Coronavirus live updates | India to give booster doses from today

The number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise on Sunday, with 1,79,339 new infections, taking the total number of active patients in India to over seven lakh. The steep rise in the past week was primarily due to the case surge in urban centres such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

Read | The best masks to ward off Omicron

Between January 4 and 8, Mumbai recorded more than 86,000 cases, a 150% increase in infections compared to the week before. Delhi recorded about 68,000 new cases, a 350% rise. Bengaluru registered close to 24,000 cases, a 400% increase. In the same period, Chennai saw 17,247 infections, a 350% increase compared to the past week.

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:


Assam starts giving COVID-19 booster dose to vulnerable groups

The Assam government on Monday started administering the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine, or the booster dose, to vulnerable groups such as healthcare and frontline workers and elderly people, a senior official said.

State Health Minister Keshab Mahanta ceremonially rolled out the drive at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital in presence of local BJP MLA Hitendra Nath Goswami.

NHM Mission Director Lakshmanan S. said that the exercise has begun across the state in the existing vaccination centres and beneficiaries have started coming in. – PTI


Actor Shobana contracts Omicron variant of COVID-19

Actor and Bharatanatyam dancer Shobana says she has contracted the Omicron variant of coronavirus and is experiencing “joint pains and chills”.

The 51-year-old actor, known for her work in Malayalam, Telugu and Tamil films, took to Instagram on Sunday evening to update her followers about her health.

Shobana said she tested positive for COVID-19 despite being careful and fully vaccinated. – PTI


With peak yet to come, Europe’s healthcare creaks under Omicron’s rapid spread

Europe’s healthcare systems are being strained once again by the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus over the holiday period, with large numbers of key staff ill or self-isolating and experts predicting the peak of infections is yet to come.

Despite early studies showing a lower risk of severe disease or hospitalisation from Omicron compared to the previously-dominant Delta variant, healthcare networks across Spain, Britain, Italy and beyond have found themselves in increasingly desperate circumstances.

On Friday, Britain began deploying military personnel to support hospitals experiencing staff shortages and extreme pressures due to record COVID-19 cases in the country. – Reuters

Tamil Nadu

BJP leader Khushbu tests positive for Covid-19

Actor-politician Khushbu Sundar on Monday said she has been infected with coronavirus and that she has isolated herself.

The BJP leader said she hates being alone.

“Ok. finally #Covid catches up with me after dodging last 2 waves. I have just tested positive. Till last eve i was negative. Have a running nose, did a test n Voila! I have isolated myself. Hate being alone. So keep me entertained for the next 5 days. N get tested if any signs,” the senior actor said in a tweet. – PTI

Tamil Nadu

University exams in Tamil Nadu postponed indefinitely, says government

University semester exams in Tamil Nadu slated for later this month have been deferred indefinitely due to the Covid-19 situation in the state, the government said on Monday.

Higher Education Minister K Ponmudi said the decision has been taken in consultation with Chief Minister M K Stalin who was keen about students’ welfare.

“All university exams are being deferred indefinitely due to the surging covid numbers. The revised schedule will be announce later,” he told reporters here. – PTI


Tianjin on partial lockdown after Omicron found

The numbers are small, but the major port of Tianjin may be facing China’s first local outbreak of omicron of any size, less than a month before the Winter Olympics open in nearby Beijing.

State broadcaster CCTV said the government has divided Tianjin and its 14 million residents into three levels of restrictions, starting with lockdown areas where people are not allowed to leave their homes at all. In control areas, each household is allowed to have one family member leave to buy groceries every other day, while in prevention areas, people must remain inside their immediate neighborhoods.

Buses and trains from Tianjin to Beijing have been suspended and people are being told not to leave the city unless they have pressing business. – AP



Administration of precautionary dose of Covid vaccine begins in Delhi

Amid a surging third wave of coronavirus infections, Delhi on Monday started administering a third or “precautionary dose” to people aged 60 or more, healthcare workers and frontline workers who took their second dose of vaccine nine months ago.  Around three lakh such people have become eligible for the third dose from Monday.    

