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India: Top doctor allays concerns about COVID-19 vaccination

All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria assured that side-effects of COVID-19 vaccine will not result in death of beneficiary. "I have no side-effects. I am feeling perfectly alright," Guleria said after receiving the jab. India started a nationwide Coronavirus vaccination drive on 16 January amid reports of some frontline workers experiencing adverse events.

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California first US state to surpass 3 million COVID-19 cases

California has become the first state in the United States to cross the mark of 3 million COVID-19 cases, confirmed Johns Hopkins University. Earlier, California crossed the mark of 2 million COVID-19 cases on 24 December, recording the next 1 million infections in less than a month. Over 33,600 individuals have succumbed to the virus so far in California.

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Russia's EpiVacCorona vaccine reported to have 100% efficacy

Immunological efficacy of Russia-developed Coronavirus vaccine EpiVacCorona is 100 percent, a government body has said. Russia's Sputnik V was globally the first registered vaccine against COVID-19. EpiVacCorona is developed by the Vektor State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology in Russia. Its mass trial started in November and the vaccine is second to be licensed for use in Russia.

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COVID-19: India mulls clinical trials of 'game-changer' nasal vaccine

India is considering Phase-I and Phase-II clinical trials of a nasal vaccine against COVID-19, which could prove be a 'game-changer' in the country's inoculation drive against the disease. The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation will decide on Bharat Biotech's request for permission to conduct clinical trials of its intranasal vaccine. The pharma company got government nod for emergency use of 'Covaxin' recently.

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Iraq approves emergency use of two COVID-19 vaccines

Iraq's National Medicines Selection Authority has approved emergency use of two Coronavirus vaccines on 19 January: British-Swedish AstraZeneca and Chinese Sinopharm. Earlier, Iraq granted emergency approval of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine along with special equipment needed to store it. Iraq has so far recorded 609,029 Coronavirus cases with 12,953 fatalities and 571,198 recoveries.

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1st shipment of Russian COVID-19 vaccine to reach Palestine today

First shipment of 5,000 units of Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is scheduled to reach Palestine today. The shipment will be brought by a Palestinian Authority (PA) delegate into the occupied West Bank through Jordan. PA health minister last week issued 'emergency approval' for administering Sputnik V vaccine in Palestinian areas.

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Bharat Biotech warns about taking Covaxin shot

Bharat Biotech issued a cautionary guideline amid reports of side effects saying that people on medication and immune-compromised should avoid getting the Covaxin shot. According to Bharat Biotech's website, it is advisable not to take the vaccine if a person has allergies, fever, or a bleeding disorder or is on a blood thinner. Also pregnant and breastfeeding women too should avoid taking Covaxin, it adds.

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UAE: COVID-19 PCR test mandatory for federal employees every 7 days

UAE's Federal Authority for Government Human Resources (FAHR) has directed all employees to undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 every seven days. Employees who have received both doses of their Coronavirus vaccines are exempted from the requirement, the authority added. Earlier, all federal government employees were required to take a PCR test every 14 days at their own expense.

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UAE administers 88,743 more COVID-19 vaccines

3,471 COVID-19 cases were reported in UAE in the last 24 hours as the country witnessed over 3,000 new cases for the seventh day in a row. As many as 88,743 COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hours, taking the Middle Eastern country's inoculation tally to 1,971,521. The vaccination dose rate in the UAE has reached 19.93 doses per 100 people.

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Bangladesh's Globe Biotech seeks approval for vaccine trials

Bangladeshi drugmaker Globe Biotech Limited has applied for approval to begin clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine 'Bangavax'. The company claims to be the first from Bangladesh to be working on a COVID-19 vaccine. On behalf of Globe, CRO Limited will run the clinical trial in a unit of a government hospital.

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Dubai Police chief receives COVID-19 vaccine

Commander-in-chief of Dubai Police General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri received his first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is being administered for free across the emirate at 120 locations. Several top Dubai officials have already come forward to get the vaccine and urged residents to do the same in order to keep the community safe from COVID-19.

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Rockefeller University begins human trial of new COVID-19 antibody drug

Rockefeller scientists have started human trial for new monoclonal antibody drug against COVID-19 after receiving approval from FDA. These antibodies help in replicating natural antibodies to combat virus and prevent from developing severe other diseases. The phase I clinical trial launched this week at Rockefeller University Hospital will assess the safety of treatment in a small group of healthy volunteers.

