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AIIMS records first case of coronavirus-induced brain nerve damage in 11-year-old girl - Scroll.in
The brain nerve damage has led to her experiencing blurred vision.
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi has recorded the first case of coronavirus-induced brain nerve damage in a 11-year-old girl, the Hindustan Times reported on Monday. The brain nerve damage has led to her experiencing blurred vision. We have found Covid-19 infection-induced Acute Demyelinating Syndrome in an 11-year-old girl, a draft of a report being prepared by the doctors in the child neurology department of the hospital said. This is the first case that has been reported in the paediatric age group. Acute Demyelinating Syndrome or ADS causes health conditions that damage myelin, a protective layer that covers the brain nerves, as well as damage brain signals. The syndrome also affects neurological functions such as vision, muscle movement, senses, bladder and bowel movement. This girl had come to us with a loss of vision, Dr Sheffali Gulati, chief of child neurology division, department of paediatrics at AIIMS said. The MRI showed ADS, which is a new manifestation. However, we now know that the virus majorly affects the brain and the lungs. We plan to publish this case report since we have established that her condition was Covid-19 induced. The child, who was under the supervision of Dr Gulati, improved with immunotherapy. She was discharged from hospital after she regained about 50% of her vision, the Hindustan Times reported. Doctors at AIIMS are also treating another girl, aged 13, who had fever and encephalopathy, which is swelling of the brain. The doctors are attempting to determine whether the swelling in her brain was a result of the coronavirus. Children with the coronavirus have also been known to suffer from epilepsy, encephalitis, Kawasaki-like disease and Guillain-barre syndrome, the Hindustan Times report said. We can sense the problem, as our telemedicine helpline meant for children with neurological issues is receiving around 25 calls a day on an average, as compared to about 10 calls earlier, Dr Gulati said. This is going to be a huge problem, as we are also treating non-Covid-19 children with neurological conditions, who need immediate attention. Common symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhoea, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indias tally of coronavirus cases rose to 75,97,063 on Tuesday with 46,790 new infections in 24 hours. This is the lowest single-day jump in fresh cases since the end of July. On July 23, India had recorded 45,720 cases in one day. The countrys toll, meanwhile, rose by 587 to 1,15,197. Follow todays live updates on Covid-19 here
Apple’s new iPhone 12 ships without a charger. Is this an eco-friendly move or a cash grab? - Scroll.in
Even if abandoning chargers is a way for Apple to save money, the action could have a significant, positive impact on the environment.
Apple has released its new smartphone, the iPhone 12, without an accompanying charger or earbuds. Users have harshly criticised the company for this move and will have to purchase these accessories separately, if needed. While some see it as cost-cutting or a way for Apple to profit further by forcing customers to buy the products separately, the technology giant said the goal was to reduce its carbon footprint. This is the first time a major smartphone manufacturer has released a mobile without a charger. Earlier this year, reports emerged of Samsung considering a similar move, but it has yet to follow through. But even if abandoning chargers is a way for Apple to save money, the action could have a significant, positive impact on the environment. Australians, on average, buy a new mobile phone every 18-24 months. In Australia, there are about 23 million phones sitting unused and therefore likely a similar number of accompanying chargers. Just as single-use shopping bags contribute to plastic waste, unused and discarded electronic appliances contribute to electronic waste (e-waste). Just over a decade ago, Australia started to ban single-use plastic bags, starting with South Australia. Today, every state and territory in Australia has enforced the ban except New South Wales which intends to do so by the end of 2021. Since South Australia implemented its ban in 2008, state government estimates suggest it has avoided 8,000kg of marine litter each year and abated more than 4,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The benefits for the environment have been clear. So, why are we so hesitant to do the same for e-waste? E-waste includes different forms of discarded electric and electronic appliances that are no longer of value to their owners. This can include mobile phones, televisions, computers, chargers, keyboards, printers and earphones. Currently there are about 4.78 billion mobile phone users globally (61.2% of the worlds population). And mobile phone chargers alone generate more than 51,000 tonnes of e-waste per year. On this basis, the environment would greatly benefit if more users reused phone chargers and if tech companies encouraged a shift to standardised charging that works across different mobile phone brands. This would eventually lead to a reduction in the manufacturing of chargers and, potentially, less exploitation of natural resources. Citing an increase in e-waste and consumer frustration with multiple chargers, the European Parliament has been pushing for standardised chargers for mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers, smart