Coronavirus news highlights: India's tally crosses 1-crore mark, deaths cross 1.45 lakh

India's Covid-19 tally crossed the 1-crore mark on Friday, reaching 1,00,04,436. The death toll rose to 1,45,119. The active Covid-19 caseload currently stands at 3,13,831 with a recovery rate of 95.31 per cent. The Union Health Ministry said that 95,20,827 people have so far recovered from the infection. Stay tuned on DH for more latest updates.
  • 22:53

    Macron working slower but doing fine after catching Covid-19

    French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday he was doing fine a day after testing positive for Covid-19, but was working at a slower pace while he convalesced outside Paris.

    Macron said he would stay focused on France's response to the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, as negotiations governing 1 trillion euros in trade between Britain and the European Union run down to the wire.

    "I am working at a slightly slower pace because of the virus, but I shall continue to focus on high-priority issues, such as our handling of the epidemic, or, for example, the Brexit dossier," Macron said in a live video on Twitter. -Reuters

  • 22:34

    India's tally crosses 1-crore mark, deaths cross 1.45 lakh

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  • 21:56

    Covid-19: Those who have recovered should also take the vaccine, advises Health Ministry

    Ending days of uncertainty, the Union Health Ministry has come out with an advisory that even those who have recovered from Covid-19 infections can take the vaccine in order to develop a strong immune system against the virus.

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  • 21:25

    ICMR chief Balram Bhargava undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at AIIMS Trauma Centre

    Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Balram Bhargava is undergoing treatment for Covid-19 at the AIIMS Trauma Centre here, official sources said on Friday.

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  • 21:01

    Gujarat records 1,075 new Covid-19 cases, nine deaths

    As many as 1,075 new cases of Covid-19 emerged in Gujarat in the last 24 hours, taking the caseload to 2,33,263, the state Health Department said on Friday evening.

    Nine patients died during this period taking the death toll due to coronavirus to 4,220, it said.

    On the other hand, 1,155 coronavirus patients recovered and were given discharge. -PTI

  • 20:33

    Hindu College alumni providing financial help to students amid Covid-19 pandemic

    The Old Students' Association (OSA) of Hindu College here has disbursed grants worth Rs 6 lakh to students of their alma mater who are facing financial difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    "The pandemic has created major problems for students from economically weaker sections and they are facing a huge challenge in paying their college fee," OSA president Ravi Burman said. -PTI

  • 20:22

    Karnataka reports 1,222 new Covid-19 cases, 1,039 discharges and 8 deaths -ANI

    Karnataka reported 1,222 new Covid-19 cases, 1,039 discharges and 8 deaths today.

    Total cases: 9,07,123

    Total discharges: 8,79,735

    Death toll: 11,989

    Active cases: 15,380

  • 20:00

    Delhi records 1,418 fresh Covid-19 cases, positivity rate 1.6 pc

    Delhi recorded 1,418 fresh Covid-19 cases on Friday with over 88,000 tests being conducted, while the positivity rate stood at 1.6 per cent, authorities said.

    The national capital's death toll mounted to 10,219 with 37 new fatalities, they said.

    This is the fourth consecutive day when the positivity rate has remained below 2 per cent. It was 1.51 per cent on Thursday, 1.96 per cent on Wednesday and 1.9 per cent on Tuesday. -PTI

  • 19:45

    China says economic recovery 'not yet solid' after Covid-19 pandemic

    China said its economy had yet to fully bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic and pledged financial support for recovery efforts at the end of a key annual policy meeting on Friday.

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  • 19:32

    Covid-19 vaccine delivery to poor countries to start in early 2021: WHO

    The World Health Organization and partners said Friday that the Covax facility, created to ensure equitable access toCovid-19 vaccines worldwide, expected to begin delivering jabs early next year.

    The UN health agency, the Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) announced they had now secured nearly two billion doses of various vaccine candidates still under development on behalf of the 190 countries taking part in Covax. -AFP

  • 19:20

    Maharashtra reports 3,994 new Covid-19 cases, 4,467 patients discharged

  • 19:16

    UK's Covid R number jumps above 1, infections growing again

    Britain's reproduction "R" number has jumped above 1 and the Covid-19 epidemic is estimated to be growing again, the Government Office for Science said on Friday, a sharp reversal from the shrinkage seen during England's national lockdown.