The beneficiaries will receive a precautionary dose of the same vaccine they took 39 weeks ago. They will have to book a slot using their existing Cowin account. – PTI

A senior citizen taking a booster dose of covid 19 vaccine at a center in New Delhi on Monday.  
| Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu CM launches precaution dose against COVID-19 for healthcare workers, others

With a steep rise in coronavirus positive cases and the highly transmissible Omicron variant, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on January 10 launched the precaution dose against COVID-19 for healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 60 years of age with co-morbidities in the state.

Those who have completed nine months (39 weeks) from the date of the second dose administered to them are eligible to receive the precaution dose from today. The same vaccine that has been administered for the previous two doses will be given as the precaution dose, according to the State health department. The present drive has been initiated following instructions from the Central government to roll out the precaution dose for healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 years and above. – PTI

Frontline workers were vaccinated for Booster dose in Udhagamandalam on Monday.

Frontline workers were vaccinated for Booster dose in Udhagamandalam on Monday.  
| Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy


Gujarat begins administering precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine; aims to cover 9 lakh eligible people

The Gujarat health department on Monday started administering the precaution dose of COVID-19 vaccine to frontline and healthcare workers as well as co-morbid people aged 60 and above, with an aim to cover nine lakh eligible people.

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel was present at an urban health centre in the state capital Gandhinagar during the commencement of the drive, as per a release issued by the Chief Minister’s Office.

Approximately nine lakh eligible people will be administered the precaution doses at around 3,500 vaccination centres where more than 17,000 health workers would be engaged for the purpose, the release said. – PTI


Odisha orders Tata MD’s OmiSure RT-PCR tests

Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd. (Tata MD) said it has received an order for 5 lakh tests from Odisha State Medical Corporation Ltd (OSMCL) for detection of Omicron variant of coronavirus.

The company said Government of Odisha is the first State in the country to order its OmiSure RT- PCR tests developed in partnership with ICMR.

“As OmiSure specifically identifies Omicron without the need for sequencing, it will help the government to combat the Omicron spread within the State,” the company said in a statement.



Health workers to get booster dose from Monday in Rajasthan

More than 24 lakh people will be given the booster dose of coronavirus vaccine from Monday, an official said here on Sunday.

The number includes health workers,and people with comorbidities (suffering from many diseases) and above 60 years of age.

Principal Secretary (Medical Education) Vaibhav Galriya said that the precautionary dose can be given on the completion of nine months from the date of the second dose. – PTI


All set to start administering precaution dose of Covid vaccine

India will start administering the precaution dose of Covid vaccine to healthcare and frontline workers, and comorbid people aged 60 and above from Monday in a bid to stymie the coronavirus spread driven by its Omicron variant.

Personnel deployed in election duty in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa have also been designated as frontline workers.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, in a tweet on Sunday, said reminder SMSes have been sent to over one crore healthcare and frontline workers and senior citizens for their precaution dose. An estimated 1.05 crore healthcare and 1.9 crore frontline workers, and 2.75 crore comorbid people in the 60 plus age group would be administered the precaution dose according to schedule, Health Ministry sources said. – PTI


Praneeth withdraws from India Open after testing positive for COVID-19

Top Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth, who won the 2019 World Championships bronze medal, on Sunday pulled out of the season-opening India Open Super 500 tournament after testing positive for COVID-19.

“Yes, I have tested positive for COVID-19 in RT-PCR test. I had cold and cough since yesterday. I am isolating at home,” Praneeth told PTI.

“I will have to wait for at least a week before testing again. It is an important year and there is hardly any time to regain fitness. I hope I can get back to court quickly.” Badminton Association of India (BAI) general secretary, Ajay Singhania, too, confirmed Praneeth’s withdrawal from the $400,000 tournament. – PTI


Tripura govt to impose night curfew from January 10

The Tripura government on Sunday decided to impose night curfew across the state from Monday in a bid to curb the spread of rising coronavirus cases.

The night curfew will remain in force from 9 pm till 5 am for 10 days starting Monday, a notification said.

