coronavirus news

WHO to decide on Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin emergency usage in October

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday informed that the final decision on Bharat Biotech’s submission on emergency use listing (EUL) for its Covaxin COVID-19 vaccine will be made in October 2021.

New Delhi [India] September 30 : The status of assessment for Covaxin is “ongoing” as of now, the WHO informed in a document citing the status of COVID vaccines. On the WHO website, the decision date for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is October 2021.
Bharat Biotech had submitted EOI (Expression of Interest) on April 19 for its vaccine.
The duration of the emergency use listing process depends on the quality of the data which is submitted by the vaccine manufacturer.
The WHO has also asked for additional data from Bharat Biotech for Covaxin, sources from the WHO informed ANI.
“There is a procedure of submitting the documents for approval, WHO’s emergency use authorization to Covaxin is expected soon,” Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, MoS, Health had informed ANI.
According to Bharat Biotech Covaxin Phase 3 clinical trials of Covaxin demonstrated an efficacy rate of 77.8 per cent.
Bharat Biotech had also informed that the company has responded to clarifications sought by WHO and is awaiting further feedback.
“As a responsible manufacturer with several prequalified vaccines, we do not find it appropriate to speculate or comment on the approval process and its timelines,” a statement from Bharat Biotech informed.
Speaking to ANI, Chairman of the National Expert Committee on Vaccine Administration and Member of Health for NITI Aayog Dr VK Paul had also said that the WHO’s approval for Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, is likely to come before the end of this month.
The strategic advisory group of experts on Immunization (SAGE) of the WHO will be meeting in October to make its recommendations on Bharat Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin on EUL.
SAGE is authorised with advising WHO on overall global policies and strategies ranging in vaccines, technology, research and other health interventions.

India records 23,529 new Covid cases, 311 deaths; recovery rate at 97.85%

Out of 23,529 new cases and 311 deaths across India, 12,161 cases and 155 deaths were reported in Kerala on Wednesday.

New Delhi, India, September 30 : India on Thursday reported less than 25,000 coronavirus cases, according to Union Health Ministry data. According to the data showed on the Health Ministry site, 23,529 new Covid-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours.

As many as 311 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll. 4,48,062. 

Out of 23,529 new cases and 311 deaths across India, 12,161 cases and 155 deaths were reported in Kerala on Wednesday.

With 28,718 patients being cured during the same period, the recovery rate now stood at 97.85 per cent, which is the highest since March 2020.

There were 2,77,020 active cases at the moment and counted for 0.82 per cent of the total cases 3,37,39,980. The active caseload is also at its lowest since March 2020.

The Indian Council of Medical Research said 56,89,56,439 samples were tested for COVID-19 up to 29th September 2021. Of these, 15,06,254 samples were tested yesterday. The cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 88 crore on Wednesday, the Union Health Ministry said.

A total of 59,48,118 vaccine doses were administered till 7 pm.

Meanwhile, the daily vaccination tally is expected to increase with the compilation of the final reports for the day by late night. The vaccination exercise as a tool to protect the most vulnerable population groups in the country from COVID-19 continues to be regularly reviewed and monitored at the highest level, the ministry underlined.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated in the first phase. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.

Odisha aims to inoculate all residents with first COVID vaccine jab by year end

ANI | Updated: Sep 29, 2021 16:05 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], September 29 (ANI): Family Welfare Director and Odisha vaccination in charge Dr Bijay Panigrahi on Wednesday said that the state has administered more than 3 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccination to the people and targets to vaccinate all residents with the first dose by end of this year.
He further informed that 70 per cent of the state’s population has been given the first dose and 27 per cent of people have been administered the second dose. Panigrahi said, “We have also fixed a target of 4 lakh vaccinations per day and on average we are doing more than 3 lakhs every day.”
The state has about 17 lakh stock of vaccines at present and in the next months, there is an allocation of 70 lakh doses to the state.
“As of now, 25 lakh people have missed the second dose. We have prepared the list of those who left with the second dose and instructed district authorities to facilitate those so that they are vaccinated at the earliest,” he further said. 

India reports 18,870 new COVID-19 cases, 378 deaths in last 24 hours

India reported 18,870 new COVID-19 infections and 378 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday.
Out of 18,870 cases across India, 11,196 were reported in Kerala. India’s active caseload stands at 2,82,520, which is the lowest in the last 194 days.

