Coronavirus news highlights: Covid-19 negative report must for all international passengers arriving in Karnataka, says Air India Express

With 24,712 new Covid-19 cases and 312 deaths in last 24 hours, India's tally reaches 1,01,23,778 and death toll is at 1,46,756. Karnataka announced a night curfew starting Dec 24 till Jan 2, while Rajasthan cities will observe a curfew on Dec 31. Meanwhile, the UK confirmed a second 'more transmissible' coronavirus strain linked to South Africa, raising fears across the world after restrictions were eased in the past couple of months. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
  • 22:35

    13 new cases push Nagaland's Covid-19 tally to 11,890

    Nagaland's Covid-19 caseload rose to 11,890 on Thursday as 13 more people tested positive for the infection, Health Minister S Pangnyu Phom said.

    Of the fresh cases, six were reported from Dimapur, five from Kohima and two from Mokokchung, he said.

    Eighty-three people were cured of the disease in the last 24 hours, pushing the recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state to an all-time high of 95.68 per cent, the official said.

  • 22:08

    3 more UK passengers test positive for Covid-19 in Bengaluru

    Three additional passengers who had flown into the city from the United Kingdom tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday. This increases the number of infected among the fliers to six.

    An official of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) said that the three are residents of Mahadevapura.

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  • 22:07

    Germany reports first case of coronavirus variant spreading in British

    A new variant of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly in Britain has been found in Germany for the first time, the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said on Thursday.

  • 21:41

    Punjab registers 17 more deaths, 373 fresh Covid cases

    Punjab's death toll due to Covid-19 climbed to 5,260 on Thursday as the state recorded 17 more fatalities, while the caseload surged to 1,64,505 with 373 fresh infections, according to a medical bulletin.

    There are 4,812 active cases in the state, the bulletin stated.

    Mohali reported 75 new cases, Jalandhar 57 and Pathankot 41, among other districts.

  • 21:21

    Karnataka Minister defends decision on reopening of schools

    Defending the decision to reopen schools from January 1, Karnataka Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar on Thursday said the issue pertained to the future of the children and not a prestige issue for the government.

    His assertion came on a day when ruling BJP legislator A H Vishwanath came out against the decision to reopen the schools, which have remained shut since the Covid-19 lockdown in March, saying the children should not be put to risk in the pandemic time.

    "I am making it very clear that reopening schools is not a matter of a prestige issue of our government. It's a subject pertaining to the future of the children and our commitment towards them," Kumar told reporters here.

  • 21:11

    UK returnees test Covid-19 positive in Telangana, hospitalised

    Seven people who returned here recently from the UK tested positive for Covid-19 and their swab samples have been sent for screening to ascertain if they carry the new variant of the coronavirus detected there, a senior Telangana Health official said on Thursday.

    The seven have been admitted to hospitals and are being monitored continuously, Public Health Director G Srinivas Rao said. We have found seven persons who returned from the UK during the past two weeks to be positive for the coronavirus.

  • 20:40

    Gujarat records 990 Covid-19 cases, 1,181 recoveries; 8 die

    Gujarat recorded 990 new coronavirus cases, taking it tally to 2,39,195 on Thursday, while eight more patients succumbed to the viral infection, said the state Health Department.

    With the addition of 990 new cases, Gujarat's Covid-19 count reached 2,39,195, while the death toll increased to 4,262, said release by the department.

    Also, 1,181 Covid-19 patients recovered from the infection and discharged from hospitals during the last 24 hours, it said.

  • 20:27

    3,580 new Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, 89 deaths, 3,171 recoveries

    Maharashtra's Covid-19 tally rose to 19,09,951 on Thursday as it recorded 3,580 new cases, a health official said.

    The state reported 89 fatalities during the day which took the death toll to 49,058, he said.

    A total of 3,171 patients were discharged after treatment, taking the tally of recovered people to 18,04,871.

    The number of active patients in the state now is 54,891.

    Mumbai city reported 643 new cases during the day, which pushed its overall case count to 2,89,204, while its death toll rose to 11,045 with 12 more fatalities being reported.

  • 20:09

    Another new coronavirus variant found in Nigeria, says Africa CDC

    Another new variant of the novel coronavirus seems to have emerged in Nigeria, the head of Africa's disease control body said on Thursday, cautioning more investigation was needed.

    The news comes after Britain and South Africa both reported new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that appear to be more contagious, leading to new travel restrictions and turmoil in markets.

    "It's a separate lineage from the UK and the South African lineages," John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told an online news conference from Addis Ababa.

