Coronavirus live updates | Vaccination for 15-18 age group from today

Coronavirus live updates | Vaccination for 15-18 age group from today

U.P. CM Adityanath says Omicron common viral fever, but exercising caution important; Karnataka govt likely to announce more COVID containment measures this week

A total of 1,700 cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus have been detected across 23 states and Union Territories so far, out of which 639 have recovered or migrated, according to the Union health ministry’s data updated on Monday.

Maharashtra has recorded the maximum number of 510 cases, followed by Delhi (351), Kerala (156), Gujarat (136), Tamil Nadu (121) and Rajasthan (120).

India’s Covid tally rose to 3,49,22,882 with 33,750 fresh cases, while the active cases increased to 1,45,582, according to the data updated at 8 a.m.

The death toll climbed to 4,81,893 with 123 more fatalities, the data showed.

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:


Mumbai schools to remain shut till January 31 for classes 1 to 9 and 11

Mumbai Amid a rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai, including the Omicron variant, the civic body on Monday decided to shut schools of all mediums for classes 1 to 9 and 11 till January 31, a civic official said.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said that students of classes 10 and 12 are excluded from this decision which means they can attend schools in person.


66 people on board Cordelia cruise ship test Covid positive on arrival in Goa

As many as 66 of the over 2,000 people on board the Cordelia cruise ship, which came to the coastal state from Mumbai, have tested Covid positive, state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said on Monday.

The cruise liner, where the NCB busted a high-profile rave party in October last year, was carrying hordes of New Year revellers.


Uttar Pradesh

Omicron common viral fever, but exercising caution important: U.P. CM Adityanath

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on January 3 termed the Omicron variant of the coronavirus a “common viral fever”, but said exercising caution is important even then.

Speaking to reporters in Lucknow after inspecting the COVID-19 vaccination programme for children in the age group of 15-18 years, Mr. Adityanath said, “It is true that Omicron spreads rapidly, but it is also true that as compared to the second wave [of the pandemic], the Omicron variant is quite weak. This is only a common viral fever, but caution and precautions are necessary in any disease. There is no need to panic.”  — PTI

Andhra Pradesh

Over fifty thousand doses of vaccine against COVID administered to teens in A.P.

The administration of vaccine against Covid to teenagers aged between 15 and 18 has commenced in Andhra Pradesh on January 3.

Health Department staff have begun reaching out to the beneficiaries in colleges, schools and households to administer the first dose of Covaxin.

As of 1 p.m., as many as 1.77 lakh doses of vaccine was administered across the State at 6,233 sites and 54,950 doses were administered to teenagers.

Beneficiaries can also walk in to the ward and village secretariats or primary health centres to get the vaccine.

The State Government plans to administer 25 lakh doses in the first week.

Meanwhile, a total of 6.97 lakh doses including 3.97 lakh first doses and 2.99 lakh second doses were administered in the State since January, 16, 2021. — Tharun Boda

United Kingdom

Third vaccine dose can boost effectiveness against Omicron to 88%, U.K. studies show

A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine can provide up to 88% protection against hospitalisation from infection by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, according to early results from studies conducted in the U.K.

The findings compiled in a report by the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKSHA) show significantly higher protection provided by third vaccine dose against the highly mutated variant first identified in Botswana and South Africa in November, compared to two doses.

Eric Topol, professor of molecular medicine, and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in the US noted that vaccine effectiveness drops to 52% against Omicron around six months after taking the second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. – PTI

Madhya Pradesh

Need to hold vaccination on war footing, says MP CM Chouhan as inoculation drive for children begins

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan laid emphasis on conducting vaccination against the viral infection on a war footing as the drive to inoculate children in the 15 to 18 years age group began on Monday.

Chouhan also sought the participation of the elected representatives, volunteers and religious leaders to encourage children to get vaccinated.

The vaccination for this age group is to be held in the premises of schools only, the CM said in a statement. – PTI


Puducherry CM kickstarts special drive to vaccinate children against COVID-19

Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy on Monday kickstarted vaccination of children in the age group of 15 to 18 years against coronavirus at a school here.

The initiative was started at the Thillayadi Valliammai Government High School in Kadirkamam. Vaccination would be done in all primary health centres and government hospitals.

Official sources said that the drive launched to cover students in the age group of 15 to 18 years and was aimed at covering 83,000 people in the union territory. – PTI


Karnataka govt likely to announce more COVID containment measures this week

Faced with fresh COVID-19 threats, the Karnataka government is considering more containment measures to control the spread of the virus and the state cabinet is likely decide in this regard, later this week after consulting experts.

The government has already imposed containment measures like “night curfew” from 10 PM to 5 AM, since December 28 till January 7 morning, to control the spread.

“We are monitoring both COVID and Omicron situation, it is spreading at a very fast pace in the country, in the state and in neighbouring states, so we need to have a discussion with experts. In this regard I will have a discussion with experts tomorrow evening,” Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Monday. – PTI


Pune children get flowers & masks after jabs

The COVID-19 vaccination for children in the 15-18 age group began in Maharashtra on Monday, with the teenagers being offered flowers, pens and masks after taking the jabs in Pune, while the Mumbai civic body launched a free inoculation drive for the children, officials said.

