Coronavirus (Covid-19) India Highlights: Drone delivers vaccine, syringes in a remote village of Karnataka; Kerala records 6849 new cases, 388 deaths

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Updated: November 17, 2021 10:57:34 pm

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration, Covid-19 India Latest Update, Coronavirus Cases in India Today's News, November 17 Highlights: India reports 10,197 new Covid-19 cases, 301 deaths; Active cases decline to 128,555, lowest in 527 days; Kerala top contributor

Coronavirus in India, Covid-19 Live update, Coronavirus India Latest Update Live, Coronavirus Vaccine Registrations, Third waveThe Delta variant, first detected in India a little less than a year ago, now accounts for 99.5% of all gene sequences, says WHO. (Picture: Reuters)

Coronavirus Variants and Vaccinations, Coronavirus Active Cases in India Today’s News, November 17 Highlights: The Delta variant, first detected in India a little less than a year ago, now accounts for 99.5% of all genomic sequences reported to public databases and has “outcompeted” all other variants in most countries, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. Many experts now believe that all future strains will be offshoots of Delta. The variant is largely concentrated in the UK where it makes up nearly 10% of sequenced virus samples, reported Reuters.

With Coronavirus infection declining globally, except for Europe, and heading to the endemic stage in some of the countries, the focus now has shifted to treatment through Covid pills. Drugmaker Pfizer on Tuesday announced a deal to allow other manufacturers to make its experimental Covid-19 pill, a move that could make the treatment available to more than half of the world’s population. Pfizer said it would grant a license for the antiviral pill to the Geneva-based Medicines Patent Pool, which would let generic drug companies produce the pill for use in 95 countries, making up nearly 53% of the world’s population. The move will further strengthen the fight against Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, India reported 10,197 fresh Coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, taking its overall Covid-19 tally to 3,44,66,598, while the number of active cases in the country declined to 1,28,555, the lowest in 527 days, according to data from the Union Health Ministry’s data on Wednesday. With 301 fresh fatalities, India’s Covid-19 death toll climbed to 4,64,153, the Health Ministry said. The daily rise in new Covid-19 cases has been below 20,000 for the past 40 days and less than 50,000 for 143 consecutive days now. The active cases now account for 0.37% cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate improved to 98.28%, the highest since March 2020, the Health Ministry said. There was no sign of a major spike in Covid-19 cases in recent times even as the main festive season is over. The nationwide vaccination drive has picked up the pace.

Here are the latest and verified Covid updates from India and around the globe:

Live Blog

Coronavirus Third Wave India Live News: Covid-19 Vaccine India Latest Update, Coronavirus Cases and Deaths in India, Record Vaccination Live Updates, festive season, vaccination, new Delta 'sub variant', AY.4.2 variant, resurgence of virus

Highlights

    22:02 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Ladakh logs 24 new Covid-19 cases

    Ladakh has recorded 24 fresh COVID-19 cases, raising its tally to 21,229, officials said on Wednesday. The active cases in the union territory as of now stand at 197 -- 192 in Leh district and five in Kargil district, they said. Ladakh has registered 211 Covid-related deaths -- 153 in Leh and 58 in Kargil -- since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. Twenty-seven more patients were cured and discharged from hospital in Leh in the past 24 hours. The total number of cured patients has reached 20,821, they said. The 24 fresh cases were reported from Leh, the officials said. No death due to Covid took place in the past 24 hours, they added. (PTI) 

    21:39 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi HC refuses to allow unvaccinated govt teacher to resume work

    The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to allow a Delhi government teacher, who chose to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19, to join her duty. The court declined interim relief to the teacher who was marked 'on leave,' saying that it was not inclined to interfere unless there was a medical issue. The judge said it was because of vaccination that there were now milder cases of the virus and observed, “today the position that we are in, it is because of vaccination.” The petitioner agreed to get herself vaccinated without prejudice to her rights and contentions but urged the authorities to “take responsibility for any short term or long term consequences”. The court dismissed the application for interim relief and clarified that merely because the petitioner is now willing to get vaccinated, it should not be seen as the court condoning the prior lapse. The court directed that the matter be listed along with another pending petition challenging the order. On September 29, the Directorate of Education issued an order saying that “all such teachers and school staff who have not got themselves vaccinated by October 15, 2021, should not be allowed to attend the school and their absence would be treated as on leave.” In the pending case, another school teacher has sought direction to the authorities not to force him to get himself vaccinated for COVID-19 since he was suffering from some ailment and vaccination may worsen his medical condition. The matters would be heard next in February. (PTI)