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UK rolls out COVID-19 vaccination for people aged 70 & above

Department of Health and Social Care, UK has invited people aged 70 and above and those clinically extremely vulnerable to receive their COVID-19 vaccine doses. "Now that more than half of all over-80s have had their jab, we can begin vaccinating the next most vulnerable groups", said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock. The UK is delivering COVID-19 vaccine at 140 jabs a minute, said PM Boris Johnson.

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Azerbaijan to start COVID-19 vaccination today

The health ministry of Azerbaijan announced that the country will begin a vaccination drive against COVID-19 today. The drive will use a batch of 4 million doses from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. Priority will be given to the Medical workers, and then over-65s from 1 Feb,” said presidential aide Shahmar Movsumov.

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Pak looks for alternate ways to acquire India-made AstraZeneca vaccine

Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap) has granted emergency use approval to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. The country is planning to acquire the vaccine through "alternative arrangements" as it is being manufactured in India. Meanwhile, Drap is also expected to register the Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine by next week.

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England converts cathedral, food court into vaccination centres

England's National Health Service today announced the launch of 10 large-scale sites for COVID-19 vaccination. The new sites, with a weekly capacity of thousands of doses, include a racecourse, rugby ground, food court, and cathedral. The addition of these new sites takes the number of similar centres to 17 across England. England has already administered 3.79 million vaccine doses so far.

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India: Hospital worker dies after COVID-19 jab, says family

A government hospital employee in Uttar Pradesh died on Sunday evening, 24 hours after receiving COVID-19 vaccination, his family said. Mahipal Singh was already unwell but complained of breathlessness and cough the next morning after after inoculation. Family members rushed him to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. Officials said they were inquiring into the reasons of the death.

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Israeli company's 'breathalyser' COVID-19 test claims 98% accuracy

Israeli company Scentech Medical has claimed 98% accuracy in the use of its breathalyser test for COVID-19 during clinical trials. The test identified several initial indicators for unique COVID-19 biomarkers. Using a "unique algorithm", the company claims to have had a 98% level of sensitivity and specificity. Being in testing stages, the technology has not received approval from Food and Drug Administration.

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COVID-19 vaccine compulsory for workers in Abu Dhabi: UAE

It is mandatory for all employees with Abu Dhabi City Municipality contracted firms to receive Coronavirus vaccine. Those who have received the vaccine will be allowed to enter its building and sites. Federal Authority for Governmental Human Resources earlier this month announced that new COVID-19 measures for federal ministries will be implemented from 17 January.

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UAE nears 2 million COVID-19 vaccine jabs

UAE is nearing the mark of 2 million vaccine jabs delivered across the country. 84,852 more doses were administered in the last 24 hours, taking the vaccine delivery rate to 19.04 doses per 100 people. UAE has rolled out 1,882,778 COVID-19 vaccine shots so far after commencing its vaccination drive on 14 December 2020.

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Technical bug could affect India's vaccination target

India's plans of vaccinating more than 300,000 people on the first day of vaccination drive were brought to halt due to a technical glitch. Bugs in Co-Win, a co-ordination application developed by the Indian government for smooth administration of COVID-19 vaccination, put the number of total people inoculated on day one at 191,181. Furthermore, technical bugs forced officials in Odisha to take help of printouts.

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UAE reports 3,453 new COVID-19 cases

With another 3,453 new COVID-19 cases, UAE reported over 3,000 daily infections for the sixth day in a row. The UAE health ministry confirmed 162,251 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours, while 5 individuals succumbed to the infection. Also, as many as 3,268 recoveries were reported during the same time.

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Oman to seal land borders to curb COVID-19

Oman will commence a week-long border closure Monday to curb the spread of COVID-19. The Middle Eastern country will close its land borders from 6PM (local time). The closure may be extended depending on the condition a week later. Oman has reported 131,790 cases of COVID-19 to date, with 124,067 people recovering from the infection and 1,512 losing their lives to it.

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Battling COVID-19 surge, China builds 1,500-room hospital in just five days

China built a 1,500-room hospital for COVID-19 patients in just five days amid a surge in "unusually" fast-spreading infection. The healthcare facility is one of the six with a total of 6,500 rooms being built in Nangong, south of Beijing in Hebei province. The National Health Commission attributed the rising cases to people and goods arriving from abroad.

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Sputnik V not rejected in Brazil for emergency use, say Russian officials

Officials from Russia refused claims of Brazil having rejected its COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Instead, officials said the Brazilian authorities sought more information regarding the vaccine. The officials responded after the news broke that Brazil has blocked the use of Sputnik V. Over 94 million people have contracted COVID-19 so far, with more than two million people losing their life due to the infection.

