The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on Monday recommended that any coronavirus vaccine should be granted emergency use authorisation in the country only after proper consideration and conducting its trials on a sufficient sample size.
Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government on Monday decided to send fliers from Europe and Middle East to institutional quarantine for two weeks. This came after a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus was found in the United Kingdom. India banned all flights from United Kingdom till December 31. The suspension will come into effect from 11.59 pm on December 22.
India’s coronavirus tally reached 1,00,55,560 after 24,337 new cases were reported in 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 333 to 1,45,810. India’s active cases stood at 3,03,639, while the number of recoveries reached 96,06,111. The recovery rate was pegged at 95.53%, and the mortality rate at 1.45%.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 7.67 crore people and killed over 16.92 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. Over 4.32 crore people have recovered from the infection.
The national helpline number for the coronavirus is 011-23978046, and a toll-free number 1075.
Here are the top updates of the day
10.50 pm: The Karnataka government orders a seven-day quarantine for fliers arriving in the state from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands, reports PTI. Health Minister K Sudhakar says that those who arrived in the state from these countries during the last 14 days would be traced in the next 24 hours and subjected to RT-PCR test.
10.38 pm: Punjab adds 338 cases and 11 deaths to its tally.
10.11 pm: Assam registers 101 fresh infections and 93 discharges.
10.06 pm: West Bengal logs 1,515 new cases, 2,342 discharges and 41 deaths.
10.05 pm: The Tamil Nadu government bans New Year celebrations on beaches, hotels, clubs and resorts on the night of December 31 and January 1, 2021, reports PTI.
9.57 pm: Madhya Pradesh reports 1,035 new cases and nine deaths.
9.55 pm: Municipal Corporation Greater Mumbai issues quarantine guidelines for passengers arriving from the United Kingdom.
9.20 pm: Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader Anand Sharma recommends any coronavirus vaccine should be granted emergency use authorisation only after proper consideration and conducting its trials on a sufficient sample size, reports PTI.
9.17 pm: Uttarakhand toll goes up to 1,426 with 13 new deaths, reports PTI. The state reports 448 new cases, as the tally rises to 86,765.
9.15 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 1,071 new cases taking the tally up to 8,07,962, while the toll rises to 11,995 deaths, with 12 more fatalities, reports PTI.
9.12 pm: Russian envoy to India Nikolay Kudashev says the country will jointly produce the Sputnik V vaccine for Covid-19 along with India and it will be manufactured by pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, reports PTI.
8.03 pm: Air India suspends flights to and from Oman, following the country’s decision to close all travel outlets from 1 am on December 22, reports News18, quoting the airline.
8.02 pm: European Union medicines regulator European Medicines Agency approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, reports Reuters.
7.30 pm: Kerala logs 3,423 new cases, toll mounts to 2,843 with 27 additional deaths.
7.27 pm: All passengers coming from Europe and Middle East to Maharashtra will have to mandatorily undergo 15-day institutional quarantine, reports ANI. Passengers coming from other international destinations will have to undergo home quarantine.
7.25 pm: Maharashtra logs 2,234 new cases, taking tally to 18,99,352. The state’s toll stands at 48,801 with 55 fresh fatalities.
7.23 pm: Nagaland’s recovery rate reaches an all-time high of 94.4%, reports PTI.
7.21 pm: Goa reports 79 new cases and two deaths in the last 24 hours.
7.20 pm: Jammu and Kashmir’s tally climbs to 1,18,495 with 232 fresh infections.
7.18 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 214 new cases, taking its tally to 8,78,937. However, the state’s active cases are now below the 4,000-mark, reports PTI.
6.40 pm: The Maharashtra government announces night curfew from 11 pm to 6 am in the state’s municipal corporation areas from December 22 to January 5, according to PTI.
6.38 pm: Fliers from Europe landing in Maharashtra will be sent to institutional quarantine for 14 days, reports PTI.
5.54 pm: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Puri says the Centre will suspend air travel to and from other countries also if the mutant virus strain spreads there, ANI reports.
5.52 pm: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar says the government will take strict action against hotels that allow huge gatherings on Christmas and New Year, ANI reports.
3.52 pm: The European Medicines Agency is meeting on Monday to consider approving a coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer for emergency use in the European Union, reports AP. The closed-doors meeting comes weeks after the shot was granted permission under emergency provisions by regulators in Britain and the United States.
3.49 pm: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot urges people to celebrate New Year’s eve at home and avoid bursting firecrackers and mass gatherings in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports PTI. The Congress leader says that public health is paramount.
3.42 pm: France needs to step up its vigilance regarding the Covid-19 situation in the country, given the emergence of a new strain of the virus in the United Kingdom, says President Emmanuel Macron, reports Reuters.
3.34 pm: The Ministry of Civil Aviation says that as a “measure of abundant precaution”, passengers arriving from the United Kingdom in flights that will reach India before 11.59 pm on Tuesday, will get a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport, reports ANI.
3.20 pm: India suspends all air travel with the United Kingdom till December 31, in view of the new mutant strain of coronavirus that has emerged in the country, reports ANI. The suspension will come into effect from 11.59 pm on December 22.