New Delhi [India], September 29 : The active cases account for less than 1 per cent of total cases, currently at 0.84 per cent, the lowest since March 2020.
With 378 deaths, the total death count has gone up to 4,47,751.
According to the health ministry, the recovery of 28,178 patients in the last 24 hours has taken the cumulative tally of recovered patients since the beginning of the pandemic to 3,29,86,180.
India’s recovery rate presently stands at 97.83 per cent, the highest since March 2020.
As many as 15,04,713 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, taking the total cumulative tests so far in the country to 56,74,50,185.
The country has also administered 87.66 crore vaccine doses so far under nationwide vaccination drive.
The cumulative number of COVID vaccine doses administered in the country so far has reached 87,66,63,490 out of which 54,13,332 were administered in the last 24 hours. This has been achieved through 85,33,076 sessions.

UP Govt : restrictions eased

The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday eased COVID-19 restrictions amid a dip in the number of cases in the state and permitted wedding ceremonies and other events to be held in open spaces.

Uttar Pradesh [India], September 28 : However, the number of people allowed to attend the ceremony will depend on the area, stated the Uttar Pradesh Home Department. “The Uttar Pradesh government has given permission for wedding ceremonies and other events in open places, according to the area. Along with this, compliance with COVID-19 protocol and setting up of COVID-19 help desk at the entrance will be mandatory,” said the State Home Department in a tweet from its official Twitter handle today.
Earlier, the UP government had capped the number of attendees at 50, which was further relaxed to 100 people on September 19. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to decline in the state, the Yogi Adityanath government has decided to allow the events and marriage ceremonies to take place in the open.
Besides, all the COVID-19 protocols will have to be followed and the installation of a COVID help desk is mandatory at the entry gate.
UP is the first state to innoculate 10 crore people. More than 50 per cent of the eligible population has been innoculated with at least a single dose of the vaccine.

WHO further delays Covaxin clearance

Bharat Biotech has already completed the Phase 2/3 trials of Covaxin for use in children under 18 years of age.

New Delhi, India, September 28 : Emergency use authorization (EUA) for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin has been further delayed by the World Health Organisation. The WHO has asked for more data from Bharat Biotech for the COVID-19 vaccine. The development comes after Bharat Biotech had said it has submitted all data required for clearance of Covaxin. Without the EUA, Covaxin will not be considered an accepted vaccine by most countries around the world, making it difficult for Indians who have taken the dose to travel internationally.

Bharat Biotech has already completed the Phase 2/3 trials of Covaxin for use in children under 18 years of age and is expected to submit the data to the DCGI, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Ltd, Krishna Ella had said last week. 

Speaking to reporters, he said Covaxin production would touch 55 million doses in October as against 35 million in September.

He also said the Phase 2 trials of the firm’s intranasal vaccine against COVID-19 is expected to be over by next month.

Intranasal immunization can create an immune response in the nose, which is the point of entry for the virus—thereby protecting against the disease, infection, and transmission also, he noted.

According to Ella, the intranasal vaccine trials are conducted on three cohorts in which one group is administered Covaxin as the first dose and intranasal as the second.

Similarly intranasal-intranasal for the second group and Intranasal- Covaxin for the third cohort, 28 days apart.

He said the trials will be conducted on about 650 volunteers.

India’s Olympic, Paralympic heroes support MOHFW to promote #COVIDSafeFestivities

With the festival season about to begin in India, the country’s decorated Olympians and Paralympians have joined hands for the first time since Tokyo 2020 in a video that has been produced to support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare’s (MOHFW) efforts to inspire and promote safe celebrations during the festival period to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases.

