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Coronavirus News Highlights: UK woman returnee to AP tests positive for new COVID-19 variant

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Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: The daily new coronavirus infections in India dipped below 20,000 for the third time this month taking the COVID-19 caseload to 1,02,24,303, while the recoveries crossed 98 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. A total of 16,432 new infections were reported in a span of 24 hours, the lowest in a little over six months, while the death toll increased to 1,48,153 with 252 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98,07,569 pushing the national recovery rate to 95.92 percent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 percent. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the eighth consecutive day. There are 2,68,581 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 2.63 percent of the total caseload, the data stated.

Coronavirus News Highlights: UK woman returnee to AP tests positive for new COVID-19 variant
  • With that, it's a wrap to the LIVE updates on the coronavirus pandemic for today. Do join us tomorrow for the top developments on the COVID-19 situation from India and around the world, until then stay safe and good night.

     
  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: At 6, Mumbai logs lowest COVID-19 death count since May

    Mumbai reported 537 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths, the lowest single-day fatalities since May, while 486 more patients were discharged from hospitals on Tuesday, the city civic body said. According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)'s updated data, the tally of COVID-19 cases increased to 2,92,008, while the death toll rose to 11,094. The financial capital has reported less than 600 cases for the fifth day in a row. Mumbai had reported five COVID-19 fatalities on May 1.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: India reports six cases of new coronavirus strain; samples of all positive passengers be checked for variant

    With at least six UK-returnees found infected with the new mutated strain of the coronavirus, the government on Tuesday directed genome sequencing of samples from all passengers who arrived in India from December 9 to 22 and tested positive for COVID-19 or were symptomatic as it further ramped up its surveillance and containment strategy. Among those found infected by the new strain is a 47-year-old woman who had managed to give the slip to authorities in New Delhi after returning from the UK on December 21 and had reached Andhra Pradesh by train before being picked up, but the state Health Commissioner stressed that none of her contacts have been found infected. A temporary ban on the flights connecting to the United Kingdom could be extended beyond December 31, Union Minister Hardeep Puri indicated as authorities stressed the need to remain vigilant, noting that though the cases have been declining in India, they are on the rise globally and the new strain detected in the UK had spread to several countries. At the same time, Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghavan, as well as other experts, maintained that so far it has not been found that the new variant increases the severity of the disease.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: TN logs 957 new COVID-19 cases

    After logging around 1000 fresh infections per day since mid-November, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday recorded 957 new COVID-19 cases, while 12 fatalities pushed the death toll to 12,092. With the addition of the new cases, the tally has gone up to 8,16,132, the health department said. The state has been reporting less than 2,000 fresh cases per day since November 13 and it has been hovering around the 1,000 mark since then. Recoveries continued to outnumber the new infections with 1,065 people getting cured, totaling to 7,95,293, a bulletin said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Telangana adds 397 new coronavirus cases, two fatalities take

    Telangana recorded 397 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the total positives to over 2.85 lakh while two fatalities pushed the toll to 1,535. Actors Ram Charan and his cousin Varun Tej were among those who tested positive for the virus. Charan requested people who have been around him in the past couple of days also to get tested. "I have tested positive for COVID-19. No symptoms & quarantined at home. Hope to heal soon & come out stronger," he tweeted.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: 317 more test positive for COVID-9 in U'khand

    Uttarakhand's COVID-19 tally rose to 90,167 on Tuesday with 317 fresh cases, while six more deaths were reported. Dehradun district reported the highest number of 128 cases, Nainital 48, Uttarkashi 38, Pithoragarh 25, Haridwar 22, Tehri and Pauri 12 each, Champawat 11, Udham Singh Nagar eight, Almora six, Chamoli five and Rudraprayag two, astate health department bulletin here said. Six more patients died in the state, taking the COVID-19 toll to 1,495, the bulletin said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Delhi reports 703 fresh COVID-19 cases, 28 fatalities; positivity rate 0.83%

    Delhi recorded 703 fresh COVID-19 cases and 28 new fatalities on Tuesday, as the positivity rate improved slightly to stand at 0.83 per cent, authorities said. The infection tally in the city mounted to over 6.24 lakh and the death toll to 10,502, they said, adding over 84,000 tests were conducted the previous day.

