10.55 pm: Poorer countries will begin to receive coronavirus vaccination doses early next year from a facility created to ensure fair access, says the World Health Organization and its partners.

10.45 pm: The Supreme Court says that fundamental Right to health includes affordable treatment amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports Live Law.

“Either more and more provisions are to be made by the state government and the local administration or there shall be cap on the fees charged by the private hospitals which can be in exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act,” say a three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah.

9.49 pm: Maharashtra records 3,994 new infections today and 75 deaths today, reports ANI. The state now has 18,88,767 total cases and the toll jumps to 48,574. As many as 17,78,722 have recovered from the infection.

9.30 pm: Delhi reports 1,418 new coronavirus cases today, taking the tally to 6,14,775, reports PTI. The toll rises to 10,219 with 37 new fatalities. Over 88,000 tests were conducted on Thursday.

The positivity rate stands at 1.6%, authorities say. This is the fourth consecutive day when the positivity rate has remained below 2%. It was 1.51% on Thursday, 1.96% on Wednesday and 1.9% on Tuesday.

8.24 pm: Indian Council of Medical Research chief Balram Bhargava tests positive for Covid-19, reports ANI. He has been admitted to the AIIMS centre in New Delhi.

7.12 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 458 new coronavirus cases, taking the state’s cumulative case count to 8,77,806, according to PTI. One death pushes the overall toll to 7,070.

7.06 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 1,134 new Covid-19 cases, 1,170 recoveries, and 12 deaths in 24 hours, reports ANI. The overall cases are 8,04,650, and the toll is 11,954.

6.56 pm: United States Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence have received the Covid-19 vaccination in a televised appearance, reports NBC news.

5.52 pm: Andhra Pradesh records 458 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the state’s tally of infections to 8,77,806, reports ANI. The toll rises to 7,070, after one more person died from the disease in 24 hours.

4.22 pm: The coronavirus vaccination drive in Telangana will be similar to the process of voting in an election, reports NDTV.

“The beneficiaries will be enumerated, data will be collected and uploaded in the Co-WIN software,” Dr G Srinivas Rao, Telangana’s public health director, tells the television channel. “There are various identity cards that can be produced. At least one of the ID card number is entered into the software. The beneficiary has to come with the card. It will be validated as per the software. It is similar to the election voting process.”

4.20 pm: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat says he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I had got Covid test done,” he tweets. “And my report has come positive. My health condition is fine and I don’t have any symptoms too. On the advice of doctors, I will remain in home isolation. I request all those who have come into contact with me in last few days, to isolate themselves and get themselves tested.”

1.53 pm: The Union health ministry says vaccination is voluntary. “However, it is advisable to receive the complete schedule of COVID-19 vaccine for protecting one-self against this disease and also to limit the spread of this disease to the close contacts including family members, friends, relatives and co-workers,” the government says. The ministry has put up frequently asked questions about vaccines on its website.

12.41 pm: The phase 3 clinical trial of Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, will be conducted at the Peerless Hospital in Kolkata, reports The Times of India.

12.30 pm: Russian Direct Investment Fund Chief Executive Kirill Dmitriev says Moscow is testing the first samples of its Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine that were produced in India, announces Russian Embassy in India. It adds that about 30 crore doses will be produced by India in 2021.

11.46 am: Supreme Court directs dedicated Covid-19 hospitals to get fire no-objection certificates renewed within four weeks, says failure to do so will invite penal action, reports PTI.

10.46 am: India is expecting to begin vaccinating people in January, BBC reports. Unidentified officials tell BBC that a few vaccine candidates are likely to get emergency-use authorisation in the next few weeks.

10.44 am: The number of tests done in India cross 15.89 crore.

10.39 am: Oxford University says its vaccine candidate shows a better immune response on using a full two-dose regimen, instead of a full-dose followed by a half-dose booster, Reuters reports.

9.24 am: India’s coronavirus tally rises to 99,79,447 after the country registers 22,890 cases in the last 24 hours, Union health ministry data showed. The toll climbs by 338 to 1,44,789. There are 3,13,831 active cases and 95,20,827 recoveries.

8.31 am: Joe Biden’s senior advisor Cedric Richmond, who had held a meeting with the US president-elect, tests positive, reports AFP. “Richmond’s interactions with the president-elect happened in open air, were masked and totalled less than 15 consecutive minutes, the CDC’s timeframe for close contact,” says transition spokesperson Kate Bedingfield. Biden tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday.

7.22 am: A US panel of experts votes to recommend the emergency use of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration is likely to follow the recommendation. This means the Moderna vaccine could start being administered in the US as early as next week.

7.20 am: Mizoram’s tally rises to 4,094.

7.19 am: Assam logs 106 new cases, taking its tally to 2,15,148. The state’s toll stands at 1,010 with three additional deaths.

7.18 am: Odisha registers 351 fresh infections and five additional fatalities. With this, the state’s total count climbs to 3,25,147, including 1,825 deaths.

7.17 am: Sikkim reports eight new cases and one death in the last 24 hours.

7.16 am: Nagaland’s tally rises to 11,820 with 33 new coronavirus cases, according to PTI.

7.15 am: Here are the top updates from Thursday

  • India’s coronavirus count rose to 99,56,557 on Thursday as it reported 24,010 new cases in 24 hours. The new cases are nearly 9% lower than the previous day. The country’s toll rose by 355 to 1,44,451. India’s active cases stood at 3,22,366, while the number of recoveries reached 94,89,740.
  • Delhi on Thursday recorded 1,363 new coronavirus infections, taking its tally to 6,13,357. Deaths rose by 35 to 10,182. A record 90,354 tests were conducted the previous day.
  • French President Emmanuel Macron tested positive for coronavirus, his office announced. He will self-isolate for a week.
  • Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said that China will welcome an international team of experts which is scheduled to travel to the country in January to investigate the animal origins of the coronavirus.
  • Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 7.41 crore people and killed over 16.48 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over 4.19 crore people have recovered from the infection.