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Coronavirus LIVE Updates: In 1st Interaction with CMs Post Vaccine Approval, PM Modi to Discuss Rollout | January 08, 2021, 19:27 IST
Coronavirus LIVE Updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will interact with chief ministers of all states on January 11 to discuss the COVID-19 situation and the vaccination roll-out in the country, his office said on Friday. This will be Modi's first interaction with chief ministers following the recent approval of two coronavirus vaccines for restricted emergency use by India's drug regulator.

The prime minister has often spoken with state chief ministers following the pandemic's outbreak in the country. India is preparing for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the second nationwide mock drill on the drive was conducted on Friday. India's drugs regulator has approved Oxford vaccine Covishield, being manufactured by the Serum Institute, and indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.
Jan 08, 2021 19:27 (IST)

France Approves Moderna's Covid Vaccine | France's national health authority said that it had approved the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Moderna for people 18 and older, clearing the way for a second option in the country's inoculation campaign. The move follows EU approval for the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday.

Jan 08, 2021 18:04 (IST)

UK Approves Moderna Vaccine for Rollout |  The UK's regulatory authority approved a third Covid-19 vaccine for use in the country, made by the company Moderna. However, supplies of the new jab are not expected to be available until the spring in a few weeks' time as the UK has pre-ordered 7 million doses. In trials with more than 30,000, the Moderna vaccine offered nearly 95 per cent protection from severe Covid. 

Jan 08, 2021 17:42 (IST)

Delhi Announces 7-day Mandatory Institutional Quarantine for UK Returnees | Travellers coming to Delhi from the United Kingdom will have to undergo a seven-day institutional quarantine even if they test negative for Covid-19, Chief Minister Arvind Kerjiwal announced, tightening protocols to "protect Delhiites" from the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2. After completion of the institutional quarantine, such passengers will have to go under home-quarantine for another seven days which will be ensured through "strict surveillance" by district authorities.

Jan 08, 2021 17:00 (IST)

BioNTech Says Its Vaccine Works against UK, S. Africa Mutations | German company BioNTech said a preliminary study shows that its vaccine works against the key mutation in coronavirus variants uncovered in Britain and South Africa which experts have said is more contagious than the original Covid-19 strain. Tests carried out have shown that "antibodies from people who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine effectively neutralise SARS-CoV-2 with a key mutation that is also found in two highly transmissible strains," said the German company of the vaccine it developed with US group Pfizer.

Jan 08, 2021 16:54 (IST)

Delhi Reports 44 Fresh Cases, 10 Deaths | Delhi recorded 444 fresh Covid-19 cases, the seventh time the daily infection count stood below the 500-mark in January, while the positivity rate dipped to 0.59 per cent, officials said. The infection tally in the city stood at 6.29 lakh and the death toll mounted to 10,654, they said.

Jan 08, 2021 16:39 (IST)

China Seals Off 2 Cities to Squash Country's Coronavirus Outbreak in 6 Months

China has sealed off two cities south of Beijing, cutting transport links and banning millions of residents from leaving, as authorities move to stem the country's largest Covid-19 outbreak in six…

Jan 08, 2021 16:22 (IST)

K'taka to Receive 13.90 Lakh Vaccine Vials | Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar said the state is expected to receive 13,90,000 vials of vaccine against Covid-19 in a day or two, and it is likely to be administered starting from January 11. "The big good news for Karnataka is that I have received information from the Union Health Ministry that tomorrow or the day after probably we will be receiving 13,90,000 vials of vaccine for the state. It's a big happy news for all of us," he said.

Jan 08, 2021 16:15 (IST)

EU Doubles Vaccines Order with Pfizer-BioNTech | The European Commission said it has secured 300 million extra doses of the coronavirus Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a move that could ease criticism that the EU's executive arm has not done enough to procure coronavirus shots for the entire bloc. Speaking during a news conference in Brussels on Friday, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the agreement will double the amount of doses already ordered by the 27-nation bloc.

Jan 08, 2021 16:07 (IST)

Second Phase Trial Run Held Successfully in Kerala |  The second phase mock drill of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout was successfully conducted in 46 centres in Kerala on Friday, as Health Minister K K Shailaja announced that the state was all set to receive the vaccine. The Minister congratulated the Health department officials and workers who took part in the drill.

Jan 08, 2021 15:59 (IST)

IMA Asks Members to Participate in Vaccination Drive | The Indian Medical Association appealed to all its members to actively participate in the COVID-19 vaccination drive across the country. As you all are aware of the Covid-19 vaccine being made available in the immediate future, it becomes our natural responsibility to assist the vaccination drive in a professional way, the doctors' body said in a statement.