  • Mumbai airport introduces express COVID-19 testing facility, gives results in 13 minutes
    The city's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) on Tuesday said it has introduced a new 24X7 COVID-19 testing facility, which gives test results in flat 13 minutes at a cost of Rs…
    Coronavirus News Highlights: UK woman returnee to AP tests positive for new COVID-19 variant
  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Thailand warns of stricter measures if virus not contained

    Thailand warned on Tuesday that more intensive measures might be necessary to halt its worst coronavirus outbreak yet and urged the public to cooperate to contain a spread that has seen cases in most regions of the country. Thailand has imposed tighter control measures in some areas, including on entertainment businesses, which will be reassessed in seven days, said COVID-19 taskforce spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin. Health authorities confirmed 155 new cases on Tuesday as new clusters emerged in the wake of a big outbreak discovered 12 days ago at a seafood market near Bangkok, among mainly migrant workers from Myanmar.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Hospitals being overwhelmed by new COVID-19 peak: UK health chiefs

    The UK is "back in the eye of the storm", the head of the NHS said on Tuesday as the country's health chiefs warned that hospitals were being overwhelmed by a surge in the COVID-19 pandemic, largely driven by a new highly transmissible variant of coronavirus, which has seen clinic admissions surpass the first peak. According to the figures from National Health Service (NHS) England, 20,426 patients were being treated in hospitals on Monday, compared to 18,974 recorded on April 12 during the first peak of the pandemic this year.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Indonesia to ink Pfizer, AstraZeneca vaccine deals as awaits Sinovac clearance

    Indonesia is poised to secure coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca, the health minister said on Tuesday, as it awaits authorisation to begin its inoculation programme with a third drug, by China's Sinovac. Budi Gunadi Sadikin said a 50-million-dose deal with AstraZeneca would be finalised before the end of the year, and one of the same size with Pfizer in the first week of January.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Karnataka reports 662 new COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths

    Karnataka has reported 662 new cases of COVID-19 and four related fatalities, taking the total number of infections to 9,17,571 and the death toll to 12,074, the Health department said on Tuesday. The day also saw 1,344 patients getting discharged after recovery. Out of the 662 fresh cases reported on Tuesday, 370 cases were from Bengaluru Urban alone. As of December 29 evening, cumulatively 9,17,571 COVID-19 positive cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 12,074 deaths and 8,93,617 discharges, the Health department said in its bulletin.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: COVID-19 vaccine dry run carried out on 475 Guj beneficiaries

    As many as 475 "beneficiaries" underwent dummy vaccination at various centres in Gandhinagar and Rajkot districts of Gujarat as the two-day dry runfor COVID-19 vaccine programme concluded successfully on Tuesday, said an official. The dry run, which started on Monday, covered 19 booths set up in Gandhinagar and Rajkot districts as part of the vaccination drive undertaken to assess preparedness of the authorities ahead of the actual roll-out of the shot. No issue was faced with regards to Co-WIN software, developed by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, logistics for supply of vaccine and protocol to be followed at the booths selected for the dry run, the official said. The Co-WIN digital platform has been set up for real- time monitoring of COVID-19 vaccine delivery, recording data and to enable people to get themselves registered for vaccination.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Dry run of COVID-19 vaccination concludes in 2 select Punjab districts

    A two-day mock drill of the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccine in two select districts of Punjab concluded on Tuesday. The districts of Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) had been selected for the dry run, aimed at testing the laid out mechanisms for the vaccination roll-out in the health system, officials said. Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu had said the drill would provide insights on any gaps or bottlenecks in the vaccine distribution and its administration to the population so that those could be addressed before the commencement of the COVID-19 immunisation drive.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: 18 more COVID-19 deaths in UP, toll touches 8,340

    With 18 fresh COVID-19 deaths reported in Uttar Pradesh, the toll due to the viral disease has risen to 8,340 in the state while the total caseload touched 5,83,941 with as many as 1,044 more cases, official data showed. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the UP government said that of the new deaths, two deaths each were reported from Prayagraj and Varanasi. Of the 1,044 fresh cases in the state, state capital Lucknow reported 194. In the past 24 hours, as many as 1,369 patients have recovered from the state, and have been discharged. So far, 5,61,257 COVID-19 patients have recovered from the disease in the state.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Goa records 112 new COVID-19 cases; 116 recoveries

    With the addition of 112 new cases of coronavirus, the count of infections in Goa reached 50,884 on Tuesday, an official from the state health department said. At least 116 patients were discharged from various treatment facilities, while one died of the infection during the day, the official said. This has taken the number of recoveries to 49,199 and the toll reached 735, he said. The coastal state currently has 950 active cases, the official said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Kerala COVID-19 toll crosses 3,000 mark; Over 5000 new cases

