10.57 pm: Read today’s top updates here.

10.30 pm: Eleven new cases in Andaman and Nicobar in the last 24 hours, says the administration. With this, the the total number of cases in the Union Territory is now 3,604, including 52 deaths.

10.07 pm: Authorities extend Covid-19 curbs in Mumbai till September 30.

10.03 pm: Rajasthan’s tally goes up to 1,09,473 with 1,793 new cases and 14 deaths.

9.44 pm: Mumbai reports 2,389 new cases and 43 deaths in the last 24 hours, says the civic body.

9.36 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s total count rises to 11,190 with 108 new infections, reports ANI citing the state health department.

9.35 pm: Punjab registers record 2,896 new cases and 57 deaths. The state’s tally is now 90,032, according to PTI.

9.16 pm: As many as 829 employees of Air India group have tested positive during flight operations till September 10, says Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. “All affected pilots and cabin crew have since recovered,” Puri adds in his written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

9.15 pm: Maharashtra reports 24,619 new coronavirus cases and 398 more fatalities, reports PTI.

9.05 pm: West Bengal registers 3,197 fresh infections and 60 additional deaths. With this, the state’s tally rises to 2,15,580.

9.04 pm: Delhi records 4,432 new cases while toll reaches 4,877 with 38 fresh fatalities.

8.39 pm: Madhya Pradesh reports 2,391 new cases on Thursday, taking its count to 97,906, PTI reports. The death of 33 more patients take the state’s toll to 1,877.

8.35 pm: Karnataka reports 9,366 cases, which push its tally to 4,94,356. The state’s toll rises to 7,629.

8.32 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 8,702 new cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 6,01,462. The state’s toll rises by 72 to 5,177.

6.49 pm: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been discharged from AIIMS, where he was re-admitted for post-covid check-up.

6.46 pm: Ashok Gasti, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajya Sabha MP from Karnantaka, dies of the coronavirus, News18 reports.

3.58 pm: Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech plans to start a clinical trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine with children and adolescents later this month, reports Reuters.

3.52 pm: Bengaluru civic body issues showcause notice to 36 hospitals for not allocating 50% beds for coronavirus patients, reports PTI.

3.48 pm: Michael Ryan, the emergencies chief of the World Health Organization says scientific disagreements over coronavirus interventions, like masks and vaccines, should not be treated as some kind of political football, and called for consistent message to tackle the pandemic, reports AP.

3.45 pm: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut asks how will Maharashtra government tackle the coronavirus crisis if the Centre is not ready to give Rs 25,000 crores dues to the state, reports ANI.

2.50 pm: Puducherry’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 21,428 on Thursday, ANI reports. The toll from the disease is 431.

2.41 pm: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday said the coronavirus crisis is “unlike any other crisis in our lifetimes”. “This is also the moment when the international community needs to come together to defeat the virus,” he added. “Many pin their hopes on a vaccine – but let’s be clear – there is no panacea in a pandemic. A vaccine alone cannot solve this crisis; certainly not in the near term.”

2.35 pm: As many as 364 personnel of the Maharashtra Police tested positive for the coronavirus in 24 hours, taking the tally of infections in the force to 20,367, ANI reports. The toll rises by four to 208.

2.31 pm: Himachal Pradesh’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 10,886, after 77 new infections were recorded on Thursday, ANI reports. The toll stands at 94.

2.27 pm: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad says India should be well placed to get a vaccine against the coronavirus at an “affordable price” and at an early stage, PTI reports. But he adds that the government must be “over cautious” about the quality, safety and efficacy of a new vaccine, as any long term side effects would impact India which has a large and young population.

Also read:

Parliament: ‘What is the use of PM CARES fund if not for states,’ asks Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut

2.20 pm: The United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF, says an additional 150 million children globally have been plunged into poverty since the Covid-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, taking the number of children living in multi-dimensional poverty across the world to approximately 1.2 billion.

1.46 pm: Mizoram’s coronavirus tally crosses 1,500-mark with 26 new cases, reports PTI. An 83 -year-old man was among those who tested positive.

12.30 pm: Odisha’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 1,67,161, with 4,241 new cases recorded on Thursday, PTI reports. The toll rises by 13 to 669.

12.26 pm: Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh says the prime minister’s call to clap and beat utensils in honour of coronavirus warriors was a “foolish” thing to do, PTI reports. “I want to ask this government, tell me any one research in the world that shows Covid-19 can be prevented by clamping utensils and by clapping,” he says at the ongoing Monsoon Session in the Rajya Sabha.“You bring such absurd and foolish schemes and expect the entire country to be be fooled by you.”

12.22 pm: Vardhan praises Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he handled the Covid-19 pandemic meticulously, The Indian Express reports. “History will remember Prime Minister Narendra Modi for meticulously monitoring the entire situation himself.”

Responding to Congress MP Anand Sharma’s query, the health minister says that six “scientific agencies” gave data on the basis of which, it was said about 14-29 lakh coronavirus cases were prevented by the lockdown.

12.18 pm: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan tells the Rajya Sabha that he expects a vaccine against the coronavirus would be available by 2021, News 18 reports. “We are expecting that in the beginning of next year a vaccine would be available in the country,” he is quoted as saying.

12.13 pm: Arunachal Pradesh records its biggest single-day rise of Covid-19 cases on Thursday, as 221 more people test positive for the infection, PTI reports. With this, the state’s tally rises to 6,692.

12.08 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the administration has increased Covid-19 testing in the city by four times due to which, the number of cases are likely to rise for 10 to 15 days, ANI reports. “This will help in isolating the positive cases,” he says. Jain adds that Delhi’s positivity rate as of Wednesday was 7.15%, while the death rate is 0.7%.