New Delhi [India], September 28 : The video titled #TyoharonKeRangCABKeSang demonstrates hope against all adversity and features India’s Olympic and Paralympic heroes reminding their fellow citizens to not let their guard down during their celebrations and to celebrate festivals responsibly. They also remind citizens of the continued importance of observing Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB), which means to maintain hand hygiene, maintain a distance of 6-feet, wear a mask, and vaccinate themselves if they are aged 18 years or over by logging onto the CoWIN portal or Aarogya Setu app.
The video features national heroes who have not only vanquished odds like extreme poverty but persevered at the biggest international stage, winning Olympic and Paralympic glory for India to create history.
They include Olympians: Javelin throw gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, Wrestling freestyle silver medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Wrestling freestyle 65 Kg Bronze medallist Bajrang Punia, India’s first fencer to qualify for the Olympics Bhavani Devi, and the goalkeeper of India’s bronze-winning men’s hockey team PR Sreejesh.
Paralympians: High Jump silver medallist Praveen Kumar, Archery bronze medallist Harvinder Singh, Club Throw finalist Ekta Bhyan, the first Indian woman to win two medals at the same Olympics / Paralympics with a gold in the 10m and bronze in 50m air rifle standing Avani Lekhara, Discus throw silver medallist Yogesh Kathuniya, and Badminton bronze medallist Manoj Sarkar.
India’s Olympians and Paralympians, who had one of their most successful Olympics at Tokyo 2020, embodied the very spirit of India by rising up to the challenge, against all odds to win medals for the country.
Through this video, the essence of their conquering spirit is captured, to encourage and inspire the 1.3 billion Indian citizens to similarly overcome COVID-19 by observing all COVID Appropriate protocols and urging others to celebrate #COVIDSafeFestivities.
They say “Khathinaaiyon ka samjhdhaari se saamna aur samaadhaan nikaalna humari zimmedaari hai …Sports aur Zindagi mein!”
The inspiring video is a reminder to all Indians that nothing is impossible and that together we can overcome any of our adversities including the current pandemic.

Better health infra, COVID-19 vaccination will help hospitality sector, says PM Modi

Hospitals and hospitality work in tandem, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, adding that places with more vaccination and better healthcare infrastructure will attract more tourists, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Delhi [India], September 27 : Addressing the launch event of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, the Prime Minister said in order to make tourists feel safe, tourism-dependent States and UTs like Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar vaccinated the resident population at a fast pace. “Hospitals and hospitality work in tandem. Today is also World Tourism Day, integrated health infra’s positive impact reflects on tourism, especially after COVID. More vaccination means more tourists, which is why vaccination in Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar is at pace,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister also expressed gratitude to all doctors, nurses, the medical staff of the nation, for their efforts in the vaccination drive or treatment of COVID patients.
The Prime Minister said in order to improve healthcare services in India, it is very important that the medical services of the villages should be improved.
“Today the network related to primary health care is being strengthened in the village and near the house. So far 80,000 such centres have been made operational. Unprecedented reforms are also taking place in medical education to transform India’s health sector. Today more doctors and paramedical manpower are being prepared in the country than before in 7-8 years,” he said
He said that along with a better medical system, it is also necessary that the poor and middle class spend the least on medicines.
“Therefore, the Central government has kept essential medicines, and equipment required for surgery, and dialysis cheap. Incentives have been given to use the best generic drugs made in India for maximum use in treatment. More than 8,000 Jan Aushadhi Kendras have given great relief to the poor and middle class,” he stated.
The Prime Minister noted that Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will now connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country.
He noted that Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will play a big role in eliminating problems in the medical treatment of the poor and middle class.

WHO to revive probe into COVID-19 origins: Report

The World Health Organization (WHO) is looking to revive an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19, a US media report said.

Geneva [Switzerland], September 27 : The world health body is assembling a team of 20 scientists to hunt for new evidence, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported. According to the WSJ report, the new probe comes following an initial WHO inquiry found that that the data provided by Chinese scientists was insufficient to answer key questions about the virus’ origin.
The report stated that the new team of scientists, which includes specialists in laboratory safety and biosecurity and experts in geneticists, may be charged with examining whether the novel virus emerged from a lab, as well as broader inquiries into future virus risks and the links with human behaviour.
WHO believes that the new initiative will help accelerate a probe that risks running out of time, and blood samples from early virus victims become unusable.
Earlier in August, the US had released a report tracing the origins of the COVID-19 virus. While rejecting the report, Beijing had lodged solemn representations with Washington terming the report as “completely political, and having no scientificity and credibility.”
In a strongly-worded statement, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu had said the US should “stop poisoning” the international cooperation on virus tracing and return to the correct path of scientific origins tracing and cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
The declassified summary of a report stated that the US Intelligence Community (IC) assesses that the origins of the novel coronavirus disease may never be definitively identified without additional information.
According to the report, the US intelligence community is still divided about which of the two theories — that the virus came from a lab leak or that it jumped from animal to human, naturally. There is consensus among the intelligence agencies that the two prevailing theories are plausible, the report said.
A WHO-led team of scientists that travelled to China in early 2021 to investigate the origins of the virus struggled to get a clear picture of what research China was conducting beforehand, faced constraints during its visit, and had little power to conduct thorough and impartial research.

