Coronavirus news highlights: European countries enforce travel ban on UK amid new strain of virus

India's Covid-19 tally reached 1,00,31,223 with 26,624 new cases on Sunday, while the death toll rose to 1,45,477 with 341 fatalities, and number of recoveries reaches 95.8 lakh. According to the Ministry of Health, 33 states and UTs have less than 20,000 active cases. Kerala & Maharashtra together account for 40% of the total cases. India has conducted 16,11,98,195 Covid-19 tests so far.
  • 07:30

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  • 22:57

    Karnataka clocks 1,194 fresh coronavirus cases, 5 deaths

    After several months since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic, Karnataka reported only five deaths on Sunday taking the toll to 12,009 whereas the total caseload touched 9.09 lakh with 1,194 new infections, the health department said.

    The total infection count comprised 8,82,944 discharges cumulatively including 1,062 on Sunday and 14,497 active cases, a bulletin issued by the department said.

  • 22:42

    Bengal's Covid-19 death toll climbs to 9,360, tally at 5,36,828

    West Bengal's Covid-19 death toll mounted to 9,360 on Sunday with 40 more fatalities, while 1,978 fresh cases pushed the coronavirus tally to 5,36,828, the health department said in a bulletin.

    West Bengal now has 17,771 active cases, and a total of 5,09,697 people have recovered from the disease so far, including 2,627 since Saturday, it said.

  • 22:30

    Chhattisgarh sees 953 new coronavirus cases, 9 fatalities

    With 953 new Covid-19 cases and nine more deaths, Chhattisgarh's caseload rose to 2,67,219 and the toll to 3,181 on Sunday, a health official said.

    The number of discharged cases increased to 2,47,480 after 63 people were released from various hospitals after recovery while 971 patients completed their home isolation during the day.

    The state now has 16,558 active cases, the official said.

  • 22:24

    12 more deaths, 337 new Covid-19 cases in Punjab

    The Covid-19 death toll rose to 5,201 with 12 more fatalities in Punjab on Sunday, while 337 fresh cases took the tally to 1,63,042 in the state. There are 5,618 active Covid-19 cases in the state currently, according to a medical bulletin.
  • 21:14

    Active Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu continue to slide

    The number of active Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu continued to dip on Sunday, with the number being 9,593, as the state recorded 1,114 new patients and 15 fatalities. According to a government bulletin, active cases on Saturday stood at 9,692.

    With the addition of 1,114 fresh cases today, the overall tally of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu touched 8.06 lakh. On Sunday, 1,198 people were discharged after being cured of the virus, pushing the total recoveries to 7,85,315, the bulletin said.

  • 20:52

    Dutch register record 13,032 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday

    Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands jumped by more than 13,000 in 24 hours to hit another record, data released by Dutch health authorities on Sunday showed.

    Covid-19 infections in the country have continued to rise despite new, stringent lockdown measures imposed by the government on Dec. 14 which included closing schools and shops.

  • 20:51

    Iran sees lowest virus cases in 2 months, warns of possible new surge

    Iran reported 6,312 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the lowest in nearly two months, but officials warned that the downward trend could easily be reversed and warned against too much social contact during the Yalda winter festivities.

    Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 177 people had died in the past 24 hours, taking fatalities to 53,625 in the worst affected country in the Middle East. Sunday's caseload was the lowest since the 5,960 cases reported on Oct. 26.

  • 20:51

    MP sees 1,069 new Covid-19 cases, 1,274 recoveries; 13 die

    Madhya Pradesh on Sunday reported 1,069 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the count of infections to 2,31,284, health officials said.

    With 13 more people succumbing to the viral disease, the overall death toll rose to 3,481, they said.

    A total of 1,274 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the state's overall recovery count to 2,16,485.

  • 20:50

    1,010 new coronavirus cases in Gujarat ; 1,190 recuperate, 7 die

    Gujarat recorded 1,010 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, increasing the infection tally in the state to 2,35,299, the health department said.

    With the death of seven patients, the fatality count rose to 4,234, it said.

    A total of 1,190 patients got discharge from hospitals during the day, which increased the recovery count to 2,19,125, the department said in a release.

  • 20:49

    Health Ministry calls urgent meeting on Monday to discuss new coronavirus strain in UK

    The Union Health Ministry has called an urgent meeting of its Joint Monitoring Group on Monday to discuss the emergence of a mutated variant of the coronavirus in the UK, which has led to a surge in the infection rate there.

