Coronavirus Omicron Highlights: At least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine given to all above 18 in Delhi

Covid-19 India Highlights: PM Modi holds Covid review meeting

Omicron Coronavirus India Live News December 23 latest news
A healthcare worker collects a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test swab sample from a woman amidst the spread of the disease at New Delhi Railway Station. (Reuters photo)

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration, Coronavirus Omicron Variant Cases in India Highlights: Delhi on Thursday achieved the milestone of administering at least one dose of Covid vaccine to all above 18, according to government data.

According to the CoWIN dashboard, 1,48,27,546 people in the capital have taken at least one dose of Covid-109 vaccine by 8 pm on Thursday. As per the draft roll published on November 1, 2021, the total number of electors in Delhi stands at 1,47,95,949.

Over 2,53,37,557 doses have been administered in the city since the inoculation exercise started on January 16. As many as 1,05,10,011 people have received both the doses. Over 1.22 lakh people were vaccinated against coronavirus in Delhi on Thursday. 

PM Modi holds Covid review meeting

As India witnesses a silent surge in the Omicron cases, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a critical meeting over the preparedness and other measures.

Delhi has emerged as the region with most numbers of confirmed Omicron cases. health experts have been advocating for the need of booster jabs in India but no such measure has been announced so far.

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

Live Updates
11:09 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: PM Modi holds Covid review meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation in the country on Thursday evening amid rising concerns over the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Official sources said Modi took stock of the pandemic situation across the country in a high-level meeting attended by senior officials and experts.

India has recorded 236 cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus across 16 states and Union Territories (UTs) so far, out of which 104 people have recovered or migrated, according to the Union health ministry data updated on Thursday.

In a communication to the states and UTs on Tuesday, the Centre said the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is at least thrice more transmissible than its Delta variant and asked them to “activate” war rooms, keep analysing even small trends and surges and keep taking strict and prompt containment action at the district and local levels.

There have been demands that the government allow booster doses of vaccines to be administered to those already fully inoculated against COVID-19, as has been done by many countries. (PTI)

11:08 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Mumbai reports 602 new COVID-19 cases, one death in last 24 hours

Mumbai reports 602 new COVID-19 cases, 207 recoveries and one death in the last 24 hours. (ANI)

11:08 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Gujarat reports 7 more cases of Omicron Variant, taking total cases in state to 30

Gujarat reports 7 more cases of Omicron Variant of coronavirus, taking total cases of the variant in the state to 30, out of which 25 cases are active (ANI)

11:08 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Telangana logs 177 new COVID-19 cases, one fatality

Telangana logs 177 new COVID-19 cases, one fatality. Infection tally rises to 6,80,251, death toll 4,018. Number of active cases stands at 3,596. (PTI)

11:08 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Maharashtra CM to hold meeting with the COVID19 Task Force

Maharashtra | In view of rising numbers of COVID19 and Omicron cases, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will hold a meeting with the COVID19 Task Force today at 10 pm via video conferencing: Public Relations Room (Chief Minister's Secretariat) (ANI)

11:07 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi reports 118 positive cases, one death

COVID-19 | Delhi reports 118 positive cases, one death and 57 recoveries in the last 24 hours. Active cases 684 Total positive cases 14,42,633 Total Deaths 25,103 (ANI)

10:21 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Tamil Nadu reports 607 COVID-19 cases, 8 fatalities

Tamil Nadu reports 607 COVID-19 cases, 8 fatalities. Infection tally rises to 27,42,224, death toll 36,707. There are 6,889 active cases in the state at present. (PTI)

10:06 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Maharashtra reports 1,179 new COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths in last 24 hours

Maharashtra reports 1,179 new COVID-19 cases, 615 recoveries and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours.

23 more patients have been found to be infected by Omicron. Till date, a total of 88 patients infected with the #omicron variant have been reported in the state (ANI)

9:58 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: At least one dose of Covid vaccine given to all above 18 in Delhi

Delhi on Thursday achieved the milestone of administering at least one dose of Covid vaccine to all above 18, according to government data.

According to the CoWIN dashboard, 1,48,27,546 people in the capital have taken at least one dose of Covid-109 vaccine by 8 pm on Thursday.

As per the draft roll published on November 1, 2021, the total number of electors in Delhi stands at 1,47,95,949.