  • 19:49

    World readies for lockdown Christmas

    Coronavirus misery hung over Christmas preparations worldwide on Thursday, with countless millions forced to cancel plans or limit festivities under fresh virus lockdowns.

    After a grinding pandemic year that has seen more than 1.7 million people die from Covid-19, a slew of new outbreaks are a stark reminder that despite emergency vaccine roll-outs, life is unlikely to return to normal quickly.

  • 19:39

    Inhumane to reserve ICU beds in pvt hospitals for Covid patients when cases going down: HC

    The Delhi High Court on Thursday said it was "inhumane" to keep thousands of ICU beds reserved in private hospitals for Covid-19 patients when the positivity rate of the infection and number of coronavirus cases was going down in the national capital.

    Justice Navin Chawla said that in the prevailing situation today keeping so many ICU beds reserved for Covid-19 patients "cannot be sustained" and if in future there was an increase in Covid-19 cases, then the reservations can be brought back.

  • 19:22

    Karnataka withdraws night curfew order

    In a U-turn, the Karnataka government on Thursday withdrew its night curfew order, hours before it was to comment into effect.

    The decision to impose night curfew for nine days from 11 pm to 5 am starting from Thursday was taken on Wednesday in line with the Centre's advice, amid concerns over a new Covid-19 variant spreading in the UK.

    In a statement, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said: "In view of the public opinion that there was no need for night curfew, the decision was reviewed and after consulting with cabinet colleagues and senior officials it has been decided to withdraw the night curfew." Yediyurappa had initially

  • 19:21

    Punjab: 216 people who arrived from UK to be institutionally quarantined

    As many as 216 people who arrived here from the UK in a December 22 flight will be institutionally quarantined as they might have come in contact with seven of their fellow passengers and a crew member who tested Covid-19 positive on arrival, health officials said on Thursday.

    They are from different places, including Amritsar, and are being taken from their homes to institutional quarantine centres, they said.

  • 19:21

    AP's Covid-19 caseload crosses 8.80 lakh; Active cases 3,862

    The total Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh crossed the 8.80 lakh mark on Thursday with 357 more people testing positive for the infection.

    After a sum of 1.14 crore sample tests, 8,80,075 turned positive for coronavirus at an overall positivity rate of 7.67 per cent, the latest government bulletin said. The total recoveries increased to 8,69,124 as 355 patients got cured in 24 hours ending 9 am on Thursday.

  • 19:20

    90 new coronavirus cases reported in Goa

    Goa's coronavirus caseload reached 50,454 with 90 new infections coming to light on Thursday, a health department official said.

    One patient died, taking the death toll to 728, he added.

    The number of recovered patients in the state rose to 48,725 with 88 patients getting discharged from hospitals on Thursday.

  • 18:07
  • 17:56

    India's first oldest Covid-19 survivor passes away

    The country's first oldest Covid-19 survivor Thomas Abraham died of age-related ailments on Thursday, his family said here. The 93-year-old died in Ranni village in the district and the funeral would be held at a church at Aithala on Friday.

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  • 17:25

    Denmark finds 33 cases of new variant of coronavirus

    Denmark has identified 33 infections with the new variant of the coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly in parts of Britain, according to authorities.

    The State Serum Institute (SSI), Denmark's infectious disease authority, said in a report published on Wednesday that the cases had been found in Covid-19 tests carried out between Nov. 14 and Dec. 14.

  • 17:05

    Asian migrant workers locked up, dumped as coronavirus curbs ease

    Migrant workers in Asia are being locked up and abandoned by employers even as countries ease coronavirus curbs, say human rights groups, which are calling for better housing and changes to visa laws.

    The warning came after more than a dozen workers from Myanmar were dumped by the roadside in Thailand this week following a ban on the movement of migrant workers in and out of certain areas because of a Covid-19 outbreak.

  • 16:46

    China will suspend flights to and from the UK

    China will suspend flights to and from the UK, joining a growing list of countries who have instituted travel bans, in light of a new variant of the coronavirus, its Foreign Ministry announced Thursday.

    It did not offer details on when flights would stop. On Tuesday, the Chinese Visa Application Service Centre in London said it will suspend its operation until further notice.

    Non-Chinese passport holders from the UK were already banned from travelling to China in November.

  • 16:35

    UK-France border to stay open at Christmas to clear truck logjam

    Rail and sea links between the UK and France will remain open over Christmas to clear the backlog of thousands of trucks stranded by a new strain of coronavirus, Britain said Thursday.

