Coronavirus news highlights: India's Covid-19 tally crosses 77 lakh; toll climbs to 116,550

India's Covid-19 tally on Wednesday crossed 77 lakh cases and the country's death toll climbed to 116,550. High caseload states like Maharashtra and Karnataka saw a dip in their daily cases while West Bengal saw its highest spike. The country's recovery rate has now climbed to 88.81 per cent while the case fatality rate has dropped to 1.51 per cent. Stay tuned for the latest updates.
  • 00:14

    Volunteer in Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trial has died, says Brazil health authority

    The Federal University of Sao Paulo, which is helping coordinate phase 3 clinical trials in Brazil, separately said that the volunteer was Brazilian.

    Read more here.

    • 22:24

      Mumbai reported 1,609 new coronavirus case and 48 deaths today, taking total cases to 2,45,871 including 2,15,269 recoveries and 9,869 deaths. Number of active cases in the city stands at 19,245: BMC

    • 22:22

      Highest single-day spike of 4,069 new Covid-19 cases takes tally in West Bengal to 3,33,126; death toll rises to 6,244 with 64 fresh fatalities: Health Department

      People gather in a market to shop ahead of the Hindu festival 'Durga Puja' inKolkata. Credit: AFP Photo

    • 20:23

      Karnataka reported 5,872 new Covid-19 cases (2,717 cases in Bengaluru), 9,289 discharges and 88 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking active cases to 1,00,440, discharges to 67,1618 and death toll to 10,696: State Health Department

    • 20:21

      Maharashtra reports 8,142 new Covid-19 cases, 180 deaths and 23,371 discharges in the last 24 hours, as per the state's Public Health Department. Total cases in the state rise to 16,17,658, including 42,633 deaths and 14,15,679 recovered patients.

      People wearing protective masks wait at a bus stop amidst the spread of the coronavirus diseaseinMumbai, India, October 20, 2020. Credit: Reuters

    • 19:10

      Gujarat reports 1,137 new COVID-19 cases, 9 deaths & 1,180 discharges, taking total cases to 1,62,985, including 1,45,107 recoveries & 3,663 deaths. Number of active cases stands at 14,215: State Health Department

    • 19:08

      3,746 fresh Covid-19 cases in Andhra Pradesh take state's infection tally to 7,93,299; death toll rises to 6,508 with 27 more fatalities: Health Department's bulletin

      A health worker (R) wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) collects a swab sample from a resident for aCovid-19 coronavirus test at a temporary collection centre in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad.Credit: AFP Photo

    • 17:58

      Calcutta HC eases order declaring Durga Puja pandals 'no-entry zones' in West Bengal

      The move comes following a review petition filed by prominent puja organisers in Kolkata on Tuesday that cited “practical problems” in executing the court’s order.

      Read more here.

    • 17:56

      Coronavirus unlikely to be eradicated, says British scientist

      "We are going to have to live with this virus forevermore. There is very little chance that it's going to become eradicated," John Edmunds, a member of Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told lawmakers.

      Read more here.

    • 17:55

      Women wearing protective face mask commute in a suburban train after authorities resumed the train services for women passengers during non-peak hours, amidst the coronavirus disease outbreak, in Mumbai, India, October 21, 2020. Credit: Reuters

    • 17:53

      Shops, retail outlets in Tamil Nadu allowed to function till 10 pm

      Barring shops located in full containment zones, all others could function up to10 pm by following the Standard Operating Procedure to prevent the spread of Covid-19, Palaniswami said in an official release on Wednesday.

      Read more here

    • 17:50

      Over 2,000 Covid-19 patients benefited from plasma therapy in Delhi, says Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain

      At a press conference, Jain also said these patients received convalescent plasma through the dedicated plasma banks of the city government, besides other people getting it directly from donors.