Over 2,53,37,557 doses have been administered in the city since the inoculation exercise started on January 16. As many as 1,05,10,011 people have received both the doses.

Over 1.22 lakh people were vaccinated against coronavirus in Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

9:58 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Jammu and Kashmir reports 132 COVID-19 cases, three fatalities

Jammu and Kashmir reports 132 COVID-19 cases, three fatalities. Infection tally rises to 3,40,293, death toll 4,518. There are 1,319 active cases in the union territory. (PTI)

9:48 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: US adds Merck pill as second easy-to-use drug against COVID-19

US health regulators on Thursday authorized the second pill against COVID-19, providing another easy-to-use medication to battle the rising tide of omicron infections.

The Food and Drug Administration authorization comes one day after the agency cleared a competing drug from Pfizer. That pill is likely to become the first-choice treatment against the virus, thanks to its superior benefits and milder side effects. | Read More

9:33 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Tamil Nadu reports 607 COVID-19 cases, 8 fatalities

Tamil Nadu reports 607 COVID-19 cases, 8 fatalities. Infection tally rises to 27,42,224, death toll 36,707. There are 6,889 active cases in the state at present. (PTI)

9:21 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: U.S. FDA authorizes Merck’s at-home antiviral COVID-19 pill

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday authorized Merck & Co's antiviral pill for COVID-19, after giving the go-ahead to a similar treatment from Pfizer Inc. a day earlier.

Merck's drug, molnupiravir, developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, was shown to reduce hospitalizations and deaths by around 30% in a clinical trial of high-risk individuals early in the course of the illness. The agency authorized the oral drug for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults who are at risk for severe disease. (Reuters)

9:02 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Delhi govt’s Covid helpline capable of handling 1,200 calls per day

The Delhi government's Covid helpline ‘1031' is capable of handling around 1,200 calls per day with the current manpower of 25 people, according to an official data.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday reviewed the pandemic situation and the Omicron threat in the city in a meeting with his ministers and senior officers.

According to the data, the Covid helpline number (1031), which is operational 24×7, is manned by 25 executives who are distributed in three shifts and handle an average of 600-700 calls per day.

The data specified that about 1,000 to 1,200 calls per day can be handled with the current manpower.

At present, six phone lines are active in this regard which are sufficient for handling any sudden spurt in the number of calls, it cited.

The data stated that the call centre can scale up the manpower as well as the number of phone lines within two-three days of intimation, as and when warranted.

According to the officials, the call centre provides information assistance on testing, hospital bed availability, home isolation, oxygen concentrator or cylinder, ambulance, oximeter, medicine kit, vaccination, welfare measures among others.

In addition, it also provides tele-consultation services, they said.

In view of the rising Covid cases and Omicron threat, Kejriwal earlier said the Delhi government will increase daily test capacity to three lakh and strengthen home isolation module to handle one lakh positive cases each day.

The total number of Omicron cases in the national capital mounted to 57, according to the data shared by the Union health ministry on Wednesday.

At least, 18 Omicron patients have been discharged.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had on Wednesday directed district magistrates to ensure no Christmas and New Year gatherings take place in the national capital.

However, restaurants and bars will continue to operate with up to 50 per cent of the seating capacity.

Marriage-related gatherings are permitted with a maximum of 200 people in attendance. (PTI)

8:41 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Madhya Pradesh govt imposes night curfew from today till further orders

In view of COVID19 cases, Madhya Pradesh govt imposes night curfew (11 pm to 5 am) from today till further orders: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan (ANI)

8:36 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Telangana logs 177 new COVID-19 cases, one fatality

Telangana logs 177 new COVID-19 cases, one fatality. Infection tally rises to 6,80,251, death toll 4,018. Number of active cases stands at 3,596. (PTI)

8:18 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Biocon Biologics says clinical study for drug Itolizumab initiated in India after approval from DCGI

Biocon Biologics, an arm of biotechnology major Biocon, on Thursday said the clinical study for its biologic drug Itolizumab for the possible indication in autoimmune disease Lupus Nephritis has been initiated in India after approval from the Drugs Controller General of India.

