Coronavirus LIVE: PM Modi to meet CMs over vaccine rollout on Monday
Coronavirus live updates: At 1,958,282, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 924,898, Andhra Pradesh 884,171, Tamil Nadu 823,986, and Kerala 795,933
BS Web Team New Delhi
Coronavirus live updates: With 18,106 fresh Covid-19 cases, India's caseload now stands at 10,414,044. The country's death toll has mounted to 150,606. With 1,958,282 cases, Maharashtra has the highest number of coronavirus cases, followed by Karnataka 924,898, Andhra Pradesh 884,171, Tamil Nadu 823,986, and Kerala 795,933. The second nationwide mock drill on the Covid-19 vaccination will be held at three-session sites of 736 districts across 33 States/UTs today.
The objective of the mock drill on vaccination is to simulate the actual vaccine administration event
World coronavirus update: The global tally of coronavirus cases stands at 88,458,636. While 63,595,615 have recovered, 1,905,209 have died so far. The US, the worst-hit country, has 22,111,198 cases, and 373,799 have died from the disease there. It is followed by India, which has 10,414,044 cases, Brazil (7,961,673), Russia (3,332,142), UK (2,889,419).
Stay tuned for the latest coronavirus-related news.
Assam conducts dry run for Covid-19 vaccination
Assam conducted a dry run for coronavirus vaccination at various health facilities in 14 districts on Friday, official sources said.
Officials of the UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) were present on the occasion.
The dry run will be held regularly in 30 districts of the state to prepare the medical staff for the actual vaccination process and plug loopholes in the planned system, sources said.
On Friday, the exercise was conducted in Kamrup Metropolitan, Barpeta, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Golaghat, Karimganj, Lakhimpur, Nagaon, Morigaon, Jorhat, Hailakandi, Tinsukia, Karbi Anglong and South Salmara districts.
The first dry run in the state was held over two days from December 28 in Nalbari and Sonitpur districts and it was followed by another in Kamrup Metropolitan district on January two.
The state government has already prepared a list of health workers, including doctors, who will be administered the vaccine in the first stage.
Saudi king receives first dose of a coronavirus vaccine
Saudi King Salman has received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the state news agency SPA said on Friday.
The agency didn't mention any further details.
UK imposes mandatory Covid tests on all incoming travelers
All passengers arriving in the UK will be required to prove they do not have coronavirus, showing a negative test result taken within 72 hours of the start of their journey.
Under new rules announced by the British government, anyone failing to produce the evidence of a negative test will be hit with an immediate fine of 500 pounds ($678). Travelers arriving from countries that are not on the government’s open travel corridor list will be required to isolate at home for 10 days, regardless of their test results.
The measures, set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, will come into force next week for passengers arriving at a British port by plane, boat or train. The plan is aimed at stopping new strains of Covid-19 coming into the UK, such as one identified in South Africa, as the government accelerates the roll-out of vaccines, Shapps said.
“The South African variant is worrying the experts because it may be that the vaccine doesn’t respond in the same way,” Shapps told LBC radio Friday. “If that was the case it would be a tragedy to allow that into the country.”
Entry to England will also be banned to those who have traveled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, the government announced, including Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.
Ministers were criticized for taking too long to impose border restrictions during the first wave of the pandemic last spring. This week British authorities put the country into its third national lockdown as infection rates soared. The death toll from coronavirus now stands at more than 78,000.
Covid-19: 960 cases, 15 deaths, 759 recoveries in Chhattisgarh
With 960 Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths reported on Friday, Chhattisgarh's caseload rose to 2,87,556 and toll to 3,469, a health official said.
The number of people who have recovered reached 2,75,042 after 97 people were discharged from hospitals and 662 patients completed home isolation during the day, leaving the state with 9,045 active cases, he said.
"Raipur district reported 170 new cases, taking its total count to 54,052, including 737 deaths. Durg recorded 99 new cases, Bilaspur 84 and Raigarh 69. Of the 15 fatalities recorded during the day, seven took place on Friday, four on Thursday and four earlier," the official informed.
With 28,795 samples examined on Friday, the total number of tests in Chhattisgarh went up to 37,25,190, he added.
Chhattisgarh's coronavirus figures are as follows: Positive cases 2,87,556, New cases 960, Deaths 3,469, Recovered 2,75,042, Active cases 9,045, tests today 28,795, total tests 37,25,190.
US: Vaccine rollout hits snag as health workers balk at shots
The desperately awaited vaccination drive against the coronavirus in the US is running into resistance from an unlikely quarter: Surprising numbers of health care workers who have seen firsthand the death and misery inflicted by Covid-19 are refusing shots.