      Read more here

    • 16:02

      Covid-19 puts a spotlight on food industry’s role in obesity

      The crackdown has given investors in the $3 trillion global food and drink sector reason for pause. As the pandemic throws a spotlight on the importance of a healthy diet, governments beyond the U.K. may choose to impose more anti-obesity measures, further shifting the way makers of sodas, ­breakfast cereals, chocolate bars, and ready-to-eat meals do business.

      Read more here

    • 16:00

    • 15:57

      Karnataka outnumbered Maharashtra in new recovered cases with more than 8,500 new recoveries

    • 15:55

      Economy will start looking up as Covid-19 cases ease. Have asked departments to push expenditure which has a multiplier effect. Cabinet approval for the privatisation of public sector policy should happen soon, says Secretary, Department of Economics

    • 14:55

      Irish Covid-19 'test and trace' system overwhelmed by case surge

      Ireland's system for tracing contacts of Covid-19 cases has been overwhelmed by a surge in cases forcing the health service in recent days to advise infected individuals to identify their own close contacts and tell them to get tested, officials said.

      The government earlier this year hired hundreds of people to quickly contact those who test positive, identify people they had close contact with in the preceding days, and tell those people to self-isolate and get tested.

    • 14:37

      Bulgarian president tests negative for Covid-19

      Bulgarian President Rumen Radev's has tested negative a second time for the coronavirus and expects his compulsory self-isolation to be lifted, his office said on Wednesday.

      The 57-year-old former military pilot halted a visit to Estonia to return home on Tuesday after contact last week with a military officer who later tested positive.

    • 14:27

      Indonesia reports 4,267 new coronavirus infections, 123 deaths

      Indonesia reported 4,267 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, taking the total to 373,109, data from the country's Covid-19 task force showed.

      It also confirmed 123 new deaths, taking total Covid-19 fatalities to 12,857. The number of infections and deaths are the most in the Southeast Asia region.

    • 14:21

      Poland's total coronavirus cases top 200,000

      Poland's total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has doubled in less than three weeks and now exceeds 200,000, the health ministry said, as it announced a new daily record of 10,040 new cases.

      Poland has now recorded 202,579 cases and 3,851 deaths, 130 of those reported on Wednesday. It passed 100,000 infections on Oct. 4.

    • 14:14

      Almost 80% of Tokyo Games volunteers concerned about Covid-19: survey

      Almost 80% of volunteers for next year's rearranged Summer Olympics are concerned about the spread of the novel coronavirus, a Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) survey showed.

      The Games were postponed until 2021 because of the pandemic and the survey of over 13,000 volunteers found almost half were also worried about the impact the delay will have "on the level of enthusiasm".

    • 14:14

      Czech Deputy Prime Minister Hamacek tests positive for Covid-19

      Czech Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamacek, who is also the interior minister, has tested positive for Covid-19, he confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday. Hamacek, 41, is chief of the Social Democratic Party, junior partner in the ruling coalition, and is also head of the crisis committee coordinating logistical efforts to counter the pandemic.

    • 13:55

      Philippines reports 1,509 new coronavirus cases, 60 more deaths

      The Philippine health ministry on Wednesday confirmed 1,509 new coronavirus infections, its lowest daily increase in cases in more than six weeks.

      In a bulletin, the ministry said there were 60 additional Covid-19 deaths confirmed. Total cases have risen to 362,243 while deaths have reached 6,747.

    • 13:37

      Odisha reports 1,931 new Covid-19 cases, 13 more fatalities

      Odisha on Wednesday reported 1,931 new Covid-19 cases, which took the tally in the coastal state to 2,74,181, while 13 fresh fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,181, a health department official said.

      Of the new cases, 1,120 were reported from various quarantine centres and 811 people detected during contact tracing, he said.

    • 13:19

      Russia records 15,700 new coronavirus cases, hits daily record high of 317 deaths

      Russia recorded 15,700 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, as well as a daily record high of 317 deaths from the highly-contagious virus.

      Since the start of the pandemic, the country of about 145 million people has recorded 1,447,335 infections and 24,952 deaths, the authorities said.

