10.58 pm: The Assam government has announced more coronavirus-induced lockdown relaxations by allowing inter-district movement on weekdays and curtailing the night curfew hours in the state from August 16, reports PTI.

10.55 pm: Goa reports 570 new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 10,494, according to ANI.

10.45 pm: The coronavirus cases in West Bengal rose to 1,07,323 with the highest single-day spike of 2,997 infections today, reports PTI. The toll jumped to 2,259 after 56 people succumbed to the disease.

10.10 pm: Five security personnel of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur have tested positive for the coronavirus, Surekha Chopra, chief medical officer, tells ANI.

9.45 pm: Mumbai records 1,200 new coronavirus cases and 48 deaths today. The city’s tally has risen to 1,27,571 and the toll is at 6,988.

9.30 pm: Maharashtra reports 11,813 new coronavirus cases and 413 deaths today. The state now has 5,60,126 total cases and the toll stands at 19,063.

9.08 pm: Maharashtra Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis writes to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting him to reopen gyms, ANI reports. “If you’ve opened liquor shops, why not allow gyms?” his letter reads. “Improving state’s financial condition is important but health is more important in these times.”

9.04 pm: The Central Board of Secondary Education says optional exams for improvement of performance in Class 12 board examinations will be held in September, PTI reports. CBSE Examination Controller Sanyam Bhardwaj says the dates will be announced soon. “The marks obtained by a candidate in these optional examinations will be treated as final for those who have opted to take these examinations,” he adds.

8.50 pm: Chandigarh reports 91 new cases and one death. The total number of cases is now 1,842 and the toll 27.

8.42 pm: In Madhya Pradesh, 1,014 new cases and 17 deaths have been reported today. The total number of cases is now 42,618, including 9,718 active cases, 31,835 recoveries and 1,065 deaths.

8.37 pm: Maharashtra records 11,813 new infections, 9,115 recoveries and 413 deaths today. This takes the total number of cases in the state to 5,60,126, including 1,49,798 active cases, 3,90,958 cured cases and 19,063 deaths.

8.30 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directs all offices, business establishments, industrial units and marriage palaces where over 10 people gather, to appoint “Covid monitors”, ANI reports. These monitors will be responsible for ensuring proper hygiene and sanitisation.

8.23 pm: Mumbai records 1,200 new cases of the coronavirus, and 884 recoveries. The total number of cases in Mumbai is now 1,27,571, and the number of active cases 19,332. As many as 48 patients died today, taking the toll to 6,988. The doubling rate of cases in Mumbai has increased to 87 days, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation says.

8.10 pm: The management of Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai has cancelled the “Avani Moola” festival due to the coronavirus outbreak, reports ANI. The celebrations of the festival were scheduled to be held from August 15 to September 1.

8.08 pm: Karnataka reports a massive surge of 6,706 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s total to 2,03,200. With 103 fatalities, the toll rises to 3,613.

8.01 pm: More new cases in states/Union Territories, according to ANI:

7.05 pm: Fifty-six inmates and a home guard of a juvenile observation home in Lucknow have tested positive for the coronavirus, reports The Hindu, citing the Uttar Pradesh government. The home has a sanctioned capacity of 100, but has 153 inmates lodged in it.

7.02 pm: Kerala records 1,564 new coronavirus cases and three fatalities today, according to the state health department. Fifteen health care workers also tested positive today. The state now has 13,839 active cases.

7 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 5,835 new coronavirus cases and 119 deaths today. With this, the state now has 3,20,355 total cases and the toll has risen to 5,397.

6.56 pm: Veteran playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam, who is admitted to a hospital in Chennai after testing positive for the coronavirus, is stable and maintaining normal oxygen saturation, reports ANI.

6.55 pm: Mumbai’s Dharavi area records six new coronavirus cases, taking the total to 2,649, according to ANI.

5.15 pm: Delhi records 956 new coronavirus cases and 14 deaths on Thursday. The Capital’s tally rises to 1,49,460 and the toll reaches 4,167. More than 1.34 lakh people in Delhi have recovered from the infection.

5.06 pm: The Delhi High Court dismisses a petition seeking that the Centre include masks and hand sanitisers in the list of essential commodities and reduce the GST rates on them, PTI reports.

4.58 pm: A new antibody study in England has shown that 6% of the country’s population has contracted the coronavirus so far, PTI reports. The study, following which is described as the world’s largest home antibody testing programme involving a finger-prick test, involved over 1,00,000 volunteers.

4.55 pm: The University Grants Commission tells the Supreme Court that Delhi and Maharashtra’s decision to cancel the final year examinations amid the coronavirus crisis will directly impact the standards of higher education in the country, ANI reports.

