Today’s top News
- PM Modi asks EU to back India, South Africa on patent waiver for Covid Vaccines. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday “invited” the EU to support India and South Africa’s proposal to remove patents on Covid-19 vaccines. The Prime Minister on Saturday almost joined a meeting of the Council of Europe, as a special invitation to the invitation of the President of the Council of Europe, Charles Michel.
- The COVID-19 Supreme Court has ordered that the traffic congestion be stopped immediately The Supreme Court has turned a humanitarian eye on the over four-lakh prison population inside overcrowded jails even as the second wave of the pandemic continues its devastating run across the country.
- Tamil Nadu announces two-week complete lockdown from May 10 The Tamil Nadu government on May 8 imposed a complete lockdown (with few relaxations) for two weeks across the State between 4 a.m. on May 10 and 4 a.m on May 24 to combat the spread of COVID-19.
- DCGI approves DRDO-developed anti-COVID drug for emergency use The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted permission for emergency use of anti-COVID-19 therapeutic application of the drug 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG) developed by Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS), a lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), in collaboration with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL),Hyderabad.
- Second wave declining, third can be prevented, says Principal Scientific Advisor India can avoid a third COVID wave, Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India K. Vijay Raghavan said on Friday, stressing that, “If we take strong measures, the third COVID wave may not happen in all the places or indeed anywhere.”
- Assam’s CM-to-be still undecided A meeting of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislative party in Assam has been called on Sunday to decode who will be the next Chief Minister of the State. The suspense over the name remained unresolved on Saturday despite incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal and State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma hot footing it to Delhi for meetings with the BJP’s top leadership.
- India received 2,060 oxygen concentrators, 30,000 vials of Remdesivir, 467 ventilators and three oxygen generation plants from the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), Switzerland, Poland, the Netherlands and Israel on Friday, the government said.
- A bomb blast kills at least 30 people near a school in Afghanistan’s capital A blast outside a girls’ school in an area of the Afghan capital populated largely by the Shia Hazara community killed at least 30 people and wounded scores, including students, on Saturday.
- Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed critical after bomb blast Speaker of the Maldives parliament and former president Mohamed Nasheed was in a “critical condition”, a Male-based hospital said on Friday, a day after he sustained multiple injuries in a targeted explosion that the Maldives police described as “an act of terror”.
- Importation of oxygen concentrators, goods from China are increasing Chinese companies manufacturing oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies are reporting a record surge in orders for April and May from Indian companies amid the current wave of COVID-19 cases and shortages in supplies.
- Sympathy or schadenfreude China’s social media debates India’s COVID-19 crisis A heated debate has dominated the Chinese social media attention this past week in the wake of a post linked to an official Communist Party account that mocked India’s COVID-19 crisis, and subsequently polarised opinion among those calling for sympathy and others justifying a comparison of the two countries’ responses to the pandemic.
- Mom who gave birth on flight didn’t know she was pregnant Lavinia “Lavi” Mounga had no idea a baby was coming when she went into labour on a flight from her home in Utah to Honolulu last week.
- Israeli police, Palestinians clash in Al-Aqsa massacre More than 160 people were wounded when Israeli riot police clashed with Palestinians at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound late on Friday, capping a week of violence in the Holy City and the occupied West Bank.
- Sri Lanka approves Pfizer COVID vaccine for emergency use Sri Lanka on Saturday approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in Sri Lanka, as the island nation battles a third wave of the virus, while suffering a restricted supply of vaccines from neighboring India.
- Pakistan opposition leader stopped from flying abroad Pakistan’s ailing opposition leader, who has been charged with corruption, was turned back on Saturday at the international airport in Lahore and prevented from leaving the country.
- Scotland’s governing Scottish National Party was on course on Saturday to win its fourth straight parliamentary election and very close to securing a majority that would enable it to make a push for another referendum on independence from the U.K.
- UK advises under-40s to find an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab The scientific committee overseeing Britain’s coronavirus vaccination programme on Friday recommended that under-40s are offered an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid jab.
- Indian welfare is ‘very important’ in the U.S. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris said that the welfare of India was critical to the United States. She highlighted the assistance the U.S. was sending India and offered her condolences to those who have lost people to the pandemic.
- The EU urges the US to tighten its exports to combat shortages of vaccines The European Union called on the United States on Friday to start boosting its vaccine exports to contain the global COVID-19 crisis, and said that the U.S. backing of patent waivers would provide only a long-term solution at best.
- WHO approves China’s Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine The World Health Organization on Friday approved the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use the first Chinese jab to receive the WHO’s green light.
- EU agrees potential 1.8 billion-dose purchase of Pfizer jab The European Union cemented its support for Pfizer-BioNTech and its novel COVID-19 vaccine technology on Saturday by agreeing to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023.
- America’s corporate sector is sending more medical assistance to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators, to help the country fight the deadly second wave of COVID-19 that has been infecting more than 4,00,000 people every day in recent days.