Latest News Updates: India Records Over 17,000 COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours

Latest News LIVE Updates: Covaxin is 81 per cent effective in preventing Covid and can work against the UK variant of the virus, Bharat Biotech said Wednesday as it revealed a "first interim analysis" of Phase III trial results for a vaccine cleared in January amid concerns over safety and efficacy.

Latest News Updates: India Records Over 17,000 COVID-19 Cases In 24 Hours

Latest News LIVE Updates: Covaxin has completed only two of three required trial phases (File)

New Delhi:

The daily new cases of COVID-19 in India were recorded above 17,000 after a little over a month taking the total tally of cases to 1,11,56,923, while the recoveries surged to 1,08,26,075, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.

A total of 17,407 infections were reported in a day. The death count increased to 1,57,435 with 89 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.

Covaxin is 81 per cent effective in preventing Covid and can work against the UK variant of the virus, Bharat Biotech said Wednesday as it revealed a "first interim analysis" of Phase III trial results for a vaccine cleared in January amid concerns over safety and efficacy. 

The company said its initial analysis was based on 43 trial participants getting coronavirus, of whom 36 had not received the vaccine. Interim analysis also showed that severe, serious, and medically attended adverse events occurred at low levels and were balanced between vaccine and placebo groups, Bharat Biotech said. 

The company also said it planned further interim analysis for 87 cases and a final analysis for 130. This data has yet to be peer-reviewed.

Meanwhile, VK Sasikala, the ousted former chief of Tamil Nadu's ruling AIADMK - who was released from a Bengaluru jail in January and was widely expected to challenge for control of the party, and the Chief Minister's post, in next month's election - will "stay away from politics and public life".

In a letter released Wednesday night Sasikala - a confidante of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa - wrote: "I have never been after power or position even when Jaya was alive. Won't do that after she is dead. I am staying away from politics to ensure continuation of AIADMK's 'golden rule' in Tamil Nadu."

Here are the Latest News Live Updates:

Mar 05, 2021 06:30 (IST)
WHO Team To Scrap Interim Findings On Probe Of Covid Origins: Report
A World Health Organization team investigating the origins of COVID-19 is planning to scrap an interim report on its recent mission to China amid mounting tensions between Beijing and Washington over the investigation and an appeal from one international group of scientists for a new probe, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

In Geneva, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in an email reply: "The full report is expected in coming weeks".

No further information was immediately available about the reasons for the delay in publishing the findings of the WHO-led mission to the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first human cases of COVID-19 were detected in late 2019.China refused to give raw data on early COVID-19 cases to a WHO-led team probing the origins of the pandemic, Dominic Dwyer, one of the team's investigators said last month, potentially complicating efforts to understand how the outbreak began.

Mar 05, 2021 05:15 (IST)
Disability Certificate Will Be Needed For Postal Ballot Voting: Poll Body
Those willing to avail postal ballot facility to cast vote under the people with disabilities (PwD) category will have to submit "benchmark disability certificate" along with their application forms, the Election Commission has said.
Mar 05, 2021 04:34 (IST)
Centre's New Farm Laws Unconstitutional: Navjot Singh Sidhu


Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday said they were an attack by the Centre upon the federal structure and the right of states to frame legislations.

He said the new laws will lead to auctioning of land in Punjab and leave its residents as "slaves" and asked the Congress government in the state to take "bold and solid steps" to meet the "aspirations" of people protesting against the legislations.
Mar 05, 2021 04:16 (IST)
Kerala Chief Minister Urges People To Take Covaxin Without Hesitation
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday urged people to take the indigenous Covaxin vaccine without any hesitation on the basis of the latest report of the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country's top research body, about its third phase clinical trials.
People had some doubts about the Covaxin, manufactured by the Bharat Biotech with the support of the ICMR, he said at a press meet.

There was some reluctance among the public to take the vaccine as part of the delay in getting the results of its third phase trials, he said.

