Coronavirus Live Updates | Active COVID-19 cases highest in 225 days

India added 2,71,202 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,71,22,164, including 7,743 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

Read | Covaxin booster increases neutralising antibodies, study finds

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:


Britain will no longer require COVID tests for fully vaccinated travellers

Britain’s vaccinated travellers will be able to go on half-term holidays next month without taking COVID-19 tests on their return, The Times reported.

Transport minister Grant Shapps is in favour of ending the testing system for the double-jabbed in time for the February break, the report said.

An announcement on the change in guidance would be made on Jan. 26, the report said.- Reuters


COVID-19 tests being conducted in Delhi 3 times the number recommended by ICMR: Satyendar Jain

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Sunday sought to nix concerns over “fewer” COVID testing in the national capital, saying the diagnostic tests being conducted in the city is three times the number recommended by ICMR.

All those who need to undergo testing are being tested, he said.

According to the Centre’s new guidelines, asymptomatic patients do not need to undergo a test. Also, contacts of laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patients do not require a test unless they have comorbidities or are aged above 60.

Mr. Jain said these new guidelines on testing have come after thoughtful consideration.- PTI


Sunday lockdown total in Villupuram, Cuddalore regions

Shops and establishments, except in the essential category, remained shut, vehicles kept off the roads and most people stayed indoors as the complete lockdown on Sundays took effect, amid a surge in COVID-19 infections. Police said the rules of the Sunday lockdown were strictly enforced and only essential services and emergency travel were allowed.

The main roads in Cuddalore, Villupuram, and Kallakurichi towns wore a deserted look. Retail outlets, meat shops, vegetable markets, and industries remained shut. Hotels offered only takeaways. Only hospitals, pharmacies, and Aavin milk booths were opened.


Tamil Nadu

Police personnel checking an autorickshaw during the Sunday lockdown at Manjakuppam in Cuddalore district on Sunday.

Photo: Special Arrangement

Volunteers distributing food packets to the homeless people at Koyambedu. during the complete lockdown against coronavirus Sunday.

Photo: M. Vedhan


Uttar Pradesh

BJP MLA in U.P., 27 supporters booked for violating poll code, Covid norms

BJP legislator of Uttar Pradesh’s Purqazi Assembly constituency Pramod Utwal and his 27 supporters have been booked for violating the poll code and COVID-19 norms, officials said on Sunday.

According to an FIR lodged with the police, the action was taken after a video emerged on social media, purportedly showing the distribution of ‘khichdi’ at his public meeting in Meghna Chandan village.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh will be held between February 10 and March 7 in seven phases. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.- PTI




India’s Covid vaccination drive completes 1 year, over 156.76 crore doses administered so far

The countrywide vaccination drive against COVID-19 on Sunday completed one year, during which over 156.76 crore vaccine doses were administered.

According to health ministry officials, over 92 % of the adult population have received at least one dose while over 68% have been fully vaccinated. The Centre will issue a postal stamp on Sunday afternoon to mark the completion of one year of the inoculation drive.



Active COVID-19 cases highest in 225 days

India added 2,71,202 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally of COVID-19 cases to 3,71,22,164, including 7,743 cases of the Omicron variant, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Sunday.

The country saw 1,702 new cases of Omicron variant, the highest in a single day so far, and an increase of 28.17 % since Saturday.  According to experts, it is not possible to undertake genome sequencing of each and every sample, but stressed that this wave is largely being driven by Omicron.

The  active cases have increased to 15,50,377, the highest in 225 days, while the death toll has climbed to 4,86,066 with 314 fresh fatalities, the data updated at 8 am stated.


Beijing reports first local omicron case ahead of Olympics

Beijing has reported its first local omicron infection, according to state media, weeks before the Winter Olympic Games are due to start.

The infected person lives and works in the city’s northwestern district of Haidian and had no travel history outside of Beijing for the past two weeks. The individual experienced symptoms on Thursday and was tested on Friday for COVID-19, officials said in a news conference Saturday during which they confirmed the infection.

The infection comes less than three weeks before the Winter Olympic Games’ opening ceremony on Feb 4., and around two weeks before the start of Lunar New Year celebrations in China.

So far, multiple cities in China have reported omicron infections, including Shanghai, the western city of Xi’an, cities in southern Guangdong province such as Zhuhai and Zhongshan, and the city of Tianjin, which is 30 minutes from Beijing by high-speed rail.- AP


England opens COVID booster jab programme to 16 and 17-year olds

England’s health service said it will expand its COVID-19 booster vaccination programme to include 16- and 17-year-olds from Monday.

Until now, booster jabs have been limited to 16- and 17-year-olds most at risk from the coronavirus.

“More than four in five adults in England have already been boosted, helping to protect them from severe illness,” British health minister Sajid Javid said in a statement.- Reuters


Maharashtra to make prescription must for buying self test kits

Maharashtra government is planning to make doctor prescription mandatory for buying COVID-19 self-test kits from chemists after it was observed that people despite testing positive for the virus were not reporting it to government authorities.

State Public Health Minister Rajesh Tope had said few days ago that people not reporting a positive report is becoming a major issue and that needed to be tackled. He had also raised the issue in his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointing out that centre needs to look in to the matter.


New Delhi

Current COVID wave has peaked in Delhi: Minister

The current wave of COVID-19 has peaked in the city and cases are expected to fall now, Health Minister Satyendra Jain said on Saturday.“In Delhi, the[COVID wave] peak has been reached… For the past five to six days, hospital admissions have been stagnant. This is an indicator that cases are decreasing in the city,” the Minister said.

Delhi on Saturday reported 20,718 new COVID-19 cases over 24 hours but the test positivity rate (TPR) was recorded at 30.64%, which is the highest in more than seven months.



With COVID-19 on the rise, cloud over Republic Day visit of Central Asian leaders

With COVID-19 cases still on the rise 10 days ahead of the Republic Day, the government is considering putting off plans to invite the leaders of five Central Asian nations as the chief guests to the parade, and holding a summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually in Delhi this month. The contingency plans and a number of options to reduce the size of the Republic Day parade and audience were discussed at a meeting chaired by Mr. Modi on Saturday.

Uttar Pradesh

EC issues notice to Samajwadi Party over violation of COVID-19 norms

The Election Commission on Saturday issued a notice to the Samajwadi Party for organising a public gathering “in the name of virtual rally” at its Lucknow office in violation of COVID-19 norms.

Referring to Friday’s event in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, the notice stated that after considering the available material and extant instructions in the matter, the poll panel has decided to provide the party an opportunity to explain its stand regarding the “violations”.- PTI


Tech sector got COVID-19 ‘windfall’ of $100 billion: HFS Research

The global IT and Business Process Management industry might have already seen a COVID windfall of $100 billion and Indian tech providers may have captured more than 50% of it, as per London-based HFS Research.

“The pandemic has no doubt accelerated tech adoption. We can attribute about $100 billion in additional IT/BPM expenditure by industries as a result of COVID. Over half of it may be going to Indian heritage providers,” Phil Fersht, CEO, HFS Research, told The Hindu,


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