    21:16 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Karnataka records 308 new cases, 8 deaths

    Karnataka logged 308 fresh COVID-19 cases and eight deaths on Wednesday, taking the total number of infections to 29,92,584 and the toll to 38,161. The day also saw 384 discharges, taking the total number of recoveries in the state so far to 29,46,985, a health department bulletin said. Bengaluru Urban continued to lead in the number of cases (207), as the city saw 256 discharges and two deaths. The total number of active cases in the state is now 7,409. While the positivity rate for the day stood at 0.29 per cent, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) was 2.59 per cent. (PTI)

    20:22 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: J&K logs 168 fresh Covid-19 cases

    Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday recorded 168 new cases of coronavirus, taking the infection tally to 3,34,600 while two deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, officials said. Of the fresh cases, 27 were from the Jammu division and 141 from the Kashmir division, officials said. They said Srinagar district recorded the highest of 71 cases followed by 29 cases in Baramulla district. There are 1,513 active cases in the Union Territory, while the number of recovered patients is 3,28,630, they said. The death toll due to the pandemic stands at 4,457. Meanwhile, there are 49 confirmed cases of mucormycosis (black fungus) in the Union Territory as no fresh case was reported since Tuesday evening. (PTI)

    19:46 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Nashik reports 55 new COVID-19 cases; two casualties

    As many as 55 new cases of coronavirus were detected in Maharashtra's Nashik district on Wednesday, taking the tally of infections to 4,11,725 in the region, an official said. At least 50 patients were discharged from hospitals, while two died of the infection during the day, raising the count of recoveries to 4,02,601 and toll to 8,696, he said. Of the cases reported so far, 2,31,709 were from Nashik city, 1,57,436 from other parts of the district, 12,682 from Malegaon and 5,982 patients were from outside the district, it was stated. A total of 28,07,798 swabs have been tested till date, of which 5,848 were tested on Wednesday, the official added. (PTI)

    19:15 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Andhra Pradesh logs 230 new cases of COVID-19

    Andhra Pradesh's Covid-19 tally increased to 20,70,516 as 230 cases were added afresh in 24 hours ending 9 am on Wednesday. A health department bulletin said 346 infected persons got cured in 24 hours, taking the total recoveries to 20,53,480. The overall toll so far rose to 14,421 with three fresh fatalities, it said. The number of active cases decreased to 2,615. Chittoor district registered 42 and Guntur 32 while six districts reported between 10 and 30 fresh cases each. Five more districts added less than eight new cases each. Chittoor, Krishna and Srikakulam districts reported one more Covid-19 death each in a day. (PTI)

    18:46 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala records 6,849 new COVID-19 cases, 388 deaths

    Kerala recorded 6,849 fresh coronavirus infections and 388 deaths on Wednesday, raising the caseload to 50,77,984 and the toll of fatalities to 36,475. With 6,046 more people recovering from the virus since Tuesday, the total number touched 49,77,126 and the active cases reached 63,752, an official press release said. Of the 388 deaths, 61 were reported over the last few days and 327 were designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the Supreme Court directions, it said. As many as 69,334 samples were tested in the last 24 hours. Among the 14 districts, Ernakulam recorded the highest with 958 cases followed by Kozhikode (932) and Thiruvananthapuram (839). Of the new cases, 34 were health workers, 18 from outside the State and 6,473 infected through contact with the source of it not being clear in 324. There are currently 2,08,004 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 2,02,837 are in home or institutional quarantine and 5,167 in hospitals. PTI 

    18:16 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: Europe only region with increasing COVID deaths, says WHO

    The World Health Organisation says coronavirus deaths in Europe rose by 5 per cent in the last week, making it the only region in the world where COVID-19 mortality increased. The UN health agency said confirmed cases jumped 6 per cent jump globally, driven by increases in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In its weekly report on the pandemic issued late Tuesday, WHO said COVID-19 deaths in all regions other than Europe remained stable or declined, and totaled 50,000 worldwide last week. Of the 3.3 million new infections reported, 2.1 million came from Europe. It was the seventh consecutive week that COVID-19 cases continued to mount across the 61 countries WHO counts in its European region, which stretches through Russia to central Asia. The health agency previously described Europe as being the epicenter of the ongoing pandemic and warned that there could be 500,000 more deaths by January if urgent actions aren't taken.  (AP)

