10.33 pm: Delhi reports 677 new coronavirus cases and 21 fatalities today, according to PTI. The total number of cases has risen to 6,24,795, while the toll stands at 10,523.

9.30 pm: Tamil Nadu records 945 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 8,17,077. The toll rises by 17 to 12,109.

8.58 pm: The coronavirus tally in Maharashtra rises to 19,28,603 with the addition of 3,537 new cases, reports PTI. With 70 more people succumbing to the disease, the toll jumps to 49,463.

8.40 pm: The Odisha government restricts the congregation at public places including hotels, restaurants, clubs, convention halls during New year celebrations on December 31 and January 1 amid the coronavirus crisis, reports ANI.

8.38 pm: The health ministry says the Subject Expert Committee met today to review the applications for the emergency use approval for the coronavirus vaccines filed by the Serum Institute of India, Bharat Biotech and Pfizer.

“Further time was requested on behalf of Pfizer,” says a statement. “The additional data and information presented by SII and Bharat Biotech Private Limited was perused and analysed by SEC.”

The analysis of the data is underway and the government-appointed panel of experts will meet again on Friday, the statement adds.

6.18 pm: The Jammu and Kashmir administration extends lockdown restrictions till January 31, ANI reports.

6.14 pm: Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday registers 349 new cases, which take its tally to 8,81,948. The state’s toll rises by four to 7,104.

6.12 pm: Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa says the danger of coronavirus has not subsided yet and urges the people not to stop taking the necessary precautions, PTI reports.

6.10 pm: Uttar Pradesh records two cases of the United Kingdom coronavirus strain, PTI reports.

5.05 pm: An apartment complex in Bengaluru has been “closed down” after two residents tested positive for the new strain of the coronavirus, reports NDTV.

“There was a mother and child in the same flat,” Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar tells the television channel. “So it is only closed down...can’t say it is sealed. We are following SOPs we followed initially. This virus seems very aggressive [and] we would like to take utmost precautions and ensure others in the building are not affected.”

5 pm: The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation says that exit from Rajiv Chowk metro station will not be allowed after 9 pm on December 31 to avoid crowding amid the coronavirus crisis. Entry of passengers will be allowed till the departure of last train, it adds.

4.56 pm: Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar says seven people in the state have tested positive for the new strain of the coronavirus, reports ANI. “They’re not showing any serious symptoms,” he adds. “Three of their contacts have tested positive for Covid-19, their samples will be sent for genomic sequencing.”

4.07 pm: Serum Institute of India’s application for emergency use approval for the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to be considered by an expert panel today, reports NDTV.

3.58 pm: California nurse tests positive over a week after receiving Pfizer vaccine, reports Reuters.

3.15 pm: India extended the suspension of commercial international flights till January 31. This doesn’t apply to special flights or cargo operations.

2.17 pm: Taiwan says it has agreed to buy 20 million doses (2 crore) of the Covid-19 vaccine, including 10 million from AstraZeneca, reports Reuters. It also reports its first case of the new British variant of the infection.

2.13 pm: The Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana claims that unapproved Covid-19 vaccines given to President Rodrigo Duterte’s military security detail had been smuggled into the country, reports Reuters. He, however, says the move was justified as so that they are not infected and can protect the president.

2.09 pm: The Manipur Police have collected Rs 1.45 crore for violating coronavirus guideline norms in the state, reports PTI. The Manipur State Disaster Management Authority had issued Covid-19 guidelines and restrictions such as mandatory wearing of masks in public places, no spitting in public and maintaining social distancing norms in March.

2.03 pm: Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan writes to all states, directing them to keep a strict vigil on “super spreader” events for new year celebrations in view of the coronavirus pandemic, reports ANI.

2.01 pm: The Dehradun Police say 202 out of 227 returnees from the United Kingdom to Uttarakhand have been traced, reports ANI. The police say 25 people are yet to be traced. “Police, Local Intelligence Unit and other units are tracing them,” they say.

