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Coronavirus Highlights, January 1: Expert Panel Clears Oxford Vaccine, Tells Bharat Biotech to Give More Data | January 01, 2021, 22:47 IST
Coronavirus News LIVE Updates: The expert panel at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) today recommended that the vaccine against Covid-19 developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University be approved for emergency use, while the other vaccine candidate, Bharat Biotech, has been asked to produce more data.

The decision to approve the Oxford shot clears the vaccine's rollout in India ahead of a country-wide dry run scheduled for Saturday. India wants to start administering the vaccine soon, most likely by Wednesday, said an official source. More than 5 crore doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have already been stockpiled by its local manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), and sources said the shots could start to be transported from cold storage to all states as early as Saturday.
Jan 01, 2021 22:47 (IST)

READ | UK Reactivates Emergency Hospitals as Covid-19 Cases Surge, Driven Partly by New Variant

British health officials have reactivated emergency hospitals that were built at the start of the pandemic to handle a surge in COVID-19 cases that is putting existing wards under extreme pressure,…

Jan 01, 2021 22:18 (IST)

READ | 22 Members of Extended Family Test Positive for Covid-19 in Telangana

A post-funeral gathering has turned out to be a virtual super spreader in Telangana with 22 members of an extended family testing positive for COVID-19.

Jan 01, 2021 22:06 (IST)

READ | Delhi's Covid Positivity Rate Stands at 0.73%; Capital Sees 585 Fresh Cases, 21 Deaths

Delhi recorded 585 fresh COVID-19 cases and 21 new fatalities on Friday, even as the positivity rate stood at 0.

Jan 01, 2021 21:48 (IST)

READ | Co-passenger of Youth Tested Positive for New UK Strain Diagnosed with Covid-19

One person who was travelling in the same flight with the youth who tested positive for the mutant coronavirus strain on his return from the United Kingdom, has been diagnosed with COVID-19, a senior…

Jan 01, 2021 21:35 (IST)

SEC Meeting Concludes | Meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) has now concluded. Bharat Biotech has been asked to present more data. So far, no approval has been given to Covaxin. The DCGI will be take a final decision on vaccine recommendations.

Jan 01, 2021 21:04 (IST)

Delhi Covid-19 Cases Update | Delhi reports 585 new Covid-19 cases, 717 recoveries and 21 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per Delhi Health Department.

Jan 01, 2021 20:46 (IST)

READ | Kerala All Set for Covid-19 Vaccine Mock Drill on Jan 2; 4,991 New Cases, 5,111 Recoveries

Kerala is all set for the COVID vaccine mock drill on January 2, as 4,991 new cases were recorded on Friday and 5,111 people cured of the infection.

Jan 01, 2021 20:40 (IST)

Karnataka Covid-19 Cases Update | Karnataka reported 877 new Covid-19 cases, 1,084 discharges and 6 deaths today.

Jan 01, 2021 20:34 (IST)

READ | Red Ants Chutney to Treat Covid-19? Ayush Ministry, CSIR to Take a Call

The chutney of red ants, which once made it to celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s menu, may soon be adopted by the Ayush Ministry as a possible remedy to fight coronavirus.

Jan 01, 2021 20:23 (IST)

READ | India-UK Flights, Halted Due to Highly Contagious Coronavirus Variant, to Resume from January 8

The Centre on Friday announced that the temporary ban on flights to India from the United Kingdom will be lifted from January 8, and operations will be allowed in a restricted manner for the next two…

Jan 01, 2021 20:09 (IST)

READ | YSR Congress MLC Ramakrishna Reddy Dies of Covid-19 in Andhra Pradesh

Senior ruling YSR Congress MLC in Andhra Pradesh Challa Ramakrishna Reddy died of COVID-19 at a private hospital here on Friday, hospital sources said.

Jan 01, 2021 19:52 (IST)

Dry Run for Covid-19 Vaccination to Begin in Kerala | Dry run for Covid-19 vaccination will be conducted tomorrow in four districts of the state from 9 am to 11 am. So far 3.13 lakh people have registered for Covid-19 vaccination, says Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja.

Jan 01, 2021 19:48 (IST)

Flights Between India & UK to Resume from Jan 8 | Union Minister for Civil Aviation said that flights between India and UK will resume from January 8, 2021. "Operations till January 23 will be restricted to 15 flights per week each for carriers of the two countries to and from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad only. DGCA will issue the details shortly," he tweeted.

Jan 01, 2021 19:42 (IST)

READ | Andhra Pradesh Reports 'Zero' Deaths After 7 Months, 326 Covid-19 Fresh Cases

For the first time in almost seven months, Andhra Pradesh did not report a single death due to COVID-19, even as 326 fresh cases and 350 recoveries were reported in the 24 hours ending 9 am on Friday.

Jan 01, 2021 19:31 (IST)

Maharashtra Covid-19 Cases Update | Maharashtra reports 3,524 new COVID-19 cases, 4,279 discharges, and 59 deaths today, as per State Health Department.

Jan 01, 2021 19:20 (IST)

Kerala Covid-19 Cases Updates | In Kerala, 4,991 new Covid-19 cases, 5,153 recoveries and 23 deaths reported today. Total number of active cases are now at 6,5054, says Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Jan 01, 2021 19:10 (IST)

READ | UK in 'Eye of the Storm' Amid Surging New Coronavirus Cases

British medics warned Friday that hospitals around the country face a perilous few weeks amid surging new coronavirus infections that have been blamed on a new variant of the virus.

Jan 01, 2021 18:45 (IST)

Kerala is Fully Prepared for Vaccination: CM Pinarayi Vijayan | As per the information from Central Government, Covid-19 vaccine will be made available this month itself. First it will be administered to health workers. Kerala is fully prepared for vaccination, ANI quotes Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan as saying.