State Information and Cultural Affairs minister Sushanta Chowdhury said health experts have predicted that Tripura is likely to witness a “peak” in COVID-19 cases in January and February. – PTI


Odisha decides to provide booster dose to health workers as Covid cases rise

As part of its preparedness for the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Odisha government on Sunday asked the district authorities to ensure that doctors, nurses and other health workers dealing with coronavirus patients get the booster dose of the vaccine on priority.

The direction was issued by Chief Secretary S.C. Mohapatra to district collectors while reviewing the surge of COVID-19 cases along with detection of Omicron cases in the state.

“Districts are all set to combat the omicron situation and provide proper treatment to the infected people,” Mohapatra said after the meeting. – PTI

West Bengal

Bengal reports all-time high of 24,287 Covid cases

West Bengal on Sunday reported an all-time high of 24,287 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, the highest since the first wave of infections in 2020.

The infections detected in the last 24 hours were 5,485 more than yesterday’s, taking the tally to 17,55,046, the health department said.

The city accounted for more than a third of Bengal’s Covid infections for the day with a tally of 8,712 cases, compared to 7,337 cases on Saturday. – PTI

Jammu and Kashmir

J&K admin orders online classes up to college level amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Jammu and Kashmir administration on Sunday issued fresh guidelines, including adoption of online classes up to college level, and optimal use of virtual mode for conducting official meetings.

The decision to this effect was taken by the State Executive Committee (SEC) which met under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary A K Mehta here, retaining the already issued restrictions for Covid containment, including night curfew across the Union territory.

In the order issued Sunday night after a detailed review of the COVID-19 situation, Mehta, who is also the chairperson of SEC, said it was observed that there is a need for additional measures besides continuing with the existing coronavirus containment measures in all districts in view of the uneven trend observed in daily Covid cases as well as rising positivity rate. – PTI


COVID-19 vaccination certificates in 5 poll-bound states won’t have PM’s photo

COVID-19 vaccination certificates issued in the five poll-bound states will not have Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo since the model code of conduct has come into force there, an official source said.

The Union Health Ministry will apply necessary filters on the Co-WIN platform to exclude Modi’s photo from the vaccine certificate, the source said.

Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa will be held between February 10 and March 7 in seven phases with the counting of votes on March 10, the Election Commission announced on Saturday.



India adds 1.79 lakh COVID-19 cases on January 9, 2022

The number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise on Sunday, with 1,79,339 new infections, taking the total number of active patients in India to over seven lakh. The steep rise in the past week was primarily due to the case surge in urban centres such as Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

Coronavirus live updates | India to give booster doses from today

Between January 4 and 8, Mumbai recorded more than 86,000 cases, a 150% increase in infections compared to the week before. Delhi recorded about 68,000 new cases, a 350% rise. Bengaluru registered close to 24,000 cases, a 400% increase. In the same period, Chennai saw 17,247 infections, a 350% increase compared to the past week.

Notably, the test positivity rate crossed the 10% mark in the country. That is, every 100 tests now yield 10 positive cases.


Tamil Nadu

Jallikattu banned in Vellore, nearby districts ahead of Pongal as COVID-19 cases see spike

With a steep rise in the daily cases of COVID-19, the district administration in Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Ranipet and Tirupattur, have banned the conduct of Jallikattu events, ahead of Pongal festival, as part of safety measures. A large group of Jallikattu enthusiasts gheraoed the Vellore Collectorate a few days ago, seeking permission from Collector P. Kumaravel Pandian, to organise the event during the festival.

As the daily cases touched 295 in Vellore on Sunday, the administration has banned the event by directing revenue officials and police to prevent any such activities, especially in remote villages of the district.

“During the pandemic, such large public events are automatically banned to prevent the spread of the infection. Special health and police teams were formed to check any violations on COVID-19 norms,” Ranipet Collector D. Bhaskara Pandian told The Hindu.



With nearly 45,000 new infections, Maharashtra’s active cases breach 2 lakh-mark

Maharashtra’s uptick in fresh COVID-19 infections continued relentlessly with the State reporting 44,388 new cases on Sunday as the active case tally breached the two lakh-mark to reach 2,02,259.

Nevertheless, fatalities continued to be low with 13 deaths taking the cumulative toll to 1,41,639 while 15,351 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours.

Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the government would be introducing curbs at places of worship and other sites including liquor stores that attract crowds.


