9.01 pm: Punjab lifts night curfew and Sunday lockdown.

8.56 pm: Karnataka reports over 10,000 cases on Thursday, which push its tally to 6,11,837. The state’s toll rises to 8,994.

8.53 pm: Tamil Nadu’s Covid-19 tally rises to 6,03,290 with 5,688 new cases on Thursday. The state’s toll rises by 66 to 9,586.

8.52 pm: Maharashtra reports 16,476 new cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 14,00,922. The state’s toll rises by 394 to 37,056.

6.54 pm: The United Arab Emirates reports its highest daily total of coronavirus infections since the start of the outbreak, with 1,158 new cases on Thursday, The Guardian reports. The UAE’s nationwide tally stands at 95,348 infections and 421 deaths.

6.49 pm: Sweden has registered its highest daily Covid caseload since June, with 752 new infections recorded on Thursday, The Guardian reports. Sweden’s total Covid-19 toll is 5,893. The country has not shut down restaurants, bars, transport services and other public utilities.

6.45 pm: The Supreme Court says that economic slowdown created by the pandemic does not qualify as “internal disturbance threatening the security of the state”, PTI reports. The court quashes notifications of the Gujarat government which exempted factories from observing certain obligations towards workers. The court says that though economic hardships during the pandemic pose a challenge, these are to be dealt with by the central and state governments, not the labourers.

6.36 pm: The Maharashtra Police say 188 police personnel have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, and one has died. The total number of positive cases in the police force is now 23,548, in the force including 20,345 recoveries, 2,956 active cases and 247 deaths.

6.33 pm: Rajasthan reports 2,193 new cases of Covid-19. As many as 1,953 people have been discharged today and 14 have died.

6.27 pm: Kerala reports 8,135 new coronavirus cases, 2,828 recoveries and 29 deaths today, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan according to ANI. The total number of active cases is now 72,339.

6.23 pm: There will be no Lufthansa flights between India and Germany till October 20 as India has rejected its October schedule, the Hindustan Times reports. Under this schedule, many German flights would enter India, but the entry of Indian flights into German airspace is restricted.

6.15 pm: Oman has become the latest country to sign an air bubble agreement with India, says Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri. “Happy to announce that bilateral air bubble arrangement is now in place for flights between India & Oman, taking the number of such arrangements to 16,” Puri tweets. “Carriers of India & Oman will operate between the two countries.”

5.55 pm: Mizoram reports 41 new recoveries from the coronavirus, according to ANI. The total positive cases rise to 2,018, including 1,638 discharges and 380 active cases. There have been no Covid-19 deaths in the state till date.

5.44 pm: Congress leader Ahmed Patel says he has been diagnosed with Covid-19. “I have tested positive for Covid19. “I request all those who came in close contact with me recently, to self isolate,” he tweets.

5.40 pm: Delhi reports 3,037 new cases, 3,167 new discharges and 40 deaths today. The total cases in the state rise to 2,82,752 including 2,50,613 recoveries and 5,401 deaths. Active cases stand at 26,738.

5.33 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 6,751 new cases, 7,297 recoveries and 41 deaths in the last 24 hours.

5.19 pm: The Indian Council of Medical Research and Biological E Limited, Hyderabad have developed highly purified antisera, raised in animals, for prophylaxis and treatment of the coronavirus, ANI reports.

5 pm: Dharavi area of Mumbai, Asia’s largest slum, reports 16 new cases of the coronavirus. The total number of cases is now 3,192 including 170 active cases and 2,731 discharges.

4.45 pm: Nepal reports 11 Covid-19-related fatalities, taking the death toll to 509, according to The Kathmandu Post. The country’s infection tally rises to 79,728 with 1,911 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours.

4.23 pm: The Bombay High Court asks the Maharashtra government if there exists a grievance redressal mechanism in the state for citizens to complain if they are overcharged for coronavirus treatment, PTI reports. A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation seeking that the state fix a maximum rate that private hospitals and nursing homes can charge for PPE kits.

4.13 pm: According to an order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, cinemas, theatres and swimming pools in Delhi will remain closed till further orders, PTI reports. In his order issued on Wednesday night, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev said that two weekly markets in each civic body zone will be allowed to open every day.

“It has also been decided that opening of two weekly markets per day per zone in all three municipal corporations/ New Delhi Municipal Council/Delhi Cantonment Board may be allowed instead of one weekly market per day per zone,” the order reads. The order adds that all social, academic, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions as well as other gatherings and large congregations will continue to be prohibited across the city.

2.33 pm: The Supreme Court rejects a public interest litigation calling for an independent investigation into the “gross mismanagement” of the coronavirus pandemic by the government, The Hindu reports.

2.10 pm: Congress leader Ahmed Patel says the Centre must answer US President Donald Trump’s charge that India is not reporting the correct number of coronavirus deaths. “The President of the United States has made a serious charge that India is concealing Covid19 deaths,” he tweets. “We wish to remind him that Gujarat is still paying a price for hosting him in the midst of a pandemic. We hope our Government answers to his allegations.”

1.35 pm: Former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki, who tested positive for coronavirus in June this year, has been discharged after being in hospital after 101 days, reports PTI.

