Coronavirus updates | December 4, 2020

Health officials conducting COVID-19 tests in Bengaluru on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: K Murali Kumar

India's first COVID-19 wave refuses to die down. The consistent fall observed in India's daily count of cases and deaths between mid-September and October-end, did not persist in November. Lately, many States' case curves have shown fluctuations, with a week of steady rise followed by a week of consistent decline in new cases, thereby keeping the national curve constant.

India’s average daily cases oscillated between the 40,000 and 45,000 marks in November, while average new deaths ranged between 480 and 560.

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:


Delhi High Court tells AAP govt. to take fresh decision on order prohibiting spas from reopening in city

he Delhi High Court on Friday asked the city government take a fresh decision on its order to prohibit reopening of spas in the Capital due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even as saloons are allowed to operate.

Justice Navin Chawla said he found merit in the contention raised by spa-owners here that if saloons are allowed to operate, then they too should be allowed to function.

The High Court's remarks came while hearing several persons who run spas which have been shut since the first lockdown was enforced in Delhi.

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Opposition party leaders demand financial help

The all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday to discuss the COVID-19 vaccine strategy saw Opposition party leaders re-emphasising the need for the government to take urgent measures to bring the economy back on track and demanding additional financial help.

Several parties flagged the GST dues that the Central government owed States and sought additional financial help to meet the revenue shortfall that many States are facing due to COVID-19 pandemic.

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Karnataka COVID-19 advisory committee recommends ban on public, religious and political events

Health and Medical Education Minister K Sudhakar on Friday said the State’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) has recommended that the government should ban all religious, political and public events from December 20 to January 2. This includes new year celebrations too.

However, a final decision will be taken after consultation with Chief Minister, he said.

Addressing press persons after a meeting with the TAC experts, he said the committee had not made any specific recommendation on night curfew. “But the committee has categorically said that certain stringent restrictions should be in place from December 20 to January 2, especially in the wake of an imminent second wave. We will discuss with the Chief Minister and announce the restrictions,” he said.


Tourists spots to be opened in the Nilgiris from December 7

Tourist spots in the Nilgiris will be opened from Monday, December 7, district collector, J. Innocent Divya announced on Friday.

Speaking to reporters at the inauguration of the renovated surroundings of the Assembly Rooms theatre complex, Ms. Divya said that all tourist spots, including Doddabetta Peak, the Boat House, Pykara Lake, Ninth Mile and others, will be opened to the public from Monday.

“All the spots that are run by the Eco-Development Committees (EDCs) and the Tourism Department will be opened,” said the collector. However, approval to open tourism services at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) has not yet been granted.


Facebook bans false claims about COVID-19 vaccines

Facebook Inc on Thursday said it would remove false claims about COVID-19 vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts, following a similar announcement by Alphabet Inc's YouTube in October.

The move expands Facebook's current rules against falsehoods and conspiracy theories about the pandemic. The social media company says it takes down coronavirus misinformation that poses a risk of “imminent” harm, while labeling and reducing distribution of other false claims that fail to reach that threshold.



Zydus Cadila gets DGCI nod for phase 3 clinical trials with biological therapy

Drug firm Zydus Cadila said it has received the approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to start phase 3 clinical trials with its biological therapy PegiHep in COVID-19 patients.

The trials, which will commence in December, will be conducted on 250 patients across 20-25 centres in India, according to the filing.

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All-party meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday chaired an all-party meeting with leaders of various political outfits and top union ministers to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country, sources said.

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Andhra Pradesh

COVID centre fire: Ramesh Hospitals says its role limited to treatment

Fire and Police Departments personnel inspecting the Hotel Swarna Palace-cum-COVID care centre in Vijayawada.

Fire and Police Departments personnel inspecting the Hotel Swarna Palace-cum-COVID care centre in Vijayawada.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri


Ramesh Hospitals general manager J. Rajasekhar clarified through a press release that the hospital’s M.G. Road branch was responsible only for the treatment of COVID patients, nursing, paramedical and ambulance services and round-the-clock monitoring of patients.

Hotel Swarna Palace, where COVID patients were being treated by doctors from Ramesh Hospitals, was supposed to provide the facilities required by the persons infected by COVID, and other amenities and collect the room rent from patients undergoing treatment.

An agreement to this effect was reached by Ramesh Hospitals with Hotel Swarna Palace MD M. Srinivas.

Tamil Nadu

Travel agents get calls about U.K. trips for COVID-19 vaccine

On Wednesday, just after the United Kingdom government gave its approval for Pfizer’s vaccine against COVID-19, a small section of residents from Chennai has been busy making enquiries to look into the possibility of flying to the United Kingdom to get a shot.

However, whether non-U.K. citizens will get access to the vaccine in the early stages remains doubtful. And yet, travel agents said some of their regular clients had reached out to them to know if there were chances for them to get the vaccine by travelling to the United Kingdom.

Mostly, people over the age of 55-60 were the ones wishing to get a vaccine shot at the earliest.

U.K./ U.S.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says U.K. rushed approval of COVID-19 vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci. File

Dr. Anthony Fauci. File   | Photo Credit: AP


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said the U.K. was not as rigorous as the U.S. health authorities in its COVID-19 vaccine approval process.

The U.K. on December 2 became the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for the coronavirus.

"The U.K. did not do it as carefully," he told Fox News. "If you go quickly and you do it superficially, people are not going to want to get vaccinated. We really scrutinise the data very carefully to guarantee to the American public that this is a safe and efficacious vaccine," he said. "We have the gold standard of a regulatory approach with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The U.K. did not do it as carefully and they got a couple of days ahead," the 79-year-old expert said.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is the fastest to go from concept to reality, taking only 10 months to follow the same developmental steps that normally span a decade.

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