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Sunday,20-June-2021

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30 COVID vaccine candidates being developed: Health Ministry

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Nearly 30 Covid vaccine candidates in pre-clinical and clinical stages are under development by pharmaceutical industry and academia in India. While three of them are in advanced stage of Phase I/II/III trials and 4 are in advanced pre-clinical development stage, union health minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, told the Parliament on Friday.

Vardhan informed the House that the government has extended its support for the development of vaccine associated research resources, establishment of clinical trial sites and notifying enabling regulatory guidelines.

He also informed that the distribution of Covid-19 vaccine, when available, would be done as per the protocols under Universal Immunization Program (UIP). “A high-level expert group is looking into matters related to vaccine distribution and immunisation. The distribution and immunisation of the Coronavirus vaccine are subject to availability. Once available, the Coronavirus vaccine distribution follows the same route as for the current practice of vaccines distribution under,” Vardhan apprised the Lok Sabha on Friday through a written reply.

Besides, he also said that genome sequencing of 1000 SARS-CoV-2 RNA has been successfully completed. It was led by National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBMG-Kalyani) , an autonomous institute under the department of biotechnology, situated in West Bengal. Five other national clusters, clinical organizations and other hospitals took part in the process as well.

Earlier, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had announced that three vaccine candidates against Covid-19 are in the clinical stage of trials in India and one of them would soon begin Phase 3 trials after getting clearances.

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 director general, had informed during the health ministry’s briefing, on Tuesday.

On Monday, the minister of state for health, Ashwini Choubey, had informed the Lok Sabha that Phase II clinical trials of Bharat Biotech and Cadila Healthcare are underway.

He also informed the House that discussions on collaborations on the recombinant vaccine developed by Russia are ongoing. However, no formal studies have been initiated.

The Pune-based Serum Institute would conduct the Phase 3 trial on 1,500 volunteers across 14 locations.

National News

By giving clean chit to Agra hospital, UP govt did mock drill of inquiry: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

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Priyanka-Gandhi-Vadra

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for giving a clean chit to an Agra hospital where 22 patients died after oxygen supply was allegedly cut during a drill.

She said that the government has closed all the doors of justice.

Priyanka, who is also the in-charge of UP Congress, tweeted: “What an irony. According to reports a hospital in Agra conducted mock drill by allegedly cutting the oxygen supply and the BJP government gave clean chit to the hospital doing mock drill of the inquiry. The paths of government and the hospital have been cleared. By not listening to the complaints of the patients families, the government has shut all hope of justice.”

She also attached a news report claiming that a clean chit was given to the Paeas Hospital, which was caught in a controversy after a video surfaced online.

In the video, a man was heard saying to conduct a mock drill on oxygen supply.

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Crime

Gurugram: FIR against ex-BJP MLA for forging court records

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FIR

Following a complaint by the District Town Planner (DTP), the Gurugram police on Friday registered FIRs against three persons, including a former Gurugram BJP MLA for allegedly forging court records and circulating them on social media, the police said on Saturday.

According to the police, on May 16, former BJP MLA Umesh Aggarwal’s associates had filed a plea alleging contempt of court against the officials of the DTP team for carrying out demolition drive in an illegal colony in Sector-77 Kherki Daula, on June 10.

The District Town Planner R.S. Batth in his police complaint alleged that former MLA, Umesh Aggarwal had circulated forged court summons on social media, claiming that a contempt of court proceedings had been initiated against the officials of the DTP department by a court.

Following the complaint, an FIR has been registered against three under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) at Sector-14 police station.

“Before carrying out the demolition drive, all legal formalities were taken but the trio continue to develop an illegal colony,” Bhatt told IANS.

“In connection with the matter an FIR has been registered. Further probe is underway,” said a police officer.

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National News

BJP demands attempt to murder case against Pinarayi Vijayan

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Kerala-Chief-Minister-Pinarayi-Vijayan

Joining issue in the ongoing war of words between chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and new Congress president K. Sudhakaran, on Saturday, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan demanded that an attempt to murder case against Vijayan be lodged.

On Saturday, at Sudhakaran’s press conference, his party colleague K. Gopi, who hails from Vijayan’s village in Kannur, recalled an old incident, that in 1977 when 26 beedi workers were terminated from a society, they led a protest.

“I was leading the protest and then Vijayan with a sword led a group of people and he brandished his sword and it hit my hand and the injury mark is still there,” said Gopi showing his hand and adding that despite his complaint to the local police then, there was no further action in the case.

Muraleedharan told the media in the state capital that if the Congress party is serious in the allegation, they should register a police complaint.

“There is no time limit to an attempt to murder case and hence, Sudhakaran should ask Gopi to go forward and register a fresh complaint,” said Muraleedharan.

He also pointed out that in the past two days both these leaders have been revisiting their college days at the Government Brennen College and have been saying about their deeds then and it shows that both of them were goons and criminals.

“My appeal to both of them is not to portray a great institution like Brennen College by distorting its greatness, and lowering it as a place of goons,” said Muraleedharan.

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