Adar Poonawalla’s Serum Institute of India has got permission from the country’s drugs regulator to make Sputnik V, the Russian COVID-19 vaccine. Mr Poonawalla’s company will test, analyse and then manufacture the vaccine at its Pune plant, sources have said. The test licence granted to the Serum Institute means it can develop and manufacture the product for testing, but not sell it. The first dose of Sputnik V was administered in Hyderabad on May 14 as part of a soft launch by Dr Reddy’s Laboratories.
India has recorded over 2.85 crore Covid cases so far, according to government data.
Meanwhile, a government study has found that the coronavirus variant first found in India, the Delta strain, is highly infectious and fast-spreading and drove the savage second surge of COVID-19 in the country. The Delta variant – or the B.1.617.2 strain – is “more infectious” than the Alpha variant first detected in Kent, UK, says the study by scientists of the Indian SARS COV2 Genomic Consortia and the National Centre for Disease Control.
The Delta variant has also become the dominant variant of concern in the UK and may come with an increased risk of hospitalisation, health officials in Britain have warned. According to Public Health England, which monitors all COVID variants in the country, Delta variant infections rose by 5,472 in a week to hit a total of 12,431 on Thursday. The latest statistics have led experts to conclude that Delta is now closing in to overtake Alpha – the variant of concern first detected in the Kent region of England.
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“Lockdown restrictions will be relaxed on the basis of COVID positivity rate and availability of oxygen beds in Maharashtra,” states Maharashtra Govt in order regarding lockdown relaxation
The order will be implemented from Monday
– ANI (@ANI) June 5, 2021
The United States announced more than $266 million in additional humanitarian aid for Afghanistan, intended mainly for its Covid-19 response, as foreign troops continue their withdrawal from the country.
“As the United States withdraws military forces from Afghanistan, our enduring commitment is clear,” top US diplomat Antony Blinken said. “We remain engaged through our full diplomatic, economic and assistance toolkit to support the peaceful, stable future the Afghan people want and deserve.”