Coronavirus Live Updates | Schools, cinemas, gyms shut in Delhi, shops in malls to operate on odd-even basis

Coronavirus Live Updates | Schools, cinemas, gyms shut in Delhi, shops in malls to operate on odd-even basis

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has ordered closure of schools, colleges, cinemas and gyms with immediate effect.

With 6,358 people testing positive for coronavirus infections in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,47,99,691. India has logged 653 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the updates:


Schools, cinemas, gyms shut in Delhi, shops in malls to operate on odd-even basis

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Tuesday ordered closure of schools, colleges, cinemas and gyms with immediate effect and put various restrictions on the functioning of shops and public transport as a yellow alert was sounded under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP).

The ‘yellow’ alert restrictions stipulate that shops and establishments of non-essential goods and services and malls will open based on odd-even formula from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The timing of night curfew imposed from Monday night has also been extended by an hour and it will now begin at 10 pm. The night curfew from 10 pm to 5 am will remain in force till further orders, stated the order issued by the DDMA.


First Omicron cases confirmed in Puducherry

First Omicron cases confirmed in Puducherry in two recovered COVID-19 patients who were city residents. The Omicron variant was confirmed in genome sequencing of the samples at NIMHANS.- Tamil Nadu Bureau

New Delhi

Delhi imposes GRAP Level 1

On Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced that level 1 GRAP (Graded Action Response Plan) will be imposed in the city

“We have decided to impose level 1 of the GRAP which comes with certain restrictions; for us your health is paramount so we are having to take this decision,” said Mr. Kejriwal

I appeal to you: please wear a mask whenever you step out of your house, do not crowd, practise social distancing and keep washing your hands, he added. – Jatin Anand


Molnupiravir, Corbevax and Covovax join India’s COVID-19 arsenal

India has approved two more vaccines under emergency use authorisation and an antiviral drug, Molnupiravir, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted on Tuesday. Currently, India uses Covishield, Covaxin and Sputnik V in its vaccination programme.

Corbevax to be made by Hyderabad-based Biological-E is a protein sub-unit vaccine and Covovax, to be manufactured by Serum Institute of India, Pune, is a nanoparticle-based vaccine.


Odisha CM asks officials to prepare for Covid third wave on war-footing

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed officials to make preparations on a war-footing to deal with a possible third wave of COVID-19 with at least eight omicron cases detected in the State.

In a meeting on Monday, where he took stock of the State’s preparedness to deal with the pandemic, Mr. Patnaik issued a series of directives to government departments, calling for the same level of readiness as was there during the first and second waves.

The Chief Minister said that though only eight omicron cases have so far been detected in the State, there could be a surge in the coming days. — PTI


China expands lockdowns as COVID-19 cases climb

Hundreds of thousands more people were ordered to stay home in northern China Tuesday, joining millions under strict lockdown as authorities raced to contain a surge in Covid cases that have reached a 21-month high.

China, where the virus emerged two years ago, has followed a “zero-Covid” strategy of tight border restrictions, lengthy quarantines and targeted lockdowns as Beijing prepares to welcome thousands of overseas visitors to February’s Winter Olympics.

The surge, while low in comparison to rampant cases in Europe and the United States, has prompted authorities to impose what they have called the “strictest” possible curbs in the northern city of Xi’an, whose 13 million residents are entering a sixth day of home confinement.- AFP

West Bengal

Senior TMC leader Derek O’ Brien tests positive for COVID-19

Senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Derek O’ Brien on December 28 said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is presently at home isolation.

Mr. Brien ,who is TMC Rajya Sabha party leader, requested those who have come in contact with him in the last three days and have symptoms to seek medical advice.

“Have tested positive for #COVID Moderate symptoms. Isolating at home. If you have come into contact with me in the last three days, and have symptoms, please seek medical advice. [Was always ultra-careful. Yet.],” he tweeted. — PTI


Maha minister Varsha Gaikwad tests positive for COVID-19

Maharashtra School Education Minister Varsha Gaikwad on Tuesday said she has tested positive for coronavirus.

The minister, who contracted the viral infection last year also, had been attending the ongoing winter session of the state Legislature and replied to various questions pertaining to her ministry in the state Legislative Council on Monday.- PTI


Omicron: Maharashtra records maximum number of cases, India’s total tally at 653

India has logged 653 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus across 21 states and UTs so far out of which 186 people have recovered or migrated, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Tuesday.

Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of 167 cases followed by Delhi at 165, Kerala 57, Telangana 55, Gujarat 49 and Rajasthan 46.

With 6,358 people testing positive for coronavirus infections in a day, India’s total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,47,99,691.

The active cases have declined to 75,456, according to the data updated at 8 am.  The death toll has climbed to 4,80,290 with 293 fresh fatalities, the data stated.

The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been recorded below 15,000 for the last 61 days now.- PTI

Govt panel recommends EUA for COVID-19 vaccines Covovax, Corbevax, anti-Covid pill Molnupiravir

An expert panel of the country’s central drug authority has recommended granting emergency use authorisation to the Serum Institute of India’s COVID-19 vaccine Covovax and Biological E’s vaccine Corbevax with certain conditions, official sources said.

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) on COVID-19 of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) on Monday also recommended granting permission to manufacture and market anti-Covid pill Molnupiravir for restricted emergency use for treatment of adult patients with SpO2 93 per cent and who have high risk of progression of the disease, including hospitalisation or death, subject to certain conditions.

All the recommendations have been sent to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for final approval.


Saurav Ganguly tests positive for COVID-19

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been admitted to a city hospital after testing positive for COVID-19, the cricket board sources said on Tuesday, December 28, 2021.

Ganguly is double vaccinated and has been travelling extensively, taking part in all professional activities.


CDC recommends shorter COVID isolation, quarantine for all

U.S. health officials on Monday cut isolation restrictions for Americans who catch the coronavirus from 10 to five days, and similarly shortened the time that close contacts need to quarantine.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said the guidance is in keeping with growing evidence that people with the coronavirus are most infectious in the two days before and three days after symptoms develop.

The decision also was driven by a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, propelled by the omicron variant.- AP


Delhi government likely to discuss GRAP implementation today

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Monday issued orders related to the imposition of night curfew in the Capital, given the continuing spurt in COVID cases.

This comes even as Delhi government sources said that Health Minister Satyendar Jain is scheduled to chair a meeting on Tuesday on the implementation of various provisions of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) to the increasing trend in COVID-19 cases.


France further tightens COVID measures, but no curfew for New Year’s Eve

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said that in response to a rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the government is narrowing the delay for a third booster shot to three months from four, but there will be no curfew for New Year’s Eve.

Mr. Castex also said that from Monday and for the next three weeks, all public gatherings will be limited to 2,000 people for indoor events, and to 5000 people for outdoor events.

Consumption of drinks and food will be banned in long-distance transport as well as in movie theaters and home working will become mandatory for at least three days per week where possible, Mr. Castex said.

The government has also decided to make face masks mandatory outdoors in city centers, under the authority of local government representatives.- Reuters


3,481 kids orphaned during pandemic to get benefits under PM CARES for Children scheme

Of 6,098 applications received under the ‘PM CARES for Children’ scheme, 3,481 children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic have been approved as eligible for its benefits, the government said on Monday.

In a statement, the Ministry of Women and Child Development said as per the PM CARES for children portal, total applications registered as on December 24 is 6,098, out of which 3,481 applications have been approved by district magistrates. It also said post office accounts have been opened for 3,275 beneficiaries under the scheme.- PTI


Centre advises poll-bound States to speedily ramp up COVID-19 vaccination

The Centre on Monday advised poll-bound states to speedily ramp up COVID-19 vaccination of all eligible population for the first dose and ensure that those due for the second dose are administered the same.

The poll-bound states were also advised to exponentially increase the testing to ensure that the infected are identified promptly for timely initiation of public health response measures, and there is no sudden upsurge in numbers due to low testing besides ensuring that recommended COVID appropriate behavior is strictly followed and adequate measures are undertaken for their effective enforcement.- PTI


Adolescents to get only Covaxin from Jan. 3

Adolescents aged 15-17 years, who will be eligible for vaccination from January 3, will only be administered Covaxin doses, a note from the Health Ministry said on Monday.

Healthcare workers and frontline workers, who have received two doses, would be eligible for a “precaution dose” from January 10, 2022, though here, those with a gap of at least 39 weeks since the second dose would be prioritised.


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