"ICMR has now released the interim results of the third phase clinical trials. According to it, the vaccine has shown an interim efficacy of 81 per cent in preventing COVID-19," Mr Vijayan said.
Mar 04, 2021 23:34 (IST)
4-Tier Monitoring Team Formed To Ensure Adherence To Covid Guidelines In Jammu And Kashmir Schools

Directorate of School Education of Kashmir on Thursday constituted a four-tier monitoring team to ensure the adherence of COVID-19 related SOPs in government and private schools in the valley.

According to a statement issued by the Directorate of School Education of Kashmir, the divisional level monitoring team consists of Joint Director Central/North Abid Hussain, Joint Director Bilal Khurshid, Joint Director SSA Shamsudin Bhat and Personal officer Muzamil Maqbool.

"District level monitoring team would consist of Chief Education Officer, Deputy Chief Education Officer and DEPO," the statement said.
Mar 04, 2021 22:45 (IST)
Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga Gets COVID-19 Vaccine

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga and Deputy Chief Minister Tawnluia received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.

Zoramthanga announced this on his official twitter handle.

"Took my first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on 04.03.2021 at 10:25 AM," he tweeted.

At least 12 other legislators also took the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said.

Mar 04, 2021 20:29 (IST)
Bangladesh Prime Minister Gets First Dose Of COVID-19 Vaccine

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday received her first dose of coronavirus vaccine, nearly a month after the country launched the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive with the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Prime Minister Hasina, 73, received her first shot of COVID-19 vaccine at her official residence, Ganabhaban, in Dhaka and sister Sheikh Rehana was by her side at the time.

Ms Hasina's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim confirmed that she was vaccinated on Thursday afternoon, but no detail was given about the vaccine she was given.

The vaccination drive began in Bangladesh with a nurse given the first shot at Kurmitola General Hospital in Dhaka on January 27. The prime minister had inaugurated the programme.
Mar 04, 2021 19:52 (IST)
Mar 04, 2021 19:32 (IST)
Mar 04, 2021 18:57 (IST)
Jammu And Kashmir Congress Attacks Centre Over Rise In Fuel Prices

The Congress' Jammu and Kashmir unit on Thursday slammed the government over the rise in petrol and diesel prices, saying it was "profiteering off" people's misery.

Members of the party, led by senior leader Raman Bhalla, also took out a march from the Maheshpura Chowk to ''gherao'' the civil secretariat here against the hike in the fuel prices but were stopped by police.

Mr Bhalla demanded that the BJP government provide immediate relief to people from the rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.

The government is "profiteering" off "people's misery", he alleged and demanded reducing the prices by partially rolling back excise duty.

The truth is that as GDP "nosedives", the prices of gas, diesel and petrol continue to rise unchecked, Mr Bhalla said.
Mar 04, 2021 17:53 (IST)
Mar 04, 2021 17:22 (IST)
Mar 04, 2021 15:42 (IST)
West Bengal Will Have A BJP Chief Minister On May 3: MP Tejasvi Surya

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tejasvi Surya said on Thursday that Mamata Banerjee's days as West Bengal Chief Minister are numbered and that the BJP will win more than 200 seats in the state in the upcoming elections.

"BJP will win more than 200 seats in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee's days as a chief minister are numbered. On the May 3, West Bengal will have a BJP chief minister," said Mr Surya.

"This is the legacy of the communists which Mamata Banerjee has carried forward but there will be no more bloodshed and political murder politics in West Bengal because BJP will have its chief minister," he added.
Mar 04, 2021 15:28 (IST)
Consignment of Made in India COVID-19 vaccines airlifted for African countries
India on Thursday airlifted consignment of Made in India COVID-19 vaccines for Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cote d'Ivoire under the Vaccine Maitri initiative.

The information was shared by the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on his Twitter post.

In a tweet, Srivastava said, "#VaccineMaitri continues! Consignment of Made in India Covid vaccines airlifted for Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cote d'Ivoire."
Mar 04, 2021 14:34 (IST)
Maharashtra's Aurangabad records 371 new COVID-19 cases; 7 more deaths
With the addition of 371 new cases of coronavirus, the count of infections in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district reached 51,287, an official said on Thursday.

