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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: All States to Begin Vaccine Dry Run on Jan 2, Govt Panel to Review Oxford, Bharat Biotech’s Shots Tomorrow

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Probably we can have a Happy New Year in India with something in hand, said Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) hinting at granting approval to Covid-19 vaccines. Sources in the health ministry said that dry run for the shots are likely to be conducted next week in all states.

News18.com | December 31, 2020, 19:36 IST

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: A dry run for Covid-19 vaccination will be conducted by all state and union territory administrations on January 2 to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges, the Centre said on Thursday. The activity is proposed to be conducted in all state capitals in at least 3 session sites.

Some states will also include districts that are situated in difficult terrain/have poor logistical support, while Maharashtra and Kerala are likely to schedule the dry run in major cities other than their capital, the Union Health Ministry said. “The objective of the dry run for Covid-19 vaccine introduction is to assess operational feasibility in the use of Co-WIN application in field environment, to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges and guide way forward prior to actual implementation. This is also expected to give confidence to programme managers at various levels,” the ministry said.

Probably we can have a Happy New Year in India with something in hand, said Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) hinting at granting approval to Covid-19 vaccines. Sources in the health ministry said that dry run for the shots are likely to be conducted next week in all states.

Dec 31, 2020 19:36 (IST)

Lessons from Polio, HIV/AIDS Fight as India Readies for Covid Vaccination | The mass vaccination drive for Polio was the last time the country faced up to the daunting challenge of eradicating a disease. Nikhil Ghanekar speaks to top virologist T Jacob John, who did pioneering research and work on the campaigns against polio and HIV/AIDS, on the issues and questions the country faces as it gears up for coronavirus vaccination. Read excerpts from the interview here

Dec 31, 2020 19:01 (IST)

32 UK Returnees Test +ve in Kerala, over 5k Total Cases | As many as 32 people, who recently returned from the UK, have tested positive for Covid-19 in Kerala, while the state recorded 5,215 fresh infections and 30 more fatalities on Thursday. The samples of the infected people have been sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, for further testing to ascertain if it is the new variant, Health Minister K K Shailaja said in a press release.

Dec 31, 2020 18:41 (IST)

2020 Finally Ending, But New Year's Revelries Muted by Coronavirus Around the World

This New Years Eve is being celebrated like no other, with pandemic restrictions limiting crowds and many people bidding farewell to a year they'd prefer to forget.

Dec 31, 2020 18:07 (IST)

Guinea Uses Russian Covid-19 Vaccine on Some Officials | Guinea began vaccinating against Covid-19 with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine on an experimental basis, starting with government officials, authorities said. Guinea has ordered only 55 doses of the Russian vaccine, said Dr. Sakoba Keita, the director-general of the National Health Security Agency.

Dec 31, 2020 17:31 (IST)

Pak to Procure 1.1 Million Vaccines from China's Sinopharm | Pakistan has decided to pre-book 1.1 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm, its health ministry said, as the number of coronavirus cases reached 479,715 after 2,475 new infections were detected in the country. China on Thursday granted conditional approval to the country's first homegrown vaccine developed by Sinopharm. The approval came a day after Sinopharm said its vaccine showed 79.34 per cent efficacy and a 99.52 per cent antibody-positive conversion rate in the interim results of Phase III clinical trials.

Dec 31, 2020 17:00 (IST)

No Gathering Allowed in Areas Like CP, India Gate During Night Curfew | No gatherings will be allowed in open public places like Connaught Place and India Gate during the night curfew imposed by the Delhi government on December 31 and January 1 due to COVID-19 and its highly transmissible UK strain, police said on Thursday. The night curfew will be clamped from 11 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1, and again from 11 pm on January 1 to 6 am on January 2.

Dec 31, 2020 16:31 (IST)

'Happy New Year With Something in Hand': Drug Regulator Hints at Covid-19 Vaccine Approval Soon

A vaccine against coronavirus can be approved in India soon, the country’s apex drug regulator hinted on Thursday and said the country will have a “happy new year with something in hand.

Dec 31, 2020 16:19 (IST)

SEC to Consider Oxford, Bharat Biotech's Application for EUA | A subject expert committee (SEC) will consider Oxford-AstraZeneca and Bharat Biotech’s application for emergency use authorisation of their vaccines tomorrow. Pfizer is expected to make a presentation and Zydus will push for phase 3 trials.

Dec 31, 2020 16:08 (IST)

Vitamin D an Inexpensive Way to Strengthen Immunity, Govts Must Include it in Strategy against Covid: Experts

There is no clinical evidence to prove low levels of Vitamin D lead to severe COVID-19 symptoms but there is a definite connect between the sunshine vitamin and immune responses to the disease, say…

Dec 31, 2020 16:06 (IST)

We May Have a Very Happy New Year: DCGI Hints at Vaccine Approval | India is likely to have a Covid-19 vaccine in the New Year, Drug Controller General of India V G Somani hinted. Speaking at a webinar, Somani said the most important thing is that the industry and research organisations have stood the test of time. Somani said the approval process was fast-tracked in view of the pandemic by quickly processing all applications, allowing parallel phase 1 and 2 trials without waiting for complete data. "There has been no compromise on the safety or efficacy of the data. The only thing is that the regulator has accepted partial data," he said.

