India on Sunday registered 18,177 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 1,03,23,965. The new cases were 4.7% lower than Saturday. The country’s toll rose by 217 to 1,49,435. The number of active cases stood at 2,47,220, while the recoveries reached 99,27,310.

Drugs Controller General of India chief VG Somani announced that the coronavirus vaccines developed by the Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech had been granted emergency use approval in the country. These are the first vaccines to be approved in India. Emergency use authorisation paves the way for the roll out of the vaccines in India.

The Serum Institute is the local maker of Covishield, the vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca. Bharat Biotech has manufactured India’s first indigenous vaccine candidate Covaxin in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology.

On Saturday, the Subject Expert Committee of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation had recommended the vaccines for emergency use in the country.

Meanwhile, a luxury hotel in Chennai emerged as an infection hotspot as nearly 85 people, including staff members, have tested positive for the infection there since December 15, PTI reported. Civic authorities have been directed to conduct oxygen saturation tests on all guests at the ITC Grand Chola.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 8.45 crore people and killed over 18.35 lakh, according to the Johns Hopkins University. More than 4.75 crore people have recovered from the infection in the world.

Here are other top updates:

  1. The United States on Saturday registered a record one-day rise to 2,77,000 new infections, AFP reported. The country has recorded more than 2.04 crore cases and over 3.5 lakh deaths so far. Top US infectious diseases expert Dr Anthony Fauci had issued a warning just days after Christmas that the worst of the pandemic may not have arrived yet.
  2. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it had administered more than 42 lakh vaccine doses as of Saturday morning, Reuters reported.
  3. American talk show host Larry King has been hospitalised with the coronavirus, CNN reported. The 87-year-old suffers from Type 2 diabetes.
  4. More than 1,200 people have been charged for flouting coronavirus restrictions at an illegal New Year’s rave in France, according to AFP.
  5. A Mexican doctor was hospitalised after getting a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Reuters reported on Saturday. She was diagnosed with Encephalomyelitis, which is an inflammation of the spinal cord and the brain.