Apart from the latest cases reported on Wednesday, the district also recorded seven more casualties that took the count to 1,278, the official said.

At least 47,564 patients have recovered from the infection so far, leaving the region with 2,445 active cases, he said.

Of the 371 fresh cases, 307 were reported from Aurangabad city and 64 were from rural areas, the official said.
Mar 04, 2021 13:05 (IST)
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Thursday administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Tirath Ram Shah Hospital in the national capital.

Earlier in the day, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also took his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Delhi government-run LNJP hospital.

52-year-old Kejriwal has been receiving treatment for diabetes for the last 10 years, hence he is eligible for inoculation under the ongoing phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Mar 04, 2021 12:46 (IST)
BJP alleges graft in tendering of COVID-19 care centres in Maharashtra
BJP leaders, including former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, staged a protest outside the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai on Thursday over alleged corruption in the tendering process of COVID-19 care centres in the state.

One of the banners that the BJP leaders held read: "Condemn the government which spent Rs 3.77 crore more than expected expenditure for Covid Care Centres."

The leaders of the opposition party in the state did not name the centres where the alleged corruption took place. BJP leaders, including Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Girish Mahajan and Ashish Shelar, also raised slogans against the Shiv Sena-led state government.

The budget session of the state Assembly began on March 1.
Mar 04, 2021 12:23 (IST)
Telangana logs 152 new COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths push count to 1,637
Telangana recorded 152 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the tally to 2,99,406, while the death count rose to 1,637 with two more fatalities, the state government said on Thursday.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 25, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri and Rangareddy districts with 11 and 10 respectively, it said in a bulletin, providing details as of 8 PM on March 3.

The cumulative recovered cases stood at 2,95,821, while 1,948 were under treatment.
Mar 04, 2021 11:51 (IST)
No new coronavirus infection in Arunachal, active cases at 2
Arunachal Pradesh did not report any fresh COVID-19 case in the last 24 hours, a senior health department official said on Thursday.

The total caseload in the Northeastern state remained at 16,838, while 16,780 persons have recovered from the disease, State Surveillance Officer Dr Lobsang Jampa said. Arunachal Pradesh currently has two active cases, both in the Tirap district, he said.

Fifty-six people have died due to the contagion so far, he added.
Mar 04, 2021 10:27 (IST)
J&K LG Manoj Sinha gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday administered the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Jammu. Sinha received his first shot as the country's vaccination campaign has been widened to include people above 60, and those who are 45 or more and suffering from certain medical conditions.

L-G urged all the eligible people to come forward and get the vaccine dose.

"I have taken the vaccine today. It was a smooth process. I urge all the eligible people to come forward and get the vaccine dose. The vaccines are safe and I congratulate all the scientists for producing the vaccine," Mr Sinha told ANI.
Mar 04, 2021 10:23 (IST)
Active COVID-19 cases have been recorded at 1,73,413, while 1,08,26,075 people have recovered from the disease, said the Union Health Ministry.
Mar 04, 2021 10:22 (IST)
Single day rise of 17,407 new COVID-19 cases and 89 fatalities has pushed India's tally of cases to 1,11,56,923 and death count to 1,57,435, according to the Union Health Ministry data this morning
Mar 04, 2021 10:03 (IST)
Biden Calls Decision To End Mask Mandates As "Neanderthal Thinking"
US President Joe Biden on Wednesday slammed "Neanderthal" decisions to drop mask-wearing mandates in Texas and Mississippi, even as Covid-19 continues to rage worldwide, with Brazil hitting record deaths.

Moves by the two US states to defy federal guidelines and ditch mask requirements reflect local frustration with restrictions when Covid-19 caseloads are declining in the United States and vaccine distribution is accelerating.

Similar unrest is widespread in Europe, where the Swiss government said a referendum would be held in June on the legality of government powers to order lockdowns.
Mar 04, 2021 09:23 (IST)
COVID-19 count in Maharashtra's Thane rises by 818
Thane has added 818 new cases of coronavirus, taking the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 2,66,910,an official said on Thursday.