    The R number is between 1.1 and 1.2 meaning that, on average, every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 12 other people. It rose from an estimated 0.9-1.0 last week. -Reuters

  • 19:02

    Trump jumps gun on FDA, says Moderna vaccine 'approved'

    President Donald Trump said Friday that the United States has authorized a second coronavirus vaccine, jumping the gun on regulators who have yet to give it the formal green light.

    "Moderna vaccine overwhelmingly approved. Distribution to start immediately," he wrote on Twitter.

    This follows a recommendation by an expert panel on Thursday to grant emergency use approval for Moderna'sCovid-19 vaccine in the United States. -AFP

  • 18:46

    COVAX programme doubles global vaccine supply deals to 2 billion doses

    The COVAX alliance which aims to secure Covid-19 vaccines for the world's most vulnerable people said on Friday it had gained access to nearly 2 billion doses, roughly doubling its supply, with the first deliveries expected in the first quarter of 2021.

    The initiative run by the GAVI vaccine alliance and World Health Organization (WHO) said that it aimed to deliver 1.3 billion doses of approved vaccines next year to 92 eligible low- and middle-income economies. -Reuters

  • 18:28

    Andhra Pradesh reports 458 fresh Covid-19 cases, only one death

    A total of 69,062 sample tests turned out 458 fresh positives of coronavirus, taking Andhra Pradeshs cumulative tally to 8,77,806.

    According to the latest bulletin, 534 patients recovered in 24 hours ending 9 am on Friday, thereby increasing the total recoveries from the infection to 8,66,359.

    After several months, only one death was reported in a day, pushing the overall toll count up to 7,070. -PTI

  • 18:21

    Slovak PM Igor Matovic says he has tested positive for Covid-19 - Reuters

  • 18:12

    Sex hormones, chromosomes behind better Covid-19 outcomes in women than men, study says

    Women face less severe complications and a lower risk of dying from Covid-19 than men due to the presence of hormones and chromosomes that contribute to a stronger immune response in female patients, according to a study.

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  • 18:03

    US deaths from Covid top 3,000 for third straight day

    US deaths from Covid-19 topped 3,000 for a third straight day, with a record number of new infections on Thursday, just as the United States prepared to ship out nearly six million doses of a new vaccine upon its expected authorization on Friday.

    The United States reported a record 239,903 new cases on Thursday, raising the cumulative number above 17 million since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly a year ago.

    The US death toll now exceeds 311,000. -Reuters

  • 17:46

    Registration of health workers for Covid vaccine in final stages in Kerala

    The registration of health workers, enrolled for receiving Covid-19 vaccination, is in the final stages in Kerala, state Health Minister K K Shailaja has said.

    District-level registration of healthcare workers of all 4,064 institutions in the government sector and 81 per centof 4,557 private institutions in the state have been completed, she said.

    Employees of private institutions in Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kannur districts have already completed registration, the minister said and urged the remaining healthcare personnel to complete the process at the earliest. -PTI

  • 17:06

    Covid-19 pandemic has spread like “wildfire” due to lack of implementation of guidelines and SoPs: SC -PTI

  • 16:51

    Some US states say Pfizer vaccine allotments cut for next week

    Several states say they have been told to expect far fewer doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine in its second week of distribution, prompting worries about potential delays in shots for health care workers and long-term care residents.

    But senior Trump administration officials on Thursday downplayed the risk of delays, citing a confusion over semantics, while Pfizer said its production levels have not changed. -AP

  • 16:24

    Not possible to give definite date for resumption of normal train services: Railway Board chairman

    The railways on Friday said it is not possible to provide a definite date for the resumption of normal train services and pointed out that it has seen an 87-per cent drop in the earnings from the passenger segment so far this year, compared to the last year.

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  • 16:07

    Chinese citizen journalist to face trial after Wuhan virus reporting

    A citizen journalist detained in China after reporting from the Covid-19 ground zero of Wuhan will face trial later this month, her lawyer said Friday, as fears grow for her health.

    The coronavirus first emerged in central China late last year, and Beijing has faced accusations that it covered up the initial outbreak and silenced early whistleblowers.

    Zhang Zhan, a former lawyer, travelled to Wuhan in February and livestreamed her experiences on social media. She also wrote essays critical of the government's response -- including the strict lockdown of millions of people. -AFP

  • 15:52

    Study sheds light on immunity transfer from Covid-19 positive mothers to babies

    Scientists have assessed pregnant patients admitted for Covid-19 and found antibodies against the novel coronavirus in umbilical cord blood, suggesting the possibility of transferred immunity from mothers to babies.

