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Monday
August 2020
11:36 PM IST
News Headlines
NIA arrests six more people and conducts searches at 6 places in Kerala gold smuggling case        Union Minister observes fast as BJP seeks to step up pressure on Ker govt in gold smuggling case        Kerala crosses 25,000 COVID-19 cases as 1,169 test positive        Heavy rains forecast in Kerala this week; Low pressure likely in Bay of Bengal        Shah tests +ve for COVID-19, admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram        International passengers with negative COVID-19 test report can skip institutional quarantine: Govt        High time Mehbooba Mufti is released, says Rahul Gandhi        Death toll in Punjab spurious liquor tragedy rises to 104        Trump Says Federal Government Should Seek Death Penalty For Boston Bomber        Khamenei''s top aide praises Turkey''s Hagia Sophia move        IPL GC Meet: Final on Nov 10, Chinese sponsors intact, COVID replacements allowed        2nd ODI: Bairstow, Rashid shine in England''s 4-wicket win over Ireland        Kerala''s COVID-19 tally inching towards 25,000 mark, 1129 ccases, death toll climbs to 82        Kerala police SI dies of COVID-19; first from the force to succumb to the virus        If high command forgives rebels, I will welcome them back: Gehlot        Former SP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh dies at 64        Wild fire: 200 homes evacuated in Southern California        Emirati nuclear plant successfully starts up first reactor        Ready to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties: Xi        Some 17,000 people hit streets of Berlin to protest COVID-19 measures        
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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.


Trump Says Federal Government Should Seek Death Penalty For Boston Bomber
Khamenei''s top aide praises Turkey''s Hagia Sophia move
Wild fire: 200 homes evacuated in Southern California
Emirati nuclear plant successfully starts up first reactor
Ready to push for continued advancement of China-Nepal ties: Xi
Some 17,000 people hit streets of Berlin to protest COVID-19 measures
Hong Kong postpones elections by a year, citing coronavirus
Trump now says he doesn''t want to postpone presidential elections in November
COVID-19: Aussie vaccine candidate passes first stage of trials
NASA launches Mars rover to look for signs of ancient life
Trump says India, China and Russia don''t take care of their air
Indians lead in acquiring Australian citizenship in 2019-20
Russia''s Putin says coronavirus ''may worsen''
Malaysia ex-PM Najib given 12 years in jail in 1MDB looting
Prachanda convenes ruling NCP meet without Nepal PM Oli as intra-party rift deepens further
China closes US consulate in Chengdu, takes over building
Chinese mainland reports four new COVID-19 cases
Flood situation remains grim in Bangladesh, 119 dead
2020's 1st Atlantic hurricane lashes Texas; floods expected
China reports 46 new cases on opposite ends
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
Kerala crosses 25,000 COVID-19 cases as 1,169 test positive
 Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala on Sunday crossed the 25,000 mark in COVID-19 cases as 1,169 more people
Heavy rains forecast in Kerala this week; Low pressure likely in Bay of Bengal
Kerala police SI dies of COVID-19; first from the force to succumb to the virus
Kerala reports 1,310 COVID-19 cases; 3 deaths takes toll to 73
NATIONAL NEWS
Union Minister observes fast as BJP seeks to step up pressure on Ker govt in gold smuggling case
 New Delhi: Union Minister V Muraleedharan on Sunday observed a day-long fast at his residence here d
Shah tests +ve for COVID-19, admitted to Medanta hospital in Gurugram
International passengers with negative COVID-19 test report can skip institutional quarantine: Govt
High time Mehbooba Mufti is released, says Rahul Gandhi
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