    The death toll due to COVID-19 crossed the 3,000 mark in Kerala with the addition of 24 more deaths on Tuesday as 5887 new cases were recorded, taking the virus case load to almost 7.50 lakh. As many as 5,029 people have been cured of the infection, pushing the total recoveries to 6,81,397. Presently 64,861 people are undergoing treatment for the disease. So far, 7,49,449 people have been infected by the virus. In the last 24 hours, 61,778 samples have been tested, while 77,89,764 specimens have been sent for testing so far, Health minister K K Shailaja said in a press release here. The positivity rate has touched 9.53 percent.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Covaxin can work against mutated coronavirus: Bharat Biotech

    Covaxin, a vaccine candidate being developed by Bharat Biotech for COVID-19, can offer protection against mutations of coronavirus, Chairman and Managing Director of the city-based vaccine maker Krishna Ella said on Tuesday. He also said the company has approached regulatory authorities seeking approval for an emergency license to use the vaccine, developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Virology and now undergoing phase 3 trials.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Three samples sent to CCMB found positive for UK variant of coronavirus

    Three people who returned from the UK recently, were infected with the mutated strain of coronavirus, a top official of the CCMB here said on Tuesday. Around 40 samples were sent to CSIR- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) for ascertaining the presence of the new variant out of which three had the new strain. "CCMB has received about 40 samples of COVID-19 positive patients who returned from the UK recently. Some of them have wrongly tested positive for the virus." "We finished sequencing (for a new variant) of 20 samples, out of which three are positive of this strain (new variant from UK)," Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIR-CCMB told PTI. Mishra said there is no surprise that the new variant of the virus is found in some of the samples.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: AstraZeneca vaccine not ready for quick European approval, watchdog official says

    The European Medicines Authority (EMA) will most likely not be able to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by drug maker AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford in January, the watchdog's Deputy Executive Director Noel Wathion said. "They have not even filed an application with us yet", Wathion said in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad published on Tuesday. European regulators have only received some information about the vaccine, Wathion said. "Not even enough to warrant a conditional marketing licence", he said. "We need additional data about the quality of the vaccine. And after that, the company has to formally apply." This made it "improbable" that an approval could already be granted next month, Wathion said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Premier League records 18 new COVID-19 positives, highest in a week

    The Premier League said on Tuesday that 18 individuals tested positive for COVID-19, the highest number of cases in a week this season, in the latest round of tests conducted between Dec. 21-27 on 1,479 players and staff. Since the new season kicked off, 131 individuals in the English top flight have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in 17 rounds of testing. The league did not name the people who tested positive or their clubs but said they will self-isolate for 10 days.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Besides official figure, 1,357 COVID patients having other ailments also died in Assam

    The Assam government on Tuesday said that 1,357 COVID-19 patients who were also suffering other ailments have died in the state till December 27, besides the death of 1,037 people due to coronavirus. Thus, the state has witnessed the death of 2,394 people who have been infected by the virus since lockdown was announced in March, Health and Family Welfare Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in the assembly.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: 234 fresh COVID-19 cases in J-K

    Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday recorded 234 fresh COVID-19 cases, while four more people died due to the disease in the last 24 hours, officials said. The union territory's COVID-19 tally has mounted to 1,20,527 and the death toll stands at 1,879, they said. Out of the fresh cases, 131 were from Kashmir and 103 from Jammu division. The officials said Srinagar recorded the highest of 69 cases, followed by 65 in Jammu district. The number of active cases has dropped to 3,088, while 11,556 patients have recovered so far, the officials said. Jammu division and Kashmir Valley reported two deaths each.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: 3,018 new COVID-19 cases in Maha, 69 deaths, 5,572 recoveries

    Maharashtra's coronavirus caseload rose to 19,25,066 on Tuesday as it recorded 3,018 new cases, a health official said here. With 69 patients dying, the death toll in the state reached 49,373, he said. On the other hand, 5,572 patients were discharged from hospitals during the day, taking the tally of recovered persons to 18,20,021. There are now 54,537 active cases. Mumbai city reported 537 new cases during the day, which pushed its case count to 2,92,008, while the death toll in the state capital rose to 11,094 with six new fatalities. With 56,982 new samples tested, the number of coronavirus tests conducted in Maharashtra went up to 1,26,00,754.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: AP logs 326 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths push toll to 7,100

    Andhra Pradesh reported 326 fresh cases of coronavirus, 364 recoveries and two deaths in 24 hours ending 9 AM on Tuesday. The latest bulletin said the total confirmed positives in the state so far rose to 8,81,599 after a total of 1.17 crore samples were tested, with an overall infection positivity rate of 7.53 percent. The total recoveries increased to 8,71,116 and the toll to 7,100. The state now has 3,383 active Covid-19 cases, the bulletin said.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Dry run for COVID-19 vaccination drive successfully conducted in 4 states: Health Ministry

