The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country surpassed the 120-crore mark on Thursday, the Union Health Ministry said

A new COVID-19 variant has been detected in South Africa which has infected 22 people and experts are working overtime to understand what its potential implications could be, scientists said here on Thursday.

The Centre on Thursday asked all States and Union Territories to conduct rigorous screening and testing of all international travellers coming from or transiting through South Africa, Hong Kong and Botswana, where a new COVID-19 variant of serious public health implications has been reported.

Read | Experts allay Covaxin concerns, say 50% effectiveness against Delta-driven COVID-19 surge not bad

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the latest developments:

Risk of unvaccinated person succumbing to COVID-19 was 3.5x times higher in T.N., says Government

The risk of an unvaccinated person dying of COVID-19 was 3.5 times higher in Tamil Nadu when compared to an individual who is vaccinated, the state government said on Thursday.

Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said it is a substantial evidence available with the health department and should enable the common man to understand the value of vaccination and take the jabs at the earliest. -PTI

Israel restricts travel to southern Africa over new COVID-19 variant

Israel announced on Thursday it was barring its citizens from travelling to southern Africa and banning the entry of foreigners from the region, citing the detection by South African scientists of a new COVID-19 variant.

South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Eswatini were added to Israel’s "red", or highest-risk, travel list that reflects coronavirus infection rates overseas. -Reuters

South Africa to be put on England’s travel red list over new COVID variant- The Guardian

England will place South Africa under red list travel restrictions after scientists raised the alarm over the new COVID-19 variant, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

The variant posed "a potentially significant threat to the vaccine programme which we have to protect at all costs," Whitehall sources were quoted as saying in the report. -Reuters

Portugal reimposes COVID-19 restrictions as cases rise

Portugal, one of the world’s most vaccinated nations, has reimposed some restrictions to stop a surge in COVID-19 cases, ordering all passengers flying into the country, even those fully inoculated, to show a negative test on arrival.

"It doesn’t matter how successful the vaccination was, we must be aware we are entering a phase of greater risk," Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference on Thursday. "We have seen significant growth (in cases) in the EU and Portugal is not an island." -Reuters

France extends COVID-19 booster shots to all adults

France said on Thursday it would make COVID-19 booster shots available to all adults, toughen rules on wearing face masks and ramp up health pass checks as it seeks to curb a fifth wave of infections that risks undermining its economic recovery.

The number of infections is doubling every 11 days in France but officials said there was no need to follow Austria’s example of reimposing a lockdown. -Reuters

German COVID-19 deaths pass 100,000 mark in fourth wave

Germany crossed the threshold of 100,000 COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday with a surge in infections posing a challenge for the new government.

Another 351 people have died from coronavirus, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 100,119, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed. The number of new daily cases hit a new record of 75,961. -Reuters

India willing to supply Covishield, Covaxin: Mandaviya to Latin American, Caribbean envoys

Interacting with ambassadors of Latin American and Caribbean nations, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Thursday said India is willing to supply Covishield and Covaxin to these countries.

Explaining India’s strategy to curb COVID-19, he spoke on the six vaccines approved in the country, of which two are indigenously developed. -PTI

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