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Oman health minister receives second dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Oman health minister Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Saidi received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Bowsher Health Polyclinic today. Oman started the implementation of national campaign for immunisation against COVID-19 that include second dose of vaccine for selected groups. Earlier, 24,204 people in Oman had received the first dose of vaccine by 15 January 2021.

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Indian military doctors, paramedics receive COVID-19 shot across country

Indian military doctors, paramedics, and hospital staff are being vaccinated against COVID-19 across the country. The inoculation drive started on Saturday where each beneficiary will receive two doses of the same vaccine, 28 days apart. Indian Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh while talking about efforts in the fight against COVID-19 stated that the Navy is fulfilling its responsibilities and turned into 'Care-Givers'.

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Italy bans Brazil flights as 4 passengers return with new COVID-19 strain

Italy has decided to suspend flights from Brazil after four passengers returning from the country were found with a new variant of the COVID-19. Health minister Roberto Speranza signed an order on Saturday that also prohibits anyone who has transited Brazil in the last 14 days from entering Italy. The ban is effective immediately through January 31, according to the order.

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Travellers to UK need to carry negative PCR test on arrival

UK government will introduce negative PCR test from 18 January for all travellers arriving in the country. Everyone has to undergo hotel quarantines and follow guidelines, including airlines, airports and states to curb infection. Authorities will use facial-recognition technology to verify if people are adhering to new measures against new COVID-19 strain.

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India reports over 15,000 COVID-19 cases

With 15,144 fresh cases, India's tally of confirmed COVID-19 case now stand at 10.55 million. Over 10.19 million people have recuperated, taking national recovery rate to 96.58%. Currently, there are 205,811 active Coronavirus cases in the country comprising 1.98% of the total caseload. The death toll climbed to 152,311 with the infection claiming over 180 lives in 24 hours.

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India: Two nurses hospitalised after receiving COVID-19 vaccine

Nurses Suman and Rani were admitted to a hospital in Madhya Pradesh's Ujjain following COVID-19 vaccination. The two nurses, hailing from Betul and Balaghat, developed fever, diarrhoea, and nausea. Rani was reported to be in critical condition after her hospitalisation. India commenced the world's largest COVID-19 vaccination drive on 16 January, and over 191,000 individuals received their first dose on day one.

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Climate change not a hoax, says US Vice Prez-elect Kamala Harris

US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris has said the Joe Biden administration will take steps to tackle climate change. "President-elect Joe Biden and I will not only listen to the science — we will invest in it and the next generation of scientists", she tweeted, saying the science behind climate change "is not a hoax". Outgoing President Donald Trump dismissed concerns over climate change several times during his tenure.

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For first time, India's active number of Coronavirus cases below 2%

For the first time, India's active Coronavirus cases within positive cases has shrunk below 2% (1.98%) as the country flagged off world's biggest vaccination drive on Saturday. India continues to report a sustained downfall in daily new cases, less than 20,000 for the past 10 days. Kerala recorded maximum positive change, adding 922 cases whereas Madhya Pradesh shows maximum negative change with a drop of 433 cases.

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UK delivers record number of COVID-19 vaccines in a day

At more than 324,000 doses, the UK recorded the distribution of the highest number of COVID-19 vaccines in a day. Besides, the UK has rolled out over 3.5 million vaccine doses to date after commencing its vaccination drive in December 2020. "Thank you to everyone who is helping in this fantastic national effort. Help our NHS by staying at home to save lives", tweeted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

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Chilling: Chinese city reports Coronavirus in ice cream

Chinese authorities have found Coronavirus in ice cream. 29,000 cartons of the batch from the Daqiaodao Food Co., Ltd. in Tianjin have been recalled. The facility has been sealed and its employees are being tested for COVID-19, the city’s municipal government said. The 390 cartons sold in Tianjin were being tracked down. Authorities were also verifying whether the ice cream had caused anyone to contract the infection.

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Doctors in Delhi demand Covishield over Covaxin due to incomplete trials

Resident doctors of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital refused to take the Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin saying they prefer Serum Institute's Covishield. This follows Covaxin's incomplete trial data on the public domain, while Covishield has completed all stages of the trial. The granting of emergency use approval to Covaxin had seen a barrage of critiques, however, PM Modi assured the safety of the vaccine.

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Health ministry clears doubts as India launches vaccination drive

India's health ministry has released a series of frequently asked questions on various aspects of COVID-19 vaccine. The government has said that two doses of the vaccine, 28 days apart, need to be administered to an individual, to complete the vaccination schedule. The health ministry has also advised citizens to receive the complete schedule of vaccine dosage to protect oneself against the fatal disease.

