Covid LIVE: Increase RAT, encourage use of home test kits, govt to states

Any individual with cough, headache, sore throat, breathlessness, body ache, the recent loss of taste or smell, fatigue, and diarrhea should be considered as a suspect case of Covid, says Centre

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A BMC health worker collects swab sample of an outstation passenger for COVID-19 test, at Dadar railway station, in Mumbai (Photo: PTI)

Live news updates: There government has "absolutely no proposal" to extend the deadline for filing income tax returns ending on Friday, said a senior civil servant. Returns until this evening are more than those filed in the previous year, said Revenue Secretary Tarun Bajaj.

Omicron has spread to 23 Indian states and 270 people have been infected with the new coronavirus strain. India recorded 16,764 new cases of Covid-19 and 220 deaths from the disease overnight, said the health ministry on Friday.

Serum Institute Of India has applied to the country's drug regulator and the health ministry for full approval of its COVID-19 vaccine Covishield, the company's chief executive said on Friday.

Serum Institute, which produces AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine under the brand name Covishield, has supplied more than 1.25 billion doses of the shot in India. The Indian government now has enough data to consider a full market authorisation, Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla said on Twitter.

10:33 PM

Noida's active COVID-19 cases nearing 200, Ghaziabad crosses 100-mark

Gautam Buddh Nagar on Friday logged 61 new COVID-19 infections highest in Uttar Pradesh, pushing the number of active cases in the district to 190, official data showed.
Ghaziabad, adjoining Gautam Buddh Nagar, also recorded 34 new cases that pushed its tally of active infections to 118, according to the data shared by the state's health department for a 24-hour period.
Gautam Buddh Nagar currently has the highest number of active cases in UP followed by Lucknow (152) and Ghaziabad, the statistics showed.
On Friday, Uttar Pradesh had 862 active cases of COVID-19, up from 645 on Thursday and 473 on Wednesday, according to the official figures.
So far, Gautam Buddh Nagar has recorded 468 deaths due to Covid, while Ghaziabad has logged 461 such fatalities.
COVID-19 cases had reduced to single digit figures both in Gautam Buddh Nagar as well as Ghaziabad but surged again this month amid fears of a third wave of the pandemic, as night curfews were also brought back in UP from December 25.
10:13 PM

55 per cent of 282 samples of Covid patients from Mumbai test positive for Omicron

As much as 55 per cent out of 282 samples of coronavirus patients from Mumbai, sent for genome sequencing, have tested positive for the Omicron variant, the civic body said on Friday. This was the seventh batch of samples sent to a lab at the Kasturba Hospital of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the National Institute of Virology, Pune, a BMC release said.
Out of 282 samples, 156 (55 per cent) were found to be of Omicron variant, 89 (32 per cent) of Delta Derivative and 37 (13 per cent) of Delta variant.
Only one of these patients, a senior citizen infected with the Delta Derivative, died, the BMC said. He also suffered from diabetes and hypertension and had taken only the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, it added. Further, only 17 of these 282 patients needed hospitalization. Nine of the hospitalized patients had Omicron infection.
9:50 PM

Over 145 crore Covid vaccine doses administered in India: Govt

India's COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 145 crore on Friday with more than 52 lakh vaccine doses being administered in the day, the Union health ministry said.
The daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late tonight, it said.
In a tweet, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "Ending the year on a great note by crossing the milestone of 145 crore #COVID19 vaccinations. My gratitude to our doctors, scientists, healthcare & frontline workers for displaying immense grit, determination & resolve in the challenging 2021 year."
9:16 PM

Tamil Nadu records sharp rise in fresh cases of Omicron; tally at 120

Tamil Nadu on Friday reported a surge in new cases of Omicron with 76 cases being infected with the new variant of the coronavirus. With this, the total infected was 120 thereby breaching the triple digit-mark in the State, the Health Department said.
Till Thursday, the total cases stood at 46.
According to a bulletin here, the department received 115 results of the 117 samples which were sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, after they were detected with 'S' gene drop variant.
'S' gene drop detection in a sample is believed that the person might be infected with Omicron.
9:12 PM