    17:22 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: South Korea pushes booster shots as COVID-19 spread worsens

    South Korea on Wednesday reported 3,187 new cases of the coronavirus, nearly matching a one-day record set in September, a worrisome development in a country that eased social distancing rules in recent weeks to lessen the pandemic's economic impact. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 2,550 of the new cases came from the greater capital area, including a record 1,436 in Seoul. The country's death toll is now 3,137, after 21 deaths were reported on Wednesday, the 16th consecutive day of double-digit fatalities, including a record 32 on Saturday. The delta-driven spread has raised questions about whether the country was too quick to ease pandemic restrictions at the start of November in what officials described as a first step toward restoring some pre-pandemic normalcy. In allowing larger social gatherings and expanding indoor dining hours at restaurants, officials had hoped that the country's improving vaccination rates would keep hospitalisations and deaths down even if the virus continues to spread. But there has been a rise in serious cases and fatalities among senior citizens who rejected vaccines or people in long-term care settings whose immunities have waned after being inoculated early in the vaccine rollout, which began in late February. Officials are now pushing to speed up the administration of booster shots for people who were fully vaccinated more than six months ago. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, the No. 2 government official behind President Moon Jae-in, said during a virus meeting Wednesday that the interval will be reduced to four months for people who are in their 60s or older, and for patients in nursing homes or long-term care hospitals. People in their 50s will be eligible for booster shots after five months, Kim said. (AP) 

    16:21 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Live Tracker: 'Har Ghar Dastak' campaign in Delhi — Here's how people with severe physical disability can register for Covid-19 vaccination at home

    The Delhi Government has kick-started a campaign to carry out house-to-house COVID-19 vaccination of people with severe physical disabilities who are incapable of visiting vaccination centres for their Covid jabs.

    As per the poster issued by the Delhi government, the door-to-door vaccination drive will be carried out between November 12 and 27 in the capital and it aims to inoculate those who are yet to take a dose of the Covid vaccine and those whose second shot is overdue. | Read More

    16:15 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Odisha reports 226 new COVID-19 cases, 2 fresh fatalities

    As many as 226 more people, including 33 children, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, taking Odisha's caseload to 10,46,088, a health official said. Two fresh fatalities pushed the coronavirus death toll to 8,383, the official said. As many as 128 new cases were recorded in quarantine centres, while 98 infections were detected during contact tracing. Khurda district registered the highest number of new cases at 114, followed by 15 in Cuttack. Ten of the 30 districts did not report any new case. A total of 206 new infections were detected on Tuesday, while the state reported 185 cases on Monday and 262 on Sunday. The rate of infection among the 0-18 age group stood at 14.60 per cent against 15.53 per cent on the previous day. The daily test positivity rate stood at 0.37 per cent against 0.41 per cent on Tuesday and 0.32 per cent on Monday. Khurda and Mayurbhanj districts registered one fresh fatality each. Fifty-three patients have died due to comorbidities so far. Odisha recorded 6,498 COVID-19 deaths during the second wave of the pandemic this year, and 1,876 fatalities during the first wave in 2020, he said. (PTI)

    16:14 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Czech Republic, Slovakia see record cases, mull restrictions

    The Czech Republic and Slovakia reported record daily numbers of new coronavirus cases Wednesday, a day before the governments of the neighbouring European countries plan to approve new restrictions in response to rising infections. The Czech daily tally soared to 22,479 new cases, eclipsing the previous record set Jan. 7 by almost 5,000 and nearly 8,000 more than a week ago. The country's infection rate rose to 813 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, up from 558 a week earlier.  Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the government is considering several options, including following neighbouring Austria in ordering a lockdown for unvaccinated residents. Another measure under review is no longer allowing people to attend public events or go to bars and restaurants based on coronavirus test results.  Slovakia reported 8,342 new virus cases, surpassing the previous record of 7,244 set Friday. The Slovakian government is planning new restrictions on unvaccinated people as the country's hospitals are getting overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. (PTI)

    16:11 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Air filters can remove airborne coronavirus from Covid wards, says study