    A number of European countries have banned flights from the UK as the British government warned that the potent new strain of the virus was "out of control" and imposed a stringent new stay-at-home lockdown from Sunday.

  • 20:06

    European neighbours restrict travel to Britain as new coronavirus strain spreads

    Several European countries placed new restrictions on travel to and from the United Kingdom on Sunday due to concern over a new strain of the coronavirus that is spreading rapidly there.

    Belgium said it would close its borders to trains and planes coming from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands also suspended flights. Italy said it was planning a similar ban.

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and scientists announced on Saturday that the new virus strain had led to spiralling infection numbers.

  • 19:49

    Kerala coronavirus tally touches 7.05 lakh with 5,711 new additions

    Kerala on Sunday recorded 5,711 fresh cases of Covid-19 and 30 related deaths, taking the total number of those affected in the state by the virus to 7.05 lakh. State Health Minister K K Shailaja said the state has tested 53,858 samples on Sunday and the test positivity rate was 10.60 per cent.

    "Out of the total infected in the state, 111 came from outside the state while 5,058 contracted the disease through their contacts. The sources of infection of 501 people are yet to be traced. Forty one heath workers are also among the infected," Shailaja said in a release.

  • 19:04

    Goa's case Covid-19 count rises by 88, recoveries by 91

    The coronavirus caseload in Goa went up by 88 and reached 50,064 on Sunday,a health official said.

    The death toll climbed to 721 as three patients succumbed to the infection during the day, he said.

    As 91 patients got discharge on Sunday, the recovery count of the coastal state rose to 48,371.

    The number of active cases in Goa is now 972, the official said.

  • 18:38

    19 coronavirus deaths in UP, toll climbs to 8,196

    With 19 fresh coronavirus-related deaths reported in Uttar Pradesh, the death toll due to the viral disease in the state has risen to 8,196 on Sunday, official data showed.

    The total Covid-19 cases in the state rose to 5,74,631 with as many as 1,247 fresh cases reported in the last 24 hours.

    Of the 19 fresh deaths, four deaths were reported from state capital Lucknow, three from Gorakhpur and two from Kanpur, the state government said in a statement issued here.

    Of the 1,247 fresh cases, as many as 226 were reported from Lucknow, while Ghaziabad reported 95 cases.

  • 18:37

    TDB makes Covid-19 negative certificate mandatory for devotees to Lord Ayyappa shrine

    Devotees visiting the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala must carry a COVID- 19 negative certificate after undergoing an RT-PCR test, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which manages the temple said on Sunday. TDB President N Vasu said the RT-PCR test certificate, taken not more than 48 hours prior to their visit to the temple, is must for pilgrims from December 26. "Covid-19-negative certificate after a RT-PCR test, taken not more than 48 hours prior to their visit to the temple, is a must for the pilgrims to visit the shrine. Else they will not be permitted to undertake the pilgrimage," Vasu said in a release.
  • 17:58

    Britain says new virus strain 'out of control'

    British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that the government has imposed a strict Christmas lockdown in London and southeast England because a new strain of the coronavirus was "out of control".

    Hancock warned that the strict measures could stay in place until the virus vaccine is fully rolled out.

    "We acted very quickly and decisively," Hancock told Sky News, justifying the "stay at home" order and closure of non-essential shops affecting around a third of England's population.

    "Unfortunately the new strain was out of control. We have got to get it under control."

  • 17:56

    Andhra Pradesh adds 438 new Covid-19 cases, two deaths push toll to 7,076

    Andhra Pradesh reported 438 fresh coronavirus cases, 589 recoveries and two deaths in 24 hours ending 9 AM on Sunday.

    The state's Covid-19 chart now showed 8,78,723 total positives, 8,67,445 recoveries and 7,076 deaths.

    The latest bulletin said the number of active cases now came down to 4,202.

    So far, 1.12 crore sample tests were completed at the rate of 2.10 lakh per million population that turned out an overall infection positivity rate of 7.80 per cent.

    The recovery rate touched 98.72 per cent while the case mortality rate remained stable at 0.81 per cent.

  • 17:13

    Women won’t recover easily from India’s pandemic

    Amid the Covid-19 crisis, three out of four Indians are experiencing their first recession. As might be expected, women are bearing the brunt of the pain — and the consequences could be long-lasting.

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  • 16:58

    Thousands line up for tests amid Thailand virus outbreak

    Thousands of people lined up for coronavirus tests in a province near Bangkok on Sunday, as Thai authorities scrambled to contain an outbreak of the virus that has infected nearly 700 people.