cameras, wearable electronics and other small or medium-sized electronic devices. This would negate the need for users to buy different chargers for various devices. Digital consumption is on the rise and unlikely to slow down any time soon. Recycling is one option, but how else can tech companies innovate to reduce environmental harm? Photo credit: Fairphone/ flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0 Of course, theres no doubt phone companies want people to regularly buy new phones. Apple themselves have beenaccused of building a feature into phones that slows them down as they get older. Apple responded by saying this was simply to keep devices running as their batteries became worn down. But even if this is the case, Apples decision to ship phones without chargers would still reduce the use of precious materials. A smaller product box would let Apple fit up to 70% more products onto shipping pallets reducing carbon emissions from shipping. However, it remains to be seen exactly how much this would assist in Apples environmental goals, especially if many consumers end up buying a charger separately anyway. Apple equates its recent climate conscious changes to the iPhone 12 with removing 450,000 cars from the road annually. The company has a target of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030. It is worth considering whether Apples main incentive is simply to cut costs, or perhaps push people towards its own wireless charging devices. These concerns are not without merit. Apple is one of the richest companies in the world, with most of its market capital made with hardware sales. Without a shift to a standardised plug-in charger, a wireless charging boom could be an environmental disaster (even though its perhaps inevitable due to its convenience). Wireless charging consumes around 47% more power than a regular cable. This may be a concern, as the sustainability advantages of not including a charger could come alongside increased energy consumption. Currently, the Information, Communication and Technology sector is responsible for about 2% of the worlds energy consumption. Perhaps one solution to the dilemma is device trade-in services, which many companies already offer, including Apple and Samsung. Apple gives customers a discount on a new device if they trade in their older model, instead of throwing it out. Similar services are offered by third parties such as Optus, Telstra, MobileMonster and Boomerang Buy Back. Ultimately, however, the best solution would be for tech giants to agree on a universal plug-in charger for all small or medium-sized electronic devices, including mobile phones. And hopefully, just as we all now take reusable bags to the grocer with us, in a few years we will be able to use a common charger for all our devices and we will wonder what all the fuss was about. Michael Cowling is an Associate Professor, Information & Communication Technology and Ritesh Chugh is a Senior Lecturer/Discipline Lead, Information Systems and Analysis at CQUniversity Australia. This article first appeared on The Conversation.
The big news: Health minister admits to Covid-19 community transmission, and 9 other top stories - Scroll.in
Other headlines: Centre’s panel said India may have about 106 active cases by February, and Sonia Gandhi said democracy is going through difficult times.
A look at the headlines right now:
- India witnessing Covid-19 community transmission in certain districts, admits health minister: Harsh Vardhan said the community spread of the virus was detected in parts of the country, but claimed this was limited to certain districts occurring in a limited number of states.
- India crossed Covid-19 peak, likely to have around 106 lakh active cases by February, says Centres panel: The expert committee stressed on the need to continue protective measures against the virus and said that India not imposed a lockdown in March, the virus could have claimed over 25 lakh lives by now.
- Indias democracy passing through most difficult times, says Congress chief Sonia Gandhi: In a video message posted from Congress official Twitter handle, Gandhi said her partys aim was to keep fighting for the country.
- Indias coronavirus toll goes up by 1,033 to 1.14 lakh, tally nears 75 lakh:Indias active cases stood at 7,83,311, a decline from Saturday, while the recoveries reached 65,97,209. The recovery rate stood at 87.78% and the mortality rate was 1.52%.
- Could have avoided those words, says Amit Shah on Maharashtra governors letter to CM: Bhagat Singh Koshyari had asked Uddhav Thackeray if he had turned secular while questioning his decision to keep religious places in the state closed.
- TRP measuring body accuses Republic TV of misrepresentation: This came after Republic TV claimed the BARC had personally confirmed to it that there was no case of alleged malpractices against the network.
- Mizoram objects to temple construction in village on Tripura border, imposes Section 144: The government claimed the building of a temple in the area and the communitys activities could cause law and order problems.
- Attack on The Caravan journalist: Press Club says police officer must be suspended: The Caravan said Ahan Penkar was attacked while he was reporting on a protest against the alleged rape and murder of a Dalit teenager in North Delhi.
- Jammu and Kashmir gets new local body, state leaders wary of depoliticisation: Under the new arrangement, each district in the Union Territory will be divided into 14 territorial constituencies and the members of the council will be directly elected by voters.
