1. Indian Government is ready to roll out coronavirus vaccines by next week
Rajesh Bhushan, the Union Health Secretary said that based on the feedback the health ministry received of the dry run, the government is ready to introduce COVID-19 vaccines by next week, from the date of emergency use authorization. Both the pharma companies with COVID-19 vaccine, Bharat Biotech’s ‘Covaxin’ and Serum Institute of India’s ‘Covishield’ were earlier approved for emergency use by the Drugs Controller General of India.
2. Free eye-care to be provided to the people of WB by state government for the next 5 yrs
‘Choker Alo’ (Light of the Eye) project of the West Bengal government is soon going to start providing free eye-care from Tuesday to citizens of the state for the next five years. Under this project, the eye treatments that will be provided fr free include, cataract surgery, and spectacles. The first phase will conduct camps in 1,200 villages and 120 primary health centers in the state.
3. Bird flu returns to India, Kerala declares it as a state-specific disaster
The government of Kerala government has declared bird flu as a state-specific disaster and has also issued a high alert after an outbreak of bird flu was reported in certain parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. As a result of the outbreak, the state confirmed the death of 12,000 ducks and said that at least 36,000 more ducks might have to be killed to avoid the spread of infections. However, the state said that bird to human transmission is highly unlikely.
4. Anand Mahindra reflects his thoughts on 2021. Says it will be year of reinvention, regeneration
Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra recently said that unlike the “strange and sinister year” of 2020, 2021 will be a year of “reinvention & regeneration”. He further said, “some unexpectedly great things had emerged from what seemed like an impossibly bad situation”. The chairman also added, “the purpose-driven business has arrived”, calling the development of the COVID-19 vaccine a “true purpose-driven business”.
5. Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to work jointly to rollout Covid-19 vaccines
In a joint statement from Serum Institute of India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech’ Managing Director Dr. Krishna Ella said that the companies shared a combined intent to develop, produce and supply the COVID-19 vaccines for India and globally. “Both companies respect the great work being carried out by each other and put behind us the miscommunication and misunderstanding caused during the past week. We are fully aware of the importance of vaccines for people and countries alike, we hereby communicate our joint pledge to provide global access for our COVID-19 vaccines,” the joint statement said.
6. India records 60,000 births, highest number of babies born on New Year’s Day: UNICEF
As informed by UNICEF, India recorded the highest number of births on new year’s day, the count standing at 60,000. Globally more than 371,500 babies were born on the same day. Fiji in the Pacific welcomed its first baby of 2021 while the United States was the last one.
7. Parents of Mumbai yet not open to the idea of restarting schools: Study
Schools of Mumbai which will continue to stay shut till January 15 amid the fear of a new strain of the virus causing COVID, are receiving a mixed response over reopening of schools from the parents, a study reported. While the government and aided schools are planning to resume with offline classes citing loss of learning in online mode, the private schools, are more inclined towards continuing with the online mode, as parents are willing to send their children only after the vaccination process.
8. Donald Trump says he will fight like hell to hold on to the presidency
US President Donald Trump made a stubborn statement saying he would “fight like hell” to hold on to his presidency. He also said that the Democrats are “not gonna take this White House”. These statements were made by him while addressing a rally in Georgia urging the Republican supporters to vote in the runoff elections that are to be held on Tuesday.