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Italy to begin COVID-19 vaccinations on Dec. 27Italy will begin COVID-19 vaccinations on Dec. 27, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, provided both European and national drug authorities give their approval to the Pfizer shot according to schedule.Italy is set to receive an initial 1.83 million shots from Pfizer. The first inoculations will be administered to health workers, a statement said.Andhra Pradesh reports 534 new COVID-19 cases, 498 recoveries, and 2 deaths

Total cases: 8,77,348
Active cases: 4,454
Total recoveries: 8,65,825
Death toll: 7,069

Italy’s Health Ministry says expects to begin COVID-19 vaccinations on December 27Spain’s Sanchez quarantines after France’s Macron tests positive for COVID-19French PM Castex to self-isolate after contact with Covid case MacronUP to conduct Covid-19 vaccination drive in three stages

According to a press note issued in Hindi, in the first stage health workers will be vaccinated in hospitals; in the second stage municipal corporation workers, military and police personnel will be vaccinated. The third stage, people above 50 years will be vaccinated.

French President Emmanuel Macron tests positive for Covid-19 after showing symptoms and will isolateWuhan residents say they hope WHO team finds virus origins

An international team of investigators is expected to travel to China in January, the WHO said on Thursday, more than a year after the first identified cluster of COVID-19 infections was linked to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.

Virus cases soaring ‘exponentially’ in South Africa

The Covid-19 positivity rate — the proportion of tests that come back positive — has topped 21 percent, far exceeding the “ideal” rate of 10 percent, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said in a Tweet late Wednesday.

Will children be able to get COVID-19 vaccines?Not until there’s enough data from studies in different age groups, which will stretch well into next year.The Pfizer vaccine authorized in the U.S. this month is for people 16 and older. Testing began in October in children as young as 12 and is expected to take several more months. The Food and Drug Administration will have to decide when there’s enough data to allow emergency use in this age group. Depending on the results, younger children may be enrolled for study as well. Moderna, which is expected to become the second COVID-19 vaccine greenlit in the U.S., began enrolling study participants ages 12 to 17 this month, and will track them for a year. Testing in children younger than 12 is expected to start in early 2021.Bulgaria to keep restaurants, shopping malls closed until end-JanuaryAgri, pharma exports grows during COVID-19 pandemic: Commerce SecretaryExports of sectors such as agriculture and pharmaceuticals have recorded significant growth even during COVID-19 pandemic, and there is a need to sustain this, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said on Thursday.He said that all the signs are there which reflects that India will come back to pre-COVID levels. “As far as exports are concerned, some sectors have done wonderfully well. Even during the slowdown, agriculture exports and pharmaceutical exports went up,” he said at an event organised by industry body PHDCCI.21 new cases push Arunachal’s tally to 16,574

Arunachal Pradesh now has 241 active cases, and 55 patients have succumbed to the infection so far, an official said.

Daily COVID-19 recoveries outnumbering new cases in India

The recovery rate has improved to 95.31 per cent today. The gap between recovered cases and active cases is also increasing consistently and presently stands at 91,67,374, according to an official release.

COVID-19 vaccine’s “not a silver bullet”: WHOCzech Republic’s death toll passes 10,000 as cases climb

The country of 10.7 million, among the hardest hit in Europe during the second wave of the pandemic, registered 8,235 new COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, its largest daily tally since Nov. 11. In total, 602,404 infections have been reported since March.

US experts meet ahead of expected Moderna vaccine approval

US experts meet Thursday to decide whether to recommend approval of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, potentially paving the way for rollout early next week

Ex-BJP MP Satyadev Singh dies at hospital after recovering from COVID-19Former BJP MP and senior party leader Satyadev Singh, who had recently recovered from COVID-19, died during treatment at a hospital in Gurgaon, his family said on Thursday.Singh, 75, breathed his last on Wednesday night. After testing negative for coronavirus, Singh was still undergoing treatment at the hospital, the family said.India’s recovery rate improves to 95.31 per cent79.15% of 355 deaths reported in the past 24 hours are from 10 States/UTs: Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

79.15% of 355 deaths reported in the past 24 hours are from 10 States/UTs. 26.76% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra which reported 95 deaths. West Bengal saw a fatality count of 46 while Delhi reported 32 new deaths

Telangana logs 509 new Covid cases, recovery rate nears 97%

With the fresh fatalities, the death toll mounted to 1,505 while new cases took the state’s tally to 2,79,644.

