10.34 pm: Andaman and Nicobar Islands reported 14 new coronavirus cases and 21 recoveries, taking the overall case count to 3,835. This includes 174 active cases, 53 deaths and 3,608 recoveries, reports ANI

10.05 pm: Karnataka records 8,856 new coronavirus cases, 8,890 recoveries and 87 deaths on Wednesday, taking the state’s overall count to 6,01,767, ANI reports. The toll rises to 8,864.

10.03 pm: Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla writes to the chief secretaries of all states and Union Territories, asking them to ensure the compliance of “Unlock 5.0” guidelines issued by the government, ANI reports.

10.02 pm: West Bengal’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 2.57,049, after 3,281 new infections were recorded on Wednesday, ANI reports. The toll rises by 59 to 4,958.

10 pm: Gujarat records 1,390 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths on Wednesday, pushing the state’s tally of infections to 1,37,394, ANI reports. The toll rises to 3,453.

9.53 pm: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation says all international air travel, except as permitted by the Centre, will continue to remain suspended till October 31.

8.17 pm: The Maharashtra government extends the lockdown in the state till end of October with further relaxations outside containment zones.

Hotels, restaurants and bars will be allowed to operate from October 5 at 50% of their capacity, according to The Mint. All intra-state trains in the state will be allowed to resume but amid necessary precautions to contain the spread of Covid-19. Local train services will resume in Pune, but metro services in the state will remain continue to remain suspended during this phase of the lockdown.

8.15 pm: The Centre allows the opening of cinema halls with upto 50% of their seating capacity from October 15, in its latest “Unlock 5” guidelines. Besides this, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons will also be permitted to open, for which the standard operating procedure will be issued by the government. However, international travel, except as permitted by the Centre, will continue to remain suspended till October 31.

7.21 pm: Kerala reports a record 8,830 new cases on Wednesday, pushing its tally to 1,95,285.

7.05 pm: Disney says it will lay off around 28,000 employees, mostly at themes parks in the United States, as its business takes a hit due to the coronavirus crisis, Reuters reports.

7.02 pm: Oxford University says it will study whether anti-inflammatory drug adalimumab was an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients, Reuters reports.

6.59 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 6,133 cases in the last 24 hours, which take its overall count to 6,93,484. The state’s toll rises by 48 to 5,828.

6.54 pm: Tamil Nadu’s tally rises to 5,97,602 on Wednesday as it reports 5,659 new cases. Sixty-seven more deaths push the state’s toll to 9,520.

6.52 pm: Delhi reports 3,390 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 2,79,715. The Capital’s toll rises by 41 to 5,361.

5.47 pm: The Delhi government tells the High Court that sero-prevalence of antibodies to COVID-19 reduced to 25% in September from nearly 29% last month, PTI reports.

5.15 pm: The Union health ministry says 15.11% of India’s total cases are active.

5.11 pm: The Central Board of Direct Taxes extends the due date for filing belated and revised Income tax returns for 2019-’20 from 30th September to 30th November in view of the coronavirus crisis.

5.07 pm: The Centre makes air bubble agreements with Kenya and Bhutan. “In order to further boost bilateral international air connectivity Air Bubble arrangements are now in place with Kenya and Bhutan,” Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Puri tweets. “Indian carriers will be able to operate to these countries. Carriers of these countries will be able to fly to India.”

3.40 pm: Union minister Nitin Gadkari says in a tweet that he has recovered from the coronavirus. He thanks the people for their blessings and support.

3.34 pm: As many as 327 personnel of the Maharashtra Police have tested positive for the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, and one has died. The total number of cases in the force is now 23,360, including 20,139 recoveries, 2,975 active cases and 246 deaths.

3.31 pm: A study has shown that Catalase, a commonly used low-cost enzyme, can be a therapeutic drug to treat Covid-19, PTI reports. Catalase kickstarts the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide, which can be toxic, into water and oxygen. It is used worldwide in food production and as a dietary supplement.

3.22 pm: Results from the Phase 1 trial of an investigational vaccine co-developed by researchers at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the American biotech company Moderna, have shown that it is well-tolerated and generates a strong immune response in older adults, PTI reports. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, notes that the experimental vaccine was well tolerated by individuals above 55 years of age.

3.08 pm: Supreme Court declines to postpone the Union Public Service Commission exams due the coronavirus pandemic, ANI reports. A bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar asks the Centre to consider granting one more chance to aspirants who may not appear in their last attempt for the exam due to the pandemic. The exams are scheduled for October 4.

The court also declined to club the exams for 2020 with those for 2021, saying that this will have a “cascading effect” on other tests.

2.56 pm: As many as 315 students and 100 Pakistani nationals who were stuck in India due to lockdown crossed over to Pakistan via Attari-Wagah border today, ANI reports.

2.48 pm: The Centre says that India’s active cases are 15.11% of the total number of cases today, as against 33.32% on August 1, PTI reports. “From 33.32% on August 1 to 15.11% on September 30, active cases have less than halved in two months,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare says in a statement. India’s recovery rate has touched 83.33% with 86,428 patients discharged in a day, the ministry said.

