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SII chief Adar Poonawala states that India shall face a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, till July

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Poonawala

Introduction:

The rising COVID cases and casualties are a cause of worry for all of us. Vaccines like Covaxin and Covishield have come as potential tools in our fight against COVID-19. But the problem is that the supply is not unlimited. In this second wave of COVID-19 government has allowed 18+ citizens to take vaccine doses. This has further put a burden on existing doses. A recent statement by Adar Poonawala has shown the criticality of the situation. He pointed towards the shortage of vaccine doses. Let’s look at his statement and what its implications are. 

Statement by Adar Poonawala 

Adar Poonawala is the chief of SII (Serum Institute of India), which is manufacturing Covishield vaccine doses for the country with the help of AstraZeneca and Oxford University. But he has recently stated that vaccine shortage is likely in India. He further said that the production of vaccine doses can be ramped up only after July. The estimates show that the capacity of production will rise from 70 million to 100 million in July. 

Mr. Poonawalla also stated that it was not expected that the fury of the second wave would rise so much. He further brought attention to the fact that the authorities had not directed the Institute to make more than one billion doses in a year. Therefore it is unlikely that they will be able to increase vaccine dose production before July. 

Implications of the statement: 

  • India is already grappled with the worst COVID scenario and in such times if vaccine doses fall short, the impact could be deadly. 
  • From May 1, all 18+ have been allowed to take vaccine doses but since the vaccine supply is limited there are chances that many will remain unvaccinated. 

The Current COVID situation in India: 

India holds the second position in terms of the number of COVID cases and deaths. The infections are constantly rising. Almost 3 lakh 68 thousand new cases have been reported in a single day. The country’s total COVID cases have reached an all-time high tally of 1.99 crores out of which 34.13 lakh are active cases. The death count is also grave because a total of 2.18 lakh people have lost their life. 

Many have lost their loved ones and many are in constant fear to lose their loved ones. The situation is very critical and many states have also imposed mini lockdowns. 

Way ahead:  

The statement by Adar Poonawalla clearly shows that the number of COVID cases has overpowered the doses. Since the vaccine doses are less and there are chances of getting infected even after vaccination, prevention is a must. Following COVID protocols, wearing masks, using sanitizers, and maintaining social distance is the need of the hour.

Current Affairs

RLD chief Ajit singh death due to covid, PM, and others condoled his death

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Ajit singh

Introduction: 

The fury of COVID-19 has led to many deaths. People have lost their loved ones, and some are still living in that fear. Adding one more number to the death tally of COVID-19, Rashtriya Lok Dal has lost its chief, Ajit singh death due to covid. Ajit Singh was 82 years old, and he had tested COVID positive. His treatment was done at a hospital in Gurugram. Prominent leaders, including PM Narendra Modi, came forward to condone his death. Let’s look at his life and last days. 

The situation before death

As we know, COVID casualties are rising, and many prominent leaders have been tested positive for COVID-19. RLD chief Mr. Ajit Singh was also tested positive for COVID-19 on 20th April along the same row. He had developed a lung infection and had been admitted to a private hospital in Gurugram. He was kept on a ventilator in ICU. But unfortunately, his condition deteriorated, and he died at 8:20 Am on 6th May 2021. The news was told to the Media by Ajit Singh’s secretary. His son, Jayant Chaudhary, a former MP, gave this news on his Twitter handle. 

Let’s know more about his life and political career. 

Ajit Singh (1939-2021) 

Ajit Singh was the son of former union minister Chaudhary Charan Singh. Being graduated from IIT, Kharagpur, and Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ajit Singh worked in the US computer Industry for 15 years. When he returned to India, he continued his father’s legacy and gained popularity in Uttar Pradesh. He elected to Rajya Sabha in 1986, and this marked the beginning of his political achievements. Then he became a member of Lok Sabha seven times and a Union Cabinet Minister four times. 

Ajit Singh had been notorious for changing sides because he joined Lok Dal, then Congress, and then allied with BJP. If we look at his political career, he first became Union minister in the VP Singh Government. In Congress term, he became food Minister for the PV Narasimha Rao government. But he left that party and formed RLD (Rashtriya Lok Dal). Finally, he allied with the BJP government and supported Atal Bihari Bajpayee. After that he became the Agriculture Minister. 

Again he left that alliance and stood with UPA (United Progressive Alliance) for UP elections. 

Overall his political career was full of ups and downs. 

Response and condolences from other leaders: 

Prominent leaders like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, etc. Condoled his death. They said that Ajit Singh stood with farmers, labour, and other deprived sections. President Ram Nath Kovid also tweeted that he has left an irremovable mark on politics and gave condolence to the family and his friends. Other leaders who showed their support and consolation included Rahul Gandhi, UP CM Yogi Adityanath, and SP leader Akhilesh Yadav. 

Conclusion

Almost every day, we receive news of COVID deaths. So it is crucial to protect yourself by taking proper COVID safety protocols. 

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Current Affairs

Indians tested positive at the G7 meet: Foreign Minister attend to the meet online.

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Foreign Minister

The number of Covid positive people in İndia is constantly increasing. Many famous İndian personalities and celebrities have also been tested positive for this deadly disease. The significant impact of these rising CoVid cases on the economy can be seen easily. Many large nations have issued notice to their citizens not to travel to İndia due to the deadly Second wave. Many international events and meetings have also been impacted due to COVİD. Along the same lines,  the G7 summit scheduled to be held in Cornwall has featured headlines. Let’s see the issue and how S. Jaishankar,  the foreign affairs Minister of İndia, is concerned with the matter. 

News about 2 People found positive at G7 meet.