    • 12:59

      Covid-19 antibody treatments will be in short supply

      Nearly two weeks ago, President Donald Trump told Americans that they would soon be getting an antibody treatment that he had promoted, without evidence, as a “cure” for the coronavirus. This weekend, as the country braced for another major wave of coronavirus infections, Trump’s health secretary promised such therapies were just around the corner.

      Read more here

    • 12:54

      Three U-19 Bangladesh cricketers test positive for Covid-19

      Three Bangladesh U-19 national team cricketers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, while 15 others are symptomatic, according to a newspaper report.

      In a report published in Dhaka-based "The Business Standard", Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) game development manager AEM Kawser was quoted as saying that all the players were part of the training camp being held at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) as a part of Junior Asia Cup preparations, a tournament which now stands cancelled.

    • 12:47

      French lower house speaker backs postponing regional elections due to Covid-19

      The head of the French lower house of parliament said on Wednesday he was in favour of postponing regional French elections slated for March 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

      "It would be wise to postpone them," Richard Ferrand told BFM television.

    • 12:21

      UK on cusp of raising Covid-19 tier in South Yorkshire

      The British government is "on the cusp" of agreeing a deal with local leaders in Sheffield and South Yorkshire that will see the Covid-19 tier in the region raised to the highest level, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky News on Wednesday.

      "We have had very successful conversations (...) with the leaders of South Yorkshire," he said. "Again there's a serious situation there."

    • 12:17

      Three people succumb to coronavirus in Puducherry, toll rises to 580

      Three people, including a 78- year old woman, died of Covid-19 on Wednesday, taking the toll to 580 in the union territory. In the last 24 hours ending 10 am today, 175 new cases were identified at the end of examination of 4,033 samples, raising the overall cases to 33,622.

    • 12:09
    • 11:57

      Australia reports rare case of coronavirus reinfection

      Australian authorities say they're treating a Covid-19 case in the city of Melbourne as a rare reinfection.

      The only coronavirus case reported in the former hot spot of Victoria state on Tuesday had also tested positive to Covid-19 in July.

      Victoria Premier Dan Andrews said Wednesday an expert panel had decided to classify the case as a reinfection rather than shedding viral remnants of the July infection.

    • 11:47

      Five South Koreans die after getting flu shots, sparking vaccine fears

      Five people have died after getting flu shots in South Korea in the past week, authorities said, raising concerns over the vaccine's safety just as the seasonal inoculation programme is expanded to head off potential Covid-19 complications.

      Authorities said there was no reason to believe the deaths were linked to the vaccine but an investigation, including post mortems, was underway.

    • 11:29

      Czech Republic reports 11,984 new coronavirus cases, highest daily tally

      The Czech Republic reported 11,984 new cases of coronavirus for Oct. 20, the highest daily tally on record, as the country is struggling with a surge in recent weeks.

      The number of people who died of the Covid-19 disease rose to 1,619 from 1,513 over the past 24 hours in the country of 10.7 million, Health Ministry data showed on Wednesda

    • 11:20

      Quarantined fishermen drive New Zealand coronavirus spike

      A coronavirus outbreak among hundreds of Russian and Ukrainian fishermen flown to New Zealand to bolster its struggling deep-sea fishing industry has prompted that country's largest daily increase in infections in months, authorities said Wednesday.

      Over 230 fishermen were flown in from Moscow last week, with 18 of the crew members then testing positive for Covid-19 while in quarantine, New Zealand's director-general of health Ashley Bloomfield said.

    • 11:05

      Covid-19 cases on oxygen support (in ICUs, through ventilators & Oxygen supported beds) have shown a significant decrease since the last week of Sept: Ministry of Health

    • 10:55

      Pakistan's Covid-19 mortality rate increases by 140 per cent; minister warns against ignoring guidelines

      Pakistan's Covid-19 mortality rate has increased by 140 per cent compared to past few weeks as people are collectively committing a "blunder" by recklessly ignoring the guidelines issued to contain the spread of the disease, a senior minister has said, warning that such behaviour could result in loss of both lives and livelihoods.