Biocon’s partner US-based Equillium Inc has expanded its ‘EQUALISE’ study in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Lupus Nephritis for Itolizumab to clinical centers in India, Biocon Ltd said in a regulatory filing. | Read More

8:06 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: DCGI seeks more data from SII over its application seeking emergency authorisation for Covovax

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has raised queries and sought more data from Serum Institute of India over its application seeking emergency authorisation for Covid vaccine Covovax, official sources said on Thursday.

Serum Institute of India (SII) had sent an application to the DCGI in October for the grant of market authorisation of Covovax for restricted use in emergency situations. | Read More

7:42 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Andhra Pradesh reports 135 COVID-19 cases, 3 fatalities

Andhra Pradesh reports 135 COVID-19 cases, 3 fatalities. Infection tally rises to 20,76,212, death toll 14,486. Number of active cases stands at 1,326. (PTI)

7:20 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Hospitality industry on alert mode amid Omicron threat

The Indian hospitality industry, battered by the pandemic, is on alert mode but not panicking yet in the face of the Omicron variant threatening to derail prospects of winter holiday season business, according to industry players. With states imposing restrictions on gatherings for Christmas and New Year celebrations, hoteliers and restaurant operators are, however, staring at possible booking cancellations even as they hope for some support from the government like what the UK government has done for the industry there.

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) Consulting CEO Aashish Gupta said there is uncertainty within the industry about the impact of the Omicron variant with different inputs coming in from different places regarding its severity and speed of spread. | Read More

7:06 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Centre asks poll-bound states to ramp up Covid vaccination exponentially

The Centre on Thursday advised states slated to hold Assembly polls in the next few months to ramp up Covid vaccination exponentially to protect the vulnerable population given the steady rise in cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in India.

Pockets with low vaccination coverage and those with low COVID-19 exposure may be more vulnerable to the new Omicron variant, it said and urged states to accord special attention to ramp up inoculation in these pockets. | Read More

6:52 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Rs 19,675 cr spent on COVID-19 vaccine procurement

The Centre has spent Rs 19,675 crore to procure COVID-19 vaccines for free of cost supply to states and Union territories, according to government data.

The government had earmarked Rs 35,000 crore in the Union Budget 2021-2022 for COVID-19 vaccination.

“It is informed that an expenditure of Rs 19,675.46 crore has been incurred for procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for free of cost supplies to states and Union territories by December 20,” read a reply to an RTI application filed by social activist Amit Gupta. | Read More

6:36 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Kerala logs 2,514 fresh COVID-19 cases, 323 deaths

Fresh COVID-19 cases in Kerala again dropped below the 3,000 mark with the state on Thursday reporting 2,514 new infections which took the caseload to 52,16,457.

The southern state had reported 3,205 fresh cases on Wednesday prior to which it had logged less than 3,000 new infections for three consecutive days.

On Thursday, the state also reported 323 deaths which raised the toll to 45,861, a government release said.

Of the 323 deaths, 54 were recorded over the last few days and 269 were designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court.

With 3,427 more people recovering from the virus since Wednesday, the total recoveries reached 51,55,142 and the active cases dropped to 26,605.

As many as 55,631 samples were tested in the last 24 hours.

Among the 14 districts, Thiruvananthapuram recorded the highest with 458 fresh cases, followed by Ernakulam (369) and Kozhikode (305).

Of the new cases, 18 were health workers, 18 from outside the State and 2,340 infected through contact with the source of it not being clear in 138.

There are currently 1,31,345 people under surveillance in various districts, of whom 1,27,397 are in home or institutional quarantine and 3,948 in hospitals, the release said. (PTI)

5:30 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Centre advises poll-bound states to ramp up Covid vaccination exponentially

Centre advises states slated to hold Assembly polls in next few months to ramp up Covid vaccination exponentially in view of steady rise in cases of Omicron variant of coronavirus in India. (PTI)

4:22 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Five more cases of Omicron in Kerala; tally rises to 29

Five more cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus were detected in Kerala on Thursday, taking the total number of infected to 29, state Health Minister Veena George said. As many as four people, who have reached Ernakulam, and a native of Kozhikode district have been detected with the virus. Two persons, aged 28 and 24 who arrived from the United Kingdom, a 35-year-old person who came from Albania and another one from Nigeria were those found infected in Ernakulam, she said in a statement. PTI

4:20 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 12 new Omicron cases reported in Karnataka, tally rises to 31

