10.45 pm: Delhi records 161 fresh coronavirus cases, the lowest in over 8 months, according to PTI. The infection tally in the city rises to 6,32,590. With eight deaths, the toll stands at 10,754.

10.33 pm: Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia rules out scrapping of nursery admission process this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports PTI.

“As of now, there is no plan to scrap nursery admissions this year,” he tells reporters.
“We are late this year in issuing notification but it will happen.”

10.25 pm: A group investigating the global pandemic response has concluded that the World Health Organization and Beijing could have acted faster when coronavirus first surfaced in China, reports AFP.

10.20 pm: Karnataka reports 435 new coronavirus cases today, taking its tally to 9,32,432. With nine more deaths today, the toll stands at 12,175.

10.15 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a message to Maldivian President Ibrahim Solih says that the vaccines being developed and manufactured in India will help humanity at large against the coronavirus, reports PTI.

9.40 pm: The coronavirus tally in Tamil Nadu touched 8,31,323 with 551 new cases, reports PTI. Eight more deaths, including that of a 103-year-old man, pushed the toll to 12,272.

9.20 pm: The Punjab government has decided to reopen all public and private universities from January 21, reports ANI.

7.30 pm: The health ministry informs that a total of 3,81,305 beneficiaries have been vaccinated for the coronavirus in 7,704 sessions as of Monday at 5 pm.

7.20 pm: The Centre says a cumulative of 580 adverse events have been been reported so far after the vaccination. Seven of them have been hospitalised.

7.15 pm: “On January 18, 1,48,266 beneficiaries were vaccinated across the country by 5 pm,” says Dr Manohar Agnani, additional secretary in the health ministry.

7.10 pm: The health ministry is addressing a press briefing on the coronavirus vaccination programme in India.

5.42 pm: China’s economy, which was the first to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic and early to recover from its impact, grew 2.3% in 2020, registering the lowest annual growth rate in 45 years, reports PTI.

5.29 pm: The World Health Organization says that the world is on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” on distributing Covid-19 vaccines, and urges countries and manufacturers to share doses more fairly around the world, reports Reuters

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the prospects for equitable distribution are at “serious risk” just as its vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX aims to start distributing inoculations next month.

He notes 44 bilateral deals were signed last year and at least 12 have already been signed this year. “This could delay COVAX deliveries and create exactly the scenario COVAX was designed to avoid, with hoarding, a chaotic market, an uncoordinated response, and continued social and economic disruption,” he adds.

5.26 pm: No new cases of the mutant strain of the coronavirus were reported in India since Sunday, the Union health ministry says, reports ANI. India’s tally of the new strain of the virus is 116.

3.44 pm: All districts courts of Delhi have resumed physical hearings on alternate days from Monday, reports The Times of India.

3.38 pm: Three samples of recent travellers from the United Kingdom have tested positive for the new strain of Covid-19 in Nepal, reports ANI, citing the country’s health ministry. The three who tested positive are a 28-year-old woman, a 67-year-old man, and a 32-year-old man, says Dr Jageshwor Gautam, a spokesperson of Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population.

1.57 pm: China reports more than 100 coronavirus cases for the sixth consecutive day, according to Reuters. The National Health Commission reported 109 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, unchanged from a day earlier.

1.56 pm: The second day of the coronavirus vaccination drive begins in Odisha.

1.52 pm: United Kingdom Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi says the country is inoculating 140 people per minute against the coronavirus on an average, reports Reuters. “You’ll see that improve as we open more of the large vaccination centres, 17 in total by this week and 50 by the end of the month,” Zahawi adds. “Today, in some areas where they’ve done the majority of their over 80s, letters are going out to the over 70s and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.”

1.47 pm: Odisha’s health department Additional Chief Secretary PK Mohapatra says that the state government was formulating a strategy to to increase the number of people getting coronavirus vaccines, reports NDTV.

“As per the strategy all medical colleges, both government and private from Monday, will conduct at least five sessions per day in different locations and in each session site, 200 beneficiaries to be targeted,” Mohapatra says. “For each session site, two vaccinators and four vaccination officers shall be deployed. Sessions shall be conducted on working days.”

1.43 pm: The coronavirus tally in Odisha rises to 3,33,444 after the state registers 134 new cases, reports PTI. The toll climbs to 1,901 following the death of a person from the Bargarh district. There are 1,944 active Covid-19 cases, while 3,29,546 patients have recovered so far.

1.40 pm: Four MLAs in Kerala test positive for the coronavirus after attending the ongoing Assembly session, reports PTI. The MLAs are Ansalan, K Dasan and Mukesh, who belong to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and ES Bijimol, who is a member of the Communist Party of India.

1.36 pm: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia says that it feels good to see children go back to school, according to ANI. Delhi schools reopened on Monday after remaining shut for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Life is coming back on track,” Sisodia adds. “They [the students] were unhappy after sitting at home for long and attending online classes. Schools have been re-opened in a restricted manner, with all protocols.”

12.41 pm: The Indian Embassy in China announces that this year’s flag hoisting ceremony on Republic Day would be restricted to its staff only, given the resurgence of coronavirus cases in provinces adjoining Beijing, reports PTI.

“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic-related current scenario in Beijing and its adjoining provinces, Hebei and Heilongjiang and related measures, including restriction of movements, observation of prevention and control measures and prohibition of large gatherings, the flag hoisting ceremony will be held with participation of officials of embassy only.” 

