India reported less than 50,000 new daily cases for 11th continuous day with 38,617 new COVID-19 cases reported on Wednesday.
According to the Health Ministry, the death count has gone up to 1,30,993 with 474 more persons succumbing to the virus.
The country has 446805 active cases, 83,35,109 “cured/discharged/migrated” and the total count of cases is 89,12,907. The recovery rate has improved to 93.52 per cent.
Delhi recorded 7,486 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, taking the infection tally in the city to over 5 lakh, while 133 new fatalities, the highest single-day count till date, pushed the number of deaths to 7,943, authorities said.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Delhi stands at 5,03,084. The city has 42,458 active cases.
The Centre has taken steps to increase the availability of ICU beds in the national capital in view of the rise in cases.
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Pfizer Inc and BioNTech could secure emergency US and European authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine next month after final trial results showed it had a 95% success rate and no serious side effects, the drugmakers said on Wednesday.
The vaccine’s efficacy was found to be consistent across different ages and ethnicities – a promising sign given the disease has disproportionately hurt the elderly and certain groups including Black people.
The US Food and Drug Administration could grant emergency-use by the middle of December, BioNTech Chief Executive Ugur Sahin told Reuters TV. Conditional approval in the European Union could be secured in the second half of December, he added.
“If all goes well I could imagine that we gain approval in the second half of December and start deliveries before Christmas, but really only if all goes positively,” he said.
In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Wednesday allowed COVID-19 designated hospitals to engage fourth and fifth-year MBBS students, interns, and BDS doctors to assist duty doctors in controlling the pandemic.
According to an official order, the fourth-year and fifth-year MBBS students and dental doctors will assist duty doctors at the honorarium of Rs 1,000 for an 8-hour shift and Rs 2,000 for a 12-hour shift per day.
“In view of the COVID-19 pandemic and increased demand of ICU beds and medical HR in the hospitals of GNCTD Delhi for management of COVID-19, all MDs/Directors of COVID Hospitals of GNCTD are permitted to engage 4th and 5th-year MBBS students, Interns and BDS pass doctors to assist the duty doctors at the honorarium of Rs 1,000 (8 hrs shift) and Rs 2,000 (12 hrs shift) per day by exercising powers delegated to them Under Section 50 of Disaster Management Act,” the order said.
Saudi Arabia hosts the G20 summit Saturday in a first for an Arab nation, but the scaled-down virtual format could limit debate on a resurgent coronavirus pandemic and crippling economic crisis.
The two-day meeting of the world’s wealthiest nations follows a bitter US election the results of which remain disputed by President Donald Trump and comes amid criticism of what campaigners call the group’s inadequate response to the worst recession in decades.
Held under the shadow of a raging pandemic, the summit which is usually an opportunity for one-on-one engagements between world leaders, is reduced to brief online sessions on pressing global issues — from climate change to growing inequality.
Discussions are expected to be dominated by the “implications of the pandemic” and “steps for reviving the global economy”, a source close to the Saudi organisers told AFP.
New vaccine breakthroughs have raised hopes of containing the virus, which has infected 55 million people globally and left 1.3 million dead. The Paris-based OECD projects global economic output will contract by 4.5 percent this year.
The World Health Organization’s emergencies director warned Wednesday that vaccines would not arrive in time to defeat the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The WHO’s Michael Ryan said vaccines should not be seen as a “unicorn” magic solution — and countries battling a resurgence of the virus would once again have to “climb this mountain” without them.
“I think it’s at least four to six months before we have significant levels of vaccination going on anywhere,” he said, during a public question and answer session live on social media.
Despite recent promising announcements from final-phase candidate vaccine trials, “We’re not there with vaccines yet,” said Ryan.
“Many countries are going through this wave, and they’re going to go through this wave, and continue through this wave, without vaccines.
“We need to understand and internalise that, and realise: we have got to climb this mountain this time, without vaccines.”
US coronavirus deaths passed a quarter of a million people Wednesday as New York announced it would close schools to battle a rise in infections and protests in Europe against restrictions turned violent.
America has now registered 250,029 fatalities, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University, by far the highest national death toll.
US states and cities are imposing a raft of new restrictions, including home confinement, the closure of indoor dining and a limit on gatherings as cases soar across the country.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city’s 1,800 public schools would revert to remote learning beginning Thursday after the Big Apple recorded a seven-day average positivity rate of three percent.
“We must fight back the second wave of Covid-19,” he said.