10.57 pm: Read today’s top updates here.

10.53 pm: Assam registers 2,739 new cases in the last 24 hours, says state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

10.44 pm: Gujarat reports 1,332 new cases, according to PTI.

10.33 pm: Punjab records the highest single-day spike of 2,464 cases, taking the state’s tally to 72,143. Haryana, too registers, biggest daily surge of 2,591 infections.

10.10 pm: Rajasthan registers 1,640 new cases and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours. With this, the state’s tally is now 97,376, including 1,192 deaths.

9.57 pm: Himachal Pradesh records 64 new cases today, taking the total number of cases in the state to 8,466, including 2,723 active cases, 5,666 recoveries and 64 deaths.

9.26 pm: Uttarakhand BJP legislator Pranav Singh Champion tests positive, reports PTI. He is under self-isolation at his home.

9.09 pm: Madhya Pradesh’s tally climbs up to 81,379 after it reports 2,187 new cases and 21 deaths.

9.08 pm: West Bengal reports 3,112 new cases and 41 deaths. With this, the state’s tally is now 1,93,175.

9.06 pm: Goa registers 639 new cases and six deaths. With this, the tally rises to 22,890.

9.03 pm: Kolkata Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma tests positive, PTI reports.

9.02 pm: Maharashtra’s tally rises to 9,90,795 with 23,446 new cases and 448 fatalities. The state’s toll is now 28,282.

8.56 pm: 23,446 new #COVID19 cases and 448 deaths reported in Maharashtra today; 14,253 patients discharged. The total cases in the state rise to 9,90,795, including 28,282 deaths and 7,00,715 patients discharged. Active cases 2,61,432

8.40 pm: China on Wednesday approved for trials its first nasal spray vaccine against the coronavirus, reported Xinhua.

8.35 pm: West Bengal’s Covid-19 toll rises to 3,771, with 41 more deaths, reports PTI. The state’s tally goes up by 3,112 to 1,93,175.

8.15 pm: Uttarakhand records new 1,015 cases, taking the state’s tally to 28,226, including 377 deaths and 18,783 recoveries, reports ANI.

8.01 pm: Delhi registers highest one-day jump in infections with 4,308 new Covid-19 cases, taking the Capital’s overall count to more than 2.5 lakh, reports PTI. The toll rises to 4,666 after 28 more deaths.

6.41 pm: Kolkata Metro will restart operations from September 14, an official says according to PTI. However, there will be no trains on Sundays. Trains will run at an interval of 10 minutes on other days. On September 13, the metro will function only for NEET students.

6.34 pm: Dharavi slum in Mumbai has reported 11 more cases of the coronavirus. The total number of cases is now 2,850, but 2,478 patients have already recovered.

6.22 pm: Kerala reports 3,349 new cases, according to ANI. Active cases now stand at 26,229, while 72,578 patients have recovered so far.

6.11 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 5,528 new cases, 64 deaths and 6,185 discharges today. The total cases in the state rise to 4,86,052, including 8,154 deaths and 4,29,416 discharges. Active cases now stand at 48,482.

6 pm: BJP MP from Ladakh JT Namgyal says there are no tourists this year due to the coronavirus. But he says the government is working to establish Standard Operating Protocols. Namgyal says tourists can come to Ladakh with a negative test report.

5.35 pm: United Kingdom-based firm AstraZeneca says it should still know by the end of the year whether its experimental vaccine works against the coronavirus, as long as its trials resume soon, reports Reuters, citing its chief executive.

5.31 pm: Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja says that the death rate in the state may go up after relaxations come into force from September 21 onwards, reports The Hindu.

5.27 pm: Uttar Pradesh has recorded 7,042 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, says state Principal Health Secretary Amit Mohan Prasad, according to ANI. A total of 2,21,506 patients have been discharged so far and the recovery rate is 75.85%.

5.25 pm: Puducherry registers 452 new coronavirus cases and six deaths, taking the overall case count to 18,536 and toll to 353, reports ANI. The number of active cases stands at 4,794.

3.47 pm: “We are reviewing the situation and pausing India trials till AstraZeneca restarts them,” the Serum Institute of India says. “We are following DCGI’s [Drugs Controller General of India] instructions and will not be able to comment further on the same. You can connect with DCGI for more updates on this front.”

2.50 pm: Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar says she has tested positive for Covid-19, but is asymptomatic.

2.48 pm: The Odisha government issues guidelines for Durga Puja, Kali Puja and Laxmi Puja celebrations in the state, reports ANI, citing an order. No more than seven people are allowed at a time in pandals. No immersion processions will be allowed and the use of public address systems will be prohibited.

