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As Hyderabad-based pharmaceutical major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) announces it has received permission from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to import Sputnik V vaccine in India for restricted use in emergencies, here are a few things that you need to know about the Covid19 jab.
After Covishield and Covaxin, Sputnik V, developed by Gamaleya National Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, is now the third Covid-19 vaccine to get emergency use approval in India. According to the guidelines, the vaccine is indicated for active immunization to prevent Covid19 in individuals more than 18 years old and it needs to be stored at minus 18-degree Celsius in its liquid form.
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However, it can be stored at 2-8 degrees C in its freeze-dried form in a conventional refrigerator, making it easier to transport and store. In a recent study, published in the journal The Lancet, the efficacy of Sputnik V was determined to be 91.6 percent.
“There is a need to generate evidence about its efficacy in the Indian population. Sputnik V will provide one more option to the country to boost its vaccination drive,” Harshal R Salve, Associate Professor at Centre for Community Medicine, All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, told IANS.
According to Neha Gupta, Infectious Diseases Specialist at Medanta – The Medicity, Gurgaon, Sputnik V is a viral vectored vaccine and is likely to perform similar to Covishield.
The vaccine should be administered in two doses of 0.5 ml each with an interval of 21 days.
While talking to IANS, Indian Council of Medical Research’s N.K. Arora said that the composition of the first dose will be different from the second dose and there should be at least a three to four weeks gap between the first dose and the second. Sputnik V is approved to tackle Covid-19 in 60 countries across the world, including ranking second among Covid-19 vaccines globally in terms of the number of approvals issued by the government regulators.
The emergency approval for Sputnik V comes amid reports of vaccine shortage in some states even as cases have increased dramatically over the past few days. On Monday, the Union Health Ministry said that nearly 30 lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccine were given on Day 1 of the “Tika Utsav” which has pushed the cumulative coverage to 10.45 crore, as India’s average doses per day crossed the 40 lakh mark, continuing to be the highest globally.
In terms of a number of cases, data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) showed that India has overtaken Brazil, which is now at the third spot in the Covid19 tally with over 1,34,82,023 cases. (IANS/SP)
Israeli Ambassador Naor Gilon on Thursday said that the Pegasus snooping issue is India's internal matter.
The NSO is a private company and it has a license to sell its software to the government entities only, he added.
Gilon said: "This is an internal issue of India and I can't speak beyond this point. This is the only main requirement that... under the requirements, they cannot sell it to non-governmental actors".
Responding to a query if the Indian government will contact them, he said that he has no idea whether the Indian government has contacted them or not.
Referring to the explosion that took place last year near the Israeli embassy in Delhi, he said that the perpetrators are yet to be nabbed; however, the investigating agencies of both countries are cooperating with each other.
"We are thankful to the government of India for providing security to all embassy personnel," Gilon said.
Talking about the newly-formed quad with Israel, India, the US, and UAE, the Ambassador said it is totally an economic forum based on mutual cooperation among the participant countries.
"It has nothing to do with the military component as of now," he added.
Talking about Afghanistan, Gilon said that the country should not be used for extremism.
"There should not be any human rights violation and women and children should not suffer there", he commented.
Saying that Israel is a technologically sound country but it cannot go for industrial manufacturing, the partnership between India and Israel can work better for industrial productions.
Sharing the details of the recently-concluded visit of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, he said that the visit was most successful in terms of bilateral relations.
Jaishankar met all important Ministers of the Israeli government and also met the Indian Diaspora, the Indian Jews who have recently settled there.
"It was a very warm visit, very friendly which I think emphasized the strategic partnership declared during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Israel. I think that the visit was in the spotlight of 30 years of diplomatic relations which we are going to celebrate on January 29 next year," Gilon added. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Israel Politics, Indian Diaspora, Pegasus issues, Pegasus snooping issue, a partnership between India and Israel.
The Sher Bahadur Deuba government on Thursday recommended veteran diplomat Shanker Sharma as the next ambassador to India.
Sharma earlier served as Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and Nepal's Ambassador to the United States of America from 2009 to 2013.
The post in the New Delhi embassy of Nepal fell vacant recently after Deuba recalled the ambassadors from 12 countries including India. The outgoing ambassador, Nilamber Acharya has already returned to Kathmandu.
Sharma has extensive experience in government, international institutions, and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a member in 1997, he worked as a Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal; a Senior Economist in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and a Fellow in the East-West Center, Hawaii. He also served as a Professor of Economics in the Centre for Economic Development and Administration, Tribhuvan University.
He worked regionally and globally for many organizations, such as the UNESCAP, World Bank, and ASEAN. Sharma is close confident of Prime Minister Deuba. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India-Nepal relations, Nepal Ambassador, economic research.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.
The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.
While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."
"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.
Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.
He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.
The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.