10.30 pm: Haryana on Wednesday reported 14 more coronavirus deaths, taking the toll in the state to 2,765, while 807 fresh new cases pushes the tally to 2,55,014, reports PTI.

10.29 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 1,181 new Covid-19 cases, taking the state’s tally to 8,02,342, reports PTI. The toll rises to 11,931 with 12 more fatalities.

10.27 pm: Maharashtra’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 18,80,893 on Wednesday with the addition of 4,304 new infections, reports PTI. The toll rises to 48,434, after 95 deaths were reported in 24 hours.

10.26 pm: Mumbai’s Covid-19 tally rises to 2,84,404 with 795 new cases reported on Wednesday, reports PTI. The toll from the disease rises by 12 to 11,007.

8.15 pm: Kerala reports 6,185 new coronavirus cases, taking the active cases in the state to 58,184, according to ANI. So far, 6,22,394 patients have recovered from the infection.

8.12 pm: Gujarat’s coronavirus tally rises to 2,31,073 with 1,160 new cases, reports PTI. The toll goes up to 4,203 as 10 more patients die of the infection.

8.10 pm: The Parliament Committee on Home Affairs will discuss the coronavirus situation in the country on December 18, reports ANI.

8.08 pm: Delhi records 1,547 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 6,11,994, according to PTI. The toll jumps to 10,147 with 32 new fatalities, while the active case tally has dropped to 13,261 from 14,480 the previous day.

The positivity rate stands at 1.96%. This is the second consecutive day when the positivity rate remained below 2%.

7.55 pm: Covaxin also induced a robust immune response in the Phase 1 trials conducted on 375 volunteers, reports The Times of India. Bharat Biotech’s vaccine is being developed with the Indian Council of Medical Research.

7.50 pm: Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical firm Bharat Biotech’s vaccine, Covaxin, was well tolerated in all dose groups and no serious adverse events have been recorded, reports ANI, citing interim findings from Phase I trials.

After first vaccination, local and systemic adverse events were predominantly mild/moderate in severity and also resolved rapidly, without prescribed medication. Most common adverse event was pain at injection site which was resolved spontaneously.

6.51 pm: The World Health Organization says that a team of international experts would travel to China next month to help investigate the animal origins of Covid-19, reports AFP. “I can confirm that this will take place in January,” WHO spokesman Hedinn Halldorsson tells the news agency.

6.49 pm: Schools in Puducherry will reopen from January 4 for students of Class 12 to Class 12, says Education Minister R Kamalakannan, reports ANI.

6.46 pm: Andhra Pradesh’s tally of cases climbs to 8,76,814, after 478 new infections were reported on Wednesday, reports ANI. The toll rises to 4,420, with three more deaths.

6.45 pm: Karnataka registers 1,240 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, pushing the state’s tally of infections to 9,04,665, reports ANI. The toll rises to 11,971, after six more people died in 24 hours.

5.15 pm: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the government is “aggressively tackling” the Covid-19 situation in the Capital, reports PTI. “The positivity rate recorded yesterday [Tuesday] stood at 1.9%,” he adds. “I think it is the lowest figure till date, though I will need to look into data to tell exactly. But, for sure, it is the lowest positivity rate since May. This indicates an improved Covid-19 situation in Delhi.”

5.13 pm: Sandeep Rai, the principle investigator of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin trials at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, tells ANI that India should be prepared for adverse events during vaccination against Covid-19. “Adverse events can take place after any immunisation,” he says. “Adverse events can take place in this case too. We should be prepared beforehand.”

2.58 pm: Germany records 952 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, on the first day of a new partial lockdown to try and curb a surge in infections, reports Reuters.

2.40 pm: Tamil Nadu government grants permission to hold public and political meetings, religious gatherings, sports and cultural events with a maximum of 50% capacity in open places from December 19, reports The News Minute.

