10.01 pm: The first consignment of the coronavirus vaccine arrives in Jaipur, Rajasthan, reports ANI.

9.59 pm: Chhattisgarh receives its first batch of Covid-19 vaccine, reports ANI. “We’ve received 23,300 vials of vaccine,” says state Health Minister TS Singh Deo. “The vaccine will be sent to 99 sites including six medical colleges, where vaccination will be held in the first phase.”

9.56 pm: Estonian Envoy to India Katrin Kivi congratulates India on its “very effective governance” in the field of vaccination and how generally the country has been tackling the coronavirus crisis, reports ANI. She adds that the entire world was seeking opportunities in India for its pharmaceutical production capacity.

9.54 pm: Karnataka reports 746 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally in the state to 9,29,552, according to ANI. With three deaths, the toll climbs to 12,152. There are 9,08,494 recoveries and 8,887 active cases in the state.

7.15 pm: The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrives at Kochi, Kerala, reports ANI. “We have received 1.80 lakh doses,” says Ernakulam District Collector S Suhas. “We have reserved about 73,000 doses for Ernakulam, rest of the doses will be distributed to Palakkad, Thrissur, Idukki, Kottayam.”

6.59 pm: The first consignment of the coronavirus vaccines reach Jammu, reports ANI. “We’ll launch the vaccination drive on January 16,” says Jammu’s director of health services. “This is first time that such an activity will be undertaken for the general mass. Usually, such things are done for paediatric groups.”

6.50 pm: The police in Chennai on booked a case against a theatre for allegedly violating the Tamil Nadu government order on permitting only 50% occupancy during the screening of films due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reports PTI. The theatre was thronged during the screening for film Master, starring Tamil actor Vijay.

6.41 pm: ICMR scientist Samiran Panda says the Covaxin, produced by Bharat Biotech, presents a wide array of antigens to the immune system, adding that this new immunity following the vaccination is is expected to address the mutants of Covid-19 as well, reports ANI.

Herd immunity produced by vaccination is a good idea but when virus mutates, immunity might not be working against it even if it is a drift,” he adds. “Indian programme has taken smart vaccination approach, rather than mass vaccination approach.”

6.35 pm: Dr Samiran Panda of the Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases Division at the Indian Council of Medical Research says that both the coronavirus vaccine, Covishield and Covaxin, are safe and one should not have apprehensions about its safety, reports ANI. He says the we should dispel myths and misconceptions about the vaccines.

Panda lauds Indian scientists for their superiority, ability and commitment for being able to produce within 10-12 months since knowing the genome of the coronavirus. “In older days,it would take 20-30 yrs to get a vaccine or medicine out in the market,” he adds.

3.24 pm: Delhi government allows schools to reopen for classes 10 and 12 from January 18, reports ANI. However, physical attendance of students is not mandatory and schools need to have consent from parents.

2.16 pm: Front line workers should register on CoWIN app and carry identification proof for vaccination, says Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation additional commissioner, reports ANI.

2.13 pm: Vaccine will be provided for free to people of Delhi, if Centre does not do it, says Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, reports ANI.

2.11 pm: Goa receives 23,500 shots of coronavirus vaccine, reports ANI, quoting Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.

1.23 pm: The Union health ministry says the number of people in India who have tested positive for the new UK variant of coronavirus has climbed to 102 on Wednesday, reports PTI. All these people have been isolated in single rooms by respective state governments. Their close contacts have also been put in quarantine.

12.50 pm: Theatres in Kerala are reopening today with 50% occupancy. Visuals from outside a theatre in Kochi.

12.46 pm: Puducherry’s tally rises to 38,524 with 29 new cases of coronavirus.

12.45 pm: The Maharashtra government has received 9.83 lakh vaccine doses against its total requirement of 17.5 lakh, state Health Minister Rajesh Tope tells PTI.

12.43 pm: The government defers the national polio immunisation programme, reports ANI. Officials said the programme, which usually takes places every year in January, has been deferred because it was too close to the Covid-19 vaccination drive, reports Hindustan Times.

12.38 pm: Madhya Pradesh officials receive a consignment of Covishield at Bhopal airport.

12.35 pm: Goa has 23,500 shots of Covid-19 today morning, says Chief Minister Pramod Sawant. “The vaccines are being stored appropriately by the authorities, and would be distributed to all centres 24 hours prior to vaccination day,” he adds.

10.22 am: United States federal officials recommend that the states widen the eligibility criteria for vaccination to include people as young as 65 or those who have chronic health conditions, Reuters reports.

10.19 am: US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal tests positive for the coronavirus.

10.16 am: Telangana registered 331 new cases on Tuesday, taking the overall count to 2,90,640. The state’s toll rose by three to 1,571.

10.11 am: All passengers flying to the US will now need to produce a negative coronavirus test report, AP reports.

10 am: The first consignment of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine arrives in Delhi, ANI reports.

9.37 am: India registers 15,968 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,04,95,147. The toll rises by 202 to 1,51,529. The active cases remained below 3 lakh at 2,14,507 for the 23nd consecutive day, while the number of recoveries reached 1,01,29,111.

9.33 am: The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday issued an order banning entry to popular tourist spots in Chennai to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Indian Express. As per the order, Aringnar Anna Zoological Park near Vandaloor in Chengalpet district, National Park in Guindy, tourist spots in Mamallapuram, Marina and other beaches will be restricted to public on January 15, 16 and 17.

9.25 am: The United States on Tuesday reported a record-high of 4,197 Covid-19 deaths in a day since the start of the pandemic, reports CNN, quoting data from Johns Hopkins University. The only other time the number of deaths have gone over 4,000 was on January 7 when 4,194 total deaths were reported.

An analysis by Reuters showed that the country reported more than 22,000 deaths due to Covid-19 last week, setting a record for the second week in a row.

9.20 am: Here are the top updates from Tuesday

  • The Serum Institute of India dispatched the first consignment of its coronavirus vaccine to 13 cities. More than 56 lakh doses were shipped by air to Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Chandigarh.  
  • Serum Institute of India Chief Executive Officer Adar Poonawalla said that his company has decided to supply the first 100 million [10 crore] doses of its coronavirus vaccine, named Covishield, at Rs 200 only to the government.
  • The Union health ministry also announced that it has signed an agreement with Bharat Biotech to procure 55 lakh doses of its coronavirus vaccine named Covaxin.  
  • The Centre indicated that the states and beneficiaries will not be given the option to choose between Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute’s Covishield vaccines. “Many countries are using more than one vaccine,” Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said in response to a question on whether that choice will be available in India. “There is no such option available to the beneficiaries in any country.”
  • Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist at the World Health Organization, warned that herd immunity was highly unlikely this year even as various countries have started rolling out vaccination programs against the coronavirus. Herd immunity occurs when the majority of a population becomes immune to a disease through vaccinations or through the mass spread of a disease.