It is happening in nursing homes and, to a lesser degree, in hospitals, with employees expressing what experts say are unfounded fears of side effects from vaccines that were developed at record speed.
More than three weeks into the campaign, some places are seeing as much as 80 per cent of the staff holding back.
“I don't think anyone wants to be a guinea pig,” said Dr. Stephen Noble, a 42-year-old cardiothoracic surgeon in Portland, Oregon, who is postponing getting vaccinated.
“At the end of the day, as a man of science, I just want to see what the data show. And give me the full data.” Alarmed by the phenomenon, some administrators have dangled everything from free breakfasts at Waffle House to a raffle for a car to get employees to roll up their sleeves.
Some states have threatened to let other people cut ahead of health care workers in the line for shots.
“It's far too low. It's alarmingly low,” said Neil Pruitt, CEO of PruittHealth, which runs about 100 long-term care homes in the South, where fewer than 3 in 10 workers offered the vaccine so far have accepted it.
Many medical facilities from Florida to Washington state have boasted of near-universal acceptance of the shots, and workers have proudly plastered pictures of themselves on social media receiving the vaccine. Elsewhere, though, the drive has stumbled.
While the federal government has released no data on how many people offered the vaccines have taken them, glimpses of resistance have emerged around the country.
Maharashtra: Doctors at govt hospitals warn of token strike
Medical officers including doctors in 18 state-run hospitals in Maharashtra said on Friday that they would go on a one-day token strike on January 11 if they did not get salary hike as per the 7th pay commission.
The government had assured that the 7th pay commission's recommendation will be implemented but did not fulfill the promise, a doctor from a state-run hospital here said.
Dr Ranjeet Mankeshwar, dean of J J Hospital here, however, warned in a letter on Friday that doctors will face action under the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1979 as well as the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 if they took part in the protest.
Doctors should not resort to agitation amid the coronavirus pandemic, he said, adding that no leave will be granted till January 11.
Jharkhand reports 207 new Covid-19 cases, 188 recoveries
Harsha Vardhan visits Hindustan Biotech plant in Tamil Nadu to inspect vaccine dry run
Two returnees from UK test Covid positive
Two passengers who arrived on a flight from the UK have tested positive for Covid-19. Flight ops b/w India & the United Kingdom resumed today after a week of suspension due to new Covid strain. The first flight carrying 256 passengers arrived in Delhi today from London.
614 new coronavirus cases in MP, nine deaths, 809 recoveries
Madhya Pradesh on Friday recorded 614 new COVID-19 cases, taking the count of infections in the state to 2,47,436. With nine more people succumbing to the viral infection, the death toll rose to 3,691. As many as 809 patients were discharged from hospitals, taking the state's overall recovery count to 2,35,421.
Of new fatalities, two died in Indore and one each in Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Khargone, Morena, Barwani and Damoh districts. Of 614 new cases, Bhopal accounted for 168 and Indore 148. The tally of cases in Indore rose to 56,254, including 902 deaths, while Bhopal's case tally stood at 40,566 with 588 fatalities.
I participated in medical trials for Covaxin: Ecuador's Envoy to India
Coronavirus LIVE: PM Modi to meet CMs over vaccine rollout on Monday
With the Covid-19 vaccination drive expected to commence next week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to chair a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the states. The meeting is likely to be held at 4 p.m. on Monday, said sources.
In the meeting, the Prime Minister is expected to discuss the detailed plans to roll Covid vaccines in all the states, following the Drug Controller General India's (DCGI) approval for the restricted emergency use of two vaccines Serum Institute's Covishield and Bharat Biotech's Covaxin.
The information comes on a day when Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan announced that the government is in the process of ensuring vaccination for all and the drive will start soon.
On January 3, two intramuscular vaccines - Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Oxford-AstraZeneca's Covishield manufactured by Serum Institute of India - were approved for restricted emergency use. Both are two-dose vaccines.
Bankers union demands Covid-19 vaccine shot on priority basis
The All India Bank Employees' Union (AIBEA) on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide the Covid-19 vaccine to bankers on priority basis.
In a letter, AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam requested Modi to include bank employees and officers under the prioritised category along with other Covid-19 warriors for the purpose of vaccination, as they have extended their continuous services to the people during the entire pandemic period.
Even when buses and trains did not ply and planes did not fly, bank branches, right from the metropolitan to the small hamlets, remained open to serve the people, he said, adding that many bank employees and officers became a victim of this infection and have lost their precious lives in discharge of their duties. READ ON...
Maharashtra's Covid-19 case count rises by 3,693, death toll by 73
Maharashtra's coronavirus tally on Friday increased to 19,61,975 with the addition of 3,693 cases. As the virus claimed the lives of 73 patients during the day, the fatality count mounted to 49,970, he said.
