10.19 pm: Maharashtra receives 9.63 lakh doses of Covishield and 20,000 doses of Covaxin as of Thursday, reports ANI, citing the state health department.

10.17 pm: Himachal Pradesh Health Secretary Amitabh Avasthi says for the first phase of vaccinations the administration has identified 27 centres. “There is no issue about the safety of the vaccine,” he tells ANI. “7,000 people identified to be vaccinated at the 27 centres.”

10.11 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, in a series of tweets, answers questions about the coronavirus vaccines. “After being administered Covid-19 vaccine, some individuals may have side-effects like mild fever, pain at injection site and body ache,” he tweets. “This is similar to the side effects that occur post some other vaccines. These are expected to go away on their own after some time.”

8.22 pm: Delhi extends till January 31 an order that mandates 14 days of quarantine for passengers arriving from the United Kingdom, in view of the spread of a highly infectious strain of coronavirus, reports ANI.

8.19 pm: Madhya Pradesh’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 2,50,429, after 420 new infections were reported in 24 hours, reports PTI. The toll rises by eight to 3,740.

8.18 pm: As many as 103 persons tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, taking the state’s infection tally to 52,182, reports PTI. The toll rises to 752 with two more deaths reported in 24 hours.

8.17 pm: Haryana reports six more fatalities due to Covid-19, taking the state’s toll to 2,972, while 187 new cases push the state’s infection tally to 2,65,803, reports PTI.

8.15 pm: The first consignment of 93,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine arrive in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, reports ANI.

7.50 pm: In Rajasthan, the number of coronavirus cases rises to 3,14,372 with 281 new infections reported in 24 hours, reports PTI. The toll rises by two to 2,744.

7.47 pm: Maharashtra’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 19,81,623 after the state recorded 3,579 new infections on Thursday, reports ANI. The toll rises by 70 to 50,291. As many as 18,77,588 people have recovered from the disease so far.

7.37 pm: Uttarakhand records 154 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking the state’s tally of infections to 94,324, reports PTI. The toll rises by three and is now 1,596.

7.36 pm: Malappuram district in Kerala receives a batch of Covid-19 vaccines ahead of the countrywide vaccination drive on January 16, reports ANI.

7.31 pm: Delhi registers 340 new coronavirus cases, taking the city’s overall tally of infections to 6,31,589. The toll from the disease rises by four to 10,722.

6.55 pm: Srivastava adds it is “too early to make specific comments” on the aspect of India’s export of the Covid-19 vaccines to other countries as the country is “still in the stage of domestic production and distribution and making assessments here”.

6.48 pm: India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava says: “Due to the global Covid-19 situation, it has been decided that this year there will not be a foreign head of state or government as the chief guest for our Republic Day event.”


5.13 pm: Puducherry registers 43 new coronavirus cases, taking the Union Territory’s overall tally to 38,567, while the toll surges to 640 with one more death, reports PTI.

5.13 pm: An official study in the United Kingdom concludes that a past Covid-19 infection may provide immunity for about five months, but people could still carry and transmit the virus, reports PTI.

5.11 pm: Coimbatore Medical College Hospital and Government Headquarters Hospital in Pollachi is preparing for the proposed meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with healthcare workers during the rollout of the nationwide vaccination drive on Saturday, reports PTI.

5.08 pm: The Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla tells Reuters they will begin to stockpile millions of doses of the Novavax coronavirus vaccine candidate from around April.

5.04 pm: The Delhi High Court has said it has no doubt the Aam Aadmi Party government, which is looking into the suggestions of a panel on Covid-19, will act in a proactive way to deal with the pandemic and the post-virus complications to save lives in the national Capital, reports PTI.

4.49 pm: SpiceHealth and government research institute CSIR-IGIB has started a genome sequencing lab at the Delhi airport to make sure early action against mutant strains of the coronavirus that have emerged in countries like the United Kingdom, reports PTI.

4.43 pm: The Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla says it expects the World Health Organization to approve its vaccine for emergency use soon. “The emergency use licensure from the WHO should be available and coming through in the next week or two, hopefully, because we have submitted everything,” he tells the Reuters Next conference.

