Coronavirus live | Day-long inoculation drive in Puducherry today

After 19 months, lower primary classes in Karnataka are set to reopen on October 25. While government and aided schools are set to welcome students in standards I to V back to the classroom, many private schools have decided to defer the reopening after Deepavali

While Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said the phase of COVID-19 pandemic is almost over in the State, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the State is now fully capable of combating a possible third wave of COVID-19. With cases declining in most parts of the country, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged people to follow the safety protocols rigourously to curb the spread of the viral disease in the State, in the wake of rising cases.

Read | India’s COVID-19 vaccine pace is inspirational to lower income countries, says vaccine alliance official

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 updates:

Day-long inoculation drive in Puducherry today

In a final push towards protecting its entire population with at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19, the Puducherry government will launch a day-long drive across 100 session sites in the Union Territory on Monday.

The drive, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., involves for the first time NGOs, SHGs, educational institutions and private players. The target is to reach at least one lakh people. “We have an estimated three lakh people who are yet to receive even one dose and we hope to reach out to a third of them,” Health Secretary T. Arun said.

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Schools take loans as offline classes for all grades start

With COVID-19 on the decline and ‘normal’ life slowly resuming, schools are struggling with inadequate teaching staff and infrastructure required to maintain social distancing and other safety precautions. Offline classes for all grades are scheduled to commence on October 25, and though many private schools have delayed the resumption of primary sections, the problem has become all the more urgent. Many school managements have decided to take loans as they are unable to increase fees.

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Chinese province closes tourist sites following virus cases

A northwestern Chinese province heavily dependent on tourism closed all tourist sites Monday after finding new COVID-19 cases.

Gansu province lies along the ancient Silk Road and is famed for the Dunhuang grottoes filled with Buddhist images and other religious sites. -AP

Indonesia to gradually reopen regions with high vaccination rates, president says

Indonesia will gradually reopen parts of the country where COVID-19 vaccination rates are above 70%, its President Joko Widodo told a Southeast Asian business forum on Monday. -Reuters

Fauci says vaccines for kids between 5-11 likely available in November

Vaccines for kids between the ages of 5 and 11 will likely be available in the first half of November, top U.S. infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said on Sunday predicting a timetable that could see many kids getting fully vaccinated before the end of the year.

"If all goes well, and we get the regulatory approval and the recommendation from the CDC, it’s entirely possible if not very likely that vaccines will be available for children from 5 to 11 within the first week or two of November," Fauci said in an interview with ABC’s This week. -Reuters

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