Tamil Nadu

Four lakh eligible for booster dose on day 1 in Tamil Nadu

Four lakh persons will be eligible for the booster vaccine dose on Monday, the first day of its administration. In the whole of January, 10.7 lakh persons can avail themselves of it, Director of Public Health T.S. Selvavinayagam has said. The beneficiaries include 2.7 lakh frontline workers; 2.7 lakh healthcare workers; and five lakh persons aged above 60.

“As per the above statistics and the guidelines provided by the Union government, 9.1 lakh beneficiaries will be administered Covishield and 1.5 lakh persons are eligible for Covaxin,” he said. “As on date, we have 71 lakh doses of the vaccines…”

People may check out their eligibility by visiting the CoWIN website and they may get their doctor’s advice as a precaution. Beneficiaries may approach the centre where they had received the first two doses or any government healthcare facility or private hospital for the booster dose. All that they have to produce is their mobile numbers or identity cards. Private hospitals may administer the booster dose to their frontline and healthcare workers. There is no need to get a medical certificate, however.


Tamil Nadu

Complete lockdown passes off peacefully all over Tamil Nadu

The first complete lockdown across Tamil Nadu this year to contain the spread of COVID-19 during the third wave passed off peacefully on Sunday, as people remained indoors except those who stepped out for travel and medical purposes.

Since food delivery and other such services were allowed to function, people could receive their essentials at home.

Those who headed to bus-stands, railway stations and airports were asked to produce a copy of their tickets during the vehicle checks.


Andhra Pradesh

Active COVID-19 cases triple in five days in Andhra Pradesh

The State reported 1,257 COVID-19 infections and two deaths in the 24 hours ending Sunday morning.

Single-day cases crossed 1,000 for the first time in 101 days since October 1. At 3.27%, the positivity rate of the 38,479 samples tested in the past day was also the highest in 180 days.

The number of active cases tripled in five days from 1,848 on January 5 to 4,774 on Sunday.

During the past day, 140 patients recovered and the total recovery rate and recoveries stand at 99.07% and 20,62,580 respectively. The cumulative infection tally increased to 20,81,859 while the number of fatalities stand at 14,505.



Punjab Chief Election Officer tests positive for COVID-19

Chandigarh Punjab’s Chief Electoral Officer S. Karuna Raju tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, January 9, 2022.

“CEO Punjab Dr. S. Karuna Raju, IAS, asymptomatic tested Covid positive. Under isolation at home taking all precautions as per Covid protocol. Those who came in contact with him in last few days, kindly get tested and take care,” according to a tweet by the office of the Punjab CEO.



Not upping curbs to protect livelihood: Delhi CM

There is no plan to impose a lockdown in the Capital and the Delhi government will not need to implement one if people wear masks and follow COVID protocols, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday.

The statement came on a day when the Capital recorded 17 deaths and 22,751 new cases. However, a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority will be held on Monday to review the COVID situation with experts deciding the next course of action.

In his first appearance after recovering from COVID-19, Mr. Kejriwal said, “We don’t want to impose a lockdown. The restrictions imposed are only to curb the spread. We are not heightening restrictions to protect livelihood of the masses.” He added that there was no need to be scared of COVID but there was a need to be responsible and always wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Andhra Pradesh

Despite spurt in COVID cases, people flock to tourist places in Vizag district

Despite rise in COVID-19 cases across many States, domestic tourists continued to flock to local tourist places in the district. Almost all the tourism and private hotels in the city as well as the Agency areas are fully booked till the end of Sankranti holidays.

“As there are no restrictions announced by the State government till now, bookings are being accepted. Till January 18, almost all the rooms, especially in Araku circuit including Ananthagiri and Tyada, have been 100% booked,” said an official from Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (APTDC) Visakhapatnam.

He said that these bookings were done in December 2021 or even before. COVID-19 cases began increasing in the last one week. “All the tourist places like Borra Caves, Katika waterfalls, Padmapuran Gardens, Tribal Museum, Kothapalle waterfalls, Chaparai and Lambasingi are attracting domestic tourists in droves and hundreds of tourists are thronging Vanjangi hills every weekend,” he says.


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