Coronavirus updates | January 9, 2021

PM Modi to chair a meeting with CMs on vaccine rollout plans.

January 09, 2021 10:22 am | Updated 09:51 pm IST

As the date of rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in India near, the Prime Minister's office said that PM Narendra Modi will chair a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the States on January 11 to discuss the coronavirus situation and vaccine rollout preparedness in the country.

The meeting comes days after Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said that the government was ready to roll-out vaccines for the priority group soon.

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 live updates:

Vaccination roll out

India to commence COVID-19 vaccination drive on Jan 16

India will commence its coronavirus vaccination drive from January 16, 2021, after the forthcoming harvest festivals such as Lohri, Makar Sankranti, Pongal and Magh Bihu, among others, sources in Union Health Ministry has said.

Priority will be given to the healthcare workers and the frontline workers, which is estimated to be around three crore people. This will be followed by those above 50 years of age, and the under-50 population groups with co-morbidities. An estimated 27 crore people fall under this category.


15 states, UTs have positivity rate below national average

A total of 15 states and Union Territories have a cumulative COVID-19 positivity rate below the national average of 5.79 per cent with Bihar having the lowest positivity rate of 1.44 per cent, the Health Ministry said.

Over 18 crore total COVID-19 tests have been conducted in the country till date with over 9 lakh tests in the past 24 hours alone, the Health ministry said in a statement around noon.

It said India's Tests per Million (TPM) stand at 1,30,618.3. "With the increase in testing infrastructure, the TPM has also increased exponentially." The Health ministry said 15 states and UTs have a positivity rate less than the national average with Bihar having the lowest positivity rate at 1.44 per cent.

The 15 states and UTs are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, Assam, Punjab, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Odisha, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Jammu and Kashmir.


World watching how India runs world's biggest vaccination drive: PM

India is ready with two made-in-India vaccines for the protection of humanity and the world is not only waiting for them but also watching as to how the country runs the globe's biggest vaccination programme, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the 16th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention. Talking about India's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the country is among the nations with the lowest fatality rate and the highest recovery rate.

Talking about the COVID vaccines rollout, PM Modi said India is ready with not one but two made-in-India coronavirus vaccines for the protection of humanity.

"Being the pharmacy of the world, India has supplied important medicines to all those in need in the world in the past and is also doing so now. The world is not only waiting for Indian vaccines but is also watching how India runs the world biggest vaccination programme," he said. - PTI


Kerala govt permits reopening of spas, ayurvedic resorts

The spas, ayurvedic resorts and other such facilities in Kerala, which were closed months ago due to COVID-19 pandemic, are all set to welcome visitors again as the state government has issued orders for reopening them by adhering to safety norms.

The State Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the order was issued to reopen the spas and Ayurvedic resorts in the state which were closed in the wake of outbreak of coronavirus.

"Such institutions can be opened fully in compliance with the COVID protocols. They must also take all precautions to ensure hygiene and safety," he said.

The existing government guidelines regarding the functioning of the tourism sector, issued in the wake of the COVID-19 surge, should be fully complied with by the concerned resorts and spas, the minister added. - PTI


Domestic airfare limits to remain in place till March 31

The upper and lower limits on domestic airfares will remain in place till March 31, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Friday.

The ministry had on May 21, 2020, placed these limits through seven bands, classified on the basis of flight duration, till August 24. Later, they were extended till November 24, and then till February 24, 2021.

"The capping of fare... is hereby further extended till 23.59 hours on March 31, 2021," the ministry said in an order.

The order also said that airlines need to sell a minimum of 20% of seats on each flight below the midpoint of the upper and lower airfare. Till date, airlines were selling a minimum of 40% of tickets for a flight below the midpoint. - PTI

Tamil Nadu

Heartening to note dip in COVID-19 cases in T.N., says Madras HC Chief Justice

It is heartening to note that the number of  COVID-19 positive cases in the State is on the decline . Yet, it is advisable to err on the side of caution and avoid being complacent by  allowing 100% occupancy in cinema halls , the Madras High Court said on Friday.

Within hours after Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy observed so in an interim order, the State government withdrew a decision taken by it on January 4 to increase the permitted seating capacity in cinema halls from 50 to 100%.


Uttar Pradesh

Submit plan to check coronavirus spread during Magh Mela: HC to UP govt

The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a foolproof plan by which it intends to check the coronavirus during the upcoming Magh Mela in Allahabad.

The court direction came after the Uttar Pradesh chief secretary on Thursday informed the court that people will be allowed to enter the defined Magh Mela area only after they produce a negative coronavirus report.

However, a Division Bench comprising Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar observed that after having gone through the instructions submitted by the government, they are not convinced that the steps being taken by the State will be sufficient to stop the infection spread.

Fixing January 12 as the next date for hearing into a PIL on this, the court directed the State government to come up with fullproof methods by which it intended to control the spread of the infection.

“They may keep in mind that such congregations during month of Magh are very large in number and if even one infected person sneaks inside the city, he can create havoc,” the Court added. - PTI

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