4.52 pm: Andhra Pradesh records nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 82 deaths in 24 hours. The state’s tally rises to 2,64,142 and the toll reaches 2,378.

4.09 pm: Iran’s toll has increased to more than 19,000 after 194 more people died due to the virus on Thursday, reports Hindustan Times. Iran now has 3,36,324 cases.

4.08 pm: Bhutan has imposed its first national lockdown due to the coronavirus, reports Hindustan Times. This comes after an infected traveller was released from quarantine after initially testing negative for the infection. However, the traveller – a Bhutanese national who returned from Kuwait – travelled extensively after they was released, and then later tested positive for the virus.

The government says the lockdown will be in place for between 5 to 21 days.

4.02 pm: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warns that a growing cluster of cases in Auckland “could get worse before it gets better”, reports The Guardian. Earlier this week, the country reported new cases of the virus after a 102 days of no cases at all. The country now has 36 active cases.

“Once again we are reminded of how tricky this virus is and how easily it can spread,” Ardern says. “Going hard and early is still the best course of action.”

4 pm: Meghalaya currently has 1,191 cases, with 21 new Covid-19 patients reported today, according to PTI. Among the 12 are three Indian Air Force personnel.

3.56 pm: Tripura registers 121 new cases of the virus today, taking its tally to 6,621, reports PTI. One more person has died of the disease, so the toll is at 44.

3.51 pm: Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah is released from a Bengaluru hospital after recovering from the virus. The state’s leader of Opposition was admitted to hospital on August 4.

3.37 pm: The health ministry says 56,383 have recovered from the virus in the last day, the highest ever in a day, reports ANI. This takes the number of recoveries to 16,95,982.

The fatality rate is now at 1.96%.

2.09 pm: As many as 381 personnel of the Maharashtra Police tested positive in 24 hours on Thursday, taking the tally of infections in the police force to 11,773, ANI reports. The toll rises by three to 124.

2.06 pm: The Centre has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and over 1.28 crore personal protection equipment kits among the states, Union Territories and central institutions free of cost since March 11, the health ministry says in a statement, according to PTI. More than 10.83 crore hydroxychloroquine tablets have also been distributed among them, it adds.

2.03 pm: Puducherry records 305 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths in 24 hours on Thursday, taking the tally of infections in the Union Territory to 6,680, ANI reports. The toll rises to 102.

2.00 pm: Russia records 5,057 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, bringing its tally to 9,07,758, the fourth-highest in the world, Reuters reports. The toll rises by 124 to 15,384.

1.54 pm: Arunachal Pradesh’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 2,430 after 103 new infections were reported on Thursday, PTI reports.

1.53 pm: Odisha on Thursday recorded its biggest single-day rise of 1,981 Covid-19 cases, taking the tally of infections in the state to 52,653, PTI reports. The toll rose by nine to 314.

1.49 pm: Villupuram MP Ravikumar writes to Union health minister Harsh Vardhan asking him to upgrade the Covid-19 ward at Puducherrys’ Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research hospital, amid a surge in cases, ANI reports.

1.47 pm: The authorities in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, deny people the permission to celebrate Ganesh Puja in large gatherings, in view of the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reports.

1.24 pm: Telangana records 1,931 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths in a day. The state’s tally rises to 86,475 and the toll reaches 665.

1.20 pm: Philippines says it plans to launch clinical trials for the coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia in October, Reuters reports.

12.20 pm: Nritya Gopal Das, the head of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust in Ayodhya, has tested positive for coronavirus, NDTV reports. He had shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the groundbreaking ceremony for a Ram temple last week.

10.24 am: Eighteen more staffers of Sri Veera Venkata Satyanarayana Swamivari Devasthanam at Annavaram village in Andhra Pradesh have tested positive for the coronavirus, taking the case count to 50, reports The Hindu.

10 am: India reports coronavirus case count rises to 23,96,637 after 66,998 cases are recorded. The toll rises by 942 to 47,033.

9.41 am: The condition of former President of India Pranab Mukherjee remains unchanged on Thursday morning, ANI reports, quoting the Army Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. “He is deeply comatose with stable vital parameters and continues to be on ventilatory support,” the statement adds.

9.37 am: A 68-year-old woman in China has tested positive for coronavirus again, more than five months after recovering from the disease, Chinese mouthpiece Global Times reports. “The case indicates that it will take a long time to completely eliminate coronavirus from the human body, and the density of the virus inside this specific patient’s body was low, which may explain why she had tested negative,” Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, tells the newspaper.

9.34 am: At least 800 people died around the world because of coronavirus-related misinformation in the first three months of this year, a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene says. About 5,800 people were admitted to hospital as a result of false information on social media. Many died from drinking methanol or alcohol-based cleaning products, it adds.