2.36 pm: Odisha reports 407 new coronavirus cases, pushing the tally in the state to 3,24,796 as of Tuesday, reports ANI. The toll rises by five to 1,820. There are 3,073 active cases and 3,19,850 recoveries.

12.45 pm: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says “flattening the curve” was not enough for her country, reports AP. “I remember my chief science adviser bringing me a graph that showed me what flattening the curve would look like for New Zealand. And where our hospital and health capacity was,” she says. “And the curve wasn’t sitting under that line. So we knew that flattening the curve wasn’t sufficient for us.”

11.19 am: The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras registers eight more cases, NDTV reports. The Tamil Nadu government orders testing at all colleges and universities.

11.13 am: A study published in the journal Physics of Fluids shows that walking fast behind a group of people in narrow spaces can significantly increase transmission risk of the coronavirus, especially in children.

11.08 am: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain says the magnitude of the coronavirus outbreak in the Capital has reduced, ANI reports. “I can’t say that the third wave of Covid-19 is over,” he adds.

Jain says that Delhi’s positivity rate on Tuesday was below 2%, for the first time since May. “I would still appeal to the people to wear masks,” he adds.

11.07 am: Uttarakhand Health Secretary Amit Negi tests positive for the coronavirus, ANI reports.

11.02 am: McEnany adds that the beginning of vaccination in the US is a medical miracle, PTI reports. “The first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered to frontline workers across the country,” she says. “The president promised a safe and effective vaccine in record time, and President [Donald] Trump delivered.”

10.58 am: White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany says President Donald Trump is “absolutely open” to taking the coronavirus vaccine, but would wait for his medical team’s go-ahead, NBC reports.

10.17 am: The US Food and Drug Administration says Moderna’s vaccine is safe and effective, Reuters reports. The vaccine seems ready for regulatory authorisation.

10.14 am: NITI Aayog member Dr VK Paul says the Drugs Controller General of India has allowed phase 1 and 2 trials of Pune-based Gennova Pharmaceuticals’ vaccine candidate, Hindustan Times reports.

10.08 am: First Lady of the United States Melania Trump violated mask policy at a children’s hospital when she took off her mask to read a book to the children, CNN reports.

9.52 am: Telangana reports 536 new cases on Wednesday, according to ANI. The state’s tally rises to 2,79,135. The toll rises to 1,502 with three more deaths.

9.45 am: India has tested over 15.66 crore samples so far, an update from the Indian Council of Medical Research shows.

9.40 am: Here is a chart showing the five states that account for 56% of India’s active cases.

9.30 am: India’s coronavirus tally rises to 99,32,547 on Wednesday as it registers 26,382 new cases in 24 hours. The country’s toll rises by 387 to 1,44,096. India’s active cases stand at 3,32,002, while the recoveries reach 94,56,449. Wednesday’s new cases are 19.56% higher than the previous day.

Here are the top updates from Tuesday:

  1. India’s tally crossed 99 lakh as it recorded 22,065 fresh infections cases in 24 hours. This was the lowest daily count in India in over five months. The overall tally rose 99,06,165 while the toll went up by 354 to 1,43,709.
  2. The Supreme Court asked the Centre to consider granting a break to doctors engaged in Covid-19 duty, suggesting that the continuous work might affect their mental health. The Supreme Court also refused to modify a Kerala High Court order stating that AYUSH doctors and homeopaths cannot prescribe or advertise medicines for Covid-19.
  3. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare detailed the Centre’s plan for storing coronavirus vaccines as it prepares for a massive inoculation drive. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said at a press briefing that the storage arrangements would include 29,000 cold chain points, 240 walk-in coolers, 70 walk-in freezers, 45,000 ice-lined refrigerators, 41,000 deep freezers and 300 solar refrigerators.
  4. The Bihar government approved a proposal to provide free coronavirus vaccines to all the people of the state.
  5. A court in Delhi acquitted 36 foreigners who were booked for attending a three-day congregation of Tablighi Jamaat by allegedly disobeying the government guidelines issued in wake of coronavirus pandemic in the country.