- At least 12 dead, over 100 wounded in suicide car bombing in Afghanistans Ghor province: The attack, for which no one has claimed responsibility so far, took place near a police headquarters and other nearby government buildings in Firozkoh area.
‘May have to leave the country if I lose,’ says Donald Trump on US presidential elections - Scroll.in
In a tweet captioned ‘Promise?’, Democratic candidate Joe Biden posted a video of Trump making similar statements on multiple occasions.
With just about a fortnight to go for his re-election bid to the White House, US President Donald Trump at a rally on Friday night, mulled the possibility of leaving the country if he were to lose in the elections, reported CNN. Addressing a rally in Macon in Georgia, Trump said: Could you imagine if I lose? Im not going to feel so good. Maybe Ill have to leave the country, I dont know. Meanwhile, his Democratic rival Joe Biden took the opportunity to take a jibe at Trump. In a tweet captioned Promise?, he posted a video of Trump making similar statements on multiple occasions. Promise? pic.twitter.com/Wbl86i8uYo — Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 17, 2020 On Friday, Trump addressed his supporters in Florida and Georgia both states which he had bagged in the 2016 election. However, according to The New York Times, the electoral map might shift this time. In his speeches, Trump attacked Biden, claiming that his family is a criminal enterprise, reported AFP. He went on say the Democrats would turn America into a communist country. Its time we sent a message to these wealthy liberal hypocrites, he said in Georgia. The American presidents speech was also racist when he said: Democrats will flood your communities with illegal aliens, drugs, crime. On the other hand, Biden campaigning in Michigan, once again criticised the presidents handling of the coronavirus crisis. He keeps telling us that this virus is going to disappear like a miracle, Biden said. My lord! Its not disappearing, in fact its on the rise again, its getting worse, as predicted. He also said Trumps reluctance to condemn the extreme right-wing and white supremacists were a dog whistle to such groups. On September 29, Trump sidestepped a question on white supremacists and refused to outright condemn them during the first of three presidential debates with his opponent in the upcoming election, Democrat and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump calls Kamala Harris ‘monster’, ‘communist’, claims she’ll take over in a month if Biden wins - Scroll.in
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden hit back at Trump, saying his remarks were ‘despicable’ and that he had difficulty handling strong women.
United States President Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris, calling her a monster and a communist, Fox News reported. Trump also claimed that Harris will take over as president in a month if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden won Novembers elections, according to PTI. This monster that was onstage with Mike Pence, who destroyed her last night, by the way, Trump told the news channel over the phone, while referring to Wednesdays vice-presidential debate. This monster, she says, no, no, there wont be fracking, there wont be this. Everything she said is a lie. The US president called unlikeable and claimed she did terribly during the debate with Vice President Mike Pence, who is his running mate. Shes worse than a socialist, she is a communist, Trump said. She wants to open up the borders to allow killers and murderers and rapists to pour into our country. Also read:
- US: In VP debate, Kamala Harris says she will not take vaccine endorsed by Donald Trump
- Mr Vice-President, Im speaking: Kamala Harris to Mike Pence during US vice-presidential debate
PM Modi’s characteristic hand wave inside seemingly empty Atal Tunnel is cracking up social media - Scroll.in
‘He is just trying to create Modi Wave.’