    Air filtration significantly reduces the presence of airborne SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 wards of hospitals, according to a study. Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK placed an air filtration machine in COVID-19 wards, and found that it removed almost all traces of airborne SARS-CoV-2. The finding opens up the possibility of setting standards for cleaner air to reduce the risk of airborne transmission of infections, they said. The researchers noted that there has been a steady rise in the evidence that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be transmitted through the air in small droplets called aerosols. However, as hospitals have seen their capacity overwhelmed, they have been forced to manage many of their COVID-19 patients in repurposed 'surge' wards, which often lack the ability to change the air with a high frequency, they said. The study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, investigated whether portable air filtration and ultraviolet (UV) sterilisation devices could reduce airborne SARS-CoV-2 in general wards that had been repurposed as a COVID ward and a COVID Intensive Care Unit. (PTI)

    16:09 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Austrian COVID cases hit record on third day of lockdown for unvaccinated

    Austrian coronavirus infections hit a new daily record on Wednesday, the third day of a lockdown for those not fully vaccinated aimed at halting the surge. Roughly 65% of Austria's population is fully vaccinated against the virus, one of the lowest rates in western Europe. Austria also has one of the highest infection rates on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 925 per 100,000 people. Soaring infections across Europe as winter approaches are prompting governments to consider reintroducing unpopular lockdowns. In contrast to the Netherlands, which has ordered a partial lockdown that applies to all, Austria has sought to avoid placing extra restrictions on the fully vaccinated. Daily infections rose to 14,416 on Wednesday, official datashowed, the first time they have passed the 14,000 mark. (Reuters)

    16:05 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Germany's coronavirus situation is dramatic, Merkel says

    Germany's coronavirus situation is dramatic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, adding that it was not too late for Germans to decide to get their first vaccination shot. Earlier on Wednesday, the Robert Koch Institute reported that confirmed cases had increased by 52,826. (Reuters)

    15:52 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: May need more to work-from-home to fight rise in COVID, says French govt science adviser

    The French government's top scientific adviser Jean-Francois Delfraissy said on Wednesday he could not rule out authorities asking companies once again to make a greater use of home-working, amid a surge in COVID-19 infections in France. Asked if the French government could again recommend employers to ask their staff to work more from home, Delfraissy told France Inter radio: "Probably yes...home-working is one element of our toolbox. "Governments around the world have used home-working as a way to limit the circulation of the COVID virus, although work-from-home has also impacted economic activity due to fewer people being present in shops and businesses in commercial districts. France could "probably" cope with the fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, notably if people followed anti-COVID restriction measures such wearing face masks and social distancing, and if those who are not yet vaccinated got a shot or if a third booster dose was rolled out for those who require it, he added. "I remain cautiously optimistic...We have the tools to limit the impact of this fifth wave but it is going to be difficult with a hospital system which is tired," Delfraissy said, predicting that daily hospitalisations for COVID-19 could jump to 1,000-1,200 a day by early December. (Reuters)

    15:42 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Germany sees 52,826 new virus cases, seeks earlier boosters

    Germany's disease control agency reported 52,826 new coronavirus cases Wednesday as infection rates continue to climb. The Robert Koch Institute said 294 more people died in Germany of COVID-19 since the previous day, bringing the country's pandemic death toll to 98,274.  German Health Minister Jens Spahn has called on doctors not to be too strict about waiting at least six months before giving patients vaccine booster shots. Infections have shot up in recent weeks, particularly among unvaccinated people, with southern and eastern Germany the hardest hit. The district of Meissen, near Dresden, reported almost 1,305 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past week. Meanwhile, authorities in neighboring Austria have said travelers will need to show a negative PCR test upon entering the country; previously, results from the cheaper lateral flow tests were allowed. (AP)

    15:33 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Vaccination camps at workplaces of labourers in Bhopal

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    15:16 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Poland reports 24,239 new COVID-19 cases, highest since April

    Poland reported 24,239 new daily COVID-19 infections, health ministry data showed on Wednesday, the highest total since April. There were also 463 COVID-related deaths reported on Wednesday. Poland, a country of around 38 million people, has reported 3,254,875 cases of the coronavirus and 79,624 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. (Reuters)

    14:35 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Hungary new daily COVID-19 infections at highest since end-March