    The study, published in The Annals -- the official medical journal of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore -- periodically analysed samples from 16 pregnant patients admitted for Covid-19 to four tertiary hospitals in Singapore.

    According to the research, there was no evidence of mother-to-child transmission of the coronavirus via breast milk or placenta. -PTI

  • 15:33

    U-17 Euros cancelled due to Covid-19 pandemic

    The 2021 men's and women's U-17 European Championships have been cancelled due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, UEFA said on Friday.

    "Based on a constant monitoring of the development of the pandemic ... the UEFA Executive Committee decided after consultation with all 55 member associations to cancel and/or postpone some of the 2020/21 youth national team competitions," European soccer's governing body said in a statement. -Reuters

  • 15:22

    Ukraine PM says first Covid-19 vaccines expected in February

    Ukraine's government expects that the first doses of vaccine against Covid-19 may arrive in the country in February, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal told parliament on Friday.

    Separately, the Health Minister Maksym Stepanov said Ukraine wanted to resume production of its own vaccine candidate and a clinical trial was being prepared, without giving details.

    Ukraine has yet to give official approval to any vaccine. -Reuters

  • 15:11

    Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat tests positive for Covid-19.

  • 14:19

    French scientist sees no return to post-Covid-19 normal before autumn 2021

    The French population will probably not return to a "normal" post-Covid-19 life before autumn 2021, a senior government scientific adviser said on Friday.

    "We have a virus which continues to circulate strongly while we are just coming out of a second lockdown," immunologist Jean-François Delfraissy also told BFM television.


  • 13:27

    As temperatures drop, coronavirus particles on surfaces may remain infectious longer: Study

    Scientists have used virus-like particles to predict how environmental factors affect the survival of the novel coronavirus on surfaces and found that the Covid-19 virus may remain infectious longer as temperatures drop in winter.

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  • 12:50

    Centre tells Supreme Court that a proposal to give an extra chance to civil service aspirants affected by Covid-19 is under active consideration by the government and Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).


  • 12:49

    Covid-19 vaccination will be voluntary in India

    Getting vaccinated for Covid-19 will be voluntary, the Union Health Ministry has said while underlining that the vaccine introduced in India will be as effective as any vaccine developed by other countries.

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  • 12:38

    Odisha recorded 358 new Covid-19 cases, 376 recoveries and 4 deaths on December 16, as per State Health Department.

    Total cases: 3,25,505

    Total recoveries: 3,20,584

    Active cases: 3,039

    Death toll: 1,829

  • 12:37

    Covid-19 infected mothers give birth to babies with antibodies, says study

    All five babies born to women with Covid-19 infection during a study in Singapore have had antibodies against the virus, although the researchers said it is not yet clear what level of protection this may offer.

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  • 12:27

    30 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V to be produced in India in 2021, says RDIF CEO

    Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) CEO Kirill Dmitriev on Friday said that Russia is testing the first samples of its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine that were produced in India.

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  • 12:00

    The total recovered cases of the country have crossed 95 lakh. The Recovery Rate has also increased to 95.40%. India is one of the top countries with the highest recovery rate globally: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

  • 11:40

    China to start opening Covid-19 vaccination programme to general public

    China plans to start opening its vaccination program to members of the public in southwestern Sichuan province early next year, health officials said, despite the inoculations not yet receiving official approval.

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  • 11:38

    Joe Biden's close adviser tests positive for Covid-19

    Congressman Cedric Richmond, a close adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the transition team.

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  • 11:20

    SC directs all states to carry out fire safety audit of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across country.

    Dedicated Covid-19 hospitals have to take fire NOC within four weeks failing which states will take punitive action, said SC.


  • 11:19

    Telangana reported 551 new Covid-19 cases, 1 death and 682 recoveries on December 17.

    Total cases: 2,80,195

    Active cases: 7,040

    Total recoveries: 2,71,649

    Death toll: 1,506

  • 10:24

    Australian states impose border curbs as Sydney Covid-19 cluster grows

    Australian states and territories on Friday begun imposing border restrictions after 28 Covid-19 cases were detected from a cluster on Sydney's northern beaches, with fears the number of infections will rise.

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  • 10:22

    Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 33,777

    The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 33,777 to 1,439,938, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday. The reported death toll rose by 813 to 24,938, the tally showed.