    Thousands of European truckers on Wednesday spent a fourth night sleeping in the cabs of their vehicles, which are stuck close to the major cross-Channel port of Dover while the drivers wait to pass a Covid test, as required by France for travel.

  • 16:14

    11 UK returnees in Dec have tested Covid-19 positive in Goa: Rane

    Eleven passengers among those who arrived in Goa from the UK after December 9 have tested positive for Covid-19 so far, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Thursday, amid concerns over detection of a new coronavirus variant in Britain.

    Talking to PTI, Rane also said that RT-PCR testing of 979 passengers, who came to Goa from the UK after December 9, is currently going on.

  • 16:00

    African nation Eritrea reports first Covid-19 death

    Eritrea has reported its first death from Covid-19, its information ministry said.

    The ministry said in a statement on its website late on Wednesday its total confirmed cases of the coronavirus stood at 877, while recoveries were 599.

  • 15:54

    New Covid-19 strain: Adityanath asks authorities to remain vigilant

    Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday directed authorities to maintain extra vigil especially at airports amid concerns over a new strain of coronavirus spreading in the UK.

    Adityanath held a high level meeting with senior officials and directed that arrangements be made for proper treatment of Covid-19 patients, an official release issued here said.

  • 15:36

    rance's Macron showing no more Covid-19 symptoms, Elysee says

    French President Emmanuel Macron is showing no more symptoms of Covid-19, the Elysee office said on Thursday.

    Macron can now end his quarantine after he self-isolated for seven days at the presidential retreat of La Lanterne, close to the Palace of Versailles, the office said in a statement.

  • 15:14

    Russia sets records for coronavirus cases, deaths

    Russia on Thursday registered record numbers for daily infections and deaths from the coronavirus, as the country avoids reimposing a nationwide lockdown.

    Health officials reported 29,935 new infections, bringing the country's caseload to 2,963,688 -- the fourth-highest in the world.

    They also registered 635 deaths, increasing total fatalities to 53,096 since the beginning of the pandemic.

    Russia's death rate is much lower than that of other badly hit countries, raising concerns that authorities could be downplaying the scale of the outbreak.

  • 14:26

    New coronavirus strain: Uttar Pradesh traces UK returnees, faces switched-off phones hurdle

    The Uttar Pradesh Health Department is facing an uphill task of connecting to those who have recently returned from the UK, where a new variant of the coronavirus has been detected, as many of them have switched off their mobile phones.

    Read more here

  • 14:12

    Delhi govt all set to receive, store, give Covid-19 vaccine to priority category persons: CM Arvind Kejriwal

    "There are a total of 51 lakh priority category persons in Delhi -- three lakh health workers, six lakh frontline workers, and 42 lakh of those aged above 50 and those below 50 but having co-morbidities," the chief minister said at a virtual press briefing.

    Read more here

  • 13:58

    An Anglo-Indian woman, who reached Delhi from the UK on Dec 21, tested positive for Covid-19. She fled an isolation centre in Delhi and reached Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh by a train. Now she has been traced and placed under isolation in Rajahmundry: Health Department officials. (ANI)

  • 13:30

    We would need 1.02 crore doses of vaccine for the first phase of vaccination since each person will get two doses. Currently, we have the capacity to store 74 lakh doses which will be increased to 1.15 crore within one week: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (ANI).

  • 13:29

    Each person in priority category being registered for Covid-19 vaccine; staff, officials for vaccination identified, trained: Delhi CM Kejriwal. (PTI)

  • 13:26

    There are 51 lakh priority category persons for Covid-19 vaccine in Delhi, says CM Arvind Kejriwal. (PTI)

  • 13:10
  • 13:09

    Mini antibodies against Covid-19 isolated from llama may prevent infection

    The researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US said at least one of these nanobodies, called NIH-CoVnb-112, could prevent infections and detect virus particles by grabbing hold of the spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19.

    Read more here

  • 12:52

    Goa health officials begin efforts to locate UK, UAE arrivals since December 9

    In the wake of detection of a new Covid-19 variant in the UK, Goa health authorities are trying to track down 602 people who arrived in the state from Britain and the UAE since December 9, an official said on Thursday.

    Read more here

  • 12:04

    Yesterday there were 871 positive cases in Delhi. For the last three days, less than 1,000 cases have surfaced per day. The infection rate has been below 2% for a few days. The situation seems to be mellow for now: Satyendar Jain, Delhi Health Minister.

