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Wednesday
May 2021
8:30 PM IST
News Headlines
Tour of Sri Lanka: Two-way fight for India captaincy between Hardik and Shikhar        India projected to grow at 10.1% in 2022 but outlook for 2021 highly fragile: UN        Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 28 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas        Delhi reports 12,481 Covid cases, 347 deaths        Kerala woman killed in Palestinian rocket strike in Israel        Kerala''s ''Iron Lady'' K R Gowri Amma no more        Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma get first dose of vaccination        Sensex surges over 350 pts in early trade; Nifty tops 14,900        Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site        Had govt done its job, it would not have come to this: Rahul on foreign aid        Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn-in as 15th Chief Minister of Assam        Obesity and Bariatric Surgery        COVID-19 pandemic: Centre releases Rs 8923.8 cr to Panchayats in 25 states        BJP announces Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam Chief Minister        Debris from China''s disintegrating rocket falls into Indian Ocean        Kerala poet''s FB account ''suspended'' for posting satire clip on BJP poll defeat        TV journalist Vipin Chandh dies of COVID-19        Kerala adds 35,801 new COVID-19 cases, 68 more deaths        US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen        EU doesn''t renew order for AstraZeneca vaccine        
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National News
Expect COVID-19 vaccine by early next year, will take first shot if any trust deficit: Vardhan
 
New Delhi: A COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available by early next year and the government is considering its emergency authorisation for high-risk settings, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan Sunday said, asserting he will take the first dosage if there is any concern over its safety. According to a Health Ministry statement, he said while no date has been fixed for the launch of a vaccine, it may be ready by the first quarter of 2021, and made available first to those who need it the most, irrespective of their paying capacity, The minister made these remarks during interaction with his social media followers on the ‘Sunday Samvad'' platform.

He covered a multitude of queries concerning not only the current COVID-19 situation, but also the government''s approach to it, the changes expected in the post COVID world and the steps taken by the Modi dispensation. Vardhan stated the government is taking full precautions in human trials of vaccines and the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19 under the Chairmanship of Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, is drawing up a detailed strategy on how to immunize the majority of the population. “Issues like vaccine security, cost, equity, cold-chain requirements, production timelines etc., are also been discussed intensely," he stated.

Further, he said the government is considering emergency authorization of COVID-19 vaccination especially for senior citizens and people working in high-risk settings. “This shall be done after a consensus has been reached," he was quoted as saying the statement. To allay any fear regarding the safety aspect of vaccines, he said he would be happy to take the first dosage “if people have a trust deficit”. On vaccine candidates and their development in the country, he said India is actively partnering with Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and trials of several vaccines at different phases are underway at laboratories (private or public) and hospitals.

The Department of Biotechnology and the Indian Council of Medical Research have been proactive in responding to the emerging situation, he said. It is hoped that a consensus will emerge in the next few months over the desired level of protective herd immunity in any community, he said. The minister, however, also noted that a safe and effective vaccine will help in establishing immunity to COVID-19 at a much faster pace as compared to the natural infection, the statement said. Vardhan highlighted how the pandemic became a turning point for Indian manufacturing. “From the time when there were no indigenous manufacturers of PPEs with requisite standards, now there are nearly 110 indigenous manufacturers of PPE with requisite standards.

The country is in a position to not only meet its own demands but also export to help out fellow nations”, Vardhan said. Vardhan said the government has directed all states and UTs to fix a reasonable price for COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals for making it affordable for the common man. Free coverage up to Rs 5 lakhs for COVID-19 patients for those who are eligible under the Ayushman Bharat PMJAY package was announced, the statement said. He added that the Central government has also asked states and UTs to proactively engage with the private sector health providers and consider pooling in public and private healthcare facilities, as this will help in providing prompt, good quality and reasonable health care to COVID-19 patients.

He has himself appealed to the private hospitals to refrain from overcharging COVID patients, the statement stated. The minister said measures have been taken to ensure accessibility and affordability of all drugs and other therapeutics to all, irrespective of their paying capacities. The government has taken cognisance of reports of alleged black-marketing of drugs like Remdesivir and has asked the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to take suitable action along with their state counterparts. Vardhan stated the government is seized of the evolving nature of the infection and emerging evidence of the systemic health complications in those who have been infected.

AIIMS and other research institutions have been asked to undertake research to study the long-term impact of COVID-19, he stressed. The ICMR is establishing a National Clinical Registry on COVID-19 that will provide insights into clinical course of COVID-19 disease, its spectrum and outcome of patients. Expert group consultations are already going on to review the emerging evidence and generate own data on organ system specific (respiratory system, renal system, cardiovascular and gastro-intestinal) sequela of COVID-19, he stated. On the recently-launched National Digital Health Mission, he said it is one of the most ambitious missions of the government and is set to catapult India as a global leader in the field of digital health.

"However, there are vested interests that do not want India to succeed and are spearheading a disinformation campaign against NDHM," he said. He said it is an “utter lie” that those who do not become part of this system shall not be allowed to access hospitals. “Those persons or institutions who are not a part of this system shall continue to enjoy access to the healthcare system in exactly the same manner as they are doing now. Participation in the digital health ecosystem shall be totally optional and shall never be made mandatory for individuals," he underscored.


Delhi reports 12,481 Covid cases, 347 deaths
Had govt done its job, it would not have come to this: Rahul on foreign aid
BJP announces Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam Chief Minister
Mumbai civic body is suppressing COVID-19 death toll: Fadnavis
Oxygen supply has improved, ensure no patients suffers from shortage: Kejriwal to officials
India adds record 4.12 lakh fresh COVID-19 cases, 3,980 fatalities
SC rejects EC plea, says citizens have a right to know what transpires in court proceedings, we are "staunch proponent" of media freedom
RLD chief Ajit Singh dies of COVID-19
Guv invites CM-designate Stalin to form govt, swearing in on May 7
Mamata sworn-in as Bengal CM for 3rd time, vows to fight COVID, violence
Modi praises Kerala healthcare workers for minimizing COVID vaccine wastage
TMC's newly elected legislators unanimously elect Mamata Banerjee their leader
Record 3,689 daily COVID-19 deaths in India, 3,92,488 more test positive
Didi stuns BJP, leads TMC to landslide victory
Remdesivir to be administered on medical prescription to severe COVID-19 patients: Centre to SC
COVID-19: Mumbai''s test positivity rate drops below 10 pc
Railways expands its Oxygen Express operations to Haryana, Telangana
Kejriwal prepares plan to vaccinate all above 18 years in next 3 months
CoWIN digital platform continues to work without any technical glitch: Health ministry
India, Russia to establish a ''2+2 ministerial dialogue'' between foreign, defence ministers
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
'Mean Girls' won't be returning to Broadway
Ian McKellan is 'happy' Elliot Page came out as transgender
A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 28 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas
 Gaza City: A confrontation between Israel and Hamas sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusa
Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site
Debris from China''s disintegrating rocket falls into Indian Ocean
US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen
KERALA NEWS
Kerala woman killed in Palestinian rocket strike in Israel
 Idukki: A Keralite woman working in Israel was killed allegedly in a Palestinian rocket strike on Tu
Kerala poet''s FB account ''suspended'' for posting satire clip on BJP poll defeat
TV journalist Vipin Chandh dies of COVID-19
Kerala adds 35,801 new COVID-19 cases, 68 more deaths
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