Here are the top updates of the day:

10.55 pm: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Covid Hospital, built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, continues to treat infected patients free of cost, reports ANI. A total of 2,300 patients have been discharged from the hospital after recovering from the coronavirus.

10.52 pm: The Haryana government bans sale of firecrackers to prevent the risk of spread of Covid-19 due to pollution from it, according to PTI. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar says a notice would be issued in this regard on Saturday.

10.46 pm: Kerala government asks its public and private sector employers to be liberal in granting leaves to their employees who are either infected by the coronavirus on in home quarantine, reports PTI. Additional Chief Secretary-Labour Department Rajkumar Khatri says those in home quarantine should should not be considered as on unauthorised leave.

10.25 pm: Delhi records 7,178 new Covid-19 cases in a day. This is the highest ever single-day rise recorded by the national Capital.

Delhi now has 4,23,831 total cases, including 39, 722 active cases, 3,77,276 recoveries and 6,833 deaths.

10.04 pm: Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava says more than 190 heads of diplomatic missions and international organisations representatives participated in its briefing on Covid-19 related issues for diplomatic missions and international organisations, according to ANI.

10.01 pm: The Delhi government issues an order designating number of beds in eight hospitals for admitting Covid-19 patients, in addition to the already existing beds, reports ANI.

9.56 pm: Himachal Pradesh reports 430 new Covid-19 cases and 253 fresh recoveries, according to ANI. The cases tally in the state now stands at 24,239, which includes 3,841 active cases, 20,016 recoveries and 359 deaths.

9.50 pm: The Odisha government says it has decided to keep schools in the state closed till December 31, reports PTI. School and Mass Education Department Secretary Satyabrata Sahoo says the government made the decision after taking into account the experience of the states where schools had reopened.

9.48 pm: The Covid-19 recovery rate in Bihar stands at 96.34, reports PTI, citing a health department bulletin. The coronavirus tally climbs to 2,20,991 after the state registered 746 fresh cases.

9.45 pm: Maharashtra reports 5,027 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally in the state to 17,10,314, according to PTI. The overall tally includes 44,965 deaths, 15,62,342 recoveries and 1,02,099 actives cases.

9.43 pm: The Greater Chennai Corporation cuts the penalty for late payment of property tax to 0.5% from the earlier 2% in view of the prevailing coronavirus situation, reports PTI. The body asks property owners to clear the outstanding by March 31, 2021.

9.40 pm: The coronavirus tally in Uttar Pradesh’s Gautam Buddh Nagar rises to 19,016 after it registers 184 new infections, reports PTI. There are 1,519 active cases, 17,429 recoveries and 68 deaths in the district.

7.53 pm: Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane says the state government has decided to increase the monitoring period of Covid-19 patients under home isolation from 10 days to 17 days, reports The Hindu.

7.47 pm: Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad says the class 10 and 12 examinations conducted by the state board will not be held before May 2021 because of the prevailing coronavirus situation, reports PTI. “The current situation of coronavirus is likely to last for a longer period,” she says.

7.42 pm: New 7,002 coronavirus infections in Kerala takes the active cases tally in the state to 83,208, according to ANI.

7.38 pm: Jammu and Kashmir reports 581 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally to 97,805, according to ANI. The toll climbs to 1,523 after the Union territory registers six new fatalities. There are 5,745 active cases and 90,537 recoveries.

7.36 pm: The coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh rises to 8,38,363 after the state registers 2,410 new infections, reports ANI. The overall tally includes 21,825 active cases, 8,09,770 recoveries and 6,768 deaths.

7.34 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir says he has isolated himself after a person at his home tested positive for coronavirus. “Urge everyone to follow all guidelines & not take this lightly,” he tweets.

7.31 pm: Congress MP and party’s Bihar incharge Shaktisinh Gohil says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. He adds that there is nothing about.

7.25 pm: Uttarakhand reports 64,538 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally in the state to 1,056, according to PTI. The toll also goes up by nine to 1,056.

7.19 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says the third coronavirus will end soon just like the previous two, reports PTI. “In this third wave, I’m extremely hopeful that Delhiites will continue to provide their support as always and it will come to an end soon,” he says.

5.56 pm: Aspirin, a commonly-used medicine, will be tested as a potential Covid-19 drug in a United Kingdom trail, Reuters reports. Aspirin is an antiplatelet agent and can reduce the risk of clots, RECOVERY, the UK-based clinical trial, said on its website.

5.53 pm: Paris bans nighttime food and drink delivery between 10 pm to 6 am, reports Reuters. The police also say consuming alcoholic drinks in public would also be banned at night.

5.51pm: The United States reported at least 1,20,276 new Covid-19 on Thursday, according to a Reuters tally. This is the second consecutive daily record rise in the country.

5.47 pm: Malaysian Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz says the government is planning to add 20 billion ringgit, or over Rs 35,000 crore, to its new Covid-19 fund, reports Reuters.

5.41 pm: Austria Finance Minister Gernot Bluemel says the country expects to spend about 2 billion euros, or over Rs 17,600 crore, to aid the turnover of companies, which were forced to close during a Covid-19 lockdown this month, according to Reuters.

5.36 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expresses his condolences on behalf of India for the deaths because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to ANI. “When other countries of the world were still getting to know of Coronavirus and trying to understand it, you were suffering from it,” he says at the India-Italy Virtual Summit.

5.32 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says the coronavirus pandemic will remain a watershed moment in history, just like World War 2, reports ANI. “We will have to adapt ourselves to the post-Corona world,” the prime minister says at India-Italy Virtual Summit. “We will have to be ready for the opportunities and challenges arising out of it.”

