Covid update: India vaccine progress; another minister infected; IMF on economy
From another minister in the Narendra Modi cabinet testing positive for infection, to the progress report of India's indigenously-developed vaccine candidates - here are the top news updates on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Union minister of petroleum and natural gas, and steel, Dharmendra Pradhan, tested positive days after Union Home minister Amit Shah confirmed his positive diagnosis.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated three petroleum projects in Bihar via video conferencing on September 13. Speaking on today's inauguration of Durgapur-Banka section of Paradip-Muzaffarpur pipeline, Union Minister of Petroleum, Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday stated that in last 6 years, 400 petrol pumps became operational in Bihar while 1,200 LPG distributors opened. "This generated employment for 20,000 youths here," he added.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated three petroleum projects to Bihar, through video conferencing on September 13. Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were present during the inauguration. The projects include the Durgapur-Banka section of the Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur Pipeline Augmentation Project and two Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) Bottling Plants. They have been commissioned by Indian Oil and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited.
From two more Union ministers testing positive, to hospital staff preventing a suicide bid by a patient - here are the top news updates on the Covid-19 pandemic. After Union Home minister Amit Shah and petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, MoS Heavy Industries Arjun Ram Meghwal, and MoS Agriculture Kailash Choudhary have tested positive for Covid infection. In Kolkata, hospital staff were able to stop a patient from jumping out after breaking a window pane with an oxygen cylinder. The Central government has asked state administrations to step up testing of grocery shop staff, and vegetable and fruit vendors, as they can potentially spread the virus to a large number of people. The southern state of Tamil Nadu has decided to reopen places of worship with some limitations from August 10. Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh saw a massive jump in new cases with over 10,000 infections being reported on Saturday. India's total case tally has crossed the 20.88 lakh mark with over 42,500 deaths so far. While India has 6.19 lakh active cases, over 14.27 lakh patients have been discharged so far. In international news, some states in the United States of America have allowed schools to reopen even as the US remains the worst Covid-hit nation so far. The US has had over 48 lakh cases, while the second worst-hit country, Brazil is at 29 lakh cases. Watch the full video for more updates on the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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Farmers in Jharkhand's Ranchi are in a full support of agriculture reform bills passed by the central government. According to them it's an important move for their benefits. While speaking to ANI, one of the farmers said, "PM Modi did well for the farmers. Through this bill, we will get our cost and we are free to sell our produces in any market." "PM Modi is fulfilling the promises and it will benefit the farmers," another farmer said to ANI. So far, Rajya Sabha passed two of the three agriculture reform bills.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh broke his one-day fast against the ruckus in Rajya Sabha on Sunday during the passage of the contentious agriculture bills. Eight MPs from different opposition parties were suspended for a week by the Rajya Sabha Chairman for the chaos in the house. The Deputy Chairman had engaged in ‘tea diplomacy’ but had been rebuffed snubbed by the protesting MPs. Harivansh’s gesture though was lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said that the gesture ‘showed his greatness and statesman like conduct.’ Opposition parties have now boycotted Parliament and demanded revocation of their suspension. Meanwhile Union Minister and RPI leader Ramdas Athawale has demanded a ‘suspension law’ to tackle unruly behavior in the house. He said that Members of Parliament who disrupt the functioning of the house should be suspended for a year Athawale added that the MPs are elected by the people to represent them in Parliament and a certain level of decorum is expected from them. Watch the full video for all the details.
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Speaking on the ongoing ruckus in the Rajya Sabha over contentious farm bills, Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Ramdas Athawale on September 22 said that they wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other leaders to make a law for suspension of MPs who creates ruckus in the house. He said, "MPs should be suspended for a year not just for a session for their unlawful behaviour. Moreover, if they still behave like this then they should be suspended for the rest of their term. Such law should be formed in the house."
As the national capital's Covid-19 case tally crossed the 2.53 lakh-mark, Delhi's health minister briefed the media about the situation regarding hospital beds. Satyendar Jain revealed that Delhi currently has a little over 15,800 hospital beds, of which 7,051 are occupied. This means that around 55% of Delhi's hospital beds are still unoccupied. However, Jain clarified that some private hospitals are facing issues regarding beds, especially in the intensive care unit (ICU). Commenting on the Covid statistics, he said that Delhi's daily positivity ratio was at 7%, according to the 7 days' moving average. This was lower than the 8.5-9% which was being seen recently. Jain said that there seemed to be a plateauing in cases in the capital. Watch the full video for more.