    Hungary reported 10,265 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, its highest daily tally since the end of March, the government said on its official coronavirus website. The daily tally is getting close to the peak of 11,265 reached during the third wave of the pandemic in the country which has hardly any restrictions in place and where the vaccination rate is below the European Union average. A new wave of COVID-19 infections has swept across Central Europe with hospitals struggling to cope in some countries like neighbouring Romania. Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland have all tightened rules on mask-wearing and introduced measures to curb infections. In Hungary, the government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who is facing a close election in early 2022, has urged people to take up vaccines and announced mandatory inoculations at state institutions, also empowering private companies to make vaccinations mandatory for employees. But it has refrained from making mask-wearing mandatory in closed spaces - apart from on public transport and in hospitals - and there are no other restrictions in place. (Reuters)

    14:21 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Number of fully vaccinated individuals surpasses partially vaccinated eligible population for first time, says Health Minister Mandaviya

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    14:21 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Covid lockdown in India didn't cut air pollution as much as thought, says study

    Air quality in India did not improve as much during the first COVID-19 lockdown as originally thought, according to a study which found that ozone levels increased even as other pollutants decreased. The researchers at York University in Canada noted that observational data shows air pollution in India decreased drastically in the first COVID-19 lockdown last year when emissions from vehicles naturally declined. However, they noted that blue skies and an absence of visible smog can be deceiving and hide pollutants that could potentially cause health issues. The study, published in the journal Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts, found that some air pollutants didn't drop nearly as much as first thought and even more surprising was that ozone levels increased even as other pollutants decreased. The air looked much cleaner, but that allowed more sunshine to get through, creating conditions for ozone (O3) to increase up to 30 per cent, according to the researchers. "Our research shows the decline in local emissions had less influence on the decrease in air pollutants than first thought," said Leigh Crilley, a postdoctoral researcher at York University. (PTI)

    14:08 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Singapore's quarantine free travel with India, Indonesia can boost business; but headwinds likely from mandatory PCR tests, says report

    Singapore's plan to allow quarantine-free travel for fully-vaccinated passengers from India and Indonesia from November 29 can give a major boost to businesses here, but headwinds will come from continued travel restrictions and cost concerns as the travellers still would need a negative test report prior to travel, a media report said here on Wednesday. Singapore is planning to have Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) with India and Indonesia, two of the top markets for Singapore's Changi Airport, from November 29 as it hopes to "reclaim and rebuild" the country's status as an international aviation hub with global connectivity, The Straits Times newspaper reported. However, even as the two VTLs are slated to begin from November 29, the need for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, before flying out and on arrival, could put off cost-conscious travellers, who comprise the bulk of passengers on these routes. The arrangement with Indonesia is also only one way, letting visitors from that country into Singapore without quarantine while locking travellers from the city- state out. (PTI)

    13:57 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Russia reports record daily COVID-19 deaths

    Russia on Wednesday reported a new record one-day death toll of 1,247 from COVID-19, a little over a week after most of its regions emerged from a week-long workplace shutdown designed to curb the spread of the virus. The government coronavirus task force also reported 36,626 new coronavirus cases nationwide in the last 24 hours, including 2,966 in Moscow. (Reuters)

    13:53 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Here’s how people with severe physical disability in Delhi can register for Covid-19 vaccination at home

    ‘Har Ghar Dastak’ Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Delhi: The Delhi Government has kick-started a campaign to carry out house-to-house COVID-19 vaccination of people with severe physical disabilities who are incapable of visiting vaccination centres for their Covid jabs. As per the poster issued by the Delhi government, the door-to-door vaccination drive will be carried out between November 12 and 27 in the capital and it aims to inoculate those who are yet to take a dose of the Covid vaccine and those whose second shot is overdue. READ FULL STORY

    13:26 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Sri Lanka police mull action against main Opposition party for defying Covid guidelines

    The police here in Sri Lanka's capital on Wednesday said legal action would be taken against the main Opposition party, the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), for defying pandemic health guidelines by holding a public anti-government protest. The SJB held a protest in Colombo with several thousands flocking to register a myriad of issues from high cost of living to shortage of essentials. SJB legislator Harsha de Silva said most of their activists were prevented from travelling by buses from the outer districts to the city by the police, who had placed roadblocks to turn back activists. The SJB leader Sajith Premadasa vowed to take the fight to the government in his action termed as ending the 'queue era'. In the recent months, consumers were seen queuing up for essentials, which has now escalated to forming long lines by motorists to refuel at pumping stations. (PTI)

    13:15 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Swiss voters set to back government's COVID-19 response plan - poll

