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Friday
November 2020
5:13 AM IST
News Headlines
End of an era: Argentina football legend Diego Maradona dies        Greg Barclay elected ICC's Independent Chair        Have great respect for Indian bowlers but our batsmen have seen them a lot: Langer        Rupee rises 6 paise to 73.95 against US dollar in early trade        Biden seeks swift Cabinet votes, but GOP Senate stays silent        As virus cases spike, financial outlook for world's airlines dims        Nivar makes landfall, weakens into severe cyclonic storm        Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away at 71        India's COVID-19 caseload goes past 92 lakh; no. of active cases increases by 6,079        Left Govt moves ahead with projects having no central clearances: Chennithala        Kerala Cabinet decides to approach Governor to repeal new ordinance        Kerala reports 5,420 new COVID cases, 5,149 recoveries: CM        Cyclone Nivar : heavy rain lashes Chennai, suburbs, govt holiday today        UP okays ordinance against conversion for marriage, violators face up to 10 yrs in jail        Govts have to work as team to ensure vaccination drive is smooth, sustained: PM Modi        ICC nominates Kohli, Ashwin for Men''s Player of the Decade Award        Rohit, Ishant to miss first two Australia Tests, also doubtful for remaining two: BCCI source        India''s home series against England to feature four Tests instead of five        Odisha pay the penalty as Hyderabad keep first-ever clean sheet        Looking at India squad, Surya could have been there: Brian Lara        
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International News
Experimental COVID-19 vaccine is put to its biggest test
 
Washington: The biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine has got underway with the first of some 30,000 Americans rolling up their sleeves to receive shots created by the US government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak. The glimmer of hope came even as Google, in one of the gloomiest assessments of the coronavirus''s staying power from a major employer, decreed that most of its 200,000 employees and contractors should work from home through next June - a decision that could influence other big companies. Final-stage testing of the vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., began on Monday with volunteers at numerous sites around the US given either a real dose or a dummy without being told which.

“I''m excited to be part of something like this. This is huge,” said Melissa Harting, a 36-year-old nurse who received an injection in Binghamton, New York. Especially with family members in front-line jobs that could expose them to the virus, she added, “doing our part to eradicate it is very important to me.” It will be months before results trickle in, and there is no guarantee the vaccine will ultimately work against the scourge that has killed about 650,000 people around the world, including almost 150,000 in the US. “We''ve been sitting on the sidelines passively attempting to wear our masks and social distance and not go out when it''s not necessary.

This is the first step of becoming active against this,” researcher Dr. Frank Eder said at the trial site in Binghamton. “There''s really no other way to get past this." As if to underline how high the stakes are, there were more setbacks in efforts to contain the coronavirus. In Washington, the Trump administration disclosed that national security adviser Robert O''Brien has the virus — the highest-ranking US official to test positive so far. The White House said he has mild symptoms and “has been self-isolating and working from a secure location off site.” The move to restart the national pastime ran into trouble just five days into the long-delayed season: Two major league baseball games scheduled for Monday night were called off as the Miami Marlins coped with an outbreak — the Marlins'' home opener against the Baltimore Orioles, and the New York Yankees'' game in Philadelphia, where the Marlins used the clubhouse over the weekend.

As for relief from the economic damage done by the virus, Republicans on Capitol Hill planned to roll out a USD 1 trillion package that could include a new round of USD 1,200 stimulus checks but reduce the extra USD 600 a week in federal unemployment benefits that are expiring for millions of Americans this week. In Europe, rising infections in Spain and other countries caused alarm only weeks after nations reopened their borders in hopes of reviving tourism. Over the weekend, Britain imposed a 14-day quarantine on travellers arriving from Spain, Norway ordered a 10-day quarantine for people returning from the entire Iberian peninsula, and France urged its citizens not to visit Spain''s Catalonia region.

