doses have been administered so far in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic -- largely in the wealthiest countries.
WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said around 46 countries had started their coronavirus vaccination campaigns -- of which 38 were high-income countries.
"We've about 28 million vaccine doses that have been administered so far. Five different vaccines or platforms have been used," he told a live WHO social media event.
"Forty-six countries, approximately, are now vaccinating. But only one of those countries is a low-income country," he said.
"There are populations out there who want and need vaccines who are not going to get them unless and until we begin to share better."
India To Buy 83 Tejas Light Combat Aircraft For Rs 45,696 Crore
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved the purchase of 73 Tejas LCA (Light Combat Aircraft) fighter jets and 10 trainer aircraft for a cost of around Rs 45,700 crore.
The Tejas Mk-1A LCA is an indigenously designed and manufactured fourth-generation fighter with critical operational capabilities that include an Active Electronically-Scanned Array (AESA) radar, an Electronic Warfare (EW) suite, and is capable of air-to-air refueling (AAR).
"The LCA Tejas is going to be the backbone of the IAF fighter fleet in (the) years to come. LCA-Tejas incorporates a large number of new technologies, many of which were never attempted in India," Defence Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted, adding that the deal was a "game-changer for self-reliance in the Indian defence manufacturing (sector)".
COVID-19 in Delhi: 357 fresh cases, 11 deaths; positivity rate 0.50%
Delhi recorded 357 fresh COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally in the city to over 6.31 lakh, even as the positivity rate slipped to 0.50 per cent.
This is also the tenth time the daily incidences count stood below the 500-mark in January.
The infection tally in the city stood at over 6.31 lakh and the death count mounted to 10,718 with 11 new fatalities, they said.
This month, 585 cases were reported on January 1 and 494 on January 2; 424 on January 3; 384 on January 4, and 442 on January 5; 654 on January 6; 486 on January 7 and 444 on January 8; 519 on January 9 and 399 on January 10; 306 on January 11 and 386 on January 12.
The active cases tally on Wednesday dropped to 2,991 from 3,179 the previous day, while the positivity rate dropped to 0.50 per cent.