12.03 pm: A report by global charity Oxfam states that a group of wealthy countries representing 13% of the global population have already bought up more than half of the promised doses of future Covid-19 vaccines, AFP reports.

The non-governmental organisation analysed deals struck by pharmaceuticals and vaccine producers for five leading vaccine candidates currently in late-stage trials, based on data collected by the analytics company Airfinity. These are: AstraZeneca, Gamaleya/Sputnik, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac.

12.01 pm: A serological survey conducted between August and September found that nearly 33% of residents in Delhi have developed Covid-19 antibodies, the Hindustan Times reports, quoting officials of the Delhi government. The figure was released after the preliminary analysis of the third survey of 17,000 samples, but the final figures are yet to be released officially.

11.31 am: Union Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel has tested positive for the coronavirus. Patel says his reports came last night.

11.29 am: Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad tells Rajya Sabha that the Narendra Modi government wasted the “golden months” to stop the coronavirus spread, reports ANI. “As China is our neighbouring country, we should have been alert first,” he says. “Congress’s Rahul Gandhi had also alerted that an epidemic was looming over us.”

11.26 am: Telangana reports 2,159 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 1,65,003, reports PTI. With nine more deaths, the toll stands at 1,005.

9.45 am: India has tested 6,05,65,728 samples so far, Indian Council of Medical Research announces. Of these, 11,36,613 samples were tested on Wednesday.

9.19 am: India records 97,894 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 51,18,254. With 1,132 deaths, the toll has jumped to 83,198. As many as 40,25,080 people have recovered from the infection so far, while the active case count crosses the 10-lakh mark.

9.16 am: Former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh, who had tested positive for coronavirus, was shifted by an air ambulance from Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow to a private hospital in Ghaziabad on Wednesday, reports Hindustan Times. However, doctors said his condition is stable.

9.15 am: The BJP criticises Mizoram government’s decision to set up a separate coronavirus care centre for VIPs testing positive for the infection, reports PTI. “It is very unfortunate that Mizoram is dealing with a ‘biased’ government which is keen on showing partiality towards people, who are on good term with the Mizo National Front party,” says a statement.

9.13 am: South Africa will open its borders from next month for international travel, reports PTI. The country will move to the lowest level of its five-step coronavirus lockdown from midnight of September 20.

9.09 am: The Indian Medical Association has accused the government of “indifference” and “abdication” after Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told Parliament that there is no data about doctors who died in the line of duty amid the pandemic, NDTV reports. So far, 382 doctors have died of coronavirus, the association says.

9.08 am: The Calcutta High Court has directed that the body of a coronavirus patient should be handed over to the family for cremation after completion of hospital formalities, provided postmortem is not required, reports PTI.

8.15 am: Trump also added that “a lot of people don’t want to wear masks and people don’t think masks are good”.

When asked which people, he claimed it was waiters. “They come over and they serve you and they have a mask,” he said. “I saw it the other day when they were serving me and they’re playing with the mask. I’m not blaming them. I’m just saying what happens: They’re playing with the mask. So the mask is over, and they’re touching it, and then they’re touching the plate, and that can’t be good.”

8.10 am: United States President Donald Trump has repeated his claims that the coronavirus could disappear over time as people develop a “herd mentality”.

He was possibly referring to herd immunity, which occurs when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely. “As a result, the entire community is protected, even those who are not themselves immune,” says the Harvard Medical School website. Herd immunity, it explains, “is usually achieved through vaccination, but it can also occur through natural infection”.

“It would go away without the vaccine but it’s going to go away a lot faster with it,” Trump said on Wednesday, according to AFP. When asked how it would go away by itself, he said: “You’ll develop like a herd mentality.”

“It’s going to be herd developed and that’s going to happen,” Trump added. “That will all happen but with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly. But I really believe we’re rounding the corner.”

8 am: Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 2.97 crore people and killed 9,39,175 people, according to the Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide recoveries has crossed 2.02 crore.

7.50 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  • India’s coronavirus count rose to 50,20,359 on Wednesday with 90,123 new cases. The toll jumped by 1,290 to 82,066. As many as 39,42,360 people have recovered from the infection, taking the recovery rate to 78.53%. There are 9,95,933 active cases. The mortality rate, meanwhile, is 1.63%.
  • Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Russian Direct Investment Fund or RDIF, and global pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories have agreed to collaborate on clinical trials and distribution of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.
  • Delhi reported a record 4,473 new cases, taking its tally to 2,30,269. The Capital’s toll rose by 33 to 4,839. Maharashtra, on the other hand, recorded 23,365 new cases, pushing the tally to 11,21,221. The state’s toll rose by 474 to 30,883.
  • Union minister Nitin Gadkari tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday. The minister said in a tweet that he was in self-isolation and doing well. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Lok Sabha MP Balli Durga Prasad Rao died of the coronavirus. He was 64 years old.
  • The Congress criticised the Centre for its handling of the coronavirus crisis and asked if the government would “blame God to evade accountability” on the pandemic. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien said that the PM CARES Fund, set up in March in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic by the prime minister’s office, was the most “opaque dark fund” in the world and referred to it as the “PM couldn’t-care-less” fund.
  • Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das said that India’s economic recovery is likely to be gradual, as the country is still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Kerala government has allowed migrant workers, who are Covid-19 positive but asymptomatic, to continue working in the state, The News Minute reported on Wednesday. The order, issued by Additional Chief Secretary of Labour Department Satyajeet Rajan, stated that such asymptomatic migrant labourers can work in “areas exclusively marked” for them.
  • The Centre informed the Rajya Sabha that more than 30 vaccine candidates for coronavirus have been supported, and three of them are in advance stages of trials, while four are in advanced preclinical development stage.