Karnataka on Thursday reported 12 new cases of Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, taking its tally in the state to 31, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said. Seven of them are female, including two girls aged nine and 11 years old. Among the Bengaluru cases, five had a travel history to the United Kingdom and one each had come from Denmark and Nigeria. – PTI

3:28 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Religious places in Delhi to remain open on Christmas, New Year’s Eve for celebration, prayers: DDMA

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on Thursday clarified that religious places will remain open on Christmas and New Year's Eve for celebrations and prayers subject to strict compliance of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour. “Various communications are being received seeking clarifications about the status of permission for celebrating Christmas festival and New Year's Eve in the territory of Delhi in view of the DDMA order as well as instructions issued (on Wednesday),” the authority said in an order. “On this issue, it is to clarify that as per DDMA order no. 492 dated December 15, all religious places (temples, mosques, churches, gurdwaras, etc.) are already permitted to open for visitors/devotees to offer prayers/devotion /celebrations within such places subject to strict compliance of related SoPs” and adherence of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour, it said. – PTI

2:45 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: We don’t want a lockdown again, says Maharashtra Dy CM

We need to take things seriously. We don't want a lockdown again. We request everyone in the House also to please wear a mask. I request Opposition leaders to speak responsibly on this issue: Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar on rising Omicron cases – ANI

2:12 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Philippines approves Merck’s COVID-19 pill for at-risk patients

The Philippines on Thursday approved emergency use of Merck & Co Inc's COVID-19 treatment pill for adult patients at risk of developing severe illness as it tries to boosts the country's arsenal of drugs to fight new variants.It also approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11 so the vaccine, which will be administered in a paediatric formulation, could be administered once it becomes available, its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) chief said.FDA chief Rolando Enrique Domingo told a public briefing the benefits outweighed the risks and it was already being used for children in countries like the United States and Canada. Reuters

1:59 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Japan rules out changes to COVID-19 curbs despite Omicron

Japan's government is not considering an immediate change to current COVID-19 restrictions, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said on Thursday, a day after community transmission of the Omicron variant was discovered in the country.The government confirmed on Wednesday that a family of three based in the western city of Osaka were infected by the Omicron variant and the origin of how they had caught the virus could not be traced.And on Thursday, the governor of neighboring Kyoto prefecture said that a community infection was confirmed in a woman in her 20s, with authorities investigating seven of her close contacts.The government has started preparations to expand free testing to people who don't have COVID-19 symptoms in an attempt to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, news agency Jiji reported on Thursday citing unnamed government sources.Shigeru Omi, the nation's top health advisor, urged caution before people travel or gather with family and friends during the holiday season. – Reuters

1:39 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: AstraZeneca vaccine booster shot effective against Omicron -Oxford lab study

A three-dose course of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the Omicron coronavirus variant, the pharmaceutical company said on Thursday, citing data from an Oxford University lab study.The study, yet to be published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, showed antibody levels against Omicron after the booster shot were higher than antibodies in people who had been infected with and recovered naturally from COVID-19.After a three-dose course of the vaccine, neutralising levels against Omicron were similar to those against the virus's Delta variant after two doses, the company added.The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker said researchers at Oxford University who carried out the study were independent from those who worked on the vaccine, Vaxzevria, with AstraZeneca. – Reuters

1:06 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 1 new case takes Arunachal’s COVID-19 tally to 55,324

One more person tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal Pradesh, taking the state's caseload to 55,324, a senior health official said here on Thursday. A total of 55,023 people have recovered from the disease so far, including one on Wednesday, the official said. Arunachal Pradesh now has 21 active cases, while the COVID-19 death toll remained unchanged at 280, State Surveillance Officer (SSO) Dr Lobsang Jampa said. The recovery rate among coronavirus patients stood at 99.45 per cent, he said. The Capital Complex region, comprising Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa areas, has the highest number of active cases at 16, followed by two in West Kameng, and one each in Namsai, Lohit and East Siang districts. – PTI

12:44 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Hyderabad High Court directs the Telangana government to impose restrictions

Hyderabad High Court directs the Telangana government to impose restrictions to prevent public gatherings on Christmas & New Year, in view of the Omicron threat – ANI

12:41 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 60 per cent adult population fully vaccinated, says health minister

