8.12 pm: The Union health ministry has cautioned against downloading and sharing personal data on certain apps named Co-WIN, “created by unscrupulous elements”, reports PTI. The ministry issues the warning as the applications sound similar to the upcoming official platform for the vaccination process.

7.16 pm: Uttarakhand records 227 new cases, taking the state’s total number of cases to 92,593, according to ANI.

7.15 pm: Tamil Nadu reports 811 new infections, 943 discharges, and 11 deaths in last 24 hours, reports ANI, citing the state health department. The overall case count stands at 8,23,181, and the toll at 12,188.

7.12 pm: Union health minister Harsh Vardhan to meet all state and Union Territories’ health ministers ahead of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout, reports ANI. Another dry run of the programme is expected to be conducted on January 8.

7.11 pm: Andhra Pradesh registers 289 new Covid-19 cases, 428 recoveries and three deaths in last 24 hours, taking the overall case count to 8,83,876, as per the state Health Department, reports ANI. The toll in the state stands at 7,125.

7.08 pm: Owners of single-screen theatres in West Bengal have written a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealing to her to allow complete occupancy in halls, citing losses, reports PTI.

7.07 pm: The European Union’s medicines agency has given the go-ahead to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, reports AP.

7.05 pm: Centre rushes a high-level team to Kerala for supporting the state in public health interventions in coronavirus management.

6.51 pm: The Ministry of Home Affairs asks the Tamil Nadu government to reverse the order permitting cinema halls in the state to operate with 100% seating capacity, reports ANI.

5.48 pm: Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia says the government is looking at how early schools can be reopened in the Capital, reports ANI.

5.44 pm: Total number of people infected with the new strain of the virus rises to 73, reports ANI, quoting health ministry.

5.11 pm: Odisha prepares to reopen schools for Classes 10 and 12 from January 8, reports ANI.

5.09 pm: Delhi records 654 new coronavirus cases, 719 recoveries, and 16 deaths in 24 hours, reports ANI, citing the health department bulletin. The Capital has 6,28,352 overall cases, 6,13,246 recoveries and the toll stands at 10,625.

3.54 pm: Gujarat announces reopening of schools for Class 10 and 12 students and colleges for those in final year from January 11, reports The Hindu.

3.40 pm: Daily deaths due to coronavirus stays under 300 for 12 consecutive days, says health ministry.

3.38 pm: Punjab government announces reopening of all schools for students of classes 5 to 12 from January 7, reports PTI. The classes will run from 10 am to 3 pm and school managements will have to comply with Covid-related protocols.

3.18 pm: Odisha Health Director and vaccine-in charge Dr Bijay Panigrahi says the state will vaccinate 3.28 lakh healthcare workers in first phase and that they have prepared cold chains for the process, reports ANI.

1.14 pm: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor suggests cancelling Republic Day festivities after Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his India visit due to the the coronavirus situation in the United Kingdom.

1.07 pm: Total cases with new strain of coronavirus rise to 71 in the country, ANI reports, quoting health ministry.

1.03 pm: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant says the state has completed dry run of the vaccination process and is fully prepared with cold chain management system, reports ANI.

1 pm: Number of active cases in Telangana drops below 5,000, reports IANS.

10.20 am: The United States on Wednesday registers a record 3,936 deaths in 24 hours, AFP reports, citing the Johns Hopkins University.

10.19 am: India registers 13 more cases of the UK coronavirus strain, taking the total to 71, Hindustan Times reports.

10.15 am: The World Health Organization recommends getting two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within 21-28 days, according to Reuters.

Also read: Coronavirus: Pfizer-BioNTech warn against plans to delay second shot of vaccine

10.12 am: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says China has not yet authorised the visit of an expert team to study the origin of the coronavirus, Reuters reports. He adds that he is “very disappointed” with the country.

10.07 am: Indian Council of Medical Research Director General Balram Bhargava says that amid a pandemic, emergency-use approval of vaccines is considered based on safety and immunogenicity data, while phase-three trials go on, PTI reports. His remark comes amid a row over clearance to Bharat Biotech’s vaccine without phase-three trial data.

10.03 am: All India Institute of Medical Sciences Director Randeep Guleria says it is important to get both doses of the vaccine in order to develop better immunity against the coronavirus, PTI reports, He adds that protective levels of antibodies develop two weeks the administration of the second dose. Guleria also says that vaccination will be voluntary.

9.59 am: Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says the government is making arrangements to vaccinate Hajj pilgrims, ANI reports. Devotees can submit their forms for the 2021 pilgrimage by January 10.

9.28 am: The health ministry clarifies that it has not banned the export of any coronavirus vaccine, PTI reports.

9.20 am: India registers 18,088 new cases on Wednesday, taking its tally to 1,03,74,932. The new cases are 10.46% higher than Tuesday’s count. The country’s toll rises by 264 to 1,50,114. The country’s active cases stand at 2,27,546, while the recoveries reach 99,97,272.

9.16 am: The Centre allows limited resumption of flights to the United Kingdom from Wednesday, ANI reports. Some flights from the UK will start from January 8.

“We took a decision on limited resumption of civil aviation traffic between India and the United Kingdom based on an assessment of facts as available with our medical professionals,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri tells the news agency. The minister also says that the total number of flights to UK has been reduced from 60 per week to 30.

He adds: “We decided that RT-PCR test which was done 72 hours ahead of travelling was not enough. So, we made it compulsory to test again on arrival. We will review the situation if any steps have to be taken.”

9.08 am: The World Health Organization says the mutant coronavirus strain found in the UK has been detected in 40 other countries/ territories, ANI reports.

Here are the top updates from Tuesday

  1. India registered 16,375 new coronavirus cases, taking its overall count to 1,03,56,844. This was the lowest daily rise in new cases in over six months. India’s toll rose by 201 to 1,49,850. The country’s active cases stood at 2,31,036, below 3 lakh for 15 days, while the recoveries reached 99,75,958. India’s count of the United Kingdom variant cases rose to 58.
  2. The Union health ministry said it would be ready to roll out coronavirus vaccines within 10 days from the date of emergency-use authorisation, based on feedback from the dry run.
  3. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson cancelled his visit to India scheduled for January 26 amid sharp rise in cases in his country. England will go under a complete lockdown from Wednesday.
  4. Bharat Biotech and Serum Institute promised a smooth rollout the vaccines in India. This came a day after Serum Institute’s chief Adar Poonawalla, without naming Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin shot, said that all vaccines apart from those of Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca were “just like water”.
  5. American pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech warned that they have no evidence to suggest that their jointly developed coronavirus vaccine would protect against the infection if the booster shot was administered later than 21 days, which was tested in trials.