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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Siddhivinayak Temple Stops Offline Darshan as Cases Surge

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The students are mostly from Amravati and Yavatmal, two districts that have contributed to a spike in virus cases in recent weeks.

News18.com | February 25, 2021, 22:59 IST

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Over 220 students and four staffers of a residential school in Maharashtra’s Washim district have tested positive for coronavirus with the premises being declared a containment zone. The incident comes as Maharashtra battles a surge in Covid-19. The students are mostly from Amravati and Yavatmal, two districts that have contributed to a spike in virus cases in recent weeks.

A new coronavirus variant is on the rise in New York City, researchers said on Wednesday. The new variant, known as B.1.526, was first identified in samples collected in New York in November, and by mid-February represented about 12% of cases, researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, said on Wednesday. The variant was also described in research published online this week by the California Institute of Technology. Neither study has been reviewed by outside experts. It shares some similarities with a more transmissible and intractable variant discovered in South Africa.

The Columbia researchers said an analysis of publicly available databases did not show a high prevalence of coronavirus variants recently identified in South Africa and Brazil in case samples from New York City and surrounding areas. “Instead we found high numbers of this home-grown lineage,” Dr. Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, said in a statement.

Feb 25, 2021 22:59 (IST)

Mumbai Reports Over 1,100 New Covid-19 Cases for 2nd Day | Mumbai reported over 1,100 COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row on Thursday, taking the tally to 3,22,843, while five more patients succumbed to the infection, the city civic body said. The financial capital reported 1,145 new COVID-19 cases, slightly down from 1,167, the highest daily spike in about four months, on Wednesday, according to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s updated data.

Feb 25, 2021 22:38 (IST)

Maharashtra Reports Over 8,000 New Covid-19 Cases for Second Consecutive Day | Maharashtra continued to report over 8,000 coronavirus cases for the second consecutive day on Thursday, which pushed its overall infection count to 21,29,821, a health official said. The state reported 8,702 cases on Thursday, while this number was 8,807 on Wednesday. With 56 deaths reported during the day, the state’s fatality count went up to 51,993. A total of 3,744 patients were discharged during the day after recovery, which took the count of such persons to 20,12,367.

Feb 25, 2021 19:39 (IST)

220 New COVID-19 Cases Recorded in Delhi; No Fresh Death | Delhi recorded 220 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest number of single-day incidences in February, while no fresh death was registered, as per data shared by officials. This is the fourth time the single-day fatality count has been nil this month. On Wednesday, 200 COVID-19 cases and two new deaths were registered, pushing the toll to 10,905. On all preceding days, spanning February 1-23, the count of daily cases had been recorded below 200.

Feb 25, 2021 19:11 (IST)

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday accused the Maharashtra government of trying to curtail the upcoming budget session of the state legislature on the pretext of rising number of coronavirus cases. He was speaking after the meeting of the business advisory committee (BAC) of the state legislature. The BJP walked out of the meeting over the issue. "The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is using the rising number of COVID-19 cases to curtail the budget session. The BJP condemns such a move, hence we walked out of the meeting," he said.

Feb 25, 2021 18:52 (IST)

Sri Lanka Receives 500,000 Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines from India | Sri Lanka on Thursday received 500,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines ordered from India. "Actively aiding #lka win against COVID, 2nd consignment of 500,000 COVISHIELD vaccines arrived from India to lka today," the High Commission of India in Sri Lanka tweeted. Sri Lanka's acting health minister Channa Jayasumana said 500,000 doses of the Covishield vaccine arrived on Thursday. He said the new batch was ordered under an agreement between the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation (SPC) of Sri Lanka and the Serum Institute of India. The distribution of vaccines will start on Friday.

Feb 25, 2021 18:18 (IST)

READ | CO-Win 2.0 to Launch on March 1, Government Open to Vaccination for Walk-ins

Excerpts from an interview with R S Sharma, chairman of Co-Win panel, on the government’s plan on the next phase of vaccination drive and its modalities.