Over 60 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Thursday. “Accomplishing more new feats! Congratulations India. Aided by public participation & dedicated efforts of our health workers, over 60 per cent of the eligible population fully vaccinated now,” he said in a tweet. Besides, around 89 per cent of India's adults have been administered the first dose, according to health ministry officials. With the administration of 70,17,671 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses given in the country have exceeded 139.70 crore as per provisional reports till 7 am. This has been achieved in 1,47,94,783 sessions. PTI

12:40 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Bustling bars, surging business: Dubai sees a post-vax boom

Nations around the world are lurching into lockdown, steeling themselves for a brutal surge as the omicron variant spreads like wildfire. But in Dubai, Donna Sese is bracing for a very different surge: countless restaurant bookings and metre-long drink bills. ‘We're back and busy like the way things used to be,’ said Sese, manager of the Yalumba restaurant at the five-star Le Meridien hotel, where devotees of Dubai's Friday brunch pay $250 for lavish spreads with free-flowing Clicquot Champagne. The globalised city-state appears to be in the midst of a boom season, spurred on by one of the world's highest vaccination rates and government steps to lure businesses and de-escalate tensions with regional rivals. Maskless debauchery has returned to dance floors. Brunch-goers are drinking with abandon. – AP

12:37 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: TN adds 33 new cases of Omicron variant

The number of Omicron cases of coronavirus in Tamil Nadu jumped to 34 on Thursday and the infected who were asymptomatic were “doing well” with issues such as giddiness and sore throat, the state government said. Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ma Subramanian, said the infected included the contacts of the state's first case, an air traveller who arrived here from Nigeria via Doha. The samples of the persons infected with S-gene drop, a possible indicator of Omicron infection, had been sent to the Centre earlier and 33 of them have been confirmed for the latest variant of the virus, he told reporters here. “All 34 (including the first case) are asymptomatic and have giddiness and sore throat and are doing well,” he said. The suspected cases had been under observation for quite some time and some of them could soon return negative for the virus and may be discharged, he added. PTI

12:01 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: California sets Feb. 1 deadline for health worker boosters

California's roughly 2.5 million health care workers have until Feb. 1 to get a coronavirus vaccine booster shot or risk losing their jobs, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. Newsom gave more details on the booster mandate during a Wednesday news conference at a vaccine clinic in Oakland. He had initially announced the new rule on Tuesday afternoon. California was the first state to require health care workers to be vaccinated, a rule that took effect in September. Most workers have complied. But thousands of others have either lost their jobs or been suspended. Now, California joins New Mexico as at least the second state to require a booster shot for its health care workers. – AP

11:59 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 44 children among 241 new COVID-19 patients in Mizoram

Mizoram's COVID-19 tally rose to 1,40,143 on Thursday as 241 more people, including 44 children, tested positive for the infection, an official statement said. The coronavirus death toll of the northeastern state remained unchanged at 535 as no fresh fatality was registered, the statement issued by the state information and public relations department said. The single-day positivity rate was 7.86 per cent as the fresh cases were detected from 3,066 samples, it said. Aizawl district reported the highest number of new cases at 88, followed by Mamit (51) and Kolasib (33), it said. Mizoram now has 1,847 active cases, while 1,37,761 people have recovered from the disease so far, including 238 in the last 24 hours. – PTI

11:50 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children?

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe for children? Yes, US regulators authorised Pfizer's vaccine for younger children after millions of 12-to-17-year-olds already safely got the shot, the only one available for children in the country. More than 5 million children ages 5 to 11 have gotten a first dose since early November, and government safety monitoring has not uncovered any surprise problems. This age group gets kid-size doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a third of the amount used to vaccinate everyone 12 or older. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the shots based on a study showing the kid-size doses were 91% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19. The 5-to-11-year-olds developed virus-fighting antibodies as strong as those of teens and young adults who got regular doses, with similar or fewer annoying reactions such as sore arms, fever or achiness. The FDA assessed the safety of the kid-size doses in 3,100 vaccinated youngsters. Regulators deemed that enough data, considering the trove of safety information from hundreds of millions of larger doses given to adults and teens worldwide. – AP

10:51 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: S Korea has new daily high for COVID-19 deaths

