India Logs 16,375 New Covid Cases, 201 Deaths In A Day; Tally 1.03 Crore

India Logs 16,375 New Covid Cases, 201 Deaths In A Day; Tally 1.03 Crore

Coronavirus: With approval to two Covid-19 vaccines, India is set to start an inoculation drive soon.New Delhi: India logged 16,375 fresh COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours taking its overall coronavirus tally to 1.03 crore, government data shows. In this period, 201 people also died of Covid pushing the overall deaths to 1.49 lakh. Almost 29,000 people - double of new infections - also recovered over the past one day. With this, country's active cases continued their downward spiral and the number of those receiving treatment dropped to 2.31 lakh. Here are the top 10 developments on COVID-19 in the world:In Tami, Nadu's Chennai, another luxury hotel became a Covid cluster as 20 of its resident staff members tested positive. On Sunday, the novel coronavirus was detected in 85 employees of the ITC Grand Chola, their family and neighbours.Maharashtra, Kerala and Chhattisgarh emerged as the country's worst hit states with almost 4,800, 3,000 and 1,100 fresh infections. The daily case count has dropped drastically across states with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka emerging a distant fourth and fifth with about 800 and 600 cases, respectively.A similar drop in daily deaths is also being seen across states. In an indication of the improving situation, Maharashtra - which has highest overall Covid-related deaths - continued to log the most day-on-day fatalities which was 29. At its peak, this number was well above 500 for the state.Even as India's daily Covid case count remained under 20,000 infections, Kerala reported its first six cases of the UK coronavirus strain. More cases of the highly infectious strain were detected in other states - eight in Maharashtra, five in Uttar Pradesh, three in Karnataka - taking its overall cases in India to 38. All known cases are among UK returnees; they are in institutional quarantine.To check its spread, India has imposed strict screening, testing and quarantine measures for all international travellers, especially those returning from the United Kingdom.In UK, to cut spiralling infection that could "overwhelm the state-run National Health Service within 21 days", Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a full coronavirus lockdown, possibly until mid-February. The country has started vaccinating its frontline workers.However, scientists are not fully confident that vaccines will work on the South Africa variant as it has multiple mutations in the important "spike" protein the virus uses to infect human cells. But, John Bell, regius professor of medicine at University of Oxford, said if the vaccine did not work on the South African variant the shots could be adapted in "a month or six weeks".BioNTech and partner Pfizer have warned that they had no evidence that their jointly developed vaccine will continue to protect against COVID-19 if the booster shot is given later than tested in trials. Germany was considering whether to allow a delay in administering the second dose to make scarce supplies go further after a similar move by Britain.As the novel coronavirus and its mutations rage on across the world, threatening mankind's attempts to return to pre-Covid normalcy, China - the country where the virus first originated in December 2019 - refuted the US charge that it was leaked from a bio lab. China has asserted that the pandemic was likely to have been caused by separate outbreaks in multiple places in the world.The remarks came amidst reports that a ten-member team of the World Health Organisation scientists would visit China this month to probe the origin of the coronavirus. Beijing remains silent about granting permission for WHO team to visit Wuhan city in central China. Comments