Jan 08, 2021 15:17 (IST)

'Covid Vaccine for Countrymen in Next Few Days': Health Minister Says Rollout Date After Dry Runs | Vaccination of the entire 1.3 billion population against COVID-19 in India would soon be a reality, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said on Friday, adding that the Centre has started a new COVID platform to track particulars of potential vaccine beneficiaries and also issue electronic certificates to them. The Health Minister was reviewing the dry run of administering COVID-19 vaccine at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Tamil Nadu as part of a state-wide programme. India, he said, has done extremely well in developing vaccines in the shortest possible time, and presently two vaccines have been given emergency use authorisation. "In the next few days, also in the near future, we should be able to give this vaccine to our countrymen prioritising those who are at risk in public and private sectors. The government has already made known the scheme of things," he added. READ MORE

Jan 08, 2021 15:04 (IST)

Update | All 22 students from a school in Munger, Bihar, tested negative in second round of Corona antigen test. 

Jan 08, 2021 14:50 (IST)

Bharat Biotech Sends Application to DCGI on Vaccine Trial | "Bharat Biotech sent an application to DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) for conducting the phase 1 trials of nasal vaccine against COVID19, matter yet to be taken up," says a Government official.

Jan 08, 2021 14:36 (IST)

Isolation for +ve UK Returnees: Delhi CM | All those arriving from UK, who test positive will be isolated in an isolation facility. Negative ones will be taken to a quarantine facility for 7 days followed by 7 days home quarantine, says Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

Jan 08, 2021 14:16 (IST)

Delhi Cabinet has approved to procure 18 advanced ventilators for ICUs of Neurosurgery Department at GB Pant Hospital: Chief Minister's Office.

Jan 08, 2021 13:59 (IST)

Tamil Nadu government and its health department deserves our highest appreciation for good work that they have been doing and are pursuing: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan in Chennai.

Jan 08, 2021 13:51 (IST)

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan inspects cold storage for COVID vaccine in Chennai during his visit today.

Jan 08, 2021 13:40 (IST)

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan meets Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at Tamil Nadu Secretariat in Chennai.

Jan 08, 2021 13:32 (IST)

22 students and 3 teachers of a school were found Covid positive in Munger, Bihar.

Jan 08, 2021 13:30 (IST)

READ | Concerns About Covid-19 Vaccine Protection Against South African Variant, Says UK Minister

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Friday there were concerns about how effective the COVID-19 vaccines might be against the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus discovered in…

Jan 08, 2021 13:04 (IST)

READ | Air India Flight from UK With 246 Passengers Lands in Delhi as Cases of New Coronavirus Strain Grow

An Air India flight from the UK has landed in Delhi with 246 passengers on board, ANI has reported.

Jan 08, 2021 12:56 (IST)

Kerala Reports Highest Daily Cases | Kerala continues to report the highest daily new cases at 5,051. It is followed by Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh with 3,729 and 1,010 new cases, respectively. 81.22% of the new cases are from 10 States and UTs: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Jan 08, 2021 12:42 (IST)

India’s deaths per million population are 109. 18 States/UTs have deaths per million population lower than the national average.

Jan 08, 2021 12:39 (IST)

234 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Eight States/UTs account for 76.50% of new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (72).

Jan 08, 2021 12:38 (IST)

17 States/UTs have deaths per million higher than the national average. Delhi has the maximum number of deaths per million population (569).

Jan 08, 2021 12:34 (IST)

Second dry run to administer COVID vaccination underway at centre in Mohali, Punjab.

Jan 08, 2021 12:29 (IST)

Cases of New Mutant Variant at 82: Govt | India continues to report low daily cases. Active caseload continues to decline as it slumps to 2.25 lakh. The total number of cases infected with the new strain of the novel Coronavirus, first reported in the UK, now stands at 82, says Health Ministry.

Jan 08, 2021 12:19 (IST)

Both Vaccines Safe: IMA | Both vaccines are safe. We have guided all our doctor to lend all the support required for the vaccination drives and help burst misinformation, says IMA National President, Dr J A Jayalal on the two indigenous Covid-19 vaccines.

Jan 08, 2021 12:11 (IST)

Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan visits Government Omandurar Medical College Hospital in Chennai.

Jan 08, 2021 12:00 (IST)

Indian Medical Association (IMA) appreciates the contribution of all Indian scientists and researchers who developed the two indigenous COVID19 vaccines, appeals to all its members to actively participate in vaccination drive across the country.

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: In 1st Interaction with CMs Post Vaccine Approval, PM Modi to Discuss Rollout
File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (PTI)

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today said India had done well by developing vaccines in a short time and in the next few days, "we should be able to give these vaccines to our countrymen". 'It will be given to our healthcare professional followed by frontline workers," the minister said as the country conducted the second dry run to assess the preparedness for the vaccine rollout.

