India on Friday morning recorded 31,382 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the infection tally to 3,35,94,803 since the pandemic broke out in January last year.

The number of new cases was 1.69% fewer than Thursday’s infection count of 31,923.

The country’s Covid-19 toll rose to 4,46,368 as 318 people died in the last 24 hours. The number of active cases declined by 1,478 to 3,00,162.

(Source: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare)

Other updates

The Indian Council of Medical Research has dropped hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin medicines from its revised guidelines for treatment of Covid-19 patients, ANI reported. Experts did not find sufficient evidence of the effectiveness of the two drugs, ICMR’s head of epidemiology and infectious diseases told the Economic Times.

The Supreme Court on Thursday praised the Centre’s decision to provide compensation for Covid-19 deaths, Live Law reported.

“There will be some solace to the persons who have suffered,” Justices MR Shah and AS Bopana said on Thursday. “Everything the government is performing... We’re happy that something is being done to wipe out tears of the person who suffered.”

In Karnataka, a technical advisory committee on Covid-19 has asked the state government to write to the Centre, requesting to reduce the gap between two doses of the Covishield vaccine from 84 days to around a month, The Indian Express reported.

Global updates

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday refused to approve booster shots of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for healthy frontline healthcare workers who are not at risk of severe illness, AP reported.

The decision came a day after the country’s Food and Drug Administration had authorised the doses for a larger range of the American population who are at a higher risk of contracting the Covid-19 infection. The FDA list included teachers, grocery store employees, healthcare workers and prison inmates, according to AFP.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a third dose only for those above the age of 65, nursing home residents and those in the age group of 50 to 64 and have risky underlying health problems.

A panel of the World Health Organization has recommended the use of drug firm Regeneron and Roche’s antibody cocktail to treat critically-ill coronavirus patients and those at high risk of hospitalisation, Reuters reported.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected over 23.05 crore people and caused more than 47.28 lakh deaths since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.