11 pm: Read the top updates of the day here.

10.53 pm: Jharkhand registers 583 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths.

10.10 pm: Assam reports 769 new infections and nine more deaths.

9.48 pm: Delhi reports 3,483 new case and 26 deaths. The tally is now 3,21,031, including 5,924 fatalities.

9.47 pm: Mumbai’s tally rises to 2,36,725 with 2,119 new cases. The city registers 46 more deaths, taking its toll to 9,598.

9.45 pm: Former Tamil Nadu MLA and TTV Dhinakaran-led Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam’s treasurer P Vetrivel dies at a hospital, reports PTI.

9.44 pm: Tamil Nadu registers 4,410 fresh infections and 49 additional deaths in the last 24 hours. The state’s tally is now 6,74, 802 and toll stands at 10,472.

9.21 pm: The Ministry of Commerce & Industry says the export of alcohol-based hand sanitisers in containers with dispenser pumps is now free.

9.20 pm: West Bengal’s tally rises to 3,09,417 with highest single-day surge of 3,720 new cases. The state’s toll goes up to 5,870 with 62 more fatalities.

8.40 pm: Maharashtra reports 10,226 new cases, taking its tally to 15,64,615. The state’s toll rises to 41,196 with 337 additional deaths.

8.31 pm: US Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris suspends travel after her communications director and a non-staff flight crew member test positive, reports AFP. Campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon says Harris does not need to quarantine but “out of an abundance of caution” would cancel travel and campaign only virtually till October 19.

8.29 pm: In fresh guidelines, the Ministry of Culture says a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 people.

8.27 pm: Punjab registers 511 new coronavirus cases and 29 more deaths. With this, the state’s tally is now 1,26,230 including 3,954 deaths.

8.09 pm: Madhya Pradesh has reported 1,308 fresh cases, taking its tally to 1,56,584, while 24 fatalities have taken the toll to 2,710. As many as 1,559 patients recovered on Thursday.

8.04 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says cancelling Durga Puja celebrations is impossible, but urges people to follow safety protocols while celebrating, PTI reports. “It is not possible to stop Durga Puja festivities in West Bengal entirely, like some other states,” she says at the secretariat in Kolkata. “We don’t want to stop Durga Puja, it is not right; we have not stopped anything.” Some doctors’ associations have asked the state government to cancel public festivities.

7.54 pm: Himachal Pradesh records 56 new cases in the last 24 hours.

7.48 pm: Schools in Punjab will reopen for Classes 9 to 12, in non-containment zones from October 19, the state government has announced according to NDTV. Punjab School Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla says the school education department has also issued Standard Operating Procedures to ensure safety of the students.

7.32 pm: Uttarakhand reports 423 new cases, taking total cases to 56,493 including 5,682 active cases, 49,631 recoveries and 814 deaths, says its health department.

7.22 pm: Gujarat reports 1,185 new Covid-19 cases, 1,329 deaths and 11 discharges. The state’s total count is now 1,56,283 including 1,37,870 recoveries, 3,609 deaths and 14,804 active cases.

7.18 pm: Manipur records 284 new cases and one death today, taking the total number of positive cases in the state to 14,378 including 11,081 recoveries, 3,193 active cases and 104 deaths.

6.51 pm: Covid-19 negative certificate is mandatory for visiting Sabarimala temple, says Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “Only 250 people will be allowed to visit on a day,” he adds. The temple will reopen on Friday.

6.50 pm: Jammu and Kashmir records 648 new cases and six deaths today.

6.48 pm: Schools in Moradabad to reopen from October 19.

6.40 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asks health authorities to scale up testing and sero-surveys, reports PTI. “The prime minister reiterated the the country’s resolve to provide cost-effective, easily available and scalable solutions for testing, vaccine and medication, not only for India but for the entire world,” reads an official statement.

5.08 pm: Health officials in Jammu and Kashmir say the administration has submitted a proposal seeking over Rs 367 crore funding from World Bank to boost its healthcare institutions, including dedicated Covid-19 hospitals, The Times of India reports.

4.57 pm: Queen Elizabeth visits Porton Down military research facility in her first major engagement since the lockdown in March in the United Kingdom, Reuters reports. Prince William joins her grandmother during the visit.

4.53 pm: European Commission urges member countries to ramp up preparations against the new surge of coronavirus infections and recommends common measures to roll out vaccines if they become available, reports Reuters.

4.46 pm: Telangana reports 1,432 new Covid-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 2,17,670, according to ANI. The toll stands at 1,249 and the active cases tally is 23,203.

4.43 pm: Punjab Chief Minister’s Office says Amarinder Singh has ordered the resumption of outpatient department services and elective surgeries with coronavirus-related precautions in place, reports ANI. The chief minister has also allowed the reopening of government schools from October 19 following due sanitation procedures and clear standard operating procedures mandating the consent of parents.

4.36 pm: Uttar Pradesh Additional Chief Secretary of Medical and Health Amit Mohan Prasad says the number of active Covid-19 cases in the state has declined by 47% in the last 28 days, reports PTI. The state’s tally was 4,17,383.