No one should be devoid of ‘Suraksha Chakra’ of COVID-19 vaccines: PM Modi

Urging the eligible unvaccinated population to get their COVID-19 vaccine jabs at the earliest, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said no one should be devoid of ‘Suraksha Chakra’ (protection circle).

New Delhi [India], September 26 : Addressing the 81st episode of the monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’, PM Modi said, “Team India is making new records every day, including in vaccination which has made records internationally.” “We have to get the vaccine administered when our turn comes, but we also have to take care that no one is left out of the ‘Suraksha Chakra’. Those around you who have not got vaccinated also have to be taken to the vaccine centers,” he stated further.
Underscoring the fact that festival season is approaching, the Prime Minister said that India has to continue its fight against COVID-19.
“Even after getting vaccinated, the necessary protocol has to be followed. I hope that once again Team India will keep the flag flying high in this fight,” he added.
With the administration of 68,42,786 vaccine doses in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed the landmark of 85 Cr (85,60,81,527) as per provisional reports till 7 am today. This has been achieved through 83,64,110 sessions, the Union Health Ministry informed on Sunday.
India reported 28,326 new COVID cases, 26,032 recoveries, and 260 deaths in the past 24 hours.
“Mann ki Baat” is the Prime Minister’s monthly radio address, which is broadcast on the last Sunday of every month.

Congress demands Rs 5 lakh to kin of those who died of Covid-19

New Delhi [India], September 23 : The Congress said that the amount of Rs 50,000 announced by the Centre as ex gratia to families of those who died of COVID-19 is a joke and Rs 5 lakh should be given to the kin, said party national spokesperson Supriya Shrinate on Thursday.
“Congress party demands Rs 5 lakh to the kin of those people who lost their lives die to COVID-19 because numerous children lost their parents and people have become jobless. So, the help of only Rs 50,000 per deceased person is only a joke,” Shrinate told ANI. The Central government on Wednesday announced an amount of Rs 50,000 as ex gratia to families of those who died of COVID-19.
Taking a dig at the Centre, she said that the government has announced Rs 50,000 after the intervention of the court. The Centre is not declaring coronavirus infection a disaster because according to the law, there is a provision to give Rs 4 lakh on death due to disaster.”

US to donate 500 million additional Covid vaccines to world

The United States is set to announce the purchase of an additional 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to donate to low- and lower-middle-income countries around the world, a senior Biden Administration Official informed on Wednesday.

Washington DC [US], September 22 : This new commitment will bring our total to over 1.1 billion vaccines donated to the world. “So, tomorrow, President Biden will announce that the US is purchasing an additional 500 million Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to donate to low- and lower-middle-income countries around the world,” said senior Administration Official Previewing the Global Summit to End COVID-19.
A senior official said that the donations are being made “free of charge, no strings attached”.
“These half a billion vaccines will be made here in the United States by American workers. They’ll start shipping out in January. And that means from January through September of next year, we will ship out 800 million vaccines to the world,” the official added.
The official further stated that the US has committed to donating over 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world so far. “That includes 500 million Pfizer doses that the US purchased earlier this summer to donate to 100 countries in need — the largest donation of COVID-19 vaccines by a single country ever.”
Overall, the United States has now shipped nearly 160 million of these doses to 100 countries around the world — from Peru to Pakistan, Sri Lanka to Sudan, El Salvador to Ethiopia.

IPL 2021: Natarajan tests COVID-19 positive, SRH-DC game on

New Delhi [India], September 22 : Sunrisers Hyderabad player T Natarajan tested positive for COVID-19 at a scheduled RT-PCR test. The player has isolated himself from the rest of the squad. He is currently asymptomatic and there are six close contacts of the player who have been isolated. But the match between SRH and Delhi Capitals is on as the other players have tested negative.
As per the IPL release, the medical team has identified Vijay Shankar, Vijay Kumar (Team Manager), Shyam Sundar J (Physiotherapist), Anjana Vannan (Doctor), Tushar Khedkar (Logistics Manager) and Periyasamy Ganesan (Net Bowler) as the close contacts. “The rest of the contingent including the close contacts underwent RT-PCR tests at 5AM local time this morning and the test reports are negative. As a result, tonight’s game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals will go ahead at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai,” the IPL release said.
The 14th season of the IPL resumed on Sunday with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians squaring off. The edition earlier had to be postponed after a string of positive COVID-19 cases within the bio-bubble in India.

