10.38 pm: Punjab’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 1,53,308 on Wednesday after 604 new infections were reported in 24 hours, PTI reports. The toll rises by four to 4,842.

10.36 pm: West Bengal logs 3,271 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, pushing the state’s tally to 4,90,070, reports PTI. The toll rose to 8,527 after 51 more people died of the disease in 24 hours

10.34 pm: Gujarat’s Ahmedabad registers 325 new Cocid-19 cases, taking the tally of infections in the district to 50,734, reports PTI. The toll in the district rose to 2,078 after eight patients died of the infection.

10.30 pm: The coronavirus has claimed the lives of 102 survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy since its outbreak, the Madhya Pradesh government said on Wednesday, reports PTI.

Till December 2, Covid-19 has killed 518 residents of Bhopal district, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Director Basant Kurre said. “Of them, 102 are Bhopal gas tragedy survivors,” he adds. “Out of these 102 people, 69 were above 50 years of age, while the remaining 33 were aged below 50,”

10.28 pm: Maharashtra registers 5,600 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, pushing the state’s overall count to 18,32,176, reports ANI. The toll rises to 47,357, after 111 more deaths were recorded in 24 hours.

8.34 pm: The Bhopal administration on Tuesday issued an advisory for weddings, asking people to not hug others or take group photographs, according to Hindustan Times. The advisory also stated that guests should choose online gifts.

8.28 pm: Rajasthan registers 1,990 new cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 2,72,400, PTI reports. The state’s tally rises by 19 to 2,350.

8.25 pm: The Maharashtra Cabinet decides to recommend shifting the venue of upcoming winter session of the State Legislature from Nagpur to Mumbai in view of the coronavirus crisis, PTI reports.

8.22 pm: Tamil Nadu’s coronavirus count rises to 7,84,747 on Wednesday as it reports 1,428 new cases in 24 hours. The state’s toll rises by 11 to 11,733.

8.14 pm: Haryana registers 1,607 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 2,37,604. The state’s toll rises by 32 to 2,488.

8.11 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin orders officials to begin mass coronavirus vaccinations from next week, Reuters reports.

6.53 pm: West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim becomes the first volunteer to take “Covaxin”, a vaccine developed by biotechnology company Bharat Biotech, reports PTI. The vaccine is in its phase three trial stage.

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Coronavirus: Covaxin will be at least 60% effective, says Bharat Biotech

5.55 pm: The third phase of clinical trials of Bharat Biotech’s coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, begin in Karnataka, reports PTI. “Karnataka is fully prepared for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar says.

5.53 pm: Interpol warns authorities worldwide of the threat from organised crime groups during upcoming Covid-19 vaccination campaigns, including fake vaccines and the theft of supplies, reports AFP. “As governments are preparing to roll out vaccines, criminal organisations are planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains,” Juergen Stock, head of the global policing agency based in Lyon, France, says in a statement.

4.28 pm: SpiceJet announces that it will help deliver Covid-19 vaccines through its dedicated cargo arm SpiceXpress, ANI reports.

4.24 pm: World leaders and vaccine developers will address a two-day special session of the United Nations General Assembly on the coronavirus on Thursday and Friday, PTI reports.

French President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, German Chancellor Angela Merkel BioNTech co-founders Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci and Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla will be among the speakers.

4.14 pm: The Technical Advisory Committee for COVID-19 in Karnataka says that the second wave of the pandemic is likely to hit the state in January-February, PTI reports. The panel suggests banning public celebrations ahead of the new year and ramping up health infrastructure.

4.08 pm: The phase three trials Bharat Biotech’s vaccine candidate begin in Kolkata, ANI reports.

4.04 pm: Delhi registers 3,944 new cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 5,78,324. The Capital’s toll rises by 82 to 9,342.

1.38 pm: Telangana reports 565 new cases on December 1, taking the tally up to 2,70,883, reports ANI. One death was reported, pushing the toll to 1,462.

1.35 pm: Odisha reports 480 new cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the tally up to 3,19,583, reports ANI.

1.34 pm: Odisha government caps the price of RT-PCR test by private laboratories at Rs 400, reports ANI.

1.32 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister virtually inaugurates Phase 3 of clinical trial of Bharat Biotech’s potential coronavirus vaccine Covaxin in the state, reports ANI. The trials will be conducted at Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre in Bengaluru

12.50 pm: United Kingdom authorises Pfizer-BioNtech’s Covid vaccine, AFP reports. It is expected to be rolled out from next week.

12.45 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the positivity rate has declined below 7% and is expected to further decline soon, ANI reports.

12.06 pm: The Gujarat High Court has ordered that people who do not wear masks must be punished with compulsory community service at Covid care centres, ANI reports. It has directed the state government to issue a notification.

10.15 am: American scientists are studying if technology developed for gene therapy could be used to create a nasal spray that will prevent Covid-19, AFP reports.

“The advantage of our approach is that you don’t need a competent immune system for this to be effective,” James Wilson, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who is leading the project, says. Scientists at the university are conducting the research with biotech firm Regeneron.

10.10 am: Assam reported 222 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, taking the state’s tally to 2,12,998, PTI reports. The state now has 3,486 active cases and 981 deaths.

10.05 am: Nagaland reported 108 recoveries and 23 new cases on Tuesday. This was the highest daily recovery in the state so far, according to PTI. The state now has a total of 11,209 cases, of which 840 are active, while 10,194 people have recovered. Sixty people have died.

10 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research has so far tested 14,24,45,949 samples. This included 10,96,651 samples tested on Tuesday.

9.50 am: India’s coronavirus cases rise by 36,603 in 24 hours, taking the total count to 94,99,413. As many as 89,32,647 people have recovered so far. The toll rose by 501 to 1,38,122.

The daily count has remained below 50,000 for the 25th straight day.

8.41 am: The Uttar Pradesh government has reduced the price of RT-PCR or reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the coronavirus at private laboratories from Rs 1,600 to Rs 700. If tests are done at home, then it will cost Rs 900 now, reports the Hindustan Times.

8.38 am: European countries have been given a clear time frame for the start of their vaccination programmes after the bloc’s medicines regulator said it would decide by December 29 whether to grant emergency approval for the first Covid-19 jabs, reports AFP.

8.33 am: Bharatiya Janata Party MP and actor Sunny Deol tests positive for the coronavirus. Deol has been staying in Kullu district for last few days, according to PTI. He asks all those who came in contact with him to isolate themselves and get tested.

8.30 am: A quick update of developments from Tuesday:

  • India’s coronavirus cases rose by 31,118 on Tuesday, making it the 24th straight day when daily infections have stayed below the 50,000 mark, the health ministry data showed. The country now has total 94,62,810 cases, while as many as 88,89,585 people have recovered so far. The toll rose by 482 to 1,37,621.
  • The Centre said it may not be necessary to vaccinate everyone in the country. “Our purpose is to break the chain of viral transmission,” Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava said at a press briefing. “So if we are able to vaccinate a critical mass of people and break that virus transmission, then we may not have to vaccinate the entire population.” 
  • The Centre also sought to dispel doubts about the Serum Institute of India’s potential coronavirus vaccine Covishield after a volunteer claimed that he had faced “severe adverse effects” following the trial. These were the first comments by the government on the matter.
  • The Supreme Court criticised the practice of government authorities putting up posters outside the residence of coronavirus patients, saying that it leads to stigmatisation as these people are treated as “untouchables”.
  • Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and the Russian Direct Investment Fund began the adaptive phase two and three clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine in India.