Jan 01, 2021 18:43 (IST)

Cinema Halls, Theatres to Reopen in Kerala from Jan 5 | "Cinema halls and theatres to reopen in Kerala from January 5 with half of seating capacity. Festive celebrations at places of worship will also be allowed with limited audience," says Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Jan 01, 2021 18:27 (IST)

Meeting Updates | During meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC), Serum Institute of India (SII) has been told to put more information in the patient information sheet during the Covid-19 vaccination. 

Jan 01, 2021 18:18 (IST)

READ | 75 UK Returnees to be Traced in Karnataka, Says State Health Minister K Sudhakar

Efforts are on to trace 75 people who have travelled to Karnataka from the UK with authorities hopeful of locating them soon, state Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Friday.

Jan 01, 2021 18:08 (IST)

SEC Meeting Underway | Meeting of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) is still underway. "The SEC will make appropriate recommendations to the DCGI. The final decision will be taken by the DCGI," tweets Ministry of Health. 

Jan 01, 2021 17:52 (IST)

READ | On New Year’s, India Closer to Covid Vaccine as Oxford-AstraZeneca Shot Set to Get Approval

India on Friday took a step closer to licensing a vaccine against Covid-19 as an expert panel appointed by the government recommended that the apex drug regulator grant emergency use authorisation to…

Jan 01, 2021 17:46 (IST)

Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine | Experts committee recommends conditional marketing authorisation of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use: Sources

Jan 01, 2021 17:39 (IST)

READ | Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex to Reopen from January 5, Visitors to Follow Covid-19 Protocols

The Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex, which was closed for public viewing since March 13 last year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, will reopen from January 5, an official statement said on Friday.

Jan 01, 2021 17:27 (IST)

Cinema Halls, Theatres Reopen in Odisha | Cinema halls and theatres in Odisha have been allowed to operate from today. Chairman of a theatre in Bhubaneswar says, "We won't be able to operate from today as there is no content right now. However, all precautionary measures are being taken and Covid-19 guidelines are being followed."

Jan 01, 2021 17:11 (IST)

READ | Schools, Pre-University Colleges Reopen in Karnataka with Strict Covid-19 Norms

After a gap of over nine months, schools and pre-university colleges in Karnataka reopened for students on Friday with strict COVID-19 safety norms.

Jan 01, 2021 16:50 (IST)

Covid-19 Vaccine Update | "For the Government of India, Covishield will be about USD 3 per dose, so USD 6 [Rs 440] per person but for the private market it will cost around Rs 700-800," says Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla.

Jan 01, 2021 16:41 (IST)

LATEST | The subject expert committee (SEC) of the national drugs regulator today recommends Serum Institute's Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine ‘Covishield’ for emergency use in India with conditions, say sources.

Coronavirus Highlights, January 1: Expert Panel Clears Oxford Vaccine, Tells Bharat Biotech to Give More Data
A ground staff walks past a container kept at the Cargo Terminal 2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, which according to the officials will be used as a COVID-19 vaccine handling and distribution centre. (Reuters)

"For the Government of India, Covishield (Oxford vaccine) will cost about USD 3 per dose, so USD 6 [Rs 440] per person, but for the private market, it will cost around Rs 700-800," Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Friday.

India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), whose experts are meeting for the second time this week, are also considering approval of a vaccine locally developed by Bharat Biotech, sources have said on condition of anonymity.

The decision paves the way for the vaccine's rollout in the world's second-most populous country which, after the United States, has the highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world. The health ministry, meanwhile, said four more people tested positive for the UK strain of the virus, taking the total number affected by the more infectious variant to 29.

The CDSCO experts are currently meeting, for the second time this week, and could also approve a vaccine locally developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, the report added. "Both AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech will get approval today," said one of the sources. "All preparations are on with today's date in mind."

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on Covid-19 had on Wednesday deliberated and analysed the additional data and information submitted by the SII and Bharat Biotech. The SII, Bharat Biotech and Pfizer have applied to the DCGI seeking emergency use authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine candidates and are awaiting approval.

Six vaccines are at various stages of clinical trials, of which four are being indigenously developed. The clinical trials by Bharat Biotech are in phase 3, while the one which is being developed by Zydus Cadila is in phase 2 clinical trial. SII is also conducting phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine. Similarly, Dr Reddy's Laboratories is conducting phase 2 and 3 clinical trials for Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

The World Health Organization, meanwhile, granted emergency validation to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, paving the way for countries worldwide to quickly approve its import and distribution. Britain launched its inoculation drive with the US-German vaccine on December 8, with the United States, Canada and EU countries following suit.

WHO said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was the first to receive its "emergency validation" since the novel coronavirus first broke out in China a year ago. "This is a very positive step towards ensuring global access to COVID-19 vaccines," said Mariangela Simao, a top WHO official tasked with ensuring access to medicines. "But I want to emphasise the need for an even greater global effort to achieve enough vaccine supply to meet the needs of priority populations everywhere," she said in a statement.

WHO said its emergency use listing opens the way for regulators in different countries to approve the import and distribution of the vaccine. It said it also enables UNICEF, which plays a key logistical role in distributing anti-Covid vaccines, and the Pan-American Health Organization to procure the vaccine for countries that need it.

WHO convened its own experts and those from around the world to review the data on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s "safety, efficacy and quality," weighing the benefits against the risks. "The review found that the vaccine met the must-have criteria for safety and efficacy set out by WHO, and that the benefits of using the vaccine to address COVID-19 offset potential risks," it said.