  • 11:47

    Nagpur man with UK travel history tests positive for Covid-19

    A 28-year-old man who recently returned from the UK has tested positive for coronavirus at Nagpur in Maharashtra, an official said on Thursday.

    Read more here

  • 10:50

    Politicians and vaccines: Set an example or cut in line?

    President-elect Joe Biden got vaccinated, too, as did Vice President Mike Pence. Both rolled up their sleeves live on television to receive their shots.

    Read more here

  • 10:15

    Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal to chair a meeting of the health minister and health secretary today to review preparation for Covid-19 vaccination.

  • 09:37

    India records 24,712 new COVID-19 cases, 29,791 recoveries, and 312 deaths in the last 24 hours, as per Union Health Ministry.

  • 09:18

    The virus that stole most of 2020 now steals Christmas, too

    Across Italy and beyond, people who have lost loved ones face an empty chair or an agonizing void this holiday season. That is hard enough. But a surge in infections, a new fast-spreading variant of the virus and mounting deaths have led authorities to shut down Christmas, too. For many, home for the holidays has taken on an ominous meaning: There is nowhere else to go.

    Read more here

  • 09:10

    Mizoram reported 15 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, as per the state government.

  • 09:06

    Pfizer seals deal with US for 100 million more vaccine doses

    The agreement, along with orders for another vaccine made by Moderna, means the United States has now secured commitments for enough doses to vaccinate all but about 60 million of the roughly 260 million adult Americans who are eligible to be inoculated.

    Read more here

  • 09:06

    Having Covid-19 may protect against reinfection: Study

    Two new studies give encouraging evidence that having Covid-19 may offer some protection against future infections. Researchers found that people who made antibodies to the coronavirus were much less likely to test positive again for up to six months and maybe longer.

    Read more here

  • 09:05

    Millions of US vaccine doses sit on ice, putting 2020 goal in doubt

    As of Wednesday morning, only 1 million shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine had been given, about one-third of the first shipment sent last week. Over 9.5 million doses of vaccines, including Moderna's, have now been sent to states, according to the USCenters for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Read more here

  • 08:53

    A 28-year-old male Covid-19 positive patient with travel history to United Kingdom has been admitted to a separate ward of Government Medical College, Nagpur. His swab sample has been sent to Pune for further test: Nagpur Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B.

  • 08:51

    Europe eases UK travel bans; US passes one million coronavirus vaccinations

    Countries in Europe on Wednesday began easing travel bans on Britain put in place to contain a new strain of Covid-19 that UK officials believe spreads faster, as the US said it had now vaccinated one million people.

    Read more here

  • 08:50

    How confident are you about your coronavirus test?

    Since the start of the pandemic, the Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency green lights to more than 200 types of coronavirus tests, each with its own curiosities and quirks. Yet we tend to talk about all of them in the same binary way, with identical terms: positive, negative, true, false.

    Read more here

  • 08:09

    Kerala reported 6,169 new Covid-19 cases today. The number of active cases now at 62,802 and so far 6,55,644 patients have recovered from the disease: Govt of Kerala.

  • 08:04

    Night curfew in some Rajasthan cities on Dec 31

    The Rajasthan government has imposed a night curfew on December 31 in all cities having a population of over one lakh.

    Read more here

  • 07:20

    Sinovac's Covid-19 vaccine over 50% effective in Brazil tests

    Sinovac Biotech's vaccine against Covid-19 is over 50% effective in late-stage trials, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported on Wednesday, adding that the Chinese company had asked the Brazilian institute running tests to wait up to 15 days before publishing their full results.

    Read more here

  • 07:19

    Covid-19: US could see return to normal by next summer, says Dr Anthony Fauci

    In an interview with WebMD that was posted Wednesday, the infectious disease official suggested people could host weddings as early as June or July.

    Read more here

  • 07:18

    New Covid-19 variant first found in UK present in Ireland

    Irish health chiefs believe a new variant of Covid-19 found in neighbouring Britain is present in Ireland, but not solely responsible for a rapid spread of the disease that will require restrictions beyond those announced just 24 hours ago.

    Read more here

  • 07:17

    Bengaluru police ready to implement Covid-19 night curfew

    The Bengaluru City Police (BCP) is ready to implement the night-time curfew from December 24 and will stop anyone commuting without valid reasons like catching a flight, train or bus with prior reservations.

    Read more here

  • 07:16

    UK confirms second 'more transmissible' coronavirus variant linked to South Africa

    South Africa's health department said last week that a new genetic mutation of the virus had been discovered and might be responsible for a recent surge in infections there.

    Read more here