Dec 31, 2020 15:30 (IST)

Over 36K Ventilators Delivered to Govt Hospitals Amid Pandemic: Govt | The Health Ministry said that it had ensured delivery of 36,433 ventilators to government hospitals in the country and the average cost now ranges between Rs 2-10 lakh as the domestic industry took up manufacturing of the equipment. The ministry underlined that all public health facilities in the country had only around 16,000 ventilators from the Independence till pre-COVID times.

Dec 31, 2020 15:14 (IST)
Dry Run for COVID-19 Vaccination in All States, UTs on January 2 | A dry run for COVID19 vaccination will be conducted by all state and union territory administrations on January 2 to test the linkages between planning and implementation and to identify the challenges, the Centre said on Thursday. The activity is proposed to be conducted in all state capitals in at least 3 session sites.
Dec 31, 2020 14:57 (IST)
Many UK Returnees Gave Wrong or Incomplete Details, Remain Untraced | In an ongoing districtlevel drive to contact and test UK returnees, many untraced cases have been found which furnished wrong or incomplete addresses and details like mobile phone numbers, officials said on Wednesday. Over 3,900 passengers out of more than 14,000 who landed at IGI airport from November 25 have been found to have Delhi addresses, the officials said.
Dec 31, 2020 14:19 (IST)

Comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family contacts and others. "The situation is under careful watch and regular advice is being provided to the states for enhanced surveillance, containment, testing and dispatch of samples to INSACOG labs," the ministry said on Tuesday, The presence of the new UK variant has already been reported by Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Sweden, France, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, Lebanon and Singapore, so far.

Dec 31, 2020 13:30 (IST)
Puducherry Adds 36 Fresh COVID-19 Cases, Tally Up to 38,132 | The union territory of Puducherry clocked 36 new COVID19 cases in the last 24 hours taking the overall tally to 38,132, a top Health Department official said on Thursday. No fresh fatality was reported from any of the four regions of Puducherry, Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam and the death toll remained at 633.
Dec 31, 2020 13:19 (IST)

AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria today said that India will have Covid-19 shots within days. "This is very good news that AstraZeneca got approval for its vaccine by UK regulatory authorities. They have robust data and in India and the same vaccine is being developed by the Serum Institute of India. This is a big step forward not only for India but many parts of the world," Dr Guleria was quoted as saying by ANI.

Dec 31, 2020 13:17 (IST)
Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Shows 94.1 Per Cent Efficacy in Trial: Study | Results from the primary analysis of the ongoing phase 3 clinical trial of US biotechnology company Moderna's COVID19 vaccine have revealed 94.1 per cent efficacy of the therapeutic in preventing symptomatic infections and severe illness, according to a peer-reviewed study. The study, published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, found that among over 30,000 participants randomised to receive the vaccine or a placebo, 11 in the vaccine group developed symptomatic COVID19 compared to 185 participants who received the placebo.
Dec 31, 2020 13:15 (IST)

Aanand L Rai Tests Positive for COVID-19 | Filmmaker Aanand L Rai on Thursday said he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is in quarantine. Rai, who completed a shooting schedule of his upcoming directorial "Atrangi Re" on Wednesday, took to Twitter to share his diagnosis and said he is asymptomatic. "I have tested covid positive today. Just wanted to inform everyone that I don't feel any symptoms & I feel fine. I'm quarantining as instructed by authorities (sic)" he wrote.

Dec 31, 2020 13:09 (IST)

China Gives Its First COVID-19 Vaccine Approval to Sinopharm | China approved a COVID-19 vaccine developed by an affiliate of state-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm on Thursday, its first approved shot for general public use as it braces for increased transmission risks over winter. No detailed efficacy data of the vaccine has been publicly released but its developer, Beijing Biological Products Institute, a unit of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group (CNBG), said on Wednesday its vaccine was 79.34% effective in preventing people from developing the disease based on interim data.

Dec 31, 2020 12:19 (IST)
New COVID-19 Strain: Total 25 People in India Test Positive | A total of 25 people in the country have tested positive for thenew UK variant genome of SARSCoV2 so far, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday. These 25 people includethe 20 who were found positiive with the mutated strain on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Dec 31, 2020 12:03 (IST)

PM Modi's New Year Message | Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "2021 will show us way forward to the cure, the vaccine. We are getting ready to provide vaccine for every section that requires it. India is getting ready for the biggest vaccination drive in the world."

Dec 31, 2020 12:01 (IST)

Fight Against Covid-19 Only Enemy, Says PM Modi | Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that rumours spread quickly in India and appealed to the people that the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is the only enemy at this hour. "Different people for their personal gains or due to irresponsible behaviour spread various rumours. Maybe rumours will be spread when vaccination begins, some have already begun. I appeal to the people of the country that fight against COVID-19 is the one against an unknown enemy. Be careful about such rumours and as responsible citizens refrain from forwarding messages on social media without checking."