  • G7 is a group of seven countries, including the USA,  UK, France,  Germany,  Japan,  İtaly, and Canada.
  • The G7 foreign affairs and Development Ministers’ meeting was held in London. 
  • The first formal gathering of the summit was held on Tuesday evening with proper COVID guidelines. 
  • İndian Foreign Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, was also invited to the meeting. He went to London on a four-day visit to meet UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at Chevening in Kent on Thursday. 
  • As a part of COVİD precautions,  Mr. S. Jaishankar and the accompanying delegations were tested for Covid-19. 
  • Out of these delegations,  two had tested positive for Covid-19. 
  • When Mr. Jaishankar came to know of this,  he tweeted that since he had been in the company of two Covid positive people, he would attend to the meeting virtually as a safety precaution. 
  •  This news comes as a piece of depressing news because this G7 Meeting was claimed as the first in-person summit since the pandemic broke.
  • The whole staff took all the necessary precautions for COVİD safety. The delegates were tested through an on-site testing facility with a testing capacity of up to 50 delegates per hour.
  • Strict social distancing rules for the whole summit and delegates were outlined. Even only a selected number of delegates were invited to prevent overcrowding and chances of COVID infection.
  • Though Mr. Jaishankar had to attend to the meet online, he talked with Antony Blinken, US state secretary, regarding the global pandemic challenge, vaccine production, and supply chains.
Dr. S. Jaishankar

Conclusion

The news highlights the precarious situation of COVID in the country. High delegates who remain under so much security and safety have been tested positive. Therefore we must take adequate measures to prevent ourselves from infection. Take vaccine doses if you are eligible, wear masks daily, wash your hands regularly, and follow other COVID safety guidelines. 

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Current Affairs

Lockdown in Odisha

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Lockdown in Odisha

Introduction:

The COVID fury has prompted almost every other state to take stringent action in the form of Lockdowns. Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, etc., were the top names to put a lockdown in their states. Along the same lines, the Odisha government headed by Naveen Patnaik has also announced a lockdown, owing to the rising number of cases and casualties. So in this article, we will tell you all the details about this Odisha Lockdown.

Details about the lockdown announced in Odisha:

  • As per the announcement, the lockdown will be for fourteen days. It will start on 5th May and end on 19th May.
  • But the government has made it clear that no restrictions will be imposed on essential services like health care facilities and health care personnel.
  • The shutdown on weekends will begin from 6 pm of friday and last till 5 am of Monday.
  • The government has clarified that a person can travel only upto 500m for buying fruits and vegetables and that only between 6 am-12 noon.
  • The interesting point to note is that election-related personnel and services have been exempted from this lockdown. This means that those engaged in Election works can travel from their homes to the polling station, training places, etc. this decision has been taken in the backdrop of bye-election to 110 people Assembly constituency in Odisha.

Completely prohibited things:

  • Movement of Buses for public transport and intrastate movement has been completely prohibited till the end of lockdown. But again, activities for medical reasons and election reasons are exempted.
  • Besides this, educational institutions like schools, training, coaching centers, etc., will remain shut down. But the government has clarified that physical examination, on a case-to-case basis after due permission from concerned authorities, might be allowed.
  • Activities like exhibition/business meetings, trade fairs, etc., have been compelled to switch to virtual mode due to lockdown.
  • Services of Auto rickshaws, cycle-rickshaws, cab drivers, etc., have also been prohibited.
  • Places like gyms, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, open-air theatres, parks, assembly halls, auditorium, etc., are also shut down due to lockdown.
  • Salons, Spas, beauty shops will also remain closed.
  • There is a complete ban on religious, social, political, academic, cultural, entertainment, and sports activities and gatherings. Temples are other religious places have been shut down till the end of lockdown. But religious rituals by priests or kind, without any gatherings, are allowed.
  • Permission of local authorities is a must for marriages. Only 50 persons are allowed in the marriage.
  • In the last rites and funeral, the maximum limit of people is 20.

Things allowed

  • The activities that will not be hampered due to lockdown are essential services. Like Hospitals, clinics, dispensaries, chemists, medical labs, all kind of medicine shops (including Jan aushadhi Kendras), authorized private personnel, and institutions contributing in tackling COVID like home care providers, supply chain firms, etc.
  • Inter and intrastate movement of medical personnel, services, medicines, vaccines, & ambulances are allowed.
  • Also, financial sectors like RBI, RBI regulated markets and entities, Clearinghouse facilities, bank branches, ATMs, Cash management agencies, IRDAI and SEBI related institutions, NBFCs, and Co-operative societies would be allowed. The staff would also be required to adhere to COVID guidelines strictly, and maximum Work From home would be promoted.
  • Public utility services like Oil and Gas, Post offices, DTH, Municipal/local bodies, etc., will be allowed.
  • Food and grocery shops will be allowed. But the District authorities must ensure that home delivery is promoted to minimize movement. But these shops must maintain 30 feet shop to shop distance and open from 6 am to 12 pm only on weekdays (Mon-Fri). The buyer is strictly required to follow COVID guidelines.
  • Eateries will be allowed for home delivery and takeaway only.
  • Newspaper delivery has been allowed only between 5 Am to 8 am, and other self-employed people who give home-based services like electricians, plumbers, motor mechanics, etc., have been allowed.

Conclusion:

The decision of the Odisha Government to impose a lockdown due to the rising number of COVID cases and deaths has come like a thunderbolt. Odisha has also witnessed a weekend lockdown before this. Although these kinds of lockdown don’t guarantee COVID control, they are considered a potential way to break transmissions. But again, the major fear is the loss of economy and hardships to people. Therefore both aspects must be considered, and an informed decision is taken. Whether this decision proves to be an informed one or not will remain a matter of fact.

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