India recorded 31,118 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total Covid caseload to over 94.62 lakh. The number of fresh infections is nearly 20 per cent lower than Monday’s. 482 deaths in the last 24 hours have pushed the total death count to 1,37,621.
The number of active cases stands at 4,35,603, according to the data from the Union Health Ministry.
Over 88.89 people in the country have recovered since the beginning of the pandemic. India, which reported its first case on January 30, is the second worst-hit country in the world by the pandemic after the United States.
Meanwhile, the Oxford coronavirus vaccine is “safe and immunogenic”, the Serum Institute of India has asserted today, battling a massive controversy over a trial volunteer in Chennai alleging adverse effects including “virtual neurological breakdown, memory loss and behavioral changes”.
In a statement, the Adar Poonawalla-led Serum Institute also defended its legal notice to sue the volunteer, saying it was sent to “safeguard the reputation of the company which is being unfairly maligned.”
The vaccine-maker, calling the volunteer’s allegations “malicious and misconceived”, is prepping to file a Rs 100 crore defamation suit. Some experts have expressed concern over what they see as an attempt to intimidate the trial participant.
Here are the LIVE updates on India Coronavirus Cases:
U.S. officials on Tuesday unveiled plans to begin vaccinating millions of Americans against COVID-19 as early as mid-December, as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations in the United States soared once more to unprecedented heights.
With outgoing President Donald Trump’s coronavirus strategy relying heavily on a vaccine, the chief adviser of his administration’s Operation Warp Speed program said on Tuesday that 20 million people could be inoculated by the end of 2020, and that by the middle of 2021 most Americans will have access to highly effective vaccines.
“Within 24 hours, maybe at most 36 to 48 hours, from the approval, the vaccine can be in people’s arms,” Moncef Slaoui, a former GlaxoSmithKline executive, said at an event conducted by The Washington Post newspaper.
The highly contagious virus infected 4.36 million people in the United States in November alone, more than double the tally of new cases the previous month, as many Americans refused to wear masks and traveled for holiday gatherings against the recommendations of health experts.
Some 60 million to 70 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine could be available per month beginning in January, after the expected regulatory approval of products from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc, Slaoui said.
Health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be prioritized in the first phase of Covid-19 vaccinations, an advisory committee of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
The panel voted overwhelmingly in favor of the non-binding recommendations for “Phase 1a” of distribution to states and other local jurisdictions if the Food and Drug Administration grants emergency approval to frontrunner vaccines.
“I believe that my vote reflects maximum benefits, minimum harm, promoting justice and mitigating the health inequalities that exist, with regard to distribution of this vaccine,” said Jose Romero, chair of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
The two priority groups account for around 24 million people, which is the approximate number of people who can be immunized in December if vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are approved and the companies deliver the 40 million doses they have promised.
Each requires two doses — the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine after three weeks, and Moderna’s after four weeks.
The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Peru’s tourist sites, will increase its daily visitor limit to more than 1,000, the Culture Ministry said Tuesday.
Machu Picchu reopened on November 1 after a nearly eight-month lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, but for safety reasons, only 675 tourists were allowed to access the site per day, just 30 percent of the number of visitors pre-pandemic.
From Wednesday, the capacity will increase by 40 percent to 1,116 daily visitors, the ministry said.
The ministry said it decided to increase daily capacity after the rate of Covid-19 infections in Peru began to decline.
Before the pandemic, between 2,000 and 3,000 people per day entered the citadel, and as many as 5,000 during high season.
In March, on the last day of visits before shutting down, 2,500 people visited Machu Picchu.