In Mumbai, a girl student was the first to receive the vaccine dose at a jumbo COVID-19 centre in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), where the drive was virtually launched by Maharashtra Tourism and Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray. City Mayor Kishori Pednekar and civic commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal also participated in the virtual drive.

A large number of children from various civic schools arrived at the jumbo centre in the BKC to get vaccinated. – PTI


Vaccinations for adolescents begin across the country

A health worker administering a COVID-19 vaccine dose to a 15 year old girl beneficiary during the vaccination drive, at a dispensary in West Delhi on Monday, January 3, 2022
| Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

CM Basavaraj Bommai at vaccination drive for children between 15 and 18 years in Bengaluru on Monday


Vaccination starts for younger population in 15-18 age group

Vaccination of children in the 15-18 age group against COVID-19 began on Monday as inoculation centres across the country started administering the shots to the younger population.

The process to vaccinate children has commenced amid a scare of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

In Delhi, where daily cases have registered a record surge in the last few days, vaccination centres at Fortis hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and other facilities began administering the jabs to younger population, officials said.

The vaccine option for this age group would only be Covaxin, according to guidelines issued by the Union health ministry on December 27. – PTI


Australia to push ahead with reopening amid record COVID-19 cases

Australia’s government said the milder impact of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 meant the country could push ahead with plans to reopen the economy even as new infections hit a record of more than 37,000 and the number of people hospitalised rose.

Record daily case numbers were reported on Monday in the states of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, as well as the Australian Capital Territory.

In New South Wales, there were 20,794 cases, higher than Sunday’s figure but below the daily record of 22,577 set on Saturday, with testing numbers lower over the New Year’s holiday weekend. – Reuters


PSG star Lionel Messi tests positive for COVID-19

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi has tested positive for COVID-19 in his native Argentina, the French club said Sunday.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will miss the team’s Coupe de France match against Vannes on Monday. His status for PSG’s next Ligue 1 match on Jan. 9 at Lyon is uncertain.

“Messi has been in regular contact with our medical team, and when he has a negative test, he will travel to France, but we don’t know any more than that. I don’t know if he will be involved against Lyon,” coach Mauricio Pochettino said, per Reuters. – Reuters


Israel to offer fourth COVID vaccine shot to over 60s, medical staff

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on January 2 that Israel would offer a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people over 60 and to medical staff as it faces a surge in Omicron variant infections.

Israel last week approved a fourth dose of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, a second booster, for people who are immune-compromised and the elderly living in care homes.

“We now have a new layer of defence,” Mr. Bennett said in a televised news conference, adding that Israel’s top government medical official, whose approval is needed to expand the booster campaign, had signed off on the latest move. – Reuters


Twitter bans Rep. Greene’s personal account for COVID claims

Twitter said Sunday it had banned the personal account of far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for multiple violations of the platform’s COVID-19 misinformation policy, the latest strike against the firebrand whose embrace of conspiracy theories has been called “a cancer” for the GOP and led the House to boot her from committees.

The Georgia Republican’s account was permanently suspended under the “strike” system Twitter launched in March, which uses artificial intelligence to identify posts about the coronavirus that are misleading enough to cause harm to people. Two or three strikes earn a 12-hour account lock. Four strikes prompt a weeklong suspension. Five or more strikes can get someone permanently removed from Twitter. – AP


U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tests positive for COVID-19

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday with mild symptoms, but would retain all authorities as he quarantined at home for the next five days.

Austin, who is vaccinated and has received a booster, said in a statement he last met President Joe Biden on Dec. 21, more than a week before he started experiencing symptoms.

“As my doctor made clear to me, my fully vaccinated status — and the booster I received in early October — have rendered the infection much more mild than it would otherwise have been,” Austin added. – Reuters

Tamil Nadu

Third COVID-19 wave has started in Tamil Nadu: Health Minister

The third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has started in Tamil Nadu, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said in Chennai on January 2.

“The infection is spreading. In the past few days, it has been rising incrementally,” he said, citing the number of fresh cases in the State, while inspecting the 17th mega vaccination camp.

Though Chennai continued to lead the State in vaccination, more than five lakh persons had not yet received even one dose of the vaccine, he said.


Amid rising cases, Supreme Court reverts to virtual hearings

The Supreme Court has reverted to fully virtual mode of hearing for the next fortnight in view of the rising COVID cases.

Virtual hearings would start without exception when the court reopens post Christmas and New Year vacations on January 3.

A notification issued by the court on Saturday informed lawyers and litigants about the decision to drop the hybrid mode of hearings for the next two weeks.

Prior to Christmas holidays, the court had divided the weekdays between virtual and physical hearings of cases.


Maharashtra sees highest single-day jump in six months

In its highest single-day jump in COVID-19 cases in the past six months, Maharashtra reported 11,877 infections on Sunday as the active case tally climbed to 42,024.

