News Flash (16th February 2021): Top 10 Stories Of The Day

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Health Ministry
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Not a single death reported due to COVID-19 vaccination: Health Ministry

On Monday, the Union Health Minister of India, Dr. Harsh Vardhan clarified that no death has been recorded in the country due to the COVID-19 vaccination. “If there is death after vaccination, it’s being investigated upon. Even routine side effects have a negligible number,” the minister said. India has approved Covishield and Covaxin vaccines under Emergency Use Authorisation in the country.

Prime accused in the 2002 Godhra case finally arrested after 19 years

After 19 whole years, the prime accused in the 2002 Godhra Sabarmati Express carnage case, Rafiq Hussain Bhatuk, has been arrested from Godhra. “He was involved in pelting stones on the compartment and pouring petrol inside before it was set on fire by other accused,” an official from the police department official said. The accused had escaped to Delhi after his name surfaced during the investigation. 

e-Chhawani portal launched by Govt of India for citizens in cantonment areas

On Tuesday, Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister of India launched e-Chhawani portal that is soon going to offer services to around 20 lakh citizens residing in 62 Cantonment Boards across India. “Residents of cantonment areas can register their complaints regarding civic issues and resolve them while sitting at home,” the Defence Minister said. “People can get their documents like trade licence…through the portal,” Singh further added.

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine receives WHO’s approval for emergency use

Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has finally been approved by the World Health Organization for emergency use. This means that now the vaccine can be rolled out globally through the COVAX vaccine-sharing scheme, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General announced. “We now have all the pieces in place for…rapid distribution of vaccines. But we still need to scale up production,” he mentioned.

 Myanmar army warned by UN against harsh response to protestors

A warning has been given out to the Myanmar army by United Nations Special Envoy Christine Schraner Burgener that it will have to face “severe consequences” if it takes harsh actions against protesters demonstrating against the coup. Commenting on the protests,  Burgener said that the right to peacefully assemble must fully be protected and respected. Adding to this, the envoy also said that those protesting should not be subjected to reprisals.

India’s highest number of new COVID-19 cases recorded in Maharashtra 

For the first time since 4th January, the state of Maharashtra recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in India. 3,365 new cases were recorded in the state reported, a figure that is higher than Kerala’s count of 2,884. With the spike in cases, the COVID-19 tally of Maharashtra has now reached 20,67,643. Ajit Pawar, the Deputy Chief Minister of the state has called this an alarming situation and urged the people to follow COVID-19 guidelines. 

Union Health Ministry: Over 85 lakh vaccinated against coronavirus so far

India, till now, has successfully vaccinated more than 85 lakh healthcare and frontline workers against coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry informed. More than 70% of the registered healthcare workers have been vaccinated in 14 states and UTs including Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Kerala. “No case of death is attributable to vaccination till date,” the ministry informed.

UK PM suggests the drafting of a global treaty on pandemics for transparency 

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom recently suggested that he was interested to sign a global treaty on pandemics where signatories must promise to share all the data with complete transparency. This announcement of the PM came after the United States and the UK raised concerns over access given to a World Health Organization mission to China to investigate COVID-19 origins. “We want a joint agreement on transparency,” Boris Johnson said.

Bill Gates says, ending COVID-19 ‘very easy’ compared to tackling climate change

Ending the global COVID-19 pandemic will be “very, very easy”  than addressing the climate crisis, opined Bill Gates. He told BBC that looking for solutions and acting on them to correct climate change would be “the most amazing thing humanity has ever done”. He was also of the opinion that the governments must play a stronger role to deter people from using fossil fuels.

Ebola outbreaks in Congo, Guinea informs WHO

 Democratic Republic of Congo and Guinea have reported the outbreak of Ebola virus thus posing a regional risk, the World Health Organization (WHO) informed. “We have to be exceptionally vigilant, highly alert,” WHO’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said. While Guinea has reported seven cases and three Ebola-related deaths, Congo has recorded four confirmed cases of infection. 

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