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 9.02 km-long Atal Tunnel in Rohtang, Himachal Pradesh, greatly reducing travel time between Manali and the Lahaul-Spiti valley. It is believed to be the worlds longest highway tunnel above an altitude of 10,000 feet. The project is expected to boost tourism in the region and will give the armed forces quicker access to Ladakh. As part of the inauguration ceremony, Modi walked in the tunnel and took a ride in it in an open-vehicle. But footage that emerged of him waving in the seemingly empty tunnel prompted a burst of humour on social media. Who exactly was he waving at and why was he doing so, many wanted to know. Some people love to wave to the vast emptiness in front of thempic.twitter.com/gkSQCB25QN — Ravi Nair (@t_d_h_nair) October 3, 2020 PM modi waving hand to the die-hard fans!!! pic.twitter.com/fOlEs6oJXm — Arsh Khurana (@arshkhurana) October 4, 2020 Stop trolling Modi ji for waving in empty tunnel. He is just trying to create Modi Wave. — Nirmala Tai (@CrypticMiind) October 4, 2020 Messi shaking Modi wavinghand with Player hand to the Better than him Actors Betterthan him pic.twitter.com/kdqYd2ucFY — The Bong Next Door (@VotHardVotHard) October 4, 2020 If y'all were wondering what modi is waving at......#justicefordalitspic.twitter.com/iaTWph6d0N — CONGRESS IT CELL WORKER / ACAB / DLM / (@ambedkar4life) October 4, 2020 What would Modi do if he was a IPL cricket player ? He would wave his hand at empty stadium and drop all the catches pic.twitter.com/80LikPgLDn — ashok (@buddha2019) October 4, 2020 Stop criticising Modiji. He was waving in the tunnel to people who will pass through it in the future. What a visionary leader! — PuNsTeR (@Pun_Starr) October 4, 2020 Image description: Modi walking in an empty tunnel waving at his best friend, the camera pic.twitter.com/4zAf9qPkL8 — anna (@annaverbee) October 4, 2020 This is not the first time Modi was caught on camera waving at nobody in particular. The prime minister once puzzled social media by waving from a boat to no discernible audience in Srinagars Dal Lake. This was especially ironic since an intense security lockdown had accompanied Modis visit to Kashmir. This video of PM Narendra Modi has Twitterati guessing - 'who is he waving at?'#NarendraModi#Srinagar#Jammu#Kashmirpic.twitter.com/QG1BC5hbDO — ABP News (@ABPNews) February 5, 2019 A few months before, in December 2018, Modis actions during the inauguration of Assams Bogbhee Bridge caused similar bafflement. Modi Wave exists. It does. Can you see an unusual character waving?! Just that there is no one down there to be waved at. That's the Modi Wave for you. pic.twitter.com/QwR0kbu2iT — Brijesh Kalappa (@brijeshkalappa) December 26, 2018 Watch Atal Tunnel, connecting Manali to the Lahaul-Spiti valley, inaugurated by PM Narendra Modi
Coronavirus: CDC rolls back update on aerosol transmission of infection - Scroll.in
The health agency said the draft was posted ‘in error’.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday withdrew its guidance on the transmission of the coronavirus through aerosols, saying the draft recommendation was posted in error. A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agencys official website, it said in a message on the website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes Covid-19]. Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted. In its update posted on the website on Friday, the health agency had said that there was a growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and can travel beyond six feet. Apart from respiratory droplets, the virus can also spread through small particles, such as those in aerosols, which are produced even when a person breathes. The revised CDC guidelines do not mention anything about aerosols. Now, the website says that the infection spreads mainly from person-to-person because of close contact under six feet, through respiratory droplets when a person coughs or sneezes that can land on the mouths and noses of people nearby. The CDC had changed its language on asymptomatic transmission. The website had updated its guidance to state that people who are infected but do not show symptoms can spread the virus to others. It has been reverted to Covid-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms. The health agency had also emphasised on maintaining social connections and taking care of ones mental health. The updated has now been removed. The World Health Organisation has not also changed its policy on the aerosol transmission of the infection, the global health body said, according to Reuters. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHOs emergencies program, stated that the health body believed that the coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets but aerosol transmission can occur in enclosed crowded spaces with inadequate ventilation. In these outbreaks, aerosol transmission, particularly in these indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out, it had suggested. Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.12 crore people and killed 9,63,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide recoveries is more than 2.1 crore.
Does the discovery of phosphine on Venus mean it is home to alien life? - Scroll.in
In the harshly acidic clouds of Venus, scientists have discovered a gas that indicates the presence of microbes.