Feb 25, 2021 17:56 (IST)

Aurangabad Records 281 New COVID-19 Cases; Three Deaths | With the addition of 281 new cases of coronavirus, the tally of infections in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district reached 49,291, an official said on Thursday. Apart from the latest cases recorded on Wednesday, the district also recorded three casualties that took the toll to 1,258, the official said. Of the new infections, 262 were reported from Aurangabad city, while remaining 19 were from rural parts of the district, he said. At least 46,721 persons have recovered from the infection in the district, he said, adding that the region is now left with 1,312 active cases.

Feb 25, 2021 16:32 (IST)

READ | Home Quarantine Norms Breach Among Reasons for Covid-19 Surge in Maha, Say Officials

Blatant violation of COVID-19 home quarantine and social distancing guidelines and unavailability of adequate resources for contact-tracing have led to a surge in COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, a…

Feb 25, 2021 16:08 (IST)

No New Covid Death in Delhi in Last 24 Hours | Delhi reports 220 new Covid cases, 188 recoveries and no deaths in the last 24 hours. The total cases are at 6,38,593 while the active cases currently are at 1,169.

Feb 25, 2021 15:45 (IST)

Covid-19: Tamil Nadu Govt Declares 'All Pass' for Class 9-11 Students | Students of class 9, 10 and Plus One in Tamil Nadu will not have to take the exams, Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced in the assembly on Thursday as he declared them “all pass” this academic year in view of the Coronavirus pandemic. “Taking into consideration the unusual situation being faced by teachers and students, the views of parents besides the opinion of experts, the students of standards: 9, 10 and 11, facing the annual/board exams in 2020-21 education year, are announced as passed without writing the examinations,” the chief minister said.

Feb 25, 2021 13:50 (IST)

Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation to Financially Help People Reeling Under Pandemic | The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is formally expanding a $3 million (£2.12 million) financial relief fund to help people in the US struggling to make ends meet during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Associated Press reports. The foundation, which launched earlier this month out of the eight-year-old Black Lives Matter movement, said it plans to make up to 3,000 microgrants of $1,000 each (£706). So far the Survival Fund’s first recipients have included the families of people killed by police or who died while incarcerated, grassroots community organisers, people who identify as transgender, single parents and formerly incarcerated individuals.

Feb 25, 2021 13:17 (IST)

We have 57 WTO members supporting us. Developed world's under pressure as on one hand they talk about supporting each other&multilateral fight against COVID but on other hand, they're looking at protecting interest of few companies only in terms of innovation or R&D: Piyush Goyal

Feb 25, 2021 12:52 (IST)

Ukraine Registers a 40% Jump in New Coronavirus Cases in 24 Hours | Ukraine has registered an almost 40% jump in new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, Reuters reports. A total of 8,147 cases were registered on Wednesday, the highest figure since mid-January when the number of new cases stood at 8,199. The country is poised to begin its vaccination programme.

Feb 25, 2021 12:20 (IST)

UPDATE | Students of Class 9, 10 and 11 will be promoted to the next class without taking exams, in the light of COVID-19 pandemic, said Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, in the state legislative assembly. 

Feb 25, 2021 11:46 (IST)

Siddhivinayak Temple Stops Darshan for Devotees Amid Rising Cases | Famous Siddhivinayak temple stops offline darshan for devotees on the coming Angaraki Chaturthi. Only those devotees who have registered online have QR code will be allowed. This comes amid rising covid cases. 

Feb 25, 2021 11:18 (IST)

A woman receives a vaccination against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a temporary Clalit healthcare maintenance organisation (HMO) centre, at a basketball court in Petah Tikva, Israel. 

Feb 25, 2021 11:15 (IST)

StanChart Profit Falls 57% as Covid-19 Inflates Bad Loans |  Standard Chartered PLC (StanChart) on Thursday posted a 57% fall in annual profit, missing analyst estimates, on higher credit impairments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. StanChart, which earns the bulk of its revenue in Asia, posted a pretax profit of $1.61 billion. That compared with $3.71 billion in 2019 and the $1.85 billion average of analyst forecasts compiled by the bank. Credit impairments last year more than doubled compared with a year earlier to $2.3 billion because of the pandemic, the bank said, but noted the majority of these took place in the first half of the year.