— Indian Embassy in Beijing, PTI

12.37 pm: The Koderma district health department in Jharkhand withdraws an order issued to government employees, saying their salaries would be withheld if they do not take the coronavirus vaccine, amid massive outrage, reports The Indian Express.

The directive was issued on Saturday by the Koderma District Health Committee. “Those government employees who have not got the vaccinated, must do so at the earliest,” it said. “In case they do not, the salaries of those employees will be withheld. Their salaries will be released only after they submit proof of vaccination.”

12.34 pm: Arunachal Pradesh’s tally of coronavirus cases mounts to 16,811 on Monday as three more persons tested positive for the infection, reports PTI.

12.31 pm: Puducherry registers 23 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours, taking the Union Territory’s tally to 38,669, reports PTI. The toll rises to 643, after a 63-year-old man dies from the disease.

12.18 pm: Israel has struck a deal with pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, promising to share medical data with the company in exchange for the continued flow of its coronavirus vaccine, reports AP.

Israeli Health Minister Yuli Edelstein told AP the government will turn over data to see how it influences, first of all, the level of the disease in Israel, the possibility to open the economy, different aspects of social life, and whether there are any effects of the vaccination.

12.14 pm: The coronavirus inoculation drive gets underway in Telangana for the second day, with the government making arrangements at 324 centres for vaccination, reports PTI. The state is administering the Covishield vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India as the Bharat Biotech vaccine is yet to be dispatched to the session sites.

12.10 pm: The coronavirus vaccination drive in West Bengal faced hurdles on Monday after glitches were reported in the CoWIN portal at several sites, reports PTI. As a result, multiple sites had to manually complete the process of documentation and allocation of vaccination slots.

12.07 pm: The Delhi High Court dismisses a plea seeking the removal of actor Amitabh Bachchan’s voice from the caller tune on precautions against the coronavirus, reports PTI. The court notes that since the caller tune has already been changed, “nothing remains” of the petition.

The petitioner had sought removal of the voice of the actor on grounds that the actor himself, along with some family members, had been infected by the virus.

10.54 am: Samples of ice cream – produced by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company in China – test positive for the coronavirus, reports Sky News. Anti-epidemic authorities in north China’s Tianjin Municipality are tracing people who may have been in contact with the batches.

10.48 am: Australia is seeking urgent information about the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from the company, health authorities and Norway’s government, reports Bloomberg. This comes after 29 elderly people died after getting vaccine shots in Norway, prompting the government to raise concerns about the safety of the Pfizer vaccine. Australia has ordered 10 million, or 1 crore, Pfizer vaccines doses.

10.45 am: Kusum Shahwalia, a teacher at Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya No-3 in Delhi, says they are following all coronavirus related guidelines, reports ANI. “Thermal scanning of students is being done at the entrance,” Shahwalia says. “They are provided with masks and their hands are being sanitised. In classes, social distancing is being maintained.”

10.42 am: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia visits Kautilya Government Sarvodaya Bal Vidyalaya as schools reopened in the national Capital.

10.37 pm: A 32-year-old pregnant woman tests positive for the coronavirus in Mizoram, taking the state’s tally to 4,323, reports PTI. There are 79 active cases in the state, while 4,235 people have recovered from the infection. The toll stands at nine.

10.31 pm: Jyoti Yadav, a teacher at Delhi’s Lady Irwin Senior Secondary School, says thermal scanning is being done and students have been asked to wear a mask and carry sanitiser and a spare mask, reports ANI. “They’ve been asked to maintain social distancing and not share their lunch and water,” Yadav says. “They’ve also been asked to not loiter around.” Delhi schools reopened on Monday following a long hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

10.28 am: A 46-year-old government hospital employee in Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad died on Sunday, 24 hours after receiving a coronavirus vaccine shot. The district’s chief medical officer, however, said the death was unrelated to the vaccination. According to his family, Mahipal Singh, a ward boy, was unwell before getting the vaccine.

9.28 am: India has so far conducted more than 18.7 crore coronavirus tests. More than 5.48 lakh tests were done on Sunday alone.

9.23 am: Brazil approves vaccines developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and China’s Sinovac Biotech for emergency use, Reuters reports.

9.19 am: India registers 13,788 new cases on Monday, taking its overall count to 1,05,71,773. The country’s toll rises to 1,52,419 by 145. The daily fatality count is the lowest in around eight months. India’s active cases stand at 2,08,012, while the number of recoveries reach 1,02,11,342.

9.17 am: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wishes students as schools in the Capital reopen for classes 10 and 12 on Monday. “Best wishes to the students of class 10 and 12th who are going to visit their school today after 10 months... (though it’s only for limited purpose and with covid protocols..),” he says. “But still... I am glad that schools are opening in Delhi today.”

9.06 am: Here are the top updates from Sunday:

  1. The Union health ministry said that 17,072 people were administered coronavirus vaccines across six states on the second day of India’s inoculation drive. It added that most of the adverse events were minor, with only three cases needing hospitalisation.
  2. Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said the third wave of infections in the Capital was reducing in intensity. “The positivity rate in Delhi has remained below 0.5% for the last few days,” he said. “Cases have decreased. Still, I want to appeal to people to take precautions and use masks.”
  3. Norway expressed concern about the safety of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on elderly people with serious underlying medical conditions, after at least 29 of them died within days of receiving the shot.
  4. The global tally of coronavirus cases crossed 9.44 crore people, while the toll reached 20.21 lakh, according to John Hopkins University. The number of recoveries went over 5.19 crore.