    Triple lines of mainly migrant workers stretched for around 100 metres in one location alone, at Mahachai in Samut Sakhon province, as health officials in mobile units methodically took nasal swabs. There were three locations in total in the area.

    Nearby, razor wire and police guards blocked access to the Klang Koong, or Central Shrimp, seafood market -- one of Thailand's largest -- and its associated housing, the epicentre of the new cluster.

  • 16:57

    12 more test Covid-19 positive in Mizoram; tally rises to 4,122

    Twelve more people tested positive for novel coronavirus in Mizoram in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 4,122, an official said on Sunday.

    The number of active cases in the state now is 158, while 3,957 patients have recovered from the disease.

    Seven people have died due to Covid-19 in Mizoram so far.

    Of the 12 fresh cases, seven were reported from Lunglei district, three from Kolasib district, and one each from Aizawl and Saitual districts, he said.

  • 16:18

    Masks mandatory for next 6 months, says Uddhav Thackeray

    Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said wearing masks will be mandatory for the next six months in the state.

    Addressing people of the state on social media, Thackeray said experts are in favour of imposing night curfew or another lockdown, but he is not in favour of these steps.

    The CM appealed to people to be careful during the New Year celebrations.

    The coronavirus situation in the state is under control, though not completely, he said.

    "Prevention is better than cure. Wearing of mask at public places should be made a habit for another six months at least," Thackeray said.

  • 16:10

    New national lockdown in Britain not inevitable, says minister

    A new national lockdown is not inevitable in Britain to stop the spread of a new variant of coronavirus, health minister Matt Hancock said on Sunday, adding that tighter restrictions in London and southeast England should help curb the disease.

    Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr show whether a national lockdown was inevitable, Hancock said: "Not necessarily, one of the reasons we brought in the strict travel movements in tier 4 ... is to try to stop this new variant from spreading."

  • 15:26

    Dutch ban UK flights, fearing the new coronavirus variant

    The Netherlands is banning flights from the UK for at least the rest of the year in an attempt to make sure that a new strain of coronavirus that is sweeping across southern England does not reach its shores.

    The ban came into effect Sunday morning and the government said it was reacting to tougher measures imposed in London and surrounding areas on Saturday by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

    The Netherlands said it will assess “with other European Union nations the possibilities to contain the import of the virus from the United Kingdom."

  • 15:22

    S Korea sets record Covid-19 cases as prison reports major outbreak

    South Korea reported a record 1,097 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, including an outbreak in a Seoul prison that infected 188 as the country's latest wave of Covid-19 worsens.

    With daily infections over 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day, some medical experts and politicians criticised the government for being too loose with social distancing rules.

    South Korea's aggressive tracing and testing early in the pandemic had made the country a global success story when many nations saw soaring infections, prompting wide lockdowns.

  • 14:51

    Restructuring of networks amid pandemic made India vulnerable to ransomware attacks: Check Point

    The sudden rush to provide remote access to employees by restructuring network and security systems during the lockdown made India vulnerable to ransomware attacks in the third quarter of current year, according to cybersecurity firm Check Point Software Technologies.

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  • 14:41

    UK health minister suggests tougher Covid-19 measures may last for some time

    British health minister Matt Hancock suggested on Sunday that new tighter restrictions in London and southeast England could stay in place for some time, saying a new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged is very difficult to control.

    Asked whether people living under the stringent tier 4 restrictions should expect to do so for some time, Hancock told Sky News: "We really need to get this under control ... We've got a long way to go to sort this, essentially we've got to get that vaccine rolled out to keep people safe."

    "Given how much faster this new variant spreads, it's going to be very difficult to keep it under control until we have the vaccine rolled out." -Reuters

  • 14:30

    FMCG sector optimistic about 2021 prospects; bid goodbye to Covid-19

    Crisis brings opportunities. This could not have been truer for the FMCG industry in 2020 even as the world grappled with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The sector is learning, innovating and rising from disruptions to put the worst behind and looking forward to the new year with optimism and new-found confidence.

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  • 14:18

    New strain of coronavirus spreads faster: Uddhav Thackeray

    Amid reports of a new strain of Covid-19 that spreads much faster, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday asked citizens to be on alert and take maximum precautions.

