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Highlights: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava tests positive for Covid-19

China has kickstarted an ambitious effort to inoculate 50 million people against Covid-19 ahead of the Lunar New Year, using locally developed shots that are moving closer to getting regulatory approval.

By hindustantimes.com | Updated: Dec 19, 2020 07:59 IST
Highlights: ICMR DG Balram Bhargava tests positive for Covid-19
Health care worker during swab test at Govandi in Mumbai, India.

India recorded 22,890 new cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the last 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry. The nationwide case count has now reached 99,79,447. The number of active cases stands at 3,13, 831, while 95,20,827 patients have been cured or discharged from hospitals. The country also recorded 338 fresh fatalities due to the disease which pushed the nationwide death toll to 1,44,789.

The figure of new cases per million population in India in the last seven days - 147 - is one of the lowest in the world, it underlined. India’s Covid-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, and 40 lakh on September 5. It went past 50 lakh on September 16, 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, 80 lakh on October 29, and 90 lakh on November 20.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 15,66,46,280 samples have been tested up to December 15.

Click here for full Covid-19 coverage

The world Covid-19 caseload is nearing 75 million cases, as per the latest updates by Johns Hopkins University. The Covid-19 dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) reported that the world tally stands at 74,952,221 and 1,662,127 fatalities due to the virus. The US continues to be the worst-affected country by the pandemic with the tally surging past 17 million. The caseload currently stands at 17,206,647 and 310,699 patients succumbing to Covid-19 across the country.

Brazil continues to have the second-highest Covid-19 death toll in the world, according to the tracker with over 184,827 fatalities across the South American country, the tracker stated further.


Here are the highlights:

05:07 PM IST

Andhra Pradesh reports 458 new cases, one death

Andhra Pradesh reported 458 new Covid-19 infections, taking the state's caseload to 8,77,806 including 4,377 active cases. The death toll after one new fatality stands at 7,070 while 534 new recoveries took the total number of recoveries to 8,66,359.

05:05 PM IST

SC blames lack of implementation of guidelines for Covid-19 spread

The Supreme Court on Friday said that coronavirus infections in the country has spread 'like wild fire' due to lack of implementation of guidelines.

04:58 PM IST

India to start voluntary vaccination against Covid-19 shortly

The government said on Friday it could soon start voluntary inoculation against the Covid-19 disease as it considers emergency use authorization for three vaccine candidates including those from AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

04:23 PM IST

US states told to expect fewer Pfizer vaccine doses in second week

Several US states have said that they have been told that their Pfizer coronavirus vaccine allotment for the second week in the US vaccination drive will be less than the first. Trump administration officials, however, downplayed the risks of delays.

04:18 PM IST

Spain orders probe into nursing home Covid deaths

The Spanish government has ordered an investigation into the deaths of the elderly in nursing homes and the lack of protective gear for health workers.

03:19 PM IST

Uttarakhand chief minister tests positive for coronavirus

Uttarakhand chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has tested positibe for Covid-19.

03:01 PM IST

National lockdown can't be ruled out after Christmas: England Minister

British schools minister Nick Gibb that a national lockdown cannot be ruled out after Christmas. The British government has decided to ease restrictions during the festive period despite surging cases.

02:43 PM IST

No return to post-Covid normalcy before autumn: French scientist

A French government scientific advisor said that the country's population will not see a return to normalcy until the autumn of 2021.

01:32 PM IST

Russia reports 28,552 new coronavirus cases, 611 deaths

Russia reported 28,552 new coronavirus cases on Friday, including 6,937 in Moscow, taking the national case tally to 2,791,220 since the pandemic began.

Authorities also reported 611 deaths in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 49,762.

01:31 PM IST

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.

<p>French scientist sees no return to post-Covid-19 normal before autumn 2021</p>
12:48 PM IST

Nigeria may have seen second wave of Covid-19 infections: official

The Nigerian government said Thursday that there is an indication the country has been hit by a second wave of Covid-19 infections following a recent spike in the number of infections. Speaking on behalf of Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, told a daily news conference that the latest development in the most populous African country could be "a potentially difficult phase of the COVID-19 resurgence."

12:42 PM IST

Belgium reports 3,146 new Covid-19 cases

Belgium on Friday registered 3,146 new Covid-19 cases over the past 24 hours, bringing its national tally to 618,204, the public health institute Sciensano reported. It also reported 93 new deaths, taking the country's death toll from the disease to 18,371.

12:32 PM IST

Hungary to announce new measures to fight economic fallout from Covid-19

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday said he would announce new measures on Saturday to fight the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic, adding in an interview with state radio mr1 that they would take effect on January 1. Hungary's economy took a big hit in the pandemic, and the government expects gross domestic output to shrink by about 6% in 2020 followed by a modest rebound in 2021.

12:28 PM IST

Odisha reports 358 new Covid-19 cases, 4 more deaths

Odisha on Friday reported 358 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally to 3,25,505, while the death toll rose to 1,829 with four fresh fatalities, a health department official said. The new cases were detected in 27 of the state's 30 districts, with 208 of them reported from different quarantine centres, while the remaining 150 are local contact cases.

12:09 PM IST

SC directs states to carry out fire safety audit of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals

The Supreme Court on Friday directed all the states to carry out fire safety audit of dedicated Covid-19 hospitals across the country to prevent fire incidents in medical institutions. The apex court also directed dedicated Covid-19 hospitals to take a no objection certificate (NOC) from the fire department within four weeks and said that failure to do so will invite punitive action.

First published: Dec 18, 2020 07:25 IST