    Swiss voters look set to support the government's pandemic response plan in a binding referendum this month, a poll for broadcaster SRG showed on Wednesday. The gfs.bern survey found 61% backed a law passed in Marchthat expanded financial aid to people hit by the COVID-19 crisis and laid the foundation for certificates the government requires to enter bars and restaurants and attend certain events. That was the same support as in a poll in October. The survey found 38% opposed and 1% were undecided before the Nov. 28 referendum under the Swiss system of direct democracy, slightly more opposition than measured in the previous poll, whose margin of error is 2.8 percentage points. In two other votes that day, the Swiss would support by a two-to-one margin a labour union-backed proposal to boost the nursing profession, the poll found. Voters were now set to reject a proposal to select federal judges by lottery from a pool of candidates proposed by experts. The government opposes the idea, which aims to reduce political pressure on the judiciary. (Reuters)

    12:54 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: US signs about $1 billion order for GSK-Vir Covid-19 antibody drug

    The United States has signed contracts worth roughly $1 billion to secure antibody-based COVID-19 treatment sotrovimab from GSK and Vir Biotechnology, the drugmakers said on Wednesday, with supply expected by mid-December. (Reuters)

    12:27 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Family of non-resident Keralites who died abroad due to Covid-19 eligible for Rs 50k ex-gratia? HC asks state govt

    The Kerala High Court on Wednesday sought the state government's stand on a plea seeking a declaration that family members of non-resident Keralites who died abroad due to COVID-19 are entitled to the ex-gratia relief of Rs 50,000. The court directed the state government's lawyer to take instructions on the issue raised in the petition and listed the matter for hearing on November 24. During the brief hearing, when the government counsel said "we do not know who the petitioner organisation is," the court responded -- "do not be so technical". (PTI)

    12:17 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: US doctor resigns after suspension for "spreading misinformation" on Covid

    A Texas doctor, who was suspended by a hospital here, for allegedly "spreading dangerous misinformation" about the COVID-19 vaccine and treatment, has resigned. Dr. Mary Bowden, an ear, nose and throat doctor, tweeted about her resignation saying: "I have broken free from Methodist and very much appreciate the flood of support I have received!" In an interview on local TV KHOU-11 on Tuesday, Bowden said she was suspended by the Methodist hospital last week after it learned she planned to only treat unvaccinated patients at her private practice in the River Oaks area. She said it was to prove a point that unvaccinated patients shouldn't be treated differently. "I never closed my doors. I was open seven days a week during the pandemic. I've tested over 80,000 people for Covid. I've treated over 2,000 people for Covid. I've tried to stay ahead of Covid. I have tried to be proactive in treating my patients. I'm not dangerous. I'm not doing anything dangerous. For them to paint me that way is ridiculous," Bowden said. "I will continue to see any and all Covid patients. I would never turn away someone with a life-threatening illness. But for the routine ENT stuff, I was going to prioritise the unvaccinated." (AP)

    12:05 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Arunachal Pradesh logs 8 new COVID-19 cases

    Eight more persons tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh pushing the virus tally to 55,230, a senior health department official said here on Wednesday. The coronavirus death toll in the state remained unchanged at 280 as no fresh fatality was registered in the last 24 hours, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said. The northeastern state now has 50 active COVID-19 cases, while 54,900 people have recovered from the disease so far, including three on Tuesday. The COVID-19 recovery rate in the state now is 99.40 per cent. West Kameng district has the highest number of active cases at 11, followed by Tawang (9), the Capital Complex region (7) and East Siang (6). The state has thus far tested 11,94,467 samples for COVID-19, including 794 on Tuesday, the SSO said, adding that the positivity rate stood at one per cent. (PTI)

    11:58 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Pondy reports 25 new COVID-19 cases

    Puducherry registered 25 fresh cases of coronavirus during last 24 hours, raising the overall caseload to 1,28,520. The new cases identified at the end of examination of 2,425 samples were spread over Puducherry 15, Karaikal 7, Yanam one and Mahe two. One more person succumbed to the infection in Puducherry taking the toll to 1,867, Director of Health Department, G Sriramulu said  the active cases were 317 and they comprised 92 patients in hospitals and the remaining 225 in home isolation. The department of Health has tested so far 19.55 lakh samples and it was found that 16.54 lakh out of them were negative. Twenty-seven patients recovered and were discharged during last twenty-four hours and the overall recoveries were 1,26,336. (PTI)

