Here are the top updates of the day:

10.30 pm: World Health Organisation announces that new variant of coronavirus that was spotted in United Kingdom has spread to 70 countries, while the one that originated in South Africa has been found in 31 nations, reports the Hindustan Times.

7.26 pm: The health ministry says as many as 23,28,779 beneficiaries have been vaccinated till 6pm on Wednesday.

The government adds that 16 hospitalisations and 9 deaths have been reported after vaccination so far. “None of these deaths has been causally linked with vaccination,” Health Ministry Additional Secretary Manohar Agnani says.

7.12 pm: The home ministry issues fresh coronavirus-related guidelines. It says that seating capacity at movie theatres, currently at 50%, will be increased. Swimming pools will open for everyone.

7.07 pm: Delhi registers 96 new cases on Wednesday – its lowest daily count in almost nine months. The Capital’s tally rises to 6,34,325. Nine more deaths push Delhi’s toll to 10,829.

4.58 pm: Sri Lanka will purchase 20 to 30 lakh doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from its Indian manufacturing company Serum Institute of India during the next two days, reports The Hindu.

4.55 pm: Bharat Biotech claims that Covaxin “effectively neutralises” the mutant strain of coronavirus that emerged in the United Kingdom

1.10 pm: Myanmar launches coronavirus vaccination drive with healthcare staff and volunteer medical workers the first to receive shots of the AstraZenca and Oxford University vaccine donated by India, reports Reuters.

1.05 pm: United States’ House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi names US lawmkaer Raja Krishnamoorthi, a person of Indian origin, to a key congressional committee on the coronavirus crisis, reports PTI.

1.02 pm: Puducherry registers 24 new coronavirus cases, raising the tally in the Union Territory to 38,934, reports PTI.

1.01 pm: First phase of coronavirus vaccination programme begins in Nepal.

11.56 am: The toll from the coronavirus in United Kingdom crosses the one-lakh mark, reports PTI. The Office for National Statistics evaluation of death certificate reveals that over 1,04,000 deaths since last year. The UK government’s daily death count figures rely on positive coronavirus tests in the past 28 days and are therefore slightly lower, at 98,531.

11.53 am: Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan chairs the 148th session of the World Health Organization Executive Board, reports News18. “2020 was the year of discovery for Covid-19 vaccines, 2021 will be the year we face the challenge of getting it to people across the world who most need it,” he says.

11.51 am: Australia records a 10th straight day of no new local Covid-19 cases, allowing its most populous state of New South Wales to relax restrictions after controlling a fast-spreading cluster, reports AFP. Victoria state, which is hosting the Australia Open tennis tournament, has gone three weeks without a local case.

11.45 am: The Indian Council of Medical Research says that 19,36,13,120 Covid-19 test have been conducted till Tuesday. It tested 5,56,426 tests on January 26.

10.01 am: The global Covid-19 tally breaches 100-million (10 crore) mark, according to John Hopkins University data. There are 10,02,43,101 coronavirus cases, while the global toll rises to 21,56,850. Over 5,53,42,114 people have recovered so far.

9.54 am: India reports 12,689 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 1,06,89,527, according to the Union health ministry. The country’s toll climbs by 137 to 1,53,724. There are 1,76,498 active cases, while the number of people who have recovered from the infection has risen to 1,03,59,305.

9.53 am: The number of Mumbai local trains in operation will return to its pre-coronavirus figures from Friday, but the services will be limited to only those who have been allowed to travel by the suburban railways during various phases of unlocking, reports the Hindustan Times.

9.50 am: United States President Joe Biden on Tuesday announced the purchase of additional 200 million (20 crore) doses of coronavirus vaccines as the country reported 25 million (2.5 crore) infections, reports PTI. Biden announced that his administration will increase overall weekly vaccination distribution to states and tribal territories from 8.6 million (86 lakh) doses to a minimum of 10 million (1 crore) doses.

9.49 am: A 27-year-old healthcare worker died in Odisha on Tuesday, three days after taking the Covid-19 vaccine, reports PTI. The state health department, however, said his death was not related to the vaccination.

Here are the top updates from Tuesday

  • The Union health ministry said that as many as 20,23,809 health workers had been vaccinated against the coronavirus so far.
  •  India reported 9,102 new coronavirus cases, taking the overall count to 1,06,76,838. The country’s toll rose by 117 to 1,53,587. The number of active cases stood at 1,77,266, while the recoveries reached 1,03,45,985.
  • South African President Cyril Ramaphosa urged richer countries to stop hoarding excess coronavirus vaccines they had ordered but do not need immediately.
  • Results of the latest sero survey indicate that Delhi is closer to attaining herd immunity against the coronavirus. The fifth sero survey show that every second person in the national Capital has developed antibodies against the coronavirus.