India may take reciprocal measures against UK’s move to recognise AstraZeneca vaccine but not Covishield

India will take reciprocal measures against UK’s “discriminatory” move to recognise AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine but not Covishield, said Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday.

New Delhi [India] September 21 : Speaking at a news conference, Shringla said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has raised the issue strongly with the new UK foreign secretary. “Have raised the discriminatory nature of UK vaccine recognition for AstraZeneca but not Covishield. Discussions on, but if they do not satisfy us, we would be well within our rights to take reciprocal action,” Shringla said.
“Non-recognition of Covishield is a discriminating policy and impacts Indian citizens travelling to the UK,” he added.
The developments came after the new rules issued by UK authorities stated that Indians travelling to the UK would be considered unvaccinated and have to go through 10 days isolation periods.
“I am told that certain assurances have been given that this issue will be resolved,” Foreign Secretary added while addressing a special press briefing on PM Modi’s first visit to the US after COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
PM Modi will be accompanied by a high-level delegation consisting of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and senior officials including Shringla.
“The main elements of the programme are bilateral meetings with US leaderships, participation at Quad leaders’ summit and address at the UN General Assembly,” the foreign secretary said.
During the significant visit to the US, PM Modi would on September 24 participate in the Leaders’ Summit of the Quadrilateral Framework in Washington along with his US, Japanese and Australian counterparts.
The bilateral meeting with the US President is also scheduled for the day.

‘Thank you Canada for trust in Liberal team’, PM Justin Trudeau after historic 3rd election win

Expressing gratitude to Canadians who returned him to power in a closely contested election against Conservative leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday pledged to finish the fight against COVID-19 and move the country forward for everyone.

Ottawa [Canada], September 21 : The Liberal party leader thanked Canadians for putting trust in his party and “for choosing a brighter future.” “Thank you, Canada — for casting your vote, for putting your trust in the Liberal team, for choosing a brighter future. We’re going to finish the fight against COVID. And we’re going to move Canada forward. For everyone,” Trudeau tweeted.
The 49-year-old is poised for a third term as Canada’s prime minister reported Canadian broadcasters who projected a win for his Liberal Party in Monday’s elections.
Trudeau, who was in power from 2015 has now won three general elections in less than six years.
In his concession speech, Conservative leader Erin O’Toole said, “Tonight Canadians did not give Mr. Trudeau the majority mandate he wanted.”
According to New York Times, many voters are still in line casting ballots, perhaps for several more hours, it is unclear whether Trudeau’s Liberal Party would regain a majority in Parliament. Canada has multiple time zones and accordingly, the polling stations closed at staggered times on Monday evening.
Trudeau,49, won Papineau, Quebec, according to state broadcaster CBC. The Conservatives, led by Erin O’Toole, are projected to be the main opposition party.
The Liberal party leader Trudeau had called for snap election last month in the middle of the Covid pandemic assuming that his handling of the pandemic would help his government win a majority. However, even as that bet seems to have backfired the poll win puts Trudeau back in a position he has held since the 2015 federal election, which saw the Liberals win a 184-seat majority.
COVID-19, climate change, housing affordability and gun control have all featured as major issues with voters, reported CNN but citing one political expert it said that holding a snap election in the summer during a global pandemic has angered many voters who cannot identify a compelling “ballot box” issue to justify the undertaking.
A small fierce majority of voters were also opposed to some Covid-19 protocols, especially vaccine and mask mandates and earlier this month a protester threw gravel at Trudeau at a campaign event in Ontario.

India reports 26,115 new COVID-19 cases, 252 deaths

India on Tuesday reported 26,115 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

New Delhi [India], September 21 : The nationwide tally has now reached 3,35,04,534, while with 252 new fatalities the death toll stands at 4,45,385. The active cases have declined to 3,09,575, which is the lowest in 184 days, and now comprise 0.92 per cent of the total infections, the lowest since March 2020.
With 34,469 recoveries recorded in the last 24 hours, the cumulative recoveries have climbed to 3,27,49,574.
The national COVID-19 recovery rate has been recorded at 97.75 per cent.
The weekly positivity rate at 2.08 per cent has remained less than 3 per cent for the last 88 days now while the daily positivity rate is reported to be 1.85 per cent. It has been less than 3 per cent for the last 22 days.
India has substantially ramped up its COVID-19 testing capacity wherein over 55.50 crore tests have been conducted so far.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 55,50,35,717 samples were tested for COVID-19 up to 20th September 2021. Of these, 14,13,951 samples were tested yesterday.
Meanwhile, under the nationwide vaccination programme, a total of 81,85,13,827 vaccine doses have been administered so far of which 96,46,778 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours.