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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a record total of 486 people tested positive for coronavirus in Scotland in the past 24 hours, Ms Sturgeon described the figures as "a real cause for concern" during her government press conference in Edinburgh today. Report by Blairm. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Uttarakhand Congress President Pritam Singh on September 23 arrived at the state legislative assembly on a tractor as a mark to protest against the new agriculture reforms. The one-day monsoon session of Uttarakhand State Assembly is being held today. All COVID-19 guidelines were being followed at the state assembly.
India's COVID-19 tally crossed 56-lakh mark on September 23 with a spike of 83,347 new infections. Total COVID-19 cases in the country stand at 56,46,011. Currently, there are 9,68,377 active cases. With 1,085 deaths in last 24 hours, the death toll rises to 90,020. Indian Council of Medical Research reported that 6,62,79,462 samples were tested up to September 22. Further, the Health Ministry informed that India's COVID-19 testing capacity surges to over 12 lakh daily tests.
India's COVID tally crossed 55-lakh mark on September 22 after the country reported a spike of 75,083 new COVID-19 cases. Total COVID case tally stands at 55, 62,664, including 9,75,861 active cases, 44,97,868 discharged. With 1,053 deaths in the last 24 hours, death toll due to COVID reached 88,935. Indian Council of Medical Research reported that 6,53,25,779 samples were tested up to September 21 for the virus. Of these, 9,33,185 samples were tested on September 21.
Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Dr Balram Bhargava said three vaccine candidates are at different clinical trial stages in India. Covid-19 vaccine candidates being manufactured by Cadila Healthcare and Bharat Biotech have completed the first phase of the trial while the Serum Institute of India (SII) will begin with Phase 3 trial after getting the nod, Balram Bhargava, ICMR’s director general, said during the health ministry’s briefing.The Pune-based Serum Institute will conduct the Phase 3 trial on 1,500 volunteers across 14 locations, Bhargava added.
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Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research, Balram Bhargava on September 15 informed about the COVID-19 vaccines trial stage in India. He said, Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase-I trials and Serum Institute has completed phase II-B3 trials, and will start phase-III trials after clearance. He said, "3 vaccines are at clinical trial stage in India. Cadila and Bharat Biotech have completed phase-I trials. Serum Institute has completed phase II-B3 trials, and will start phase-III trial (with 1500 patients at 14 locations) after clearances."
Indian Council of Medical Research, Director General Dr. Balram Bhargava during Health Ministry's briefing on COVID-19 situation in India informed about the sero survey publication. Bhargava said, "ICMR sero survey is publication in-progress. It should appear by this week in the Indian Journal of Medical Research. It has been peer reviewed. The second national sero-survey should be completed in the first week September". On situation of COVID-19 vaccines in India, Balram Bhargava said, "Three COVID-19 vaccines are ahead in the race in India. Serum Institute's vaccine is in phase 2(B) and phase 3 trials and Bharat Biotech and Zydus Cadila's vaccines have completed phase 1 trial."
Post Graduate Institute (PGI) Rohtak will start the phase-2 human clinical trial of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine. “We got permission from Bharat Biotech to start a phase-2 human clinical trial of their vaccine. We've 300 volunteers, aged between 12 years and 65- years, out of which screening of 15 has been completed,” said Dr OP Kalra, vice-chancellor, PGI Rohtak. Kalra also informed that in the phase-2 trail, they have recruited volunteers who have controlled diabetes and high blood pressure. Watch the full video for more details.
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Post Graduate Institute (PGI) Rohtak will start the phase-2 human clinical trial of Bharat Biotech's COVID-19 vaccine. Speaking to ANI, Dr OP Kalra, vice-chancellor, PGI Rohtak said, "We got permission from Bharat Biotech to start a phase-2 human clinical trial of their vaccine. We've 300 volunteers, aged between 12 years and 65- years, out of which screening of 15 has been completed."