Here are the top updates of the day

11.11 pm: Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla says Covid-19 is the “most catastrophic event” after the Second World War, reports ANI. “It’s therefore inevitable that we’ll experience a different world in post-pandemic era,” he says. “We’re in midst of trying to cope with new reality of going virtual in our daily life.”

11.03 pm: Delhi reports over 6,500 Covid-19 new cases for the third consecutive day, according to PTI. The Capital registered 6,715 fresh cases, pushing the tally to more than 4.16 lakhs. The toll stood at 6,769 with 66 new fatalities.

6.43 pm: Kerala reports 6,920 new coronavirus cases and 26 deaths today, according to ANI. The total number of active cases in the state now stands at 84,087, says Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

6.42 pm: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announces that suburban train services in West Bengal will resume from November 11 with adequate safety measures in place.

6.37 pm: Arvind Kejriwal also says that the Delhi government has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against High Court order staying its decision to reserve 80% ICU beds for coronavirus patients. “We hope SC will lift the stay keeping in view the critical situation,” he tweets.

6.35 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the government has decided to ban firecrackers ahead of Diwali due to rising coronavirus cases and the air pollution.

6.22 pm: China has temporarily suspended entry of Indians with valid visas or residence permits over coronavirus concerns.

“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s hereby announced that China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals in India holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits,” says the embassy in India. “The Chinese Embassy/Consulates in India will not stamp the Health Declaration Forms for the holders of the above-mentioned categories of visa or residence permits.”

The embassy says this is a temporary measure taken to deal with the pandemic. “China will make further adjustment and announcement in accordance with the ongoing pandemic situation in a timely manner,” it adds.

5:45 pm: A second nationwide lockdown, starting Thursday, has been imposed in the United Kingdom amid an alarming rise in the number of cases, reports Reuters. French capital Paris too, has put new restrictions in place, including a requirement for more shops to close in the evening.

5:41 pm: New confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States have climbed to an all-time high of more than 86,000 per day on average, reports AP.

5:28 pm: Drug company Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine, COVAXIN, could be launched in February - much ahead of the earlier schedule, reports Reuters.

“The vaccine has shown good efficacy,” Indian Council of Medical Research scientist Rajni Kant told Reuters. “It is expected that by the beginning of next year, February or March, something would be available,” Kant said.

4.30 pm: Delhi High Court takes note of the rise in Covid-19 cases in the city and says it could soon become “Corona capital of the country”, reports PTI.

Hearing a bunch of petitions relating to non-payment of salaries of North Delhi Municipal Corporation employees, the court says the Delhi government has gone “completely haywire” in the handling of the pandemic situation.

2.26 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urges people not to burst crackers on Diwali.

“Pollution levels are already rising which is also causing an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in Delhi. I request you not to burst crackers on Diwali,” he says.

1.30 pm: A total of 27.3%, or 1.93 crore of Karnataka’s population was exposed to Covid-19 by mid-September, according to the findings of a sero survey conducted by the State Department of Health and Family Welfare Services, The Indian Express reports. The study estimates that 16.4% of the 15,624 samples studied developed antibodies against against the virus as of September 16.

1.26 pm: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has partnered with the International Institute of Health Management Research in Jaipur to offer two online courses on “vaccine economics” for policymakers and programme managers to educate them on optimising vaccine coverage during the pandemic, PTI reports.

1.25 pm: Puducherry records 125 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally of infections in the Union Territory to 33,550, ANI reports.

12.02 pm: The Supreme Court asks the Centre to issue necessary directions in a month to ban the use of disinfectant tunnels, fumigation and ultraviolet rays on humans, to curb the spread of Covid-19, reports ANI.

11.58 am: Denmark says it is planning to cull more than 15 million animals, due to fears that a Covid-19 mutation from mink to humans could disrupt future vaccines, reports The Guardian.

11.57 am: Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the Indian economy is recovering faster than expected, reported The Indian Express. He also cited the Goods and Service Tax collection in October.

9.42 am: The United States has recorded over 99,000 new infections between 8.30 pm on Tuesday and 8.30 pm on Wednesday, according to a tally by the Johns Hopkins University.

9.40 am: NITI Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul says there has been no unusual surge in Covid-19 cases over the past couple of weeks, as opposed to fears ahead of the festival season, reports Hindustan Times.

9.38 am: Chief Executive Officer of Pune-based pharmaceutical company Serum Institute of India Adar Poonawalla, on Wednesday said that a vaccine against Covid-19 may be available by January 2021, provided approvals from regulatory bodies are in place in time, reported Hindustan Times.

9.30 am: India’s Covid-19 tally increases to 83,64,086 with 50,210 new infections. The toll rises by 704 to 1,24,315.

Here are the top updates from Tuesday:

  1. India’s coronavirus count rose to 83,13,876 with 46,253 new cases being recorded in 24 hours, data from the health ministry showed. The country’s toll increased by 514 to 1,23,611. The number of active cases stood at 5,33,787, while the recoveries reached 76,56,478.
  2. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said there has been a rise in Covid-19 cases in the Capital and it can be called the “third wave”. Delhi reported more than 6,500 cases for the second day in a row on Wednesday. With 6,842 new cases, Delhi’s Covid-19 count rose to 4,09,938. This is the highest ever single-day rise for the national Capital.
  3. The Union health ministry on Tuesday said it has asked states to stop making separate plans for vaccine distribution, and advised creating a database according to a blueprint released by the Centre, reported The Hindu. The states have also been asked to explore the possibilities of cold storage facilities for the vaccines.
  4. The Maharashtra government passed an order allowing the reopening of cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes in the state from November 5, CNBC reported. The order is only applicable in areas that are outside containment zones and these establishments can only fill up to 50% of their seating capacity. The order also allowed the reopening of yoga centres, swimming pools and other sports establishments.