3.09 pm: Hundreds of passengers in the United Kingdom rushed to the Heathrow airport overnight as they tried to catch the last flights to Europe before borders closed to British travellers, reports The Sun. France closed its border to all traffic, including freight, causing the Port of Dover and the Eurotunnel to shut overnight. Italy, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands, meanwhile, announced bans on flights from the UK to contain the spread of the new virus strain.
3.04 pm: Hong Kong bans all flights from Britain following the discovery of a new and highly infectious strain of the coronavirus there, reports AFP. “From midnight there will be no more passenger flights arriving in Hong Kong from the United Kingdom,” health secretary Sophia Chan tells reporters.
Anyone arriving in Hong Kong who has been the UK in the last 14 days will also have to undergo a longer quarantine, officials said.
3.01 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold crisis talks with his ministers after France banned lorries carrying freight from the United Kingdom and countries around the world ended flights amid fears over the new mutant coronavirus strain, reports The Guardian.
Meanwhile, a World Health Organization spokesperson told AFP that “across Europe, where transmission is intense and widespread, countries need to redouble their control and prevention approaches”, as the even more infection strain of the virus upended lives in Britain.
2.05 pm: Himachal Pradesh records 30 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, taking the state’s overall count of infections to 52,359, reports ANI. The toll from the disease stands at 866.
2.01 pm: An unidentified Air India official tells ANI that no decision has been taken so far on banning air travel between India and United Kingdom, in view of the new virus strain that has emerged in the country.
2pm: Two more persons test positive for Covid-19 in Mizoram on Monday, taking the state’s tally to 4,124, reports PTI.
1.00 pm: In Puducherry, Covid-19 infections rise to 37,762, after 13 new cases were registered on Monday, reports PTI. The toll climbs to 627 with one more death recorded in 24 hours.
12.56 pm: Odisha’s Covid-19 tally mounts to 3,26,596, after 363 more people tested positive for the infection, while three fatalities pushed the toll to 1,839, reports PTI.
12.46 pm: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan says the government is monitoring the new mutant coronavirus strain that has cropped up in the United Kingdom, reports ANI. “The government is alert,” he says at a press conference held to inaugurate the India International Science Festival. “There is no need to panic.”
11.46 am: E-commerce giant Amazon closes its facility in New Jersey in the US till December due to a sharp rise in cases among workers, Reuters reports.
11.43 am: Chile and Argentina also stop flights to and from the United Kingdom amid fears over the emergence of a new strain of the coronavirus, Reuters reports.
11.27 am: An update from the Indian Council of Medical Research shows that the country has tested more than 16.20 crore samples so far. Over 9 lakh tests were done on Sunday.
11.21 am: Telangana on Sunday registered 316 new cases, which took the state’s tally to 2,81,730. Telangana’s toll rose by two to 1,515.
11.19 am: Jharkhand will resume regular classes for students of grades 10 and 12, while following coronavirus-related safety guidelines, ANI reports.
10.19 am: Saudi Arabia on Sunday temporarily stopped all international flights and halted entry through its land and sea ports for at least seven days, amid concerns over the new strain of the coronavirus found in Britain, reports AFP.
10.17 am: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Italy have all announced restrictions on travel to the United Kingdom as a new strain of the coronavirus increases concern, reports AP.
10.16 am: The Irish government has banned flights from Britain from Monday due to the fast-spreading new strain of the coronavirus in England, reports AFP.
10.14 am: Thailand will test over 10,000 people for the coronavirus after an outbreak in its biggest seafood market, officials said Sunday, reports AFP.
10 am: Top United States Congress negotiators have come to an agreement on Sunday on an $1 trillion Covid-19 economic relief package, providing financial help to businesses and individuals hit during the pandemic, reports AP.
9.50 am: India’s coronavirus tally reaches 1,00,55,560 after 24,337 new cases were reported in 24 hours. The country’s toll rises by 333 to 1,45,810.
9.15 am: India expects to begin vaccinating people against Covid-19 by “any week” of January, Union health minister Harsh Vardhan said on Sunday. The government has identified 30 crore people who will receive the shot in the first phase of inoculation, he added.
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9.10 am: Authorities in the United States have said they are looking “very carefully” into the new coronavirus strain, rapidly spreading in the United Kingdom, reports AFP. However, the country is not considering a ban on travel to the UK yet.
9 am: Italy’s health ministry has said it has detected a patient infected with a new strain of the coronavirus found in Britain, reports Reuters.
Here’s a recap from Sunday:
- India’s Covid-19 case count reached 1,00,31,223 after it reported 26,624 new cases in 24 hours, and the country’s toll rose to 1,45,477 with 341 more deaths. The number of active cases are 3,05,344, and 95,80,402 patients have recovered from the disease.
- The United Kingdom identified a new variant of the coronavirus, which “can spread more quickly” than prior strains of the virus, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to impose fresh restrictions on parts of the country.
- Several European countries considered a ban on flights coming from the United Kingdom to prevent the spread of the new strain of the coronavirus. The Netherlands and Belgium have suspended flights while Belgium has stopped trains from the UK as well.
- Serum Institute of India’s Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said that he and other Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers in the country will ask the government to provide them protection against lawsuits suing them for adverse reactions experienced at the time of inoculation.
- Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said wearing masks will be mandatory for the next six months in the state.