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  • 13:56

    Asymptomatic Covid-positive air crew to undergo home isolation for 10 days:DGCA

    Flight crew members who are asymptomatic but test positive for Covid-19 need to undergo home isolation for 10 days and once it is over, they can be declared fit for flying again by their medical supervisor, according to aviation regulator DGCA.

    If Covid-positive crew members have 'mild symptoms', they will "continue home isolation and will stand discharged after 10 days of symptom onset and no fever for three days", the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a circular, adding there is no need for "testing after the home isolation period is over".

    However, if the isolation period for mildly symptomatic crew members is more than 14 days, they have to be examined by DGCA empanelled Class-1 examiner and crew is fit to fly if the examiner declares so, stated the circular that has been accessed by PTI.

  • 13:45

    Uddhav Thackeray says he is not in favour of night curfew or another lockdown in Maharashtra; says coronavirus under control in state, though not completely

  • 13:44

    Wearing masks mandatory for next six months, says Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray

  • 13:42

    Uddhav Thackeray addresses state on Covid-19 norms

  • 13:33

    Israel begins coronavirus inoculation drive as infections surge

    Israel on Sunday began its coronavirus inoculation drive, aiming to vaccinate some 60,000 people a day in a bid to stamp out the illness that is once again surging among its population.

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  • 13:06

    India’s present active caseload consists of just 3.04% of India’s total positive cases. The new recoveries of 29,690 in the last 24 hours have led to a net decline of 3,407 in the total active cases: Govt of India -ANI

  • 12:59

    Thailand to test over 10,000 people after record Covid-19 surge

    Thailand plans to test more than 10,000 people after a record daily surge in coronavirus cases to over 500, most of which were among migrant workers linked to a shrimp market near the capital, an official said on Sunday.

    By Wednesday the authorities aim to conduct 10,300 tests in the southwest province of Samut Sakhon, where the outbreak appeared, and such nearby provinces as Samut Songkhram and Nakhon Pathom, Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for Thailand's Covid-19 taskforce, told a news conference.

    "Active case findings will continue in several provinces, actually across the country," he said. -Reuters

  • 12:26

    Covid-19-battered auto sector drives into 2021 with cautious optimism

    Having endured and managed to recover from the disruptions induced by a once-in-a-century event, the Indian auto sector is cautiously looking forward to 2021 with hopes of putting up a better show in the post-Covid-19 world, although a lot will hinge on how the economy grows.

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  • 12:10

    Odisha recorded 372 new Covid-19 cases, 362 recoveries and 4 deaths on December 19 -ANI

    Odisha recorded 372 new Covid-19 cases, 362 recoveries and 4 deaths on December 19, as per State Health Department

    Total cases: 3,26,233

    Total recoveries: 3,21,309

    Active cases: 3,035

    Death toll: 1,836

  • 11:55

    US Congress poised to vote on Covid aid package after Fed compromise

    The US Congress appeared poised to vote on Sunday on a $900 billion coronavirus aid package after senators struck a late-night compromise to clear one of the final hurdles, a dispute over Federal Reserve pandemic lending authorities.

    Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters at the US Capitol late on Saturday: "If things continue on this path and nothing gets in the way, we'll be able to vote tomorrow."

    Congressional leaders plan to attach the coronavirus aid package, which includes $600 direct payments to individuals and a $300 per week unemployment compensation supplement, to a $1.4 trillion spending bill funding government programs through September 2021. A 48-hour funding extension expires at midnight on Sunday (0500 GMT Monday), after which the government would shut down. -Reuters

  • 11:43

    India reports 26,624 new Covid-19 cases; national tally rises to 1,00,31,223

    India's Covid-19 caseload rose to 1,00,31,223 with 26,624 new infections being reported in a day, while the number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 95.80 lakh pushing thenational recovery rate to95.51 per cent,accordingto the Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.

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  • 11:18

    A total of 592 new Covid-19 cases, 643 discharges, and 3 deaths were reported in Telangana -ANI

    A total of 592 new Covid-19 cases, 643 discharges, and 3 deaths were reported in Telangana yesterday, says State Health Department

    Total cases: 2,81,414

    Total recoveries: 2,73,013

    Active cases: 6,888

    Death toll: 1,513

  • 10:57

    Investors to track global events, Covid-19 vaccine progress in holiday-shortened week ahead

    In the absence of major domestic triggers, equity market would turn its focus on global events mainly US financial stimulus update and development related to Covid-19 vaccination in the holiday-shortened week ahead, analysts said.