Scientists set speed records getting a made-from-scratch vaccine into massive testing just months after the coronavirus emerged. But they stressed that the public shouldn''t fear that anyone is cutting corners. “This is a significant milestone,” NIH Director Francis Collins said after the very first test injection was given, at 6:45 a.m. in Savannah, Georgia. “Yes, we''re going fast, but no, we are not going to compromise” on proving whether the vaccine is safe and effective. “We are focusing on speed because every day matters,” added Stephane Bancel, CEO of Massachusetts-based Moderna. After volunteers get two doses a month apart, scientists will closely track which group experiences more infections as they go about their daily routines, especially in areas where the virus is spreading unchecked.

The answer probably won''t come until November or December, cautioned Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIH''s infectious-diseases chief. Among many questions the study may answer: How much protection does just one dose offer compared with the two scientists think are needed? If it works, will it protect against severe disease or block infection entirely? Don''t expect a vaccine as strong as the measles vaccine, which prevents about 97 per cent of measles infections, Fauci said, adding he would be happy with a COVID-19 vaccine that''s 60 per cent effective. Several other vaccines made by China and by Britain''s Oxford University began smaller final-stage tests in Brazil and other hard-hit countries earlier this month.

But the US requires its own tests of any vaccine that might be used in the country. Every month through the fall, the government-funded COVID-19 Prevention Network will roll out a new study of a leading candidate, each with 30,000 volunteers. The final US study of the Oxford shot is set to begin in August, followed by a candidate from Johnson & Johnson in September and one from Novavax in October. Pfizer Inc. plans its own 30,000-person study this summer. That''s a stunning number of people needed to roll up their sleeves for science. In recent weeks, more than 150,000 Americans filled out an online registry signaling interest, Collins said. But many more are needed.

NIH is working to make sure that the study isn''t just filled with healthy, younger volunteers but includes populations hit hardest by COVID-19, including older adults, those in poor health and African-Americans and Latinos.


Biden seeks swift Cabinet votes, but GOP Senate stays silent
As virus cases spike, financial outlook for world's airlines dims
Biden's first Cabinet picks expected Tuesday amid roadblocks
Hong Kong's Joshua Wong to plead guilty to protest charges
Federal Judge Dismisses Trump Lawsuit Seeking to Delay Pennsylvania Vote Certification
Moderna to charge governments $25-$37 per dose of its candidate vaccine - CEO
G-20 summit opens with Saudi urging united response to virus
Mala Adiga appointed policy director of Jill Biden
Tibetan leader Sangay visits White House for first time in 6 decades
China will have to play by rules; US to rejoin WHO: Biden
Biden wins Republican stronghold Georgia
Douglas Stuart''s ''Shuggie Bain'' wins 2020 Booker Prize, Indian-origin author Avni Doshi misses out
US says settlement products can be labelled ''Made in Israel''
Pak military had ties with Taliban, possibly Al Qaeda: Obama
JuD chief Saeed convicted in terror financing case
Biden and Harris receive briefing from national security experts
Transfer of power will be orderly and happen right on time: top Republican leader
Singapore needs more talent for growth of tech industry: PM Lee
Certain elements inside Pak military had links to al-Qaeda: Obama on raid that killed Osama
More Americans ''may die'' due to COVID if Trump does not cooperate with transition process: Biden
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My whole life has been a miracle: Rajinikanth
 Mumbai: From starting out as a bus conductor to becoming one of the biggest stars of the: country,  
'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus: Release of Ranveer Singh-starrer '83' put on hold
'Joker' earns Joaquin Phoenix his maiden Oscar
KERALA NEWS
Left Govt moves ahead with projects having no central clearances: Chennithala
 Thiruvananthapuram: Opposition leader in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday alleged that
Kerala reports 5,420 new COVID cases, 5,149 recoveries: CM
Ker FM hits out at ED over reported probe against KIIFB; Opp says he has "something to hide"
Kerala adds 5,294 fresh COVID-19 cases; Active cases 65,856
NATIONAL NEWS
Nivar makes landfall, weakens into severe cyclonic storm
 Chennai: Very severe cyclonic storm Nivar made landfall near Puducherry in the early hours of Thursd
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel passes away at 71
India's COVID-19 caseload goes past 92 lakh; no. of active cases increases by 6,079
Cyclone Nivar : heavy rain lashes Chennai, suburbs, govt holiday today
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