However, the number of fatalities continued to remain low with only nine deaths being reported as opposed to the daily average of 20 a few days ago. The cumulative toll now stands at 1,41,542 while 2,069 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours.

Of the new cases, Mumbai reported 7,792 but no deaths. The city’s active cases have surged to 29,819 while the death toll stands at 16,377.

Authorities said despite the State seeing a rise of 60% in week-on-week cases, more than 65% of them are either asymptomatic or mild. Hospitals, too, have reported no significant rise in admissions, said health authorities. At the same time, many doctors have said a clearer picture would emerge only after January 10.


Six lakh adolescents register for COVID-19 vaccination

Ahead of the expanded vaccination drive for 15-18-year-olds that commences on Monday, nearly 600,000 adolescents have registered for their Covaxin shots according to data on the CoWIN platform. India’s estimated population in the 14-17 category is around three crore.

The expansion comes even as India’s daily caseload increased to 27,553 and the total number of Omicron cases surged to 1,525. Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala reported the maximum number of people with Omicron and accounted for close to two-thirds of the national count.

Later this week, the Health Ministry is expected to issue guidelines on “precaution doses” and whether this third dose will be a repeat of the previous two or a different kind. Current evidence suggests that a third dose, same or different, boosts antibodies but the latter gives a larger boost, improving the odds of staving off a symptomatic infection. Two doses, however, continue to protect against disease at least for nine months, the Indian Council of Medical Research said last week, citing local as well as international studies.


Take measures to avoid mixing-up of vaccines: Health Minister to States

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday said States and Union Territories should take necessary measures, including setting up separate vaccination centres, to avoid mixing-up of COVID-19 vaccines during administration of shots to those in the 15-18 age group.

Inoculation of children in this age category will start on January 3.

The vaccine option for those in the 15-18 age group would only be Covaxin, according to a set of new guidelines issued by the Union Health Ministry. Besides Covaxin, the adult population of the country is being administered Covishield and Sputnik V. – PTI


Sonia asks Punjab CM to be ready to tackle COVID-19 cases

Concerned over the recent surge in the COVID-19 cases throughout the country, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has directed Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to be fully prepared to combat any eventuality arising out of the pandemic, especially in the wake of the new variant — Omicrcon.

According to an official statement, Ms. Gandhi, who spoke to Mr. Channi over phone, said there should be no complacency in this regard and concerted efforts should be made to face any possibility of emergency efficaciously.

Apprising Ms. Gandhi, the Chief Minister said he was constantly monitoring the current situation with the Health, Medical Education & Research Department and other line departments to put in place all the requisite infrastructure in place to effectively tackle any emergency in case the situation so warrants.

Tamil Nadu

Number of vaccinated people crosses the 8.5-crore mark in Tamil Nadu

The number of persons vaccinated in Tamil Nadu has crossed the 8.5-crore mark on Sunday, Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said at the end of the 17th mega vaccination camp.

While 4,20,098 beneficiaries received the first dose, 10,96,706 persons received the second dose. As on Sunday, 8,54,82,383 persons had been vaccinated. So far, 5,03,33,915 (86.95%) persons had received the first dose and 3,51,48,468 (60.71%) had been administered the second dose, he said.

On Monday, Chief Minister M.K. Stalin will launch vaccination for students aged 15- 18 at Manthope Girls Higher Secondary School at Saidapet. Under the drive, the State expects to cover 33.46 lakh beneficiaries, including students at juvenile homes and orphanages, Mr. Subramanian informed the Union Health Ministry at a video conference earlier in the day. He said the Health Department was coordinating with the School Education, Higher Education and Social Welfare Departments to cover all beneficiaries. “We plan to achieve 100% coverage through the drive.”

Jammu and Kashmir

L-G to launch COVID-19 vaccination for 15-18 age group in J&K today

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Manoj Sinha is going to launch the COVID-19 vaccination drive for children in the 15-18 age group on Monday from a government school in Jammu, an official said.

While the L-G will launch the drive from the Government Higher Secondary School for boys in Gandhi Nagar, a similar event would be held at the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Kothi Bagh of Srinagar by the additional chief secretary of the health and medical education department, the spokesperson said.

He said the vaccination drive for children in the 15-18 age group would be carried out from January 3 at centres located in selected schools across the union territory.

As many as 8.33 lakh children will be targeted for inoculation during the drive in Jammu and Kashmir, the spokesman said. – PTI


Rajasthan imposes curbs on political rallies, fairs, weddings

The Rajasthan Government on Sunday capped the number of people attending political and other rallies, dharnas, fairs and weddings at 100 and ordered closure of schools in Jaipur city for classes 1 to 8, in view of rising COVID-19 cases.

The decisions were taken at a Covid review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in Jaipur.

Schools for classes 1 to 8 will be closed in Jaipur from January 3 to 9, while the other restrictions are applicable for entire Rajasthan and will come into force from 5 a.m. on January 7, according to guidelines issued by the home department.

A maximum of 100 people will be allowed in marriage functions, public, political, social or educational meetings and processions, dharnas, fairs and such events, it stated. – PTI


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