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  • 10:39

    India's Covid-19 tally reaches 1,00,31,223, death toll rises to 1,45,477 and number of recoveries reaches 95.8 lakh

  • 10:18

    England, Italy brace for Christmas lockdowns as Europe battles virus surge

    Millions of people in England and Italy will celebrate Christmas under tough new coronavirus restrictions as Europe battles a winter surge including a more infectious new strain.

    Europe has become the first region in the world to pass 500,000 deaths fromCovid-19 since the pandemic broke out a year ago, killing more than 1.6 million worldwide and pitching the global economy into turmoil.

    In England, where a lockdown-weary population had been looking forward to a temporary five-day relaxation of virus restrictions over the festive period, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson instead announced a new "stay at home" order for London and southeast England -- an area including around a third of the country's population. -AFP

  • 10:04

    Covid-19 tally in Andamans rises to 4,875 with six new cases

    Six more people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, raising the tally in the Union Territory to 4,875, a health department official said on Sunday.

    The death toll remained at 61 as no new fatality due to the infection was reported, he said. -PTI

  • 09:54

    Switzerland to procure 3 million doses of Pfizer Covid-19 shot; inoculation to start after Christmas

    Switzerland on Saturday approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, with immunisation set to start just after Christmas as the country battles rising coronavirus cases.

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  • 09:34

    How China censored coronavirus within the country and around the world

    At a time when digital media is deepening social divides in Western democracies, China is manipulating online discourse to enforce the Communist Party’s consensus. To stage-manage what appeared on the Chinese internet early this year, the authorities issued strict commands on the content and tone of news coverage, directed paid trolls to inundate social media with party-line blather, and deployed security forces to muzzle unsanctioned voices.

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  • 09:25

    India has conducted 16,11,98,195 Covid-19 tests so far, 11 lakh tests conducted on December 19: ICMR

  • 09:13

    Jharkhand reports 247 new Covid-19 cases, two more deaths

    Jharkhand's Covid-19 tally mounted to 1,12,853 as 247 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Sunday.

    The death toll rose to 1,010 as two persons from Gumla and Dhanbad succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, he said.

    Ranchi district registered the maximum number of fresh cases at 128, followed by East Singhbhum at 35 and Hazaribagh at 14. -PTI

  • 09:04

    Covid-19 R-value under one almost all over India, best week since pandemic began

    The week in which India reached the grim milestone of registering one crore Covid-19 cases is probably the best week since the pandemic started in India in terms of the R-value estimates – a measure of an epidemic’s ability to spread.

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  • 08:50

    Tokyo Olympic karate gold hopeful Kiyuna contracts Covid

    World champion Ryo Kiyuna, one of the favourites to win men's kata gold when karate makes its Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games, has Covid-19, the Japan Karatedo Federation said.

    Kiyuna won a record ninth consecutive Japan national championship last Sunday in Tokyo before returning to his native Okinawa Prefecture the following day and contracting the virus on Tuesday or later, the federation and local reports said. -AFP

  • 08:38

    Dutch ban UK flights to stop Covid-19 'mutation'

    The Dutch government on Sunday banned all passenger flights from Britain after finding the first case of a new, more infectious coronavirus strain that is circulating in the UK.

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  • 08:22

    Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro says rush for coronavirus vaccine not justified

    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has refused to take any coronavirus vaccine, said on Saturday that he did not think the world's rush for a vaccine was justified because the pandemic is in his view coming to an end.

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  • 07:57

    Ho ho ho and 'good to go': Fauci gives Santa Covid-19 vaccine

    Santa Claus can safely deliver gifts to good girls and boys on Christmas after a special visitor went all the way to the North Pole to deliver a coronavirus vaccine.

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  • 07:50

    US CDC issues guidelines on Covid-19 vaccination after allergic reactions

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Saturday said thatit was monitoring reports of allergic reactions to the Covid-19 vaccination and made recommendations on how people with histories of allergies should proceed.

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  • 07:42

    What awaits India, post-Covid-19

    India’s health sector is faced with this kind of a fork in the road as we come to terms with the ravages wrought by the pandemic and the possibility that the worst of Covid-19 may be behind us by mid or end-2021.

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  • 07:27

    Brazil on Saturday registered 50,177 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the new total to 7,213,155. Deaths rose by 706 to 186,356 -Reuters

  • 07:17

    US begins rolling out Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

    The first of millions of doses of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine were being prepared Saturday for shipping to locations across the United States, a top official said, hours after it was authorized for use in the hardest-hit country in the world.

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  • 07:15