“I was overconfident and under the impression that nothing would happen to me,” Solanki tells reporters in Ahmedabad. “That is why I kept meeting people and did not take precautions. I urge people not to take coronavirus lightly. Please wear mask, because that is better than getting hospitalised.”

1.33 pm: The Supreme Court dismisses a batch of petitions asking for a commission of inquiry into alleged gross mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI.

1.26 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the third sero survey shows that 25.1% of the participants have developed antibodies to the coronavirus, reports ANI. In the last survey, it was 28.7%, he adds.

1 pm: Toll from the coronavirus in Odisha rises to 859 with record 17 fatalities, reports PTI. With 3,615 new cases, the tally has risen to 2,22,734.

11.28 am: The Karnataka Education Department on Wednesday announced that it will not allow high school students to visit schools to get their doubts clarified till 15 October, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, The Indian Express reports. While regular classes remain suspended, the state had earlier allowed students from Classes 9 to 12 to visit their respective teachers at schools and pre-university colleges for queries.

11.26 am: The Karnataka government on Wednesday increased the penalty for not wearing a mask in public places to Rs 1,000 in urban areas of the state, The Indian Express reports. In rural areas the fine will continue to be Rs 500.

11.21 am: The tally of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra’s Thane climbs to 1,75,012, after 1,938 new infections were reported on Thursday, PTI reports. The toll rises by 32 to 4,458.

11.17 am: The coronavirus pandemic has emphasised the fact that unregulated exploitation of natural resources coupled with unsustainable food habits and consumption pattern lead to destruction of system that supports human life, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said at the UN Biodiversity Summit.

“India has been championing the cause of climate action through conservation, sustainable lifestyle and green development model,” he adds.

11.12 am: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an “immediate infusion” of $15 billion to a global pool for the procurement and distribution of Covid-19 vaccines at a virtual summit hosted by the world body on Wednesday, AFP reports.

11.11 am: American Airlines will begin furloughing 19,000 workers from Thursday, the company announced, as US officials have failed to reach a deal on fresh aid to the pandemic-hit air travel sector, AFP reports.

11.05 am: The Bombay High Court dismisses a plea by the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation seeking implementation of a National Green Tribunal order, which would result in removal of encroachments along riverbeds, Live Law reports. The court rejects the plea, saying it could not let anyone go homeless during the coronavirus pandemic.

11.02 am: The Supreme Court approves the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s recommendations of refunding air tickets of flights that were cancelled because of the lockdown, through credit shells, ANI reports.

9.21 am: India’s coronavirus tally rises to 63,12,584 as the health ministry reports 86,821 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll goes up by 1,181 to 98,678.

8.48 am: A tenth of all patients infected with the coronavirus become “superspreaders” and account for 60% of new infections, while 70% of infected patients do not pass the disease to anyone else, the Hindustan Times reports, quoting a study on transmission patterns of Sars-CoV-2 published in the journal Science. The study also established that children are “active transmitters” of Covid-19.

The contact tracing study looked at disease transmission patterns in at least 5,75,000 people who were exposed to nearly 85,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in two Indian states: Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

8.44 am: Ahead of this year’s Durga Puja, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked officials not to lower guard despite a decline in Covid-19 cases in Darjeeling hills and continue testing and tracing protocols in the region, PTI reports.

“We cannot lower guards, more because the festive season is coming,” she said at an administrative review meeting in Darjeeling district. “Durga Puja committees should set up pandals with open spaces to prevent the spread of the virus.”

8.43 am: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the United Kingdom was at a “critical moment” and the rising number of coronavirus cases and deaths showed “why our plan is so essential”, BBC reports. He said he would “not hesitate” to impose further restrictions if needed.

8.31 am: United States-based biotech firm Moderna would not seek an emergency use authorisation for its coronavirus vaccine before the presidential elections in the country, AFP reports, quoting the company’s chief executive officer.

“November 25 is the time we will have enough safety data to be able to put into an EUA file that we would send to the Food and Drug Administration – assuming that the safety data is good, i.e. a vaccine is deemed to be safe,” Stephane Bancel said. Moderna’s vaccine is one of 11 experimental vaccines in final stage trials.

8.29 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday.

  1. The Centre allowed 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. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said all international air travel, except those permitted by the Centre, will continue to remain suspended till October 31.
  2. Kerala reported a record 8,830 new cases, taking the tally to 1,95,285. The state has 1,28,224 recovered cases and 67,061 active cases. The state’s toll stood at 742.
  3. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said he has recovered from Covid-19. “I am very happy to tell all of you that on the strength of all your blessings and best wishes, I have recovered from Covid-19. Thank you for your affection,” he tweeted.
  4. The Maharashtra government extended the lockdown in the state till October 31, but provided further relaxations. Hotels, restaurants and bars will be allowed to operate dine-in services from October 5 sat 50% of their capacity. All intra-state trains in the state will be allowed to resume. 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.
  5. The World Bank said it has asked its directors to approve $12 billion for poor countries so that they can buy and distribute coronavirus vaccines. The funds would be disbursed over 12-18 months.
  6. The second national serological survey showed that one in 15 Indians aged 10 or above has been infected with the novel coronavirus and developed antibodies. This is about 6.6% of the country’s population. The Indian Council for Medical Research on Tuesday warned that the results show that a significant chunk of the population is still vulnerable to the virus.