2.46 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing norms. “Don’t take coronavirus lightly,” he says, according to PTI, while launching the Rs 20,050-crore Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana.

2.44 pm: The Union health ministry issues revised standard operating procedures on preventive steps to be followed while conducting exams to contain the spread of Covid-19.

2.37 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says her administration has lifted the lockdown order for September 12 (Saturday) so that students can attend the NEET 2020 examination on September 13 (Sunday).

“Considering the NEET 2020 examination scheduled on 13th, we have received numerous requests from the student community on lifting lockdown norms on 12th, helping ease their travel to examination centres,” she tweets.

2.34 pm: Congress leader P Chidambaram on Wednesday criticised the Centre over its assistance to the poor under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, alleging that the money provided was “niggardly and totally insufficient”.

2.32 pm: International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said on Wednesday that the world economy is showing signs of getting back to normal from the severe downturn due to the pandemic, reports AFP.

2.27 pm: Delhi’s Health Minister Satyender Jain says that the administration will continue using convalescent plasma therapy to treat severe symptoms of Covid-19, reports NDTV. This comes a day after a India Council of Medical Research study said that giving plasma had minimal effect on reducing risk of mortality.

2.19 pm: The Union health ministry urges states and Union Territories to mandatorily retest all symptomatic negative cases of rapid antigen tests through the RT-PCR testing method.

12.44 pm: Faridabad based-Hindustan Syringes, one of the world’s largest syringe manufacturers, says it is increasing its output of auto-disable devices (which prevent re-use) from 700 million [70 crore] a year to one billion [100 crore] by 2021 meet the rising demand amid the coronavirus crisis, AFP reports.

12.37 pm: The Supreme Court gives the Centre two more weeks to come up with a solution related to loan moratorium for several sectors, Live Law reports. The case will be heard on September 28 next.

12.34 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah says the coronavirus is an unprecedented challenge but India is fighting it well, PTI reports.

11.12 am: Arunachal Pradesh reports 147 new cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 5,545, according to PTI.

11.05 am: A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine on Wednesday shows that severe coronavirus infection is more dangerous for young adults than a heart attack.

10.59 am: Australia’s Victoria state reports 51 new cases and seven deaths on Thursday, according to Reuters.

10.56 am: South Korean company LG Electronics has invented a battery-powered filtered face mask to address breathing difficulties and the problem of fogged-up glasses, Reuters reports. The masks will be available in the fourth quarter of the year in select markets and the company is yet to fix its price.

10.52 am: As many as 244 Maharashtra policemen test positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours while four die of the infection, ANI reports. The police force’s tally rises to 18,216 and the toll reaches 184.

9.38 am: India reports a record rise of 95,735 new coronavirus cases and 1,172 deaths. With this, the country has 44,65,864 total cases and the toll has risen to 75,062. As many as 34,717,83 people have recovered from the infection. India’s recovery rate is currently 77.74%, while the mortality rate is 1.68%.

9.30 am: Top United Nations officials said the coronavirus has aggravated discrimination and other human rights violations that can fuel conflict, and its indirect consequences are dwarfing the impact of the virus itself in the world’s most fragile countries, AP reports. UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock warned the council that the indirect economic and health effects from the crisis in fragile countries “will be higher poverty, lower life expectancy, more starvation, less education and more child death”.

9.26 am: The World Health Organization said safety is paramount in vaccine clinical trials and temporary suspensions are not unusual to evaluate any unexplained illness in a participant, regarding the pause in an AstraZeneca Covid-19 trial, Reuters reports.

“We are pleased to see vaccine developers assuring the scientific integrity of the trials and abiding by the standard guidelines and rules for the development of vaccines,” the global health body said.

9.22 am: US President Donald Trump’s downplaying of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States is a historic national tragedy, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said, ANI reports.

“The President’s own words spell out the devastating truth: Trump was fully aware of the catastrophic nature of the coronavirus but hid the facts and refused to take the threat seriously, leaving our entire country exposed and unprepared,” Pelosi said in a statement.

This came after Trump on Wednesday admitted that he deliberately downplayed the coronavirus crisis earlier this year even though he was aware that it was “deadly” and vastly more serious than a seasonal flu.

9.20 am: Restaurants in New York City will be able to resume indoor dining at 25% capacity at the end of the month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.