4.28 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India’s massive coronavirus vaccination programme on Saturday that will begin at 3,000 sites, says NITI Aayog Member (Health) VK Paul.

Also read:

PM Modi to launch India’s massive coronavirus vaccination drive on Saturday

1.50 pm: India records less that 20,000 cases for seven consecutive days, PTI reports, quoting health ministry.

1.45 pm: Number of people infected by the new strain of coronavirus increases to 109, reports ANI, quoting health ministry.

1.41 pm: Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and healthcare company SpiceHealth launch genome sequencing at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport to identify and contain the new strain of coronavirus, reports ANI.

1.10 pm: The Union health ministry has decided that there will be a maximum of 100 beneficiaries at each vaccination session across the country, reports Hindustan Times. It has asked the state governments to increase the number of vaccination sites “in a progressive manner as the vaccination process stabilises and moves forward”. The Centre has also urged the states to take into account 10% wastage of doses.

12.17 pm: The chief minister says that the Delhi government has received 2,74,000 vaccine doses from the Centre. This is sufficient for about 1,20,000 workers as the vaccine is given in two doses, he says.

Kejriwal adds that 2,40,000 health workers have registered for the first phase of the vaccination drive and hopes that the Delhi government soon receive the extra vaccines it needs.

12.14 pm: Kejriwal says the number of centres will be increased to 175 in a few days. It will be later increased to about 1,000 after a few more days, he says.

12.11 pm: The Delhi chief minister says that the vaccination drive will be conducted at 81 centres four days a week and about a hundred people will be given the shot each of the days. “With 81 centres in the beginning and about 100 people being vaccinated in a day, 8,100 health workers will be given the dose in a day,” he says.

12.08 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says he has reviewed all preparations for the coronavirus drive and that the Delhi government is ready to conduct it.

12.04 pm: A senior health official in West Bengal says Kolkata has been allocated been allocated 93,500 coronavirus vaccine, the highest among the districts in the state, for the first phase of the inoculation drive, reports PTI.

11.58 am: A first-of-its-kind genome sequencing laboratory is being launched at the New Delhi international airport for testing samples of travellers arriving into the country, who test positive for coronavirus disease, reports the Hindustan Times. The positive samples will be genome sequenced to identify the new mutant variant of coronavirus first discovered in the United Kingdom.

10.30 am: India’s recovery rate has improved to 96.52%, while the coronavirus case fatality rate stands at 1.44%.

9.37 am: India registers 16,946 new cases on Thursday, taking the overall count to 1,05,12,093. The country’s toll rises by 198 to 1,51,727. India’s active cases stand at 2,13,603, while the number of recoveries reach 1,01,46,763.

9.30 am: A World Health Organization research team arrives in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus, AP reports, quoting Chinese state media.

9.29 am: Sri Lanka detects its first case of the UK coronavirus variant as a British national tests positive for the infection, The Hindu reports.

9.26 am: The United Kingdom on Wednesday registered a record 1,564 coronavirus deaths, according to AFP.

9.22 am: The World Health Organization says that the United Kingdom coronavirus variant is now in 50 countries/territories, AFP reports. The South African strain, on the other hand, has been detected in 20 countries.

9.08 am: The global daily coronavirus deaths cross 17,000 for first time, The Guardian reports on Thursday, citing the Johns Hopkins University.

9.06 am: Here are the top updates from Wednesday:

  1. India registered 15,968 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,04,95,147. The toll rose by 202 to 1,51,529. The country’s 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.
  2. The Delhi government allowed schools to reopen for classes 10 and 12 from January 18. However, physical attendance is not compulsory and the consent of parents is required.
  3. Bharat Biotech dispatched the first batches of its coronavirus vaccine, Covaxin, to Delhi and 10 other cities. This came a day after the Serum Institute of India sent the first batches of its Covishield vaccine to 13 locations across the country.
  4. The government deferred the national polio immunisation programme. Officials said this was done because the programme was too close to the coronavirus vaccination drive, which is scheduled to begin on January 16.
  5. Congress MP Manish Tewari raised more questions of Bharat Biotech’s vaccine, a day after the Centre indicated that states and beneficiaries will not have an option to choose between it and the Serum Institute’s shot. He said that Indians were not guinea pigs.