    A two-day dry run to assess the readiness of the mechanism laid out for the COVID-19 immunisation drive, which is expected to begin soon, was successfully conducted in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Assam, the Union Health Ministry said on Tuesday. The end-to-end exercise was undertaken in Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh, Rajkot and Gandhinagar of Gujarat, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar of Punjab, and Sonitpur and Nalbari districts of Assam on Monday and Tuesday. Specific teams were formed for various tasks by the district administrations and activities like uploading of dummy beneficiary data, session site creation, vaccine allocation, communicating vaccination details to beneficiaries and vaccinators, and beneficiary mobilization were carried out, the health ministry said. Field feedback on the first day of run was reviewed on December 29 through video conferencing with state and district programme officers by the joint secretary (Public Health).

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Noida's COVID-19 death toll mounts to 90

    The death toll due to COVID-19 mounted to 90 in Uttar Pradesh's Gautam Buddh Nagar's with one more fatality on Tuesday, while 24 new cases pushed the district's inflection tally to 24,869, official data showed. The number of active cases in the district came down to 426 from 462 the previous day as the recovery rate reached almost 98 per cent, according to the data released by the Uttar Pradesh health department for a 24-hour period.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: UK woman returnee to AP tests positive for contagious variant of COVID-19

    A 47-year-old woman, who returned to Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh on December 23, was found to have contracted the new mutated strain of coronavirus but the state health department maintained that there was no spread of the fresh strain in AP. Of the 12 UK-returned passengers who tested positive for COVID-19, only the woman had the new strain, state Health Commissioner Katamaneni Bhaskar said, citing a report of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad. "Her son tested negative while another person who came in contact with her also did not contract any virus," Bhaskar said in a release. There was no trace that the new UK strain of coronavirus has spread in the state, he asserted.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Samples of 15 who came from UK to Delhi sent to check new strain of virus

    Coronavirus test samples of 15 persons who recently arrived here from the UK and tested positive for COVID-19 have been sent for genome sequencing to check if they have contracted the new variant of the virus, sources said on Tuesday. The results are expected in the next three-four days, they said. The new strain of the virus was recently detected in UK and its presence has been reported in several countries, including in India. The Delhi government had earlier said that people who had arrived here recently from the UK are being traced and tested, and a separate institutional quarantine facility has been set up at the LNJP Hospital for positive cases.

  • Coronavirus News LIVE updates: Russia's updated stats on virus-linked deaths show increase

    Russia's updated statistics on coronavirus-linked deaths showed that over 100,000 people with COVID-19 had died in the pandemic by December, a number much higher than previously reported by government officials. According to the data released Monday by Russia's state statistics agency, Rosstat, a total of 116,030 people with COVID-19 died in Russia between April and November. The count included cases where the virus was not the main cause of death and where the virus was suspected but not confirmed.

Coronavirus News LIVE Updates:
The daily new coronavirus infections in India dipped below 20,000 for the third time this month taking the COVID-19 caseload to 1,02,24,303, while the recoveries crossed 98 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday. A total of 16,432 new infections were reported in a span of 24 hours, the lowest in a little over six months, while the death toll increased to 1,48,153 with 252 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98,07,569 pushing the national recovery rate to 95.92 percent, while the COVID-19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 percent. The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the eighth consecutive day. There are 2,68,581 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 2.63 percent of the total caseload, the data stated.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
According to the ICMR, 16,98,01,749 samples have been tested up to December 28 with 9,83,695 samples being tested on Monday.
COVID-19 cases in the country touched a new low in 187 days -- 16,500 new cases. On June 25, daily new cases were 16,922. The gap between recoveries and active cases continue to grow, said Union Health Ministry on Tuesday.
Health Ministry is conducting a COVID-19 briefing today. Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghvan, VK Paul, Member NITI Aayog, Health Secretary  Rajesh Bhushan, DG ICMR Balram Bhargava are expected to be present.
According to Health Secretary, active cases in the country are less than 2.7 lakhs in six months, while cumulative positivity is 6.03 percent. He said a total of five states accounts for 60 percent of the total cases.
Talking about the new coronavirus strains discovered in the UK, the Principal Scientific Advisor K Vijay Raghvan said that there is no evidence that current vaccines will fail to fight the new strain of coronavirus. He further said that there is no evidence that new COVID-19 variant increases the severity of the disease.

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