10.19 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister will supervise the coronavirus vaccination drive in the state on Saturday from the secretariat via video, reports PTI. The chief minister is also likely to be present at the inauguration programme of one of the 210 centres in the state.

10.17 pm: Mizoram will allow schools in the state to reopen for Class 10 and Class 12 students from January 22, reports PTI. Places of worship will be opened from February, but with limited attendance.

10.15 pm: The COVID-19 vaccination drive will start at 285 centres across Maharashtra on Saturday, reports PTI. Two centres – one in Mumbai and another in Jalna – will participate in the virtual launch of the event, which will be done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

10.13 pm: In Karnataka, the inoculations will take place on Saturday at eight Covid vaccination centres in Kalaburagi district, reports ANI.

10.12 pm: The coronavirus vaccination drive in Haryana will be conducted at 77 sites, announces the state government, according to ANI.

10.10 pm: Karnataka’s tally of coronavirus cases rises to 9,30,668, with 708 new infections reported in 24 hours, reports ANI. The toll climbs to 12,158, after three more deaths were recorded.

10.08 pm: In view of the recent drop in coronavirus cases in the Capital, the Delhi government orders 115 private hospitals in the city to scale down the number of beds allocated for Covid-19 patients, reports ANI.

10.06 pm: Maharashtra registers 3,145 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the state’s tally of infections to 19,84,768, reports ANI. The toll from the disease rises to 50,336, after 3,500 deaths were reported in 24 hours.

8.31 pm: Preparations underway in various states for vaccination process to begin from Saturday.



Himachal Pradesh:

West Bengal:

8.28 pm: Total active cases in Kerala stands to 67,496, with 5,624 new cases reported on Friday, reports ANI.

8.25 pm: Maharashtra reports 3,145 new cases, taking tally up to 19,84,768, reports ANI. Toll rises to 50,336, with 45 deaths.

8.23 pm: Lieutenant Governor RK Mathur will launch vaccination process in Union Territory Ladakh on Saturday, reports ANI. In Leh district, there will be 17 vaccination centres while in Kargil, vaccine doses will be given at 23 centres.

8.21 pm: Delhi reports 295 new cases, taking total tally up to 6,31,884, reports ANI. Toll goes up to 10,732, with 10 new deaths.

8.19 pm: Vaccination will be conducted at 65 centres including 23 district hospitals and seven medical colleges, says Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, reports ANI. 1.9 lakh healthcare workers will be vaccinated in the state in the first phase.

6.41 pm: The number of people who have tested positive for the new mutant strain of the coronavirus in the country climbs to 114, says the Union Health Ministry, according to PTI. The close contacts of these people have also been put under quarantine and comprehensive contact tracing has been initiated for co-travellers, family and others, it adds.

6.35 pm: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will on Saturday visit the Outpatient Department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi to participate in the launch of India’s vaccination drive, reports ANI.

6.25 pm: Sanitation workers who attend to Covid-19 wards at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) would be among the first people to be administered the vaccine in the state on Saturday, reports PTI. GMCH Dean Dr Shivanand Bandekar said they have selected 100 sanitation workers attached to the hospital, including those hired through a private firm, for receiving the first doses of vaccine in the state.

6.20 pm: Ahead of India’s vaccination drive, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that tomorrow would be the “beginning of the end of Covid-19”, reports ANI.

5.31 pm: Nepal has approved AstraZeneca’s Covishield vaccine, developed in India, the government says, according to Reuters. “Conditional permission has been granted for emergency use authorisation of Covishield vaccine against Covid-19 in Nepal,” the Department of Drug Administration says.

5.27 pm: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation dispatches Covishied to vaccination centres in Mumbai, reports ANI. “Vaccines will go to nine centres,” says BMC Mayor Kishore Pednekar. “We’ve trained over 5,000 staff members and training of 5,000 more is under way.”

5.18 pm: Andhra Pradesh reports 94 new cases, 232 recoveries and one death on Friday, reports ANI. The overall cases 8,85,710, and the toll stands at 7,139. The active cases stand at 2,199.

11.24 am: Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati requests Centre, state to provide free vaccines.

11.20 am: BJP leader Amit Malviya accuses the Trinamool Congress of holding up Covid vaccines.

10.47 am: India registers 15,590 new coronavirus cases on Friday, taking the overall count to 1,05,27,683. The country’s toll rises by 191 to 1,51,918. India’s active cases stand at 2,13,027, while the number of recoveries reach 1,01,62,738

10.09 am: The Centre on Thursday issued coronavirus vaccine guidelines stating the precautions that should be followed during the roll out, reports NDTV.

  • Vaccination is allowed only for those who are above the age of 18 years.
  • Women who are pregnant or not sure of their pregnancy and lactating mothers should not receive the vaccine.  
  • Interchangeability of vaccines is not permitted. The second dose of the vaccine should be the same as the first one.

9.38 am: The Brazilian state of Amazonas is running out of oxygen following a surge in coronavirus deaths and cases that is believed to be linked to a new variant of the Covid-19, reports The Guardian. State governor Wilson Lima has announced a curfew to contain the outbreak.

9.36 am: French Prime Minister Jean Castex said on Thursday that the government will impose a countrywide curfew at 6 pm from Saturday to combat the increase in Covid-19 cases, reports The Guardian.

9.30 am: British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says the United Kingdom is banning travel from South America and Portugal amid concerns over a new variant of the coronavirus in Brazil, reports AP.

9.27 am: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday broke his 10-month-long coronavirus isolation to address a meeting in the Kalahandi district ahead of the civic and panchayat polls to be held next year, reports the Hindustan Times.

9.24 am: The coronavirus public service announcement voiced by actor Amitabh Bachchan before phone calls connect is being replaced with a new one from Thursday, reports NDTV. The new caller tune has a female voice and will spread awareness about the coronavirus vaccination drive.

9.22 am: Deaths due to coronavirus in the world nears 20 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. The global coronavirus toll stands at 19.91 lakh and the tally is over 9.30 crore.

9.16 am: United States President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled a $1.9 trillion (over Rs 138 lakh crore) coronavirus relief package to combat the pandemic and the economic crisis it has triggered, reports The Guardian.

Here are the top updates from Thursday:

  1. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that some individuals may have side effects after they are administered the coronavirus vaccine. This includes mild fever, pain at injection site and body ache, he said.
  2. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava confirmed that no foreign dignitary will be present as chief guest at this year’s Republic Day celebrations due to the coronavirus outbreak.
  3. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that about 8,100 healthcare workers will be vaccinated on Saturday, the day the countrywide coronavirus vaccination drive will begin. The chief minister said that vaccination will begin at 81 centres and the number of centres will be increased after a few days to 175 and finally to 1,000. 
  4. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch India’s coronavirus vaccination drive at 10.30 am on January 16 via video conferencing.
  5. India registered 16,946 new cases, taking the overall count to 1,05,12,093. The country’s toll rose by 198 to 1,51,727. India’s active cases stood at at 2,13,603, while the number of recoveries reached 1,01,46,763.