Dec 31, 2020 11:39 (IST)
Telangana Adds 415 New COVID-19 Cases, 3 Deaths | Telangana recorded 415 new COVID19 cases, pushing the total caseload to 2,86,354, while the death toll rose to 1,541 with three more fatalities, the state government said on Thursday. The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 91, followed by Rangareddy and Medchal Malkajgiri with 43 and 39 respectively, it said in a bulletin, providing details as of 8 PM on December 30.
Dec 31, 2020 11:37 (IST)

According to the ICMR, 17,20,49,274 samples have been tested up to December 30 with 11,27,244 samples being tested on Wednesday.

Dec 31, 2020 11:06 (IST)
Five more patients with UK variant strain detected in India.
 
Four new cases were found by NIV, Pune and one new case was sequenced in IGIB, Delhi.
 
All 25 persons are in physical isolation in health facilities.
 
Dec 31, 2020 10:55 (IST)

The COVID-19 active caseload remained below 3 lakh for the tenth consecutive day. There are 2,57,656 active coronavirus infections in the country which comprises 2.51 per cent 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.

Dec 31, 2020 10:47 (IST)
 
India Records 21,822 New Coronavirus Cases | India's COVID-19 caseload increased to 1,02,66,674 with 21,822 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98.60 lakh, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated today. The death toll increased to 1,48,738 with 299 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 98,60,280 pushing the national recovery rate to 96.04 per cent, while the COVID19 case fatality rate stands at 1.45 per cent.
Dec 31, 2020 10:41 (IST)

China Grants Conditional Approval to Its Homegrown COVID-19 Vaccine | China has granted conditional approval to the country's first homegrown COVID19 vaccine developed by stateowned pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm, an official announcement said on Thursday. The approval comes a day after Sinopharm said its vaccine showed 79.34 per cent efficacy and a 99.52 per cent antibodypositive conversion rate in the interim results of the Phase III clinical trials.

Dec 31, 2020 10:03 (IST)
Heading Out for New Year's Eve? Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai to Have No Parties Amid Curfew. Here's the Rules

People have generally faced so many hardships in the year 2020 that everyone is eagerly waiting for 2021.

Dec 31, 2020 09:57 (IST)

Today's Data Highlights

- 21.8k new cases, 26k new recoveries, 299 new deaths, 4.6k dip in active cases 

- Tests above 11 lakh for the second day

- Kerala reports 6.3k new cases, Maharashtra 3.5k, West Bengal 1.2k

- Maharashtra reports 90 new deaths, Kerala and West Bengal 28 each

- India No.10 in the world in active cases 

- Total cases in USA now over 20 million. USA accounts for 24.3% of total cases in the world and 19.4% of deaths

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: All States to Begin Vaccine Dry Run on Jan 2, Govt Panel to Review Oxford, Bharat Biotech’s Shots Tomorrow
Employees operate a filling machine inside a lab at the Serum Institute of India, in Pune. (Image: Reuters)

As the drug regulator seeks more information from vaccines manufacturers before emergency approval, AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria has said that India will have Covid-19 shots within days. “This is very good news that AstraZeneca got approval for its vaccine by UK regulatory authorities. They have robust data and in India and the same vaccine is being developed by the Serum Institute of India. This is a big step forward not only for India but many parts of the world,” Dr Guleria was quoted as saying by ANI.

Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) will meet again on Friday to consider approving AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use after Britain became the first country to do so, the government said following a meeting. India wants to start inoculating its citizens next month. It is also considering emergency-use authorisation applications for vaccines made by Pfizer Inc with Germany’s BioNTech, and by India’s Bharat Biotech. Sources told Reuters the CDSCO was likely to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine this week after its local manufacturer, Serum Institute of India (SII), submitted additional trial findings.

Regulator Central Drug Standard Control Organisation’s (CDSCO) Subject Expert Committee that met yesterday rejected emergency use authorization (EUA) sought by Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech for their Covid-19 vaccines. This comes amid increased number of people being tested positive and states stepping up testing. While two UK returnees in Uttar Pradesh were found to have contracted the new virus, scare remains in Delhi’s neighbouring Gurugram where sample of a 22-year-old United Kingdom return was sent for genome sequencing to ascertain the new variant after he tested positive.

In Mumbai, as many as 1,108 more air passengers arrived from European and West Asian countries, of which 322 were quarantined on Wednesday in the wake of a new COVID-19 strain being found in Britain, a senior civic official said. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said a total of 14 flights landed at the Mumbai international airport from Europe and West Asia in the last 24 hours.

Of the 1,108 passengers who arrived in these flights, 322 were kept under institutional quarantine in city hotels, while 705 were sent to other states, he said. According to the official, 81 passengers were exempted from the mandatory institutional quarantine rule on various grounds.

The civic body of Mumbai on Sunday amended its earlier SOPs about institutional quarantine of passengers arriving from European countries, including Britain, and West Asia and aligned them with those framed by the Maharashtra government. As per the amended rule, travellers will have to stay in institutional quarantine for seven days and then a week in home isolation, instead of earlier 14-day institutional quarantine norm.

The new SOPs were implemented after Britain said it has detected a new variant of coronavirus which is said to be even more transmissible than the first one.