      At least 19 people died of coronavirus in Pakistan in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 6,692

    • 10:46

      TMC starts virtual yoga classes for Covid-19 patients

      The Thane Municipal Corporation has started virtual yoga classes for patients at a civic-run Covid-19 hospital in the city with an aim to ensure their speedy recovery.

      Mayor Naresh Mhaske inaugurated the virtual yoga classes at the hospital located in Balkum area here in Maharashtra on Wednesday.

      "Since the coronavirus infection also causes breathing issues, the introduction of yoga classes will help in the speedy recovery of patients," he said.

    • 10:29

      Jharkhand reports 542 new Covid-19 cases, seven fresh fatalities

      Jharkhand's Covid-19 tally rose to 97,414 as 542 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Wednesday.

      Seven more patients succumbed to the disease, pushing the state's coronavirus death toll to 849, he said.

      Of the fresh fatalities, two were reported from Ranchi and one each from East Singhbhum, Bokaro, Saraikela, Khunti and Dhanbad, the official said.

    • 10:21

      1,579 new Covid-19 cases, 5 deaths in Telangana

      Telangana registered 1,579 fresh coronavirus cases taking the infection count to 2.26 lakh while five more fatalities pushed the toll to 1,287.

      Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 256, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri 135 and Khammam 106, a government bulletin said on Wednesday providing data as of 8 PM on October 20.

    • 10:05

      Bayern forward Serge Gnabry tests positive for coronavirus

      Bayern Munich forward Serge Gnabry has tested positive for the coronavirus, and more tests for his teammates were planned Wednesday morning before the defending champion's opening game of the Champions League.

      The club said in a brief statement on Tuesday that the 25-year-old Gnabry is "doing well" and is in quarantine at home. He is Bayern's first player to test positive for Covid-19.

    • 09:53

      Eiffel Tower at night during the curfew in Paris, after coronavirus cases surged in what has once again become one of Europe's major hotpot

      AFP Photo

    • 09:50

      India to roll out quick and cheap coronavirus paper test

      fast and cheap paper-based coronavirus test will soon be available across India, with scientists hopeful it will help turn the tide on the pandemic in one of the world's worst-hit nations.

      India has recorded more than 7.5 million infections, second only to the United States, and the outbreak has spread from densely packed megacities like Mumbai to rural communities with limited medical services.

    • 09:35

      India reports 54,044 new Covid-19 cases, tally tops 76.5 lakh

    • 09:23

      China's Sinovac vaccine to be included in Brazil's immunization program

      The Brazilian government will include China's Sinovac vaccine against Covid-19 in its national immunization program, state governors said on Tuesday after a meeting with the country's health minister, in addition to one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

      This means the experimental Chinese vaccine called Coronavac, which Brazil's largest state of Sao Paulo had hoped to provide to its residents, may also be used to vaccinate Brazilians elsewhere, a major success for Sinovac in a nation of 230 million people

      Read more here

    • 09:03

      Maharashtra govt caps prices of face masks

      The Maharashtra government has capped the prices of N-95, double and triple layer masks for suppliers and private hospitals in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, state health minister Rajesh Tope has said.

      Wearing mask in public places is mandatory for all citizens as part of the government's guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus infection.

    • 08:48

      Covid-19 speeds labour shift from humans to robots

      Robots will destroy 85 million jobs at mid-sized to large businesses over the next five years as the Covid-19 pandemic accelerates changes in the workplace likely to exaggerate inequalities, a World Economic Forum (WEF) study has found.

      Surveys of nearly 300 global companies found four out of five business executives were accelerating plans to digitise work and deploy new technologies, undoing employment gains made since the financial crisis of 2007-8.

      Read more here

    • 08:41

      Mexico warns of coronavirus rebound from big holiday crowds

      Mexico is doubling down on its public health message to avoid big crowds in order to avert a second wave of coronavirus infections as annual festivities approach, including the Day of the Dead, which traditionally draws hundreds of thousands of people nationwide.

