Here are the top updates on Wednesday:

  1. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan claimed India will be in a position to vaccinate at least all of its adult population by the end of 2021. Vardhan made the comment in a meeting with health ministers, principal secretaries and additional chief secretaries of West Bengal and eight northeastern states.
  2. India registered 2,67,334 new coronavirus cases, taking the total count of infections to 2,54,96,330 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. The country reported 4,529 deaths, its highest single-day toll. This pushed the overall fatality count to 2,83,248. The World Health Organization said that India recorded a 13% decrease in new coronavirus cases in the past week, but the number (23,87,663) was still the highest in the world.
  3. The Rajasthan government declared mucormycosis, or “black fungus”, an epidemic in the state. The disease which was initially spotted among Covid patients in Gujarat and Maharashtra, has now spread to other parts of the country as well.
  4. The Centre said individuals who have recovered from the coronavirus infection should wait for three months before getting vaccinated for the virus. The new set of guidelines also cleared vaccination for all lactating women, while adding that the matter of inoculating pregnant women was under discussion by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization.
  5. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of doing “cheap politics” after Foreign Minister S Jaishankar objected to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s comment on the possibility of new coronavirus strains in Singapore. “BJP is doing cheap politics and is worried about its image in Singapore but not about children under threat from Covid strain,” Sisodia said. On Tuesday, Kejriwal had urged the Centre to ban flight services between India and Singapore.
  6. Karnataka Chief Minister announced a special economic package worth more than Rs 1,200 crore. to provide relief for those who have been affected by the pandemic. Auto, taxi and cab drivers and street vendors will get monthly pensions, he said.
  7. Delhi on Wednesday reported 3,846 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally of infections to 14,06,719 since the pandemic broke out in January 2020. This is the Capital’s lowest daily count of cases since April 5. The toll rose by 235 to 22,346. Its positivity rate dropped to 5.78%.
  8. The central government’s officers are living in “ivory towers”, while being oblivious to the ground realities of the coronavirus crisis, the Delhi High Court said while rebuking the government on shortages of vaccine doses.
  9. The Central Information Commission has advised the Union health ministry to proactively disclose information on the coronavirus crisis in public interest, The Wire reported. The commission is handling two cases in which the Centre was accused of holding back information about vaccines. CIC chief YK Sinha said that giving out the necessary information would “obviate the need for filing of RTI cases by citizens on matters of such vital importance”.
  10. Globally, the coronavirus has now infected over 16.43 crore people and killed over 34.07 lakh since the pandemic broke out in December 2019, according to Johns Hopkins University.