A total of 2,890 patients were discharged from hospitals post-treatment on Friday, pushing the recovery count to 18,58,999.
There are 51,838 active cases in the state at present. Mumbai city reported 654 positive cases on Friday, which pushed its overall infection count to 2,97,639, while its death toll rose to 11,173 with 11 fresh fatalities.
UK travellers with Covid-19 symptoms will be isolated: Delhi CM Kejriwal
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday announced that passengers arriving from the UK will be kept at an isolation facility if they are found Covid-19 positive, in a step to protect city residents from the new strain detected in the country.
"To protect Delhiites from exposure to virus from UK, Del govt takes imp decisions. All those arriving from UK, who test positive will be isolated in an isolation facility," Kejriwal announced in a series of tweets, after chairing a cabinet meeting.
He also said that the UK passengers with negative Covid reports will be taken to a quarantine facility for seven days, followed by seven days home quarantine.
Kejriwal's announcement comes a day after his request to the Central government to extend the ban on UK flights till January 31 against the backdrop of new coronavirus strain which so far has infected a total of 82 persons in India.
DGCA issues guidelines to airlines for carrying Covid-19 vaccines packed in dry ice
Aviation regulator DGCA on Friday issued guidelines to all aircraft operators who plan to transport COVID-19 vaccines packed in dry ice to various parts of the country. Dry ice transforms into carbon dioxide gas at temperatures higher than -78 degrees Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure and therefore it is classified as "dangerous goods" by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), it said.
"All operators while engaging in transportation of COVID-19 vaccines packed with dry ice shall establish the maximum quantity of dry ice that can be loaded in a given cargo hold or in the main deck (passenger cabin) when a passenger version is deployed for all cargo operations," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) noted.
The country is preparing for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and the second nationwide mock drill on the drive was conducted on January 8.
319 new Covid-19 cases, 308 recoveries in Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh reported 319 fresh coronavirus cases, 308 recoveries and one death in 24 hours ending 9 am on Friday. The cumulative confirmed positive cases so far touched 8,84,490 after 1.22 crore sample tests, with an overall infection positivity rate of 7.24 per cent, a health department bulletin said.
The total recoveries stood at 8,74,531 and deaths 7,127, leaving 2,832 active cases, it said.
Krishna district reported 46 fresh cases and one death in a day. Chittoor added 44 and Guntur 39 new cases while 10 other districts reported less than 30 fresh cases each. After a lull for several days, wherein it saw daily new COVID-19 cases below 10, Kurnool added 26 anew in 24 hours, pushing its active caseload upwards to 97.
UK approves Moderna vaccine for rollout against Covid-19
The UK's regulatory authority on Friday 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.
The Moderna vaccine works in a similar way to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being offered by the National Health Service (NHS). It requires temperatures of around -20C for shipping -- similar to a normal freezer. In comparison, the Pfizer/BioNTech one requires temperatures closer to -75C, making transport logistics much more difficult.
Bharat Biotech seeks DCGI's nod to conduct trials of nasal Covid-19 vaccine
The Bharat Biotech International Limited has sent a proposal to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for conducting the phase 1 trials of a nasal vaccine against COVID-19, ANI reported on Friday.
"Bharat Biotech sent an application to DCGI for conducting the phase 1 trials of a nasal vaccine against COVID-19. The matter is yet to be taken up," the official said.
A nasal vaccine could save on medical equipment, such as syringes, and save time taken for vaccination. COVID-19 vaccines of Serum Institute of India's 'Covishield' and Bharat Biotech's 'Covaxin' were granted permission for restricted use in an emergency situation by the DCGI on January 3. This comes a day after Bharat Biotech announced the successful completion of volunteer enrolment for phase-3 clinical trials of 'Covaxin.'
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong receives Covid-19 vaccine
Urging Singaporeans to get inoculated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday received his first dose of the vaccine, becoming the first member of the Cabinet to take the jab. Lee, 68, posted a video of himself being injected in the arm at a hospital on his official Facebook page.
"We got vaccinated early to show Singaporeans we are confident that the vaccine is safe and effective," he said in a post accompanying the video.
According to Channel News Asia, Lee received the shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine along with Singapore General Hospital (SGH) staff at the official launch of vaccinations for healthcare workers.
Talking to reporters at SGH, Lee said he was happy to see the start of inoculations for healthcare and frontline workers. "I took the opportunity to have my own jab this morning and now I'm done 30 minutes waited, nothing happened," he said.
First Published: Jan 08 2021 | 7:29 AM IST