      The Nov. 1-2 Day of the Dead celebration blends Catholic rituals and the pre-Hispanic belief that the dead return once a year from the underworld as cemeteries and houses shine with bright orange marigold flowers.

    • 08:25

      Brazil health minister ill with suspected case of Covid-19

      Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello has fallen ill with a suspected case of Covid-19, the ministry's press office said on Tuesday, as the country battles with the third-worst coronavirus outbreak globally, with nearly 5.3 million cases.

      The ministry said Pazuello had a fever on Tuesday and would be tested for Covid-19. On Monday, the minister had missed a public event with President Jair Bolsonaro.

    • 08:18

      Venezuela plans to use Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines

      Venezuela plans to vaccinate citizens with Russian and Chinese coronavirus vaccines, which could arrive in the South American nation in December or January, President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday.

      "It has been announced that the completed Russian and Chinese vaccines should arrive by December, January, December-January, and we are going to start vaccination," Maduro said during a live broadcast on state television.

    • 07:58

      Asia's biggest annual film festival started in South Korea at a fraction of its usual scale, but some movie fans will still be able to attend screenings despite the coronavirus forcing many events online

      AFP Photo

    • 07:56

      New Zealand reports two new community coronavirus cases, 23 imported

      New Zealand reported two new cases of Covid-19 in the community linked to a port worker who tested positive over the weekend, and 23 imported cases.

      Most of the imported cases are linked to a group of Russian and Ukrainian fishermen who were staying at a managed isolation facility in Christchurch, the Director General of health, Ashley Bloomfield, said.

    • 07:40

      Centre to drop plasma therapy to treat Covid-19

      Armed with scientific evidence proving its futility, the Centre is set to drop the convalescent plasma therapy as a Covid-19 treatment option from the national treatment guidelines.

      This comes in the wake of the world's largest study on such therapy by Indian researchers who demonstrated that treating a Covid-19 patient with the plasma of another infected-and-cured patient's plasma neither reduces the mortality nor prevents the disease's progression from a mild to a severe one.

      Read more here

    • 07:33

      US reports about 300,000 more deaths during Covid-19 than in typical year

      Nearly 300,000 more people have died in the United States in 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic than would be expected based on historical trends, with at least two-thirds due to Covid-19, a government report released on Tuesday showed, adding that Covid deaths likely were undercounted.

      The report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that 299,028 more people died between Jan. 26 and Oct. 3 than the average numbers from past years would have indicated.

    • 07:30

      India remains on South Africa's updated list of high-risk Covid-19 countries, travel restrictions continue

      South Africa has reviewed its list of high-risk Covid-19 countries, sharply reducing the number but maintaining travel restrictions on people visiting the country from India.

      In its updated list released on October 19, the Department of Home Affairs also included Bangladesh and Germany among the 22 countries it considers are at high-risk for the novel coronavirus.

    • 07:21

      Mixed results for arthritis drug repurposed as Covid-19 treatment

      A trio of new studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Tuesday examining the efficacy of an arthritis drug against Covid-19 showed inconsistent results.

      Tocilizumab has been used by doctors since the start of the pandemic with the hope of tamping down an abnormal immune response known as a "cytokine storm" that causes severe organ damage in some hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

    • 07:20

      Hungary's PM under fire as coronavirus second wave bites

      As the second coronavirus wave bites, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban -- who shut the borders in September -- is holding back on tougher measures such as a lockdown, despite growing criticism of his response.

      During the first wave, the Central European EU member had relatively low numbers of infections and deaths from the virus compared with most European countries.

      But in October more Hungarians have died than in the previous four months put together.

    • 07:19

      Mexico could absorb some Covid-19 vaccine liabilities

      Mexico's government could absorb some liabilities arising from unexpected side effects of Covid-19 vaccines but does not need a fund to do so, a top official said.

      As various vaccine candidates make their way through different stages of clinical trials, it is unclear who foots the bill if people in poor countries fall sick from treatments.