9.20 am: Covid-19 patients will be allowed to vote in the by-elections to the two Assembly seats in Odisha, PTI reports. The decision was taken at a meeting between Chief Electoral Officer S K Lohani and the collectors and police chiefs of Balasore and Jagatsinghpur districts where the polls will be held, they said.

9.18 am: Pope Francis was seen for the first time wearing a protective face mask on Wednesday, amid the coronavirus outbreak, AFP reports.

9.16 am: International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva says the global economy is showing signs of bouncing back from the severe downturn caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, but a full recovery is “unlikely” without a vaccine, AFP reports.

9.13 am: Twenty-six scientists, most of them working at universities in Italy, have signed an open letter questioning the reliability of the data presented in the early-stage trial results of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine, named “Sputnik-V”, Reuters reports. In a letter to the editor of The Lancet, the scientists said they saw patterns in the data that looked “highly unlikely”.

9.12 am: The Punjab government on Wednesday said the lockdown will now remain in force only on Sundays in all 167 municipal towns of the state till September 30, PTI reports.

9.09 am: Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences said that coronavirus patients may need lung transplants because of extensive fibrosis – a condition where lung tissues harden, with lesions caused as the infection heals, the Hindustan Times reports.

“If you look at the available data, about 60% to 80% of the individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 may have some form of sequelae [a condition caused by another disease],” AIIMS director Dr Randeep Guleria said. “It can be mild in the form of fatigue and body aches. But it can also be very serious in the form of individuals requiring to be on long-term oxygen therapy. We have had two individuals who have had extensive lung fibrosis and are being advised lung transplants.”

9.01 am: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation resumes services on the Red Line, Green Line and Violet Line, a day after it restarted operations on its longest line Blue Line that that connects Dwarka/Vaishali to Noida Electronic City. With this, seven lines of the Delhi Metro are now open.

8.54 am: All travellers from India, who are not Singaporeans and permanent residents, will have to take a coronavirus test within 72 hours of departing for Singapore, PTI reports. The rule will be applicable from next Thursday.

8.35 am: United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday admitted that he deliberately downplayed the coronavirus crisis earlier this year even though he was aware that it was “deadly” and vastly more serious than a seasonal flu. Trump said he gave the wrong picture because he did not want to create panic.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: Trump admits to downplaying pandemic in US, claims he did not want to ‘create panic’

8.25 am: Cases in Mizoram rise to 1,333, ANi reports. There are 583 active cases while 750 people have recovered.

8.15 am: The United States has continued to keep India in its advisory on list of countries that Americans should not travel to due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Hindustan Times reports. However, it has taken off Pakistan and Bangladesh. The other four countries that US allowed travelling to on Wednesday included Benin, Kuwait, Mexico, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

India is currently under the category of ‘Level 4: Do Not Travel’.

“We continue to monitor health and safety conditions around the world, working with the CDC and other agencies, as conditions evolve,” the state department said in a statement.

“Covid-19 risk in India is high. If you get sick in India and need medical care, resources may be limited,” the CDC said in its advisory.

8.10 am: Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 2.77 crore people and claimed 9,01,050 lives, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.86 crore people have recovered from the infection worldwide.

8 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  • India reported 89,706 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 43,70,128. The country recorded 1,115 deaths in 24 hours, pushing the toll to 73,890. As many as 33,98,844 people have recovered from the infection. India’s recovery rate is currently 77.65%, while the mortality rate is 1.7%.
  • The Drugs Controller General of India issued a notice to the Serum Institute of India on Wednesday for not suspending the trials of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine. Earlier in the day, the Serum Institute of India said that its trials of the coronavirus vaccine will continue, even as United Kingdom pharmaceutical major AstraZeneca suspended it after a volunteer fell ill.
  • The Union health ministry said Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu account for 61% of the total active cases in the country.
  • The Delhi government ruled out the possibility of another lockdown amid a rise in cases. The Capital’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that the economy “cannot be kept shut for eternity”. Delhi has recorded 4,039 new cases and 20 deaths in 24 hours, taking the Capital’s case count to 2,01,174, including 4,638 deaths and 1,72,763 recoveries.
  • The Supreme Court dismissed three pleas seeking postponement of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test slated for September 13. A bench, led by Justice Ashok Bhushan, directed officials to take all the required steps to conduct the NEET-undergraduate exams amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Supreme Court sought clarifications from the Centre if it was willing to refund tickets for flights cancelled after normal operations resumed following the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
  • Brazil’s acting Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello on Tuesday said that a vaccine would be rolled out for all Brazilians in January 2021.