  • 10:21

    State-wise total number of confirmed cases, deaths on December 18

    The total number of confirmed positive cases in India reaches 99,80,459; death toll stands at 144,790 as of December 18.

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  • 09:52

    For every one Covid-19 case detected, Karnataka missed 90; 60% of Indians exposed to coronavirus by now

    For every Covid-19 positive case it detected, Karnataka missed 90 cases while more than 80 crore Indians may have been exposed to the virus by now even though most of them don’t have any symptoms.

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  • 09:45

    India may need to spend $1.8 billion on Covid-19 vaccines in first phase, documents show

    India will have to spend $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion in the first phase of a coronavirus vaccination programme, even after getting support under the COVAX global vaccine-sharing scheme, according to estimates by the GAVI vaccines alliance.

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  • 09:44

    UK general practitioners may use extra Covid-19 vaccine doses at discretion: NHS

    General Practitioners in Britain have been given new guidance allowing them to use Pfizer Inc's extra Covid-19 vaccine doses "at their discretion", NHS England said, with the development coming a day after US regulators issued a similar guidance.

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  • 09:25

    India's death toll rose to 144,789 with 338 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

  • 09:24

    With 31,087 recoveries, India's Covid-19 recovery tally breached 95 lakh-mark.

  • 09:24

    India's active cases dropped to 3,13,831.

  • 09:23

    India sees 22,890 new Covid-19 cases; tally reaches 99,79,447.

  • 09:13

    A total of 15,89,18,646 samples tested for Covid-19 up to December 17. Of these 11,13,406 samples were tested yesterday: Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)

  • 09:02

    Mike Pence to get Covid-19 vaccine shot publicly adding to administration's mixed virus message

    At 8 am Friday, Vice President Mike Pence will roll up his sleeve to receive the coronavirus vaccine, a televised symbol of reassurance for vaccine sceptics worried about its dangers. President-elect Joe Biden is scheduled to receive his injection on camera next week.

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  • 08:35

    No, there are no microchips in coronavirus vaccines

    There are 10 ingredients in Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccines. Contrary to several conspiracy theories circulating online, a tracking microchip planted by the government to surveil the movements of Americans is not among them.

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  • 08:08

    Some health care workers are getting the vaccine in US. Others aren’t. Who decides?

    Dr. Biron Baker runs a family medicine clinic in Bismarck, North Dakota. Every day patients walk through the door, and any number of them could be sick with the coronavirus. Baker treats them anyway, doing the best he can with his small staff to keep from getting sick.

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  • 08:08

    Bengaluru: No DJ events, parties this New Year's Eve amid coronavirus pandemic

    The state government has banned special DJ events, dance parties and other celebrations between December 30 and January 2.

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  • 07:57

    President of Angel Foundation and social worker, Rufas Christian, dressed as Santa Claus distributes facemasks as part of an awareness campaign against the spread of Covid-19, at a traffic junction in Ahmedabad. Credit: AFP Photo

  • 07:46

    US FDA panel endorses Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine

    The coronavirus vaccine made by Moderna moved closer to authorisation Thursday, a significant step that would expand the reach of the nation’s vaccination campaign to rural areas and many more hospitals.

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  • 07:39

    Brazil daily Covid-19 deaths break 1,000 as Supreme Court opens door to mandatory vaccines

    Brazil recorded over a 1,000 new Covid-19 deaths for the first time in over three months on Thursday, as its Supreme Court ruled that vaccinations could be required in the South American country.

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  • 07:36

    Mainland China reports 12 new Covid-19 cases vs 7 a day earlier

    Mainland China reported 12 new Covid-19 cases on December17, up from seven cases a day earlier, the country's national health authority said on Friday.

    The National Health Commission, in a statement, said 11 of the new cases were imported infections originating from overseas. The commission also reported one local transmission in Sichuan province.

    The number of new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, rose to 11 from six a day earlier.


  • 07:31

    She saved thousands of best friends. Then Covid-19 killed her.

    Valerie Louie saved our beloved Uncle Mort from a life of abuse. Then she became a pandemic casualty. Her death is being mourned by households with four-pawed members across San Francisco and the Bay Area.

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  • 07:24

    US Covid-19 deaths and cases set grim records

    Just as the United States greets the arrival of promising vaccines — and prepares to celebrate a starkly transformed holiday season — more Covid-19 deaths are being reported each day than at any time during the pandemic.

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  • 07:22

    Good morning readers, welcome to DH's live coverage of the coronavirus outbreak.