Goa sees 212 Covid cases; active tally crosses 1000-mark

The COVID-19 tally in Goa rose for the third consecutive day on Friday by 212 cases to reach 1,80,872, while the death of one patient took the toll to 3,522, an official said.
So far, 1,76,304 people have been discharged post recovery, including 21 on Friday, leaving the state with an active tally of 1,046, he said.
With 3,058 samples being examined in the last 24 hours, the number of tests in Goa went up to 16,26,141, he added.
Goa's COVID-19 figures: Positive cases 1,80,872, new cases 212, death toll 3522, discharged 176304, active cases 1046, samples tested till date 16,26,141.
9:05 PM

123 fresh Covid cases in Jammu and Kashmir in a day

Jammu and Kashmir on Friday recorded 123 fresh COVID-19 cases that took its tally to 3,41,290, while two more fatalities pushed the death toll to 4,528, officials said.
Of the fresh cases, 58 were reported from the Jammu division and 65 from the Kashmir division of the union territory, they said.
Srinagar district recorded the highest number of fresh cases at 35, followed by 29 in Jammu district.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Jammu and Kashmir stands at 1,337. So far, 3,35,425 patients have recovered from the viral disease, the officials said.
There are 50 mucormycosis (black fungus) cases in the union territory. No fresh case has been reported since last evening, they said.
8:54 PM

Tamil Nadu govt announces new restrictions effective till Jan 31

8:51 PM

Rahul to lead India in ODIs vs South Africa

8:48 PM

GST evasion of Rs 40.5 cr by WazirX: GST Mumbai East Commissionerate

8:23 PM

West Bengal records 3,451 fresh COVID cases

7:32 PM

Increase rapid antigen tests, encourage use of home test kits, govt tells states

7:27 PM

Maharashtra reports 8,067 fresh COVID cases

7:16 PM

Interest rates on small savings schemes unchanged for fourth quarter

The government on Friday kept interest rates on small savings schemes, including NSC and PPF, unchanged for the fourth quarter of 2021-22 amid rising cases of the more contagious coronavirus variant Omicron and elevated level of inflation. The decision also comes ahead of assembly elections in five states -- Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Goa. 
6:57 PM

Competition Commission orders probe of Apple business in India

Competition Commission of India, the country’s antitrust regulator, has ordered an investigation into iPhone maker Apple’s business practices. The commission is of initial view that Apple "has violated" the country's antitrust law, said Reuters.
6:26 PM

India's current account moves to deficit

India's current account balance moved back into deficit in the three months from July to September, mainly due to the widening of the trade deficit, the Reserve Bank of India said Friday. The current account deficit stood at $9.6 billion or 1.3% of GDP in the second quarter of fiscal year 2021/22 compared with a surplus of $15.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago.
5:40 PM

Karnataka's Omicron count rises to 66

Twenty-three more cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been detected in Karnataka, State's Health Minister K Sudhakar said on Friday. This takes the State's tally to 66, said PTI.
5:39 PM

Kerala's Omicron cases count rise to 107

Kerala's Omicron cases count crossed the 100-mark on Friday when it recorded 44 infections, the highest single-day rise of the new variant of Covid-19. Health Minister Veena George said the state has 107 cases of Omicron infections, according to PTI.
5:18 PM

Nov infrastructure output growth slows to 3.1%

India's infrastructure output growth in November slowed to 3.1 per cent year-on-year, dragged down by reduced growth in electricity and steel output, from upwardly revised 8.4 per cent in the previous month, government data showed on Friday. Infrastructure output, which comprises eight sectors including coal, crude oil and electricity and accounts for nearly 40 per cent of industrial output, rose by 13.7 per cent year-on-year over the April-November period, the data showed.
5:15 PM

Centre's fiscal deficit touches 46.2% of annual target till Nov-end

The central government's fiscal deficit at the end of November worked out to be 46.2 per cent of the annual budget target for the financial year 2021-22 due to an improvement in the revenue collection, according to data released Friday. The deficit figures in the current financial year till November appear much better than the previous financial year when it had soared to 135.1 per cent of the estimates mainly on account of a jump in expenditure to deal with the pandemic, said PTI.
5:10 PM

Industries affected when workers migrate: T Kannan

Industrial labour productivity is falling as the workers migrate in the pandemic, said T Kannan, chairman of Thiagarajar Group of Companies, in Chennai. Training new workers jobs is 'time consuming', he said on Thursday at a meeting of the Employers' Federation of South India, according to PTI.

First Published: Dec 31 2021 | 07:31 AM IST

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