The discovery that the atmosphere of Venus absorbs a precise frequency of microwave radiation has just turned planetary science on its head. An international team of scientists used radio telescopes in Hawaii and Chile to find signs that the clouds on Earths neighbouring planet contain tiny quantities of a molecule called phosphine. Phosphine is a compound made from phosphorus and hydrogen, and on Earth, its only natural source is tiny microbes that live in oxygen-free environments. It is too early to say whether phosphine is also a sign of life on Venus but no other explanation so far proposed seems to fit. This video shows how methane was detected in the atmosphere of Mars. The process is the same for finding phosphine on Venus. The molecular makeup of a planets atmosphere normally depends on what its parent star is made of, the planets position in its stars system and the chemical and geological processes that take place given these conditions. There is phosphine in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, for example, but there it is not a sign of life. Scientists think it is formed in the deep atmosphere at high pressures and temperatures, then dredged into the upper atmosphere by a strong convection current. Although phosphine quickly breaks down into phosphorus and hydrogen in the top clouds of these planets, enough lingers 4.8 parts per million to be observable. The phosphorus may be what gives clouds on Jupiter a reddish tinge. Things are different on a rocky planet like Venus. The new research has found fainter traces of phosphine in the atmosphere, at 20 parts per billion. Lightning, clouds, volcanoes and meteorite impacts might all produce some phosphine, but not enough to counter the rapid destruction of the compound in Venuss highly oxidising atmosphere. The researchers considered all the chemical processes they could think of on Venus, but none could explain the concentration of phosphine. What is left? On Earth, phosphine is only produced by microbial life (and by various industrial processes) and the concentration in our atmosphere is in the parts per trillion range. The much higher concentration on Venus cannot be ignored. To determine whether the phosphine on Venus is really produced by life, chemists and geologists will be trying to identify other reactions and processes that could be alternative explanations. Meanwhile, biologists will be trying to better understand the microbes that live in Venus-like conditions on Earth high temperatures, high acidity and high levels of carbon dioxide and also ones that produce phosphine. When Earth microbes produce phosphine, they do it via an anaerobic process, which means it happens where no oxygen is present. It has been observed in places such as activated sludge and sewage treatment plants, but the exact collection of microbes and processes is not well understood. Biologists will also be trying to work out whether the microbes on Earth that produce phosphine could conceivably do it under the harsh Venusian conditions. If there is some biological process producing phosphine on Venus, it may be a form of life very different from what we know on Earth. Searches for life beyond Earth have often skipped over Venus because its surface temperature is around 500 and the atmospheric pressure is almost 100 times greater than on Earth. Conditions are more hospitable for life as we know it about 50 kilometres off the ground, although there are still vast clouds of sulfuric acid to deal with. The researchers found the phosphine using spectroscopy, which is the study of how light interacts with molecules. When sunlight passes through Venuss atmosphere, each molecule absorbs very specific colours of this light. Using telescopes on Earth, we can take this light and split it into a massive rainbow. Each type of molecule present in Venus atmosphere produces a distinctive pattern of dark absorption lines in this rainbow, like an identifying barcode. The full visible spectrum of sunlight, showing the dark "barcodes" that indicate the presence of different atoms and molecules. Photo credit: N.A.Sharp, NOAO/NSO/Kitt Peak FTS/AURA/NSF This barcode is not always the strongest in visible light. Sometimes it can only be detected in the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum that are invisible to the human eye, such as Ultra Violet rays, microwave, radio waves and infrared. The barcode of carbon dioxide, for example, is most evident in the infrared region of the spectrum. While phosphine on Jupiter was first detected in infrared, for Venus observations astronomers used radio telescopes: the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array and James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, which can detect the barcode of phosphine in millimetre wavelengths. The discovery of phosphine on Venus relied not only on new observations but also a more detailed knowledge of the compounds barcode. Accurately predicting the barcode of phosphine across all relevant frequencies took the whole PhD of astrochemist Clara Sousa-Silva in the ExoMol group at University College London in 2015. She used computational quantum chemistry basically putting her molecule into a computer and solving the equations that describe its behaviour to predict the strength of the barcode at different colours. She then tuned her model using available experimental data before making the 16.8 billion lines of phosphines barcode available to astronomers. Sousa-Silva originally thought her data would be used to study Jupiter and Saturn, as well as weird stars and distant hot Jupiter exoplanets. More recently, she led the detailed consideration of phosphine as a biosignature a molecule whose presence implies life. This analysis demonstrated that, on small rocky exoplanets, phosphine should not be present in observable concentrations unless there was life there as well. But she no doubt wouldnt have dreamed of a phone call from an astronomer who has discovered phosphine on our nearest planetary neighbour. With phosphine on Venus, we wont be limited to speculating and looking for molecular barcodes. We will be able to send probes there and hunt for the microbes directly. Laura McKemmish is a Lecturer and Brendan Paul Burns is a Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales. Lucyna Kedziora-Chudczer is a Program Manager / Adjunct Research Fellow at the Swinburne University of Technology. This article first appeared on The Conversation.
Delhi violence: Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid arrested under UAPA - Scroll.in
The Delhi Police’s Special Cell arrested Khalid under the UAPA after nearly 11 hours of questioning.