    11:44 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Brazil registers 132 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday

    Brazil registered 132 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday and 4,918 additional cases, according to data released by the nation's Health Ministry. The South American country has now registered a total of 611,478 coronavirus deaths and 21,965,684 total confirmed cases. (Reuters)

    11:34 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: 5 ways Covid-19 pandemic changed health insurance trends in 2021

    The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the Indian Health Insurance sector. Insurance providers, as well as individuals and corporates seeking health insurance, had to adapt to the new norm of limited face-to-face interactions in novel ways. Furthermore, people realized the importance of having an adequate financial backup for medical emergencies and have become keen on being sufficiently insured for the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones. READ FULL STORY

    11:24 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Mizoram reports 495 new COVID-19 cases, 4 fatalities

    Mizoram on Wednesday reported 495 new COVID-19 cases, 152 less than the previous day, pushing the tally to 1,29,845, a health department official said. The single-day positivity rate further dipped to 8.87 per cent from 11.30 per cent the previous day, he said. The new cases were reported from across all 11 districts with Aizawl registering the highest at 174, followed by Lunglei (67) and Champhai (56), he said, adding that 133 children were among the newly infected people. The COVID-19 death toll rose to 467 as four more people have succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, he said. The northeastern state now has 5,390 active COVID-19 patients, which is 4.15 per cent of the total cases. A total of 1,23,988 people have recovered from the infection so far and the COVID-19 recovery rate now is 95.48 per cent. According to data released by the state information and public relations department on Wednesday, Aizawl district has so far reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases at 79,455, followed by Lunglei (10,995) and Kolasib (8,020). (PTI)

    11:17 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Hong Kong Disneyland closes for one day as staff take COVID-19 tests

    Hong Kong's Disneyland will close for a day on Wednesday for staff to take compulsory COVID-19 tests after authorities found one person who visited the theme park over the weekend was infected with the coronavirus. Disneyland, majority-owned by the city government with Walt Disney holding a minority stake, said in a statement the closure was out of "an abundance of caution" and advised visitors to reschedule. Any person who visited the park, which had to close multiple times for prolonged periods since the start of the pandemic, on Nov. 14 between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. would also have to get tested by Thursday, the government said separately. Despite barely recording any local coronavirus cases in recent months, authorities in the global financial hub have tightened up quarantine and patient discharge rules. Hong Kong is following Beijing's lead in retaining strict travel curbs, in contrast to a global trend of opening up and living with the coronavirus. (Reuters)

    10:55 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: No new COVID-19 case in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

    Andaman and Nicobar Islands did not record any new COVID-19 case for the second consecutive day, a health department official said on Wednesday. The COVID-19 tally in the union territory remained at 7,674, he said. The archipelago had recorded zero COVID-19 cases on Monday and Tuesday, four cases on Sunday, zero cases on Saturday, two on Friday and three on Thursday. Two more persons recuperated from the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 7,536, the official said. The union territory now has nine active COVID-19 cases and all the patients are in the South Andaman district while the other two districts - North and Middle Andaman and Nicobar - are coronavirus free, he said. The COVID-19 death toll remained at 129 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours. (PTI)

    10:50 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: Hong Kong Sevens postponed to Nov 2022 due to COVID travel curbs

    The Hong Kong leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series will be postponed to November next year from April, the Hong Kong Rugby Union and World Rugby said, marking the fifth time it is being pushed back since the pandemic began. The consecutive postponements have forced the Hong Kong Rugby Union to exhaust its financial reserves with pandemic-related losses to date of HK$200 million ($26 million), and to reduce its headcount by more than 40%. Given uncertainty over coronavirus travel restrictions and potential disruptions as a result, the decision to postpone the event was made "in the best interests of the tournament, the teams and fans", the Hong Kong Rugby Union and World Rugby said in a statement on Tuesday. (Reuters)

    10:42 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: I'm confident that the nation will come out of Covid crisis soon & lead a normal life, says Himachal CM Jairam Thakur

    The state covered its population with 1st dose before any other state in the country. I thank the people. We've also administered 75% of 2nd dose to the people. I'm confident that the nation will come out of COVID crisis soon &lead a normal life: Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur (ANI)Image

    10:31 (IST)17 Nov 2021
    Coronavirus Covid19 Live Tracker: India’s cumulative Covod-19 vaccination coverage exceeds 113.68 crore

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