9.32 am: A sample of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen from Brazil has tested positive for coronavirus, Reuters reports, quoting the city government. Shenzhen’s health authorities traced and tested everyone who might have come into contact with potentially contaminated food products, and also tested food products stored near the infected batch. All the results were negative, the government said in a notice.

9.09 am: Entrepreneur Kumar Mangalam Birla says that the Indian economy may grow by 6% to 8% in the next fiscal year after recouping the losses during Covid-19, reports Hindustan Times.

9.08 am: The Supreme Court will take up a writ petition on Friday seeking a Commission of Inquiry to be set up into the Centre’s “gross mismanagement” of the pandemic, reports The Hindu.

9.05 am: The Tamil Nadu Police have decided to register cases against thousands of people from the Hindu and Muslims communities for violating prohibitory orders and taking part in religious events during the lockdown, reports The Hindu.

8.53 am: Haryana recorded 797 new Covid-19 cases and three deaths on Wednesday, taking the state’s case count to 44,024, reports The Indian Express. The toll rises to 503.

8.50 am: The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research says it is working on “mega labs” that will sequence 1,500 to 3,000 viral genomes at one go to detect the coronavirus, reports The Hindu.

8.47 am: Jharkhand’s Covid-19 tally crossed 20,000 to reach 20,257 on Wednesday, according to PTI. The number of active cases in the state stood at 7,858 and the toll rose to 202.

8.45 am: Odisha’s coronavirus case count crossed the 50,000-mark on Wednesday, with the highest one-day spike of 1,876 new cases, reports PTI. The state’s toll rose to 305 with nine more deaths.

8.41 am: The number of coronavirus cases goes up to 649 in Mizoram. There are 319 active cases in the state, reports ANI, citing the state directorate of information and public relations.

8.19 am: Britain on Wednesday changed the way it collates data on coronavirus deaths, a move that reduced the country’s official death toll by more than 5,000, AP reports. The Department of Health said the new total is 41,329, down from 46,706. However, Britain still has the highest toll from the disease in Europe.

8.09 am: The United States’ tally of coronavirus cases reaches 51,93,266 and the toll rises to 1,65,934, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

8.06 am: The tally of coronavirus cases in Mizoram reaches 649 after one more case was reported from Champhai district, ANI reports. The state has recorded no deaths so far.

8.04 am: The National Expert Group on vaccine administration for Covid-19 on Wednesday decided the Centre would handle procurement of the vaccines. “The committee also advised all the states not to chart separate pathways of procurement,” a statement by the health ministry says.

The first meeting of the panel, headed by Niti Aayog member (health) VK Paul, also discussed the maintenance of a cold chain during distribution and storage to ensure vaccine viability, inventory, resource mobilisation, and ensuring equitable access.

7.11 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  1. Maharashtra recorded 12,712 new coronavirus cases in the evening, taking its total to 5,48,313. The toll jumped to 18,650 after 344 deaths. The state also recorded its highest single-day recoveries with 13,408 patients being discharged today. Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu reported 5,871 new coronavirus cases and 119 deaths. With this, the state’s tally rose to 3,14,520 and the toll stood at 5,278. Delhi saw an increase of 1,113 new coronavirus cases, which took the tally to 1,48,504. The toll in the city stood at 4,153 after 14 fatalities.
  2. Union minister Shripad Naik said he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is asymptomatic. Naik, who heads the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy, or AYUSH, asked all those who had come in contact with him over the past few days to get tested for the infection.
  3. Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said a low coronavirus infection rate could indicate that the worst was over for the state. “The Covid-19 positivity rate in the state has remained under 5% despite many tests being conducted,” Sarma said. “So we are either going the right way as far as peaking of the pandemic is concerned or the worst is behind us.”
  4. The Chennai Police issued a circular banning public gatherings, demonstrations, human chains, meetings for 15 days from August 12 to contain the coronavirus spread in the city.
  5. Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, said on Tuesday that the safety of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine needs to be ensured before it can be released for public use. Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization expressed concern that institutes in the region were planning to manufacture and distribute the vaccine. The organisation’s deputy director Jarbas Barbosa said that any vaccine should be carefully evaluated to ensure the product is safe and effective.
  6. Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah tested negative for the coronavirus on Wednesday, after spending eight days at a hospital in Bengaluru. He will be discharged on Thursday.
  7. Former President of India Pranab Mukherjee continues to remain in a critical condition and on ventilator. “Presently he is hemodynamically stable and on a ventilator,” a statement from the Army Research and Referral Hospital said.
  8. A study released by non-governmental organisation Population Foundation of India to assess the impact of the coronavirus-induced lockdown revealed that one in every four adolescents in Uttar Pradesh has experienced depression and six of 10 students felt anxious over their inability to find jobs.