Feb 25, 2021 11:15 (IST)

StanChart Profit Falls 57% as Covid-19 Inflates Bad Loans |  Standard Chartered PLC (StanChart) on Thursday posted a 57% fall in annual profit, missing analyst estimates, on higher credit impairments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. StanChart, which earns the bulk of its revenue in Asia, posted a pretax profit of $1.61 billion. That compared with $3.71 billion in 2019 and the $1.85 billion average of analyst forecasts compiled by the bank. Credit impairments last year more than doubled compared with a year earlier to $2.3 billion because of the pandemic, the bank said, but noted the majority of these took place in the first half of the year.

Feb 25, 2021 10:33 (IST)

151 Students Test Corona Positive in Washim,  Authorities Declare Hostel Containment Zone | After schools were opened in Maharashtra in February, students travelled from across state to Washim city. Following which over 100 students have now tested positive for coronavirus. Authorities have declared the hostel a containment zone. Four staffers of the school have also tested positive

Feb 25, 2021 10:25 (IST)

Today's Data Highlights

- 16.7k new cases, 11.8k new recoveries, 138 new deaths, 4.8k rise in active cases

- Total active cases again above 1.5 lakh

- New cases and new deaths highest in the last 27 days

- Total tests below 8 lakh (7.93 lakh) after yesterday when it was more than 8 lakh after a gap of more than a month

- Maharashtra reports 8.8k new cases, Kerala 4.1k, Punjab 558

- New cases in Maharashtra highest in the last 129 days 

- Active cases in Maharashtra rises above 60k. Maharashtra now has more active cases than Kerala 

- New deaths in Maharashtara highest in all this year (2021)

- 20 states/UTs report rise in active cases

Feb 25, 2021 10:24 (IST)

India Reports 16,738 New Covid-19 Cases | India reports 16,738 new Covid-19 cases, 11,799 discharges and 138 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per the Union Health Ministry. Total cases were 1,10,46,914, Total discharges: 1,07,38,501, Death toll: 1,56,705, Active cases: 1,51,708  and Total Vaccination: 1,26,71,163. 

Feb 25, 2021 10:11 (IST)

Australia Continues on Downward Trend of Daily Covid Cases | Australia on Thursday continued its downward trend of Covid cases, stoking hopes of a faster return to normal, Reuters reports. Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state, recorded no cases for nearly a week, suggesting the most recent outbreak in Melbourne has been contained, prompting authorities to flag easing of more restrictions soon. “With six days of zero cases, with the number of active cases falling each day... we can be quite positive about making some announcements tomorrow,” state Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters when asked about lifting of curbs on gatherings.

Feb 25, 2021 09:55 (IST)

READ | Mass 'Real World' Study Confirms Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine is 94% Effective

The Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine proved 94 percent effective in a huge real world study published Wednesday that involved 1.

Feb 25, 2021 09:12 (IST)

Biden Administration to Distribute More Than 25 Million Masks | The Biden administration will deliver more than 25 million masks to community health centers, food pantries and soup kitchens this spring as part of its battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the White House said on Wednesday. U.S. health authorities recommend mask wearing as a critical measure to help slow the spread of disease and the White House said low-income Americans still don't have access to masks. The government will deliver the masks to more than 1,300 community health centers and 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens between March and May, the White House said.

Feb 25, 2021 08:57 (IST)

UPDATE | Singapore received its first batch of the Covid vaccine made by China’s Sinovac Biotech on Tuesday, its health ministry said, although the shot is still awaiting approval for use in the city-state, Reuters reports. Sinovac has started submitting initial data but the Health Sciences Authority is currently awaiting all the necessary information to carry out a thorough assessment, the ministry said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Feb 25, 2021 08:38 (IST)

Maharashtra Records Highest Covid-19 Cases in 4 Months, Mumbai Sees Further Spike | The highest in 129 days, a total of 8,807 fresh Covid-19 cases were added to Maharashtra’s daily tally on Wednesday. The state reported 80 deaths, highest in two months since December 24, when 89 deaths were reported. With this, the total cases in the state jumped to 21,21,119 and the toll touched 51,937. Mumbai also saw a three-month high in daily Covid-19 cases. It reported 1,167 new infections, the highest in 119 days. The last time the city had more than 1,167 cases was on October 28, when 1,354 were detected and Mumbai was merely coming out of the peak. It is also after 88 days since November 28 (1,063) that the city has added over 1,000 cases in a day.