Former Jawaharlal Nehru University student Umar Khalid was arrested late on Sunday for his alleged role in the large-scale communal violence that broke out in North East Delhi over the Citizenship Amendment Act in February, PTI reported. The Delhi Polices Special Cell arrested Khalid under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after nearly 11 hours of questioning. Khalid has been accused of being one of the main conspirators involved in the violence, a senior unidentified police officer told The Hindu. Khalid will be produced before a court in Delhi on Monday. Unidentified police officials told The Indian Express that they are likely to file a chargesheet against him in the next few days Activist group United Against Hate, of which Khalid is a member, said he was arrested as a conspirator in the violence. The fairy tale narrative that DP [Delhi Police] has been spinning and criminalising protests in the garb of investigating riots, finds yet another victim, the group said in a statement, according to NDTV. Earlier this month, the Delhi Polices Crime Branch had questioned the former JNU student. Khalids name had appeared in the chargesheet submitted by the police against suspended Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. The chargesheet stated that on January 8, Hussain met Khalid and United Against Hate co-founder Khalid Saifi at Delhis Shaheen Bagh during a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, where Umar Khalid told him to be prepared for something big/riots at the time of the visit of US President [Donald Trump]. In April, the former JNU student was charged under the UAPA in another case related to the violence. He was accused of instigating the violence by allegedly making provocative speeches. The former JNU student at the time had refuted the allegations against him and said he was being falsely implicated. It is an upside down world that we are living in, in which these organisations and individuals that have worked for communal harmony are being implicated, he had said. Khalids arrest came a day after the police named Communist Party of India (Marxist) Secretary General Sitaram Yechury, economist Jayati Ghosh, Delhi University professor Apoorvanand, Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav and documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy, as people who had encouraged the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protestors as part of a plan. The polices chargesheet also annexed two identical disclosure statements, in which the Delhi Police claimed that Pinjra Tod activists Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal admitted to not just their complicity in the violence, but also named Ghosh, Apoorvanand and Roy as their mentors, who asked them to carry on the protests even if it led to violence. Clashes had broken out between supporters of the Citizenship Amendment Act and those opposing it in North East Delhi in February, killing 53 people and injuring hundreds. The violence was the worst Delhi saw since the anti-Sikh violence of 1984.
Coronavirus: Vaccine likely by early 2021, will take first dose, says health minister - Scroll.in
He added that people in high-risk groups like the elderly and healthcare workers will be prioritised for vaccination.
Minister of Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan on Sunday said that India may get a vaccine against the coronavirus in the first quarter of 2021 and that he will take the first dose to dispel doubts about its safety. The vaccine may be ready in the first quarter of 2021 though we have not fixed a date for its launch, Vardhan said during an online programme titled Sunday Samvad. Issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements and production timelines are also being discussed by the government intensively. The health minister said that high-risk groups like the elderly and healthcare workers will be prioritised for vaccination. I do not belong to the high-risk group but I will take the first dose in case people have doubts about the safety of the vaccine, he said. Vardhan said that it was difficult to predict which vaccine will be ready first. Several vaccine trials are going on in India and by the first quarter of 2021, we will know the results certainly, he said. The health minister said that a vaccine expert group has been set up to monitor the whole process and mass production will begin after the required permissions. Vardhan said it was too early to begin discussion on prices. It is premature to comment on the price of the vaccine which is still under trial, he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. But the government of India will ensure that the vaccine will be made available to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity. The health ministers remark came two days after Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical company Bharat Biotech said it had successfully conducted clinical trials of its potential coronavirus vaccine, or Covaxin, on animals. The company said no adverse effects were seen in animals who were immunised with a two-dose regimen of the vaccine. The human clinical trials of Bharat Biotechs experimental vaccine are also underway. It was the first indigenous vaccine candidate to get the Drug Controller General of Indias approval forPhase I and Phase II clinical trials on June 29. Covaxin was developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. It is an inactivated vaccine created from a strain of the infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus. Inactivated vaccines use the killed version of the germ that causes a disease. It helps the immune system mount an antibody response towards virus. On Saturday, British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca also announced that it had resumed the clinical trials of its experimental coronavirus vaccine in the United Kingdom, four days after the late-stage study was halted because a participant fell ill. India reported over 94,000 coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking its tally to 47,54,356 on Sunday. As many as 78,586 people have died of the infection while 37,02,595 have recovered.