As active coronavirus cases in India continue their downward trend, threats of a new mutant Covid strain has rocked Britain and global financial markets.

India reported over 24,000 fresh infections in 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry’s update at 8 a.m. on Dec. 21, adding to the 1 crore tally that it crossed on Saturday.

New infections have remained below 30,000 for over a week now, a significant improvement from the daily tally of nearly 1 lakh reported in mid-September. Active cases have fallen below the 3.1-lakh mark.

Despite the improving situation, Maharashtra — India’s worst affected state with nearly 19 lakh confirmed cases — declared a night curfew in municipal corporation areas of the state from Dec. 22 to Jan. 5 as a precautionary measure amid mounting fears about a new coronavirus variant spreading in Britain.

Following the announcement, the Mumbai civic administration moved to enforce restrictions and make arrangements to quarantine air passengers arriving from Britain, where a new Covid-19 variant is spreading fast.

While essential services and availability of milk and vegetables will remain unaffected, the government’s decision will put restrictions on Christmas and New Year celebrations in the metropolis.

Key Figures

  • Total number of confirmed coronavirus cases: 1,00,55,560
  • Active cases: 3,03,639
  • Cured/discharged/migrated: 96,06,111
  • Deaths: 1,45,810
  • Number of fresh cases in 24 hours: 24,337
  • One-day recoveries: 25,709
  • One-day deaths: 333

Global Update

Europe and regions from Canada to Hong Kong suspended travel links to the U.K., as a full lockdown came into force in London and southeast England to contain a mutation to the coronavirus. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked the three airlines that fly from the U.K. directly to New York to add the state to a list of 120 countries requiring pre-boarding Covid tests. He said he believes the nee strain is already circulating in New York.

Globally, there have been over 76.8 million confirmed cases of the virus with 1.69 million deaths.

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