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Scientists reveal why Remdesivir does not fully stop COVID-19

Researchers have explained how Remdesivir interferes with the viral polymerase during copying and why it does not inhibit it completely. The antiviral medication was the first drug to be conditionally approved in Europe and the United States against COVID-19. Researchers said understanding the working of Remdesivir opens up new opportunities for scientists to tackle the virus.

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Nepal approves Covishield vaccine for emergency use

Nepal has approved emergency use of Covishield COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India on the basis of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine prototype. As per reports, first shipment of vaccines from India will arrive in Nepal over the next two weeks. Nepal’s Department of Drug Administration has stated that conditional permission has been granted for emergency use authorization of Covishield vaccine.

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UAE administers 138,154 COVID-19 vaccines in 24 hours

UAE rolled out as many as 138,154 shots of COVID-19 vaccine in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally to 1,665,987 jabs delivered ever since the vaccination drive commenced. The UAE has reached a rate of 16.84 doses per 100 persons in the country. UAE reported 3,407 cases in the last 24 hours, with 3,168 others recovering from the virus and seven succumbing to it.

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COVID-19 infection gives 5-month immunity: Official UK study

An official study in UK has said COVID-19 infection provides immunity for at least five months. However, recovered people may still possess and transmit the virus to others. Naturally acquired immunity offers around 83% protection against the virus, reported Public Health England. People with immunity may still carry the virus in their nose and throat, the study said.

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Bangladesh scientists develop nasal spray to fight COVID-19

Bangladesh scientists have come up with a unique nasal spray to kill COVID-19 virus inside human body. As per reports, scientists from Bangladesh Reference Institute for Chemical Measurement developed the BangaSafe Oro-Nasal spray. They claim that it kills Coronavirus in the upper respiratory tract, and say that it isn’t an alternative to vaccines or masks.

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Researchers find antibody helps fight obesity

Researchers have developed a new treatment that can help safely treat metabolic disturbances of adult patients with obesity and Type-2 diabetes. A randomized clinical trial with 75 patients with Type-2 diabetes was conducted to study the effects of antibody Bimagrumab which stimulates skeletal muscle growth. Researchers found a nearly 21% decrease in body fat in the Bimagrumab group compared to 0.5% in the placebo group.

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Dubai successfully conducts its first paediatric kidney transplant

A medical team in Dubai was successful in performing a paediatric kidney transplant from a live donor. The operation that was funded by an NGO called 'Al Jalila Foundation' was performed on a 16-year-old boy suffering from the end-stage kidney. UAE Prime Minister and Vice-President His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum sent patient Pritvik Sinhadc a special letter on the successful transplant.

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South Africa secures 270 million Coronavirus vaccine doses

African Union Chair President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that they have secured 270 million doses of Coronavirus vaccines for South African countries. Around 50 million doses to be available between April to June 2021. Currently, infection numbers and death rates are comparatively lower across most of Africa, but the new variant of COVID-19 is causing particular alarm.

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UAE health official: Vaccine most effective solution for COVID-19

Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for UAE Health Sector, has said that COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective solution to contain the pandemic. She said that UAE health sector has been instrumental in curbing COVID-19 spread by building capabilities and increasing capacity of medical infrastructure. She spoke about new COVID-19 variants detected worldwide, and global increase in cases and fatalities.

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Qatar health ministry busts fake circular concerning COVID-19 vaccination

Qatar's Ministry of Public Health has busted a fake circular related to COVID-19 vaccination. The ministry stated Pfizer and BioNTech vaccines are safe and have received approval for use on people aged 16 and above. Caution is required for people who have an allergy to one of the vaccine ingredients or who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to food or drugs of any kind.

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COVID-19 vaccination in Dubai: Health body chief receives second dose

Director-general of Dubai Health Authority Humaid Al Qutami received the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Humaid took to Twitter to post a picture of him receiving the shot, saying, “We thank our wise leadership for the generous care it gives to ensure the health and safety of society.” He got his first shot in December 2020.

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COVID-19 pneumonia causes more damage than typical one: Study

A research team of Northwestern University has said that COVID-19 pneumonia causes more damage to lung tissues. Pneumonia from COVID-19 fuels low blood pressure, fever, and increases damage to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other organs in infected patients. Bacteria like Influenza spreads across large regions of the lung that is caused due to pneumonia.

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COVID-19 indigenous vaccine en route to 11 cities: Bharat Biotech

Bharat Biotech has successfully dispatched the first consignment of its COVID-19 vaccine to eleven cities across India. The consignment left the pharma company's facilities at 1:00 AM (IST). Serum Institute of India has already shipped the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield to 13 cities across the country. India will commence its vaccination drive on 16 January.

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