5.29 pm: Puducherry reports 126 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally in the Union territory to 35,675, according to ANI. The overall tally includes 640 active cases, 33,437 recoveries and 598 deaths. No new fatalities were reported on Friday.

4.49 pm: The World Health Organisation has asked world leaders to prepare for the next pandemic. “We must prepare for the next pandemic now,” the health body says in a press release. “We’ve seen this past year that countries with robust health emergency preparedness infrastructure have been able to act quickly to contain and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

3.59 pm: Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla says India is exploring the possibility of conducting Phase III trials in a few of its partner countries, reports ANI. “We are also looking forward to research collaboration in the field of vaccine development,” he says.

3.57 pm: Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla says India is on track to develop a coronavirus vaccine, reports ANI. “Several countries have been approaching us for receiving vaccine supply,” he says while briefing a diplomatic community. “India will also help interested countries in enhancing their cold chain and storage capacities for the delivery of vaccines.”

3.55 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says there is a need to promote wearing of face masks as a movement to contain the coronavirus spread, reports PTI. “Till there is a medicine for corona, face masks are the medicine,” he says. “These are the biggest protection against Covid-19 infection. We need to promote wearing face masks as a movement.”

3.50 pm: The Karnataka government has banned firecrackers ahead of Diwali due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Hindu. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa made the announcement and said orders will be issued on the matter soon.

1.08 pm: Parts of Italy go back into lockdown as the pandemic rages through Europe, reports AFP.

1.07 pm: Ambulances in Poland have been forced to queue as hospitals try to arrange for Covid-19 beds, reports Reuters.

1.04 pm: A World Health Organization official has lauded Denmark for its decision to cull a section of its mink population amid fears of the animals being “good reservoirs” for Covid-19, reports Reuters.

12.02 pm: Odisha recorded 1,494 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the state’s tally of infections to 2,98,768, ANI reports. The toll from the disease stands at 1,393.

11.57 am: As many as 829 teachers and 575 students in Andhra Pradesh have tested positive for the coronavirus till Thursday, after schools reopened in the state on Monday, The News Minute reports. The state’s education department maintains the teachers who were found to be infected account only 1.17% of the total people tested, while students account for 0.60%. So far, 70,790 teachers and 95,763 children have been tested.

11.53 am: A new analysis of more than 3,000 counties in the United States has found that people with long-term exposure to fine-particle pollutants may be more likely to die from Covid-19, PTI reports.

The research, published in the journal, Science Advances, investigated the impact of long-term exposure to PM 2.5 pollutants on Covid-19 mortality rates in 3,089 counties in the US, “covering 98 per cent of the population”.

11.51 am: Telangana recorded 1,602 new coronavirus cases and six deaths in 24 hours on Friday, taking the state’s overall count of infections to 2,47,284, and the toll to 1,366, ANI reports.

11.49 am: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain claims the city is experiencing its third wave of infections, ANI reports. “In the third wave of Covid-19, positive cases are increasing,” he tells the news agency. “At present 7,231 beds are occupied in Delhi and 8,572 are still available. We will increase Covid beds in government hospitals and also ask private hospitals to do it.”

9.40 am: With 47,638 new infections, India’s case count rises to 84,11,724, according to health ministry data. The toll goes up by 670 to 1,24,985.

9.20 am: The Centre has flagged concerns related to the Covid-19 situation in Delhi. Among important suggestions, the Centre has asked to trace 15 close contacts of around 80% of positive cases, and test and isolate them within 72 hours, increase proportion of RT-PCR tests, and to carry out a dengue awareness drive, reports The Indian Express.

9.19 am: The Centre’s special mission to provide jobs for migrant workers has spent around 78% or Rs 38,921 crore of Rs 50,000 crore, sparking a debate if many of the beneficiaries had returned to cities and let go of the scheme, according to the Hindustan Times.

9.17 am: Andhra Pradesh will set up counselling cells in educational institutions to help students facing psychological issues because of the Covid-19 situation, reports The Indian Express.

9.15 am: Tamil Nadu on Thursday tested 1,00,52,393 in the state with more reliable RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test. It is the only state in India to have done these many tests so far, reported Hindustan Times.

9.12 am: More than 29.23 lakh people have been repatriated under the Vande Bharat Mission, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday, reported NDTV.

9.09 am: An increase in average PM2.5 exposure raised the death rate of Covid-19 by nearly 11%, a group of Harvard University researchers have found, , reported Hindustan Times.

9 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday:

  1. India’s coronavirus count reached 83,64,086 after a rise of 50,210 new infections. The toll went up by 704 to 1,24,315. There are 5,27,962 active cases, and 77,11,809 recoveries.
  2. China temporarily suspended entry of Indians even if they hold valid visas and residence permits to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
  3.  The Delhi High Court expressed displeasure over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the Capital and observed that the city could soon become “corona capital of the country”. The national Capital reported more than 6,500 cases for the third consecutive day on Thursday.
  4. NITI Aayog (health) member Dr VK Paul said there had been no unusual surge in coronavirus cases over the last couple of weeks amid the festival season. However, Paul warned of a bigger impact of transmission in the coming days.
  5. The Delhi government banned the use of firecrackers in the national Capital as cases of coronavirus continued to soar in the city.
  6. Bharatiya Janata Party National President Jagat Prakash Nadda claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had handled the coronavirus pandemic by taking decisions in a time-bound manner, unlike in the United States.