Latest News Today: India is the second most affected country in the world after the US. (File)

New Delhi:

India has recorded more than 1.04 crore coronavirus cases till now, according to official figures while the total number of cases of the UK mutant Covid strain stands at 83 so far. Total active cases in the country are now 2,25,449 and with over 20,000 recoveries on Friday, the total number of cured patients now stands at 1,00,37,398.

India is the second most affected country in the world after the United States due to coronavirus. Brazil, Russia and UK follow India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Monday chair a meeting with the chief ministers of all states regarding vaccination against the coronavirus that is expected to start later this month. A second dry run to check the best way to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and plug loopholes in logistics and training took place across 737 districts in the country on Friday. 

An eighth round of talks between the centre and farmer leaders protesting the agriculture laws was held on Friday but it failed to break a months-long deadlock between the parties, who remain divided on two key issues – the repeal of the laws and a legal guarantee for MSP.

Sources said the centre (represented by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Railways Minister Piyush Goyal) continues to insist the laws will benefit farmers. The farmers continue to demand the centre roll them back and allow state governments to enact their own rules. The next round of talks will take place on January 15, less than two weeks before the farmers take out a tractor rally – on Republic Day – to enter Delhi.

Here are today’s LIVE Updates:

Two Chinese cities sealed off to squash virus outbreak

China has sealed off two cities south of Beijing, cutting transport links and banning millions of residents from leaving, as authorities move to stem the country’s largest Covid-19 outbreak in six months.

The pandemic has so far broadly been brought to heel by Chinese authorities since its emergence in Wuhan in late 2019, with small outbreaks swiftly snuffed out using mass testing, local lockdowns and travel restrictions.

But Hebei province in northern China has seen 127 new Covid-19 cases, plus an additional 183 asymptomatic infections, in the past week. The vast majority were found in Shijiazhuang, a city of several million in Hebei province whose surrounding areas take the total population to 11 million. Nine confirmed cases were in the neighbouring city of Xingtai, whose area covers 7 million people.

Coronavirus Live Updates: Second dry run for Covid vaccine conducted
A second dry run to check the best way to vaccinate people against COVID-19 and plug loopholes in logistics and training took place across 737 districts in the country on Friday. The first massive dry run was held on January 2. The day-long exercise tested the operational feasibility of the CoWIN application in a field environment. 

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