Besides these new cases reported on Wednesday, six more people also succumbed to the viral infection, raising the death count in the district to 6,286, he said.

The COVID-19 mortality rate in the district is 2.36 per cent, he said.

So far, 2,54,092 patients have recuperated from the infection in the district, reflecting a recovery rate of 95.20 per cent.
Mar 04, 2021 08:57 (IST)
Canada thanks India for sending 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Canada on Wednesday (local time) thanked India for sending coronavirus vaccines, of which 500,000 doses reached on March 4, a week after the AstraZeneca vaccine was approved.

Anita Anand, MP for Oakville and Minister of Public Services and Procurement, said in a tweet, "The AZ/CoviShield vaccine is now in Canada. The first tranche of 500,000 doses arrived this morning from Serum Institute of India with 1.5 million more doses to follow. Thank you to all whose hard work made this happen. We look forward to future collaboration."

She had earlier said that another 944,600 doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be reaching Canada this week, of which 444,600 doses are of Pfizer and 500,000 doses of AstraZeneca.
Mar 04, 2021 08:21 (IST)
Germany To Recommend Oxford Covid Vaccine For Over 65s: Angela Merkel
Germany will soon authorise the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against Covid-19 for people over the age of 65, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

"The (German) vaccine commission, whose recommendations we are happy to follow, will authorise AstraZeneca for older age groups," she told reporters after talks with regional leaders about the next steps in fighting the pandemic.

Germany had previously said it lacked sufficient data to greenlight the jab for those over 65, but Merkel said that thinking had changed thanks to recent encouraging studies.
Mar 04, 2021 08:01 (IST)
Covaxin 81% Effective, Works Against UK Variant, Claims Bharat Biotech
Covaxin is 81 per cent effective in preventing Covid and can work against the UK variant of the virus, Bharat Biotech said Wednesday as it revealed a "first interim analysis" of Phase III trial results for a vaccine cleared in January amid concerns over safety and efficacy. The company said its initial analysis was based on 43 trial participants getting coronavirus, of whom 36 had not received the vaccine.
Mar 04, 2021 06:38 (IST)
Germany To Recommend Oxford Covid Vaccine For Over 65s: Angela Merkel
Germany will soon authorise the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against Covid-19 for people over the age of 65, Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday.

"The (German) vaccine commission, whose recommendations we are happy to follow, will authorise AstraZeneca for older age groups," she told reporters after talks with regional leaders about the next steps in fighting the pandemic.

Germany had previously said it lacked sufficient data to greenlight the jab for those over 65, but Merkel said that thinking had changed thanks to recent encouraging studies.
Mar 04, 2021 06:00 (IST)
Germany To Gradually Ease Virus Curbs From March 8: Angela Merkel
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday unveiled plans to gradually ease virus curbs in Europe's top economy, caving to pressure from regional leaders and the public for more freedom after months of shutdowns.

Declaring a "new phase" in the pandemic, Merkel said more socialising between households would be allowed from Monday. 
Mar 04, 2021 05:14 (IST)
Indian-Made COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive In Senegal
A consignment of Made-in-India COVID-19 vaccines has landed in Senegal on Wednesday under the ''Vaccine Maitri'' initiative, said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

In a tweet, Mr Jaishankar said, "From Tiranga to Teranga. Made in India vaccines land in Senegal. #VaccineMaitri."

The cumulative count of COVID-19 cases in Senegal has reached 35,037, including 896 deaths due to the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Earlier, Mr Jaishankar had said India has been "very much" at the forefront of the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and is providing vaccines to the world under ''Vaccine Maitri'' initiatives.

Twenty-five nations across the world have already received Made in India vaccines and Forty-nine more countries will be supplied in the coming days, ranging from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa, South-East Asia and the Pacific Islands, he had announced.

Under the Vaccine Maitri initiative, India has been providing coronavirus vaccines to its neighbouring countries.