Puducherry adds 40 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 37,622Active cases: 307Discharged: 36,693Deaths: 622I must commend you for the manner in which your government has countered COVID-19

– PM of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina during virtual summit with PM Modi

Maharashtra: 450 new COVID-19 cases, 11 more deaths in Thane

The COVID-19 tally in Maharashtra’s Thane district has reached 2,37,329 with the addition of 450 new cases, an official said on Thursday.

WHO: Vaccination in Asia-Pacific expected mid or late 2021

While some countries that have independent vaccine purchase agreements might start vaccination campaigns in the coming months, others could see vaccination begin in the middle or late 2021, said Dr. Socorro Escalante, WHO’s coordinator for essential medicines and health technologies.

Jharkhand reports 190 new COVID-19 cases, three more deathsJharkhand’s COVID-19 tally rose to 1,12,121 as 190 more people tested positive for the infection, a health department official said on Thursday. The death toll increased to 1,004 as three persons succumbed to the infection in the last 24 hours, he said.US Presidential inauguration to be a low-key affair with restricted attendance: Organisers

The inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on January 20 will be a low-key affair restricted for the public, the organisers said, urging people to participate in the historic event from home in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

India reports 24,010 new COVID-19 infections and 355 new deaths in last 24 hoursIndia’s Covid-19 tally reaches 9,956,557Active cases: 322,366Discharged : 9,489,740Deaths: 144,451Benjamin Netanyahu to become first Israeli to receive COVID vaccine8 new cases reported in Andaman and Nicobar Islands

The total number of cases is 4,850 including 91 active cases.

China welcomes WHO-led trip to investigate COVID-19, WHO official says

Babatunde Olowokure, the WHO’s regional emergencies director in the Western Pacific, told a news conference that the organisation was in talks with Beijing over where the investigators would travel to within the country.

A total of 15,78,05,240 samples tested for COVID-19 up to 16th December

A total of 15,78,05,240 samples tested for COVID19 up to 16th December. Of these, 11,58,960 samples were tested yesterday: ICMR

21 new positive cases, 110 recoveries were reported in UT Ladakh, yesterday

The total number of active cases is 539. Total number of cases are 9,238.

US sets 24-hour records with over 3,700 Covid deaths and 250,000 new cases: Johns HopkinsGlobal Covid-19 cases surpass 74 mn: Johns HopkinsPfizer delivers Phase 3 test results for COVID-19 vaccine to Brazil regulatorPfizer Inc has delivered the results of the Phase 3 trial for its COVID-19 vaccine to Brazilian health regulator Anvisa, the regulatory body said in a statement on Wednesday.Pfizer is the second company to do so after AstraZeneca Plc delivered its results to Anvisa earlier in December.Chilean health regulator approves Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency useFDA says extra doses from vials of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can be used

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday that extra doses from vials of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine can be used after reports of vaccine doses being thrown away by pharmacists due to labeling confusion.

Mizoram reports 5 new casesTotal cases: 4,085Active cases: 171 Discharges: 3,907 Deaths: 7Mainland China reports seven new COVID-19 cases vs 12 a day earlier

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 86,777, while the death toll remains unchanged at 4,634.

Over 100 experts from friendly nations trained for clinical trials of Indian COVID-19 vaccine: Official

Over 100 experts from friendly neighbouring nations have so far been trained to strengthen capacities in their countries for facilitating phase-3 clinical trials of Indian COVID-19 vaccine, a senior official of the department of biotechnology said on Wednesday.

Novavax enters deal with New Zealand for 10.7 mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidateIndia signs $400 million project with World Bank to protect poor from COVID impact

This is the second operation in a programmatic series of two as the first operation of Dollar 750 million was approved in May 2020. The Dollar 400 million credit has been extended by World Bank’s concessionary lending arm International Development Association (IDA).

Wells Fargo extends work from home until at least March 1New Zealand plans vaccine roll-out in second half of 2021

New Zealand will begin to offer free COVID-19 vaccines to its entire population by the middle of next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

Twitter bans harmful false claims about COVID-19 vaccinations

Twitter Inc said on Wednesday that it will start removing false or misleading tweets about COVID-19 vaccinations that could be harmful, including false claims the vaccines will intentionally cause harm or control populations or that invoke “a deliberate conspiracy.”

Pence to get vaccine shot on Friday; Biden next week

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