Coronavirus updates | December 12, 2020

A health worker collects swab samples for COVID-19 testing at Fever Hospital in Hyderabad on December 11, 2020.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna

India’s COVID-19 tally of cases climbed to 98.26 lakh with 30,006 new cases in a day, while 93,24,328 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 94.88%, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 98,26,775 and the death toll climbed to 1,42,628 with the virus claiming 442 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate further declined to 1.45%.

There are 3,59,819 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 3.66% of the total caseload, the data showed.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, a cumulative total of 15,26,97,399 samples have been tested up to December 11 with 10,65,176 samples being tested on the day.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it authorised the use of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine, with the first inoculations expected within days, marking a turning point in the United States where the pandemic has killed more than 2,92,000 people.

The vaccine can be given to people aged 16 and older. Healthcare workers and elderly people in long-term care facilities are expected to be the main recipients of a first round of 2.9 million doses.

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 latest updates:

London

Oxford/AstraZeneca in ‘mix-match’ COVID-19 vaccine trial with Russia’s Sputnik

The Oxford University and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, currently awaiting regulatory approvals, is set to be used for a mix and match trial with Russia’s Sputnik vaccine against the novel coronavirus, according to U.K. media reports.

The two sets of experts are to join forces to explore if a combination of the two jabs, both using a benign virus called adenovirus, could prove effective in offering people long-term protection against COVID-19.

According to The Times, the idea is that by using different vaccines, each shot may prompt a stronger immune response. - PTI

Uttarakhand

COVID officer to be deployed for Kumbh Mela

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat asked officials to deploy a special COVID officer for 2021 Haridwar Kumbh Mela.

Reviewing preparations for the event, Mr. Rawat authorised Kumbh mela officials and the Garhwal commissioner to sanction works worth up to Rs two crore and Rs five crore, respectively.

The Chief Minister also said a committee of experienced engineers and senior financial officers should be set up to help the Garhwal commissioner sanction works related to Kumbh. - PTI

Haryana

Haryana writes to Centre to include public representatives in priority groups for COVID vaccination

The Haryana government has written to the Centre to have public representatives including MPs and MLAs listed among the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination once it begins, said Health Minister Anil Vij on Saturday.

He also said the state government is making all preparations in terms of building database of priority groups, cold chain infrastructure; identification and training of vaccinators for rolling out vaccination.

He said while those on the frontline of fight against coronavirus such as doctors, nurses, paramedics etc are on the priority list for vaccinations, the Haryana Health Department has written to the Union Health Ministry recommending that public representatives who come into contact with masses during their work also be included in the list.

Tamil Nadu

TN Health Secretary launches campaign to promote wearing of masks at Metrowater distribution sites

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan on Saturday launched a campaign to promote the wearing of masks at locations where residents gather in large numbers, to collect drinking water.

Mask campaigns, during water collection at Metro tanker distribution sites, were carried out in various neighbourhoods of Chennai. At least 880 low-income neighbourhoods are expected to be covered in the drive to create awareness on the wearing of masks.

Read more
 

World

USFDA authorises Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it authorized the use of Pfizer Inc's COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, with the first inoculations expected within days, marking a turning point in the United States where the pandemic has killed more than 292,000 people.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted an emergency use authorisation for the vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech, which was shown to be 95% effective in preventing the disease in a late-stage trial.

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Case count

30,006 new cases take India’s virus tally to 98,26,775

India’s COVID-19 tally of cases climbed to 98.26 lakh with 30,006 new cases in a day, while 93,24,328 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 94.88% on Saturday, according to the Union health ministry data.

The total coronavirus cases mounted to 98,26,775 and the death toll climbed to 1,42,628 with the virus claiming 442 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate further declined to 1.45%.

There are 3,59,819 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which comprises 3.66% of the total caseload, the data showed. - PTI

Karnataka

No celebrations on roads, at public places on New Year’s Eve

Celebrations that draw crowds and revellers on main roads and public places in cities on New Year’s Eve will not be allowed this year, Revenue Minister R. Ashok on Friday said. This rule will be applicable to all cities in Karnataka where public celebrations are the norm.

Addressing presspersons after participating in the State’s COVID-19 Task Force meeting, the Minister said this would be enforced under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has agreed to this and a Government Order on the guidelines will be issued in one or two days, he said.

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COVID test data cooked up in Telangana?

An investigation into the low COVID numbers in Telangana has revealed that the test results are being manipulated at the Public Health Centre (PHC) level.

Cooked up names, addresses, phone numbers and fake positive cases were revealed in the months long investigation. Out of the test data of 352, of randomly picked test cases between September and December, about 110 had suspect information.

“We have been given a target of 60 tests per day. We are not getting so many people so we are taking the help of Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) staffers to mobilise patients for the tests,” said a lab technician in a PHC. Four ASHA workers were seated near him working on their phones. Their job was to provide a name, an address and a phone number on which a 4-digit code is generated by the Aarogyasri server accessed by the lab technician.

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