South Korea has set a new record for daily COVID-19 deaths as it struggles to resolve a shortage of hospital beds amid weeks of surging cases. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Thursday that 109 people died in the latest 24-hour period. That raised the country's total number of pandemic fatalities to 5,015. The agency reported 6,919 new coronavirus cases, the vast majority of them involving the delta variant. Infections surged after South Korea significantly relaxed its pandemic restrictions in early November as part of its efforts to restore pre-pandemic normalcy. Alarmed by the spike, health authorities on Saturday restored the country's toughest distancing rules such as a four-person cap on private gatherings and a 9 p.m. curfew for restaurants and cafes. (AP)

10:41 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker:Australian state sees major spike in cases, hospitalisation

Australia on Thursday reported a major spike in coronavirus infections, a day after Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejected lockdowns or mask mandates to slow the spread of the omicron variant. The most populous state, New South Wales, recorded 5,715 new cases, up from 3,763 and almost as many as were recorded across all of Australia on Wednesday. New South Wales also reported one death. There were 347 people in New South Wales hospitals, up from 302 the previous day, and 45 in intensive care units, up from 40. Victoria state also saw a sharp increase, reporting 2,005 new infections on Thursday and 10 deaths. Morrison on Wednesday convened a Cabinet meeting with leaders of Australia's states and territories. He later told reporters lockdowns and mask mandates are not being considered. – AP

10:41 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 146 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, no death

Thane has reported 146 new cases of coronavirus, pushing the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 5,71,516, an official said on Thursday. These new cases were recorded on Wednesday, he said. There was no new fatality due to the viral infection, and the death toll stood at 11,601, he said, adding that the COVID-19 mortality rate in Thane was 2.03 per cent. In neighbouring Palghar district, the overall COVID-19 case count has gone up to 1,39,042, while the death toll is 3,307, another official said. PTI

10:26 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: US High court to hold special session on vaccine requirements

The Supreme Court says it will hold a special session in just over two weeks to weigh challenges to two Biden administration policies covering vaccine requirements for millions of workers, policies that affect large employers and health care workers. The high court's announcement Wednesday that it will hear arguments in the cases January 7 comes amid rising coronavirus cases and is an extraordinarily fast timeline. The court had not been scheduled to hear cases again until January 10. A three-judge panel of the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 on Friday that the vaccine or testing regime for workers at larger companies could take effect. The plan requires workers at larger companies to be vaccinated or wear face masks and get tested weekly. The requirement could affect some 84 million US workers. – AP

10:25 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 3 active COVID-19 cases in Andamans

Three COVID-19 patients are currently undergoing treatment in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a health bulletin said on Thursday. The COVID-19 tally of the Union territory remained unchanged at 7,704 as no fresh case was registered, while the death toll also stood at 129. A total of 7,572 people have recovered from the disease so far, it said. The administration has thus far tested over 6.55 lakh samples for COVID-19, the bulletin said, adding that the positivity rate stood at 1.18 per cent. More than 2.9 lakh people have been inoculated so far, of whom 2.89 lakh have been fully vaccinated, it added. PTI

10:24 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: India’s Omicron tally at 236

India has recorded 236 cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus across 16 states and UTs so far out of which 104 people have recovered or migrated, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. Maharashtra has recorded the maximum 65 cases of the Omicron variant followed by Delhi at 64, Telangana 24, Karnataka 19, Rajasthan 21 and Kerala 15. The ministry data updated at 8 am also showed that India recorded 7,495 new coronavirus infections taking the total tally of cases to 3,47,65,976, while the active cases increased to 78,291. The death toll has climbed to 4,78,759 with 434 fresh fatalities, the data stated. The daily rise in new coronavirus infections has been recorded below 15,000 for the last 56 days now. – PTI

9:11 (IST) 23 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: China orders lockdown of up to 13 million people in Xi’an

China ordered the lockdown of as many as 13 million people in neighborhoods and workplaces in the northern city of Xi'an following a spike in coronavirus cases, setting off panic buying just weeks before the country hosts the Winter Olympic Games. State media reported that city officials ordered all residents to stay home unless they had a pressing reason to go out and suspended all transport to and from the city apart from special cases. One person from each household will be permitted out every two days to buy household necessities, the order said. It took effect at midnight Wednesday, with no word on when it might be lifted. Social media posts recorded panic buying of groceries and household products, with the government saying new supplies would be brought in on Thursday. AP