2.35 pm: Himachal Pradesh reports just three new cases of the coronavirus since the 9 pm bulletin on Tuesday, ANI reports. The total number of positive cases in the state stand at 14,750, including 11,173 recoveries, 180 deaths and 3,372 active cases

1.34 pm: Puducherry registers 491 fresh infections and four deaths, taking its tally to 27,544.

1.32 pm: Odisha’s total count rises to 2.19 lakh with 3,443 new cases and 14 deaths, reports ANI citing the state health department.

1.28 pm: The Delhi government extends its scheme, offering a one-time waiver of water bill arrears and late payment surcharge, till December 31, reports PTI.

11.30 am: The World Bank says it has asked its directors to approve $12 billion for poor countries so that they can buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines, AFP reports. The funds would be disbursed over 12-18 months.

11.19 am: Jharkhand’s coronavirus tally climbs to 82,540 with 1,123 fresh cases and the toll goes up to 700 with 12 new fatalities, says a health official, according to NDTV. The state has 11,942 active cases and the tally for the recovered stands at 69,898 in the state, the official says.

11.14 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research says a total of 7,41,96,729 samples have been tested for the coronavirus infection till Tuesday. Of these, 10,86,688 samples were tested on September 29.

11.10 am: Assam health department is undertaking an exercise to test 3 lakh people in three days for the coronavirus in order to better understand the pattern of the outbreak, according to The Indian Express.

11.07 am: Coronavirus cases among children and teenagers in the United States are rising what authorities believe is because of the reopening of schools in the country, reports AP. Children of all ages now make up 10% of all US cases, which has gone up from 2% in April, says the American Academy of Pediatrics.

9.30 am: India’s tally reaches 62,25,763 after 80,472 new cases are reported in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health. The toll is now 97,497 after 1,179 new deaths are reported.

8.55 am: The Centre says it does not agree with the figure of Rs 80,000 crore for distributing vaccines, cited by the CEO of the Serum Institute of India, NDTV reports. The institute is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer and will produce the coronavirus vaccine.

“The government has made a National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration and they have held five meetings so far,” Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan says. “In these meetings, we have mulled over the process of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the amount required for it in terms of prioritisation of population and the staggered immunisation for this prioritisation. In the meetings, we have calculated the amount required and currently, that amount is available with the government.”

8.43 am: US President Donald Trump during the presidential debate with his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, continues to claim that a coronavirus vaccine will be available to the public before the presidential election in November. Experts have already contradicted him on this claim. CDC chief Robert Redfield earlier clarified that a vaccine wouldn’t be “widely available” until the second or even third quarter of next year, reports The Guardian.

8.40 am: Walt Disney has announced mass layoffs. The company will fire 28,000 theme park employees due to the coronavirus crisis. “As you can imagine, a decision of this magnitude is not easy,” Josh D’Amaro, head of parks at Disney, wrote in a letter that was accessed by CNBC.

Disney in June reported its first quarterly loss in nearly two decades, a loss of $4.7 billion.

“For the last several months, our management team has worked tirelessly to avoid having to separate anyone from the company. We’ve cut expenses, suspended capital projects, furloughed our cast members while still paying benefits, and modified our operations to run as efficiently as possible, however, we simply cannot responsibly stay fully staffed while operating at such limited capacity,” the letter from D’Amaro says.

Here are the top updates from Tuesday:

  1. The Centre said that a significant section of the population remain vulnerable to Covid-19. Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava revealed the results of the second countrywide sero-survey. The prevalence in individuals above 10 years was 6.6%, and among adults (over 18 years of age) 7.1%, he said. The ICMR found that in urban slums the prevalence was 15.6% and non-slums was 8.2%, but the prevalence of cases in rural areas was 4.4%.
  2. The Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown in the state until October 31, but provided some more relaxations. Educational institutions will remain closed, but weekly locals markets have been allowed to reopen. The number of domestic flights to land at Chennai airport will be 100 a day. Film shootings with a maximum of 100 people at a time will be permitted.
  3. The Serum Institute of India said it would get a further $150 million (Rs 1,107 crore) in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the GAVI vaccines alliance to make an additional 100 million vaccine doses for India and other low-and middle-income countries next year.
  4. The World Bank on Monday said that East Asia and the Pacific region is expected to grow at 0.9% this year, the lowest since 1967, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The bank warned that up to 38 million people were expected to remain stuck or be pushed back into poverty in the region.
  5. German airline Lufthansa cancelled all flights to India from Wednesday till October 20. The airline said its flight schedule was rejected by Indian authorities. “This application process is necessary since India has so far not accepted the invitation by the German government to discuss details regarding a temporary travel agreement between both countries,” the airline said in a statement.
  6. The Supreme Court directed states and Union Territories to supply dry rations to sex workers identified by the National AIDS Control Organisation and district legal authorities without insisting on the production of identity documents like ration card amid the coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Over 350 servitors and 50 employees at Puri’s Jagannath Temple test positive.