2.05 pm: A new research by scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara shows that the coronavirus may spread more via respiratory droplets in winter. The modelling study shows that in indoor environments such as walk-in refrigerators and coolers, droplets transmit to distances of up to 6 metres (19.7 feet) before falling to the ground.

1.51 pm: World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan says young and healthy people may have to wait till 2022 to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, The Guardian reports.

“Most people agree, it’s starting with healthcare workers, and frontline workers, but even there, you need to define which of them are at highest risk, and then the elderly, and so on,” she says. “There will be a lot of guidance coming out, but I think an average person, a healthy young person might have to wait until 2022 to get a vaccine.”

1.20 pm: All central government departments have been asked to ensure that official meetings begin with messages on coronavirus precautions to sensitise officers and staff about the pandemic, reports PTI.

1.15 pm: Resident Doctors’ Association of NDMC Medical College and Hindu Rao Hospital in Delhi will hold a peaceful protest at Jantar Mantar on October 16 over “non-payment of salaries for four months”, reports ANI.

10.53 am: German Chancellor Angela Merkel urges young people to do their bit in curbing the coronavirus as private parties are being repeatedly blamed for outbreaks in several cities, Reuters reports. “We must call especially on young people to do without a few parties now in order to have a good life tomorrow or the day after,” she says.

10.50 am: Mexican business tycoon Ricardo Salinas tests positive for the coronavirus, according to Reuters.

10.48 am: Doctors from Britain’s National Institute for Health Research say ongoing illness after infection with COVID-19, which is sometimes called “long COVID”, may not be one syndrome but multiple ones, Reuters reports. This may causing symptoms affecting all parts of the body.

10.44 am: The authorities in China’s Qingdao city suspend a top health official and a hospital director after an outbreak of coronavirus infections, Reuters reports.

10.41 am: Germany reports a record 6,638 new cases on Thursday, according to Reuters. The country’s tally rises to 3,41,223. Its death toll rises by 33 to 9,710.

10.39 am: India’s total number of tests stand at 9,12,26,305.

9.52 am: The Speaker of the British House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle urges vulnerable MPs to not attend Parliament sessions, BBC reports.

9.50 am: The Madhya Pradesh High Court directs the officials of Datia and Gwalior districts to file first information reports against the organisers and participants of large gatherings, The Hindu reports.

9.45 am: China’s state-run Sinopharm Group is offering its two coronavirus vaccines for free to students going abroad for higher studies, The Wall Street Journal reports. The move is aimed at boosting public confidence in the vaccines, Reuters reports.

9.33 am: India coronavirus tally rises to 73,07,097 on Thursday as it reports 67,708 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rises by 680 to 1,11,266.

9.30 am: French President Emmanuel Macron announces a night curfew in Paris and eight other cities amid rising coronavirus cases, BBC reports.

9.27 am: United States President Donald Trump’s son Barron Trump tests positive for the coronavirus, Reuters reports.

9.25 pm: Passengers travelling on trains without masks or not following physical distancing at railway stations may face fines or even jail terms, according to new guidelines from the Railway Protection Force, The Hindu reports.

8.50 am: Russia on Wednesday announced that it has approved a second vaccine, developed by the Vector Institute in Siberia.

Read more here:

Coronavirus: Russia approves second vaccine after early-stage trials

8.36 am: The health ministry says the doubling time of coronavirus cases in India has sharply increased to 70.4 days from 25.5 days in mid-August

8.30 am: Punjab Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla says the state government has decided to open schools and guidelines for the same will be issued soon, ANI reports.

8.29 am: Mizoram reports eight new cases on Thursday, taking its tally to 2,220.

Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  1. India’s coronavirus tally rose to 72,39,389 on Wednesday as the country reported 63,509 new infections in 24 hours. The country’s toll climbed by 730 to 1,10,586. India’s active cases stood at 8,26,876. The active cases stayed below 9 lakh for the sixth straight day. India’s number of recoveries rose to 63,01,927. The recovery rate is 86.78% and the mortality rate stood at 1.53%. 
  2. The Maharashtra government on Wednesday allowed Mumbai Metro services to restart in a phased manner from Thursday, and also increased the number of local trains. It also restarted air-conditioned local train services. Besides this, government and private libraries and weekly bazaars will be allowed to run.
  3. Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav tested positive for coronavirus. Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar also said he has tested positive for the coronavirus. He added that he has isolated himself at his official residence on doctors’ advice.
  4. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday estimated that India’s per capita Gross Domestic Product will shrink 10.3%, ending March 31, 2021, while the figure in Bangladesh is expected to grow 3.8%. India faces the biggest contraction of major emerging markets in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 
  5. The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to allow the Centre a month’s time to implement the interest waiver on loans of up to Rs 2 crore. It asked why it should take such a long time to implement a decision already taken, and directed that the execution of waiver should be done by November 2. The government claimed that the deadline for providing relief to borrowers was November 15.