COVID-19: Vaccinated passengers from India, other nations can travel to US from November

Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the United States has allowed fully vaccinated flyers from several countries, including India, to enter America from early November.

Washington [US], September 21 : The US announced that strict protocols will be in place from early November to curb the spread of COVID-19 from international passengers. According to a senior government official, once the protocol is in place, passengers from several countries, including the UK, India and Brazil and Europe would be allowed to enter the US with proof of vaccination.
“Today, President Biden announced that beginning in early November, the US will be putting in place strict protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from passengers flying internationally into the US by requiring that adult foreign nationals travelling here be fully vaccinated,” the senior official said in a statement.
“But we’re very proud of the fact that we’ve been able to develop a protocol that would permit travel by individuals and families and business people from the EU and UK, as well as from Brazil and India and other countries, to the United States with proof of vaccination,” he said.
“Critically for our European partners and the UK, this policy means that we’ll no longer be implementing current 212(f) travel policies for individual countries as of early November. We’ll be moving to a consistent requirement for all international air travelers coming to the US,” he added.
According to CNN, the US travel ban was first imposed in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic when then-President Donald Trump limited travel from China in January 2020.

Tharoor says ‘Offensive to ask vaccinated Indians to quarantine’, pulls out from UK event

New Delhi [India], September 20 : Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has pulled out of several planned engagements in the United Kingdom citing the COVID-19 quarantine rules put in place by the British government.
Taking to Twitter, Tharoor complained that “it is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine.” “Because of this I have pulled out of a debate at the @cambridgeunion & out of launch events for the UK edition of my book #TheBattleOfBelonging (published there as #TheStruggleForIndiasSoul). It is offensive to ask fully vaccinated Indians to quarantine. The Brits are reviewing!” Congress MP tweeted.
Currently, people vaccinated in India and in other countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Thailand, Russia are considered “unvaccinated” and have to follow the 10-day quarantine and test rule.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has so far only approved Covid vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, US pharma majors Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, China’s Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca for emergency use.

SC notice to Centre on plea seeking safeguards for pregnant, lactating women getting COVID-19 vaccination

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a plea of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR), Delhi government, seeking additional safeguards for pregnant and lactating women like continuous monitoring of those receiving COVID-19 vaccination.

New Delhi [India], September 20 : A Bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud also sought Solicitor General Tushar Mehta’s assistance on the policy which has been formulated and applicable guidelines that are to be framed. “Advocate Vrinda Grover for DCPCR submits that petition was instituted in May 2021 during second COVID-19 wave and subsequently operational guidelines have been issued for pregnant and lactating mothers. However, there are some reliefs that are to be sought. Issue notice to Union of India. Solicitor General is required to assist the court about the policy which has been formulated and applicable guidelines that are to be framed,” the Bench stated in its order.
During the hearing, Grover argued that since we are dealing with a virus that we don’t know about, there is a need to conduct scientific research to see what are the effects on pregnant and lactating women.
She further said there is a need to create a registry for ensuring continuous monitoring. Grover added that after the petition was filed in May this year, the Centre has issued operational guidelines for vaccination for pregnant and lactating women, however, some concerns remain unaddressed.
DCPCR approached the apex court against the advisory of the Union government excluding pregnant and lactating women from COVID-19 vaccination.

The plea sought direction for developing education material and Standard Operating Protocols to educate women on the side effects of vaccination, effects of vaccination on pregnant and lactating mothers and ensure taking informed consent before taking the vaccine.
It further asked for relief for the creation of a registry to register pregnant women and lactating mothers being vaccinated to ensure the existence of a continuous monitoring mechanism to see if the vaccine has an adverse effect on pregnant women.
“The health of pregnant women and lactating mothers is inextricably connected with and directly impacts on the mortality and health of children,” the petition said.

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