Meanwhile, in China, the number of people who have been infected with COVID-19 in Wuhan, where the virus was first identified, could be around three times the official figure, according to a study by Chinese researchers based in the city. The paper, published by the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal on Thursday, analysed blood samples from more than 60,000 healthy individuals taken from locations across China from March to May 2020. It found that 1.68% of those from Wuhan contained antibodies for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, compared to 0.59% in surrounding Hubei province and 0.38% in the rest of China.

With the city's total population at more than 10 million, the researchers estimated that as many as 168,000 Wuhan residents were infected with the virus, compared to the official number of 50,340 hospitalised cases. The study suggested at least two thirds of the total number were asymptomatic, and thousands could have been infected after the "elimination" of clinical cases, raising the possibility the virus could exist in a community for a long period without causing hospitalisations. A separate study published by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) late last month put the "seroprevalence" rate in Wuhan, the percentage of the population with antibodies, even higher at 4.43%, implying that around half a million people in the city could have been infected.

COVID-19 was identified in Wuhan at the end of 2019, with the first outbreak associated with a seafood market in the city. China finally locked down Wuhan and other cities in Hubei province on Jan. 23, 2020, but critics say it should have acted sooner.

China has dismissed criticism of its early handling of the virus, and officials now point to overseas studies suggesting it was circulating in Europe several months before the Wuhan outbreak.

A 10-strong team from the World Health Organization was due to arrive in China this week to investigate the origins of COVID-19, but they have yet to be been given authorisation to enter the country.

Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to date in mainland China now stands at 87,331, while the death toll remained unchanged at 4,634.

In India, meanwhile, as a simulation of the actual execution of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out that is expected to begin in a few days, another round of dry run will be conducted in all districts across states and UTs, except UP and Haryana, today to ensure efficient planning and management of the immunisation process. Each district has identified three types of session sites, similar to the previous dry run conducted on January 2, including a public health facility (district hospital/medical college), private health facility and rural or urban outreach sites, the Union health ministry said on Wednesday.

In this regard, a meeting of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan with the health ministers of states and Union territories is scheduled to take place on January 7 to guide them on conducting the dry run, the ministry said. "The vaccine dry run will be conducted on January8 in all districts across India, except for UP and Haryana. COVID-19 vaccine dry run has already been conducted in all districts in UP on January5 and Haryana is conductingit in all its districts tomorrow (Thursday)," an official source said.

"The Central government is gearing up for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine across the country. Union Ministry of Healthhas been pro-actively carrying out the preparations for roll-out of COVID-19 vaccine, in collaboration with states and UTs and all stakeholders, over the past couple of months to ensure that the preparations for roll-outare on track," the ministry said in a statement. The country's drugs regulator on Sunday approved Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield and the indigenously developed Covaxin of Bharat Biotech for restricted emergency use in the country.

"The roll out of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to begin in the near future. This milestone entails the need for testing of all planned mechanisms for conducting the vaccination drive in the country," the ministry said. The entire planning of the vaccination drive including beneficiary registration, microplanning and vaccination at the planned session site will be tested under the leadership of District Collector or District Magistrate during the dry run.

The dry run will also familiarize the state, district, block and hospital level officers on all aspects of the COVID vaccine roll out. "This activity will help administrators in strengthening the linkages between planning, implementation and reporting mechanisms, identification of any residual challenges prior to the actual implementation and to provide confidence to the programme managers at all levels to carry out a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive," the ministry said.

The Union health ministry will be in constant touch with the states and UTs throughout the day to seek feedback, provide support and ensure timely resolution of the identified challenges before the actual vaccination roll-out. To facilitate the entire vaccination process a software named 'Co-WIN' has been developed by the health ministry for real time information on vaccine stocks, their storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries for the coronavirus vaccine.

This software will assist the programme managers across all levels in conduct of the vaccination sessions. A dedicated 24x7 call centre has also been established for technical queries of Co-WIN users. The cold chain infrastructure (like walk-in-freezers, walk-in-coolers, ice-lined refrigerators, deep freezers) along with sufficient supplies of syringes and other logistics have been ensured to begin COVID-19 vaccination drive. Around 1.7 lakh vaccinators and 3 lakh vaccination team members have been trained on the process to be followed at the vaccination sites which include beneficiary verification, vaccination, cold chain and logistics management, bio-medical waste management, AEFI management and reporting on Co-WIN software. In a massive nation-wide exercise on January 2, an end-to-end mock drill on COVID-19 vaccine administration was conducted in all states and UTs at 286 session sites spread across 125 districts.

More than 75 lakh beneficiaries have been registered till date on the Co-WIN software, the ministry had said earlier. The entire operational planning and IT platform has been field tested in four states -- Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Punjab and Gujarat -- on December 28 and 29 and on the basis of the feedback received minor enhancements have been made in the IT system, it had said.