Feb 25, 2021 08:25 (IST)

READ | Flight Passengers from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala & Telangana Need Negative Covid Report to Enter Bengal

Amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Telangana, the West Bengal government on Wednesday made it mandatory for passengers travelling in flights from these states…

Feb 25, 2021 08:19 (IST)

Australia's Olympians to be Encouraged to Take Vaccine but Games Will be 'Safe' | Australia’s Olympics athletes will not be required to have a Covid-19 vaccination but will be encouraged to do so as planning ramps up for July’s delayed Tokyo Games, the Australian Associated Press reports. IOC vice-president and AOC president John Coates said planning had reached the finite stage for the showpiece, set to begin one year later than first planned on 23 July:

Feb 25, 2021 07:59 (IST)

China's Sinopharm Vaccine 72.5% Effective, Company Says | China is moving ahead with two more Covid vaccines in the regulatory process, one from state-owned company Sinopharm and another from a private company CanSino, AP reports. Both vaccines have submitted been to regulators for approval this week. CanSino said that Chinese regulators are reviewing its application for its Covid vaccine, in a stock filing on Wednesday.

Feb 25, 2021 07:49 (IST)

Toronto Cancels Outdoor Events Through July | Canada’s largest city Toronto is cancelling all large in-person, city-permitted outdoor events through July as the country seeks to stave off a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports. The city of Toronto announced Wednesday it is extending an existing cancellation of outdoor events, including the annual Pride Parade, which will be a virtual event, and 1 July Canada Day celebrations, which tend to cap off mid-summer festivities.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Siddhivinayak Temple Stops Offline Darshan as Cases Surge
Mumbai: Devotee offer prayers at Siddhivinayak temple after it was reopened public, in Mumbai, Monday, Nov 16, 2020. (PTI Photo)

Meanwhile, China is moving ahead with two more Covid vaccines in the regulatory process, one from state-owned company Sinopharm and another from a private company CanSino, AP reports. Both vaccines have submitted been to regulators for approval this week. CanSino said that Chinese regulators are reviewing its application for its Covid vaccine, in a stock filing on Wednesday. Sinopharm’s subsidiary the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products announced Wednesday that it had submitted an application Sunday and that regulators were reviewing it.

China already has approved two vaccines that it has been using in a mass immunization campaign. One of them is also from Sinopharm, but it was developed by its Beijing subsidiary. The other is the Sinovac vaccine. The Wuhan shot from Sinopharm is 72.51% effective, the company said. Both shots from Sinopharm rely on inactivated viruses, a traditional technology.

CanSino’s vaccine is a one-dose shot that relies on a harmless common cold virus, called an adenovirus, to deliver the spike gene of the virus into the body. The technology is similar to both Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines, which rely on different adenoviruses. CanSino’s vaccine is 65.28% effective, the company said Wednesday. Neither company has published its trial data in peer-reviewed scientific journals yet.

The Columbia study found that B.1.526 shares some worrying characteristics with B.1.351, the variant first identified in South Africa, and P.1., which was first identified in Brazil. Several studies have suggested that those new variants are more resistant to some existing vaccines than earlier versions of the coronavirus. The researchers said the main concern is a change in one area of the virus’ spike protein, called E484K, that is present in all three variants. The E484K mutation is believed to weaken the body’s immune response to the virus.

Studies have shown that recently launched coronavirus vaccines are still likely to neutralise the virus and protect against severe illness, even for infections with new variants. Vaccine makers are also working to develop booster shots to combat mutated versions of the virus.

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