1.55 pm: Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij has been discharged from the Medanta hospital, where he was admitted after being infected with the coronavirus. “Will stay at home on oxygen support,” the minister tweeted.

12.44 pm: The vaccine against the coronavirus, designed by experts at the University of Oxford in collaboration with British-based drug firm AstraZeneca has been approved for use in the United Kingdom.

12 pm: The United States military will vaccinate South Korean troops serving under a joint command against the coronavirus, South Korea’s defence ministry said on Wednesday, reports Reuters.

11.54 am: The scale of the coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan early this year may have been nearly 10 times the recorded tally, according to a study conducted by China’s public health authorities, reports The Bloomberg.

About 4.4% of those tested were found to have, indicating they were infected some time in the past, according to a serological survey of more than 34,000 people conducted in April by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

That ratio would suggest that as many as 5,00,000 residents in Wuhan may have been infected, nearly 10 times more than the 50,000 confirmed covid-19 cases reported by health authorities in mid-April.

11.10 am: India decides to extend the suspension of flights to the UK till January 7. “Strictly regulated resumption will take place” after that, Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri announces.

11 am: In Telangana, 279 people have not yet been traced, while in Uttar Pradesh, as many as 568 people have not yet been traced.

In states such as Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand, most returnees have been traced, officials said.

In Odisha, 27 of 181 UK returneed are yet to be traced.

10.59 am: Of the 2,406 people who returned to Karnataka, about 570 are missing, Karnataka Medical Education Minister Dr K Sudhakar says, according to the Hindustan Times. “I have been promised that within 48 hours all of them will be traced,” Sudhakar says. “Of the 570 missing passengers, 204 have given addresses in Bengaluru.”

10.55 am: Several states are struggling to track people who returned from the United Kingdom as many of them have provided either wrong or vague addresses. Between November 25 and December 23, about 33,000 passengers returned to India from the UK, the health ministry has said, according to the Hindustan Times.

Of this, about 3,500 people went to Punjab, 2,400 to Karnataka, 2,200 to Tamil Nadu, 1,655 to Uttar Pradesh and 1,100 to Telangana.

Punjab has not yet finished contact tracing.

9.34 am: India’s coronavirus tally rises to 1,02,44,852 after 20,549 new cases emerge in 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry. The country’s toll climbs by 286 to 1,48,439. There are 2,62,272 active cases, and 98,34,141 people have recovered from the disease so far.

8.57 am: United States reports its first case of the new mutant strain of the coronavirus, after a man in Colorado who has no travel history, tested positive, reports AP. The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the virus variant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified.

8.56 am: Singapore becomes the first Asian country to start vaccinating healthcare workers against Covid-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, reports PTI.

8.54 am: A total of 20 people in India have tested positive for the more contagious and genetically distinct variant of the coronavirus that was first discovered in Britain, say multiple reports. The tally was based on the results of genome sequencing of positive samples released by the Indian Sars-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (Insacog) labs, according to the Hindustan Times.

8.50 am: United States Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received the first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine live on television in Washington DC, and urged Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, reports CNN. “That was easy,” Harris said after receiving the shot in her left arm. “Thank you. I barely felt it.”

8.45 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday:

  • India’s coronavirus tally rose to 1,02,24,303 on Tuesday after 16,432 new cases emerged in 24 hours. This is the lowest daily rise in infections since June 24. The country’s toll went up by 252 to 1,48,153. There are 2,68,581 active cases, and 98,07,569 people have recovered from the disease so far.
  • The Centre said that 70% of the total coronavirus deaths in India were among men. The country has reported over 1.48 lakh deaths so far.
  • The government announced that international passengers who arrived in India from December 9 to December 22 will be subjected to genome sequencing if they test positive for the coronavirus and are symptomatic. The step has been taken as six returnees from the United Kingdom tested positive for the new, faster-spreading coronavirus variant.    
  • Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that the ban on flights between India and the United Kingdom was likely to be extended beyond December 31