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The Delta Plus variant has also been isolated and cultured at ICMR-NIV.

Director-General of Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), Balram Bhargava said that Covishield and Covaxin work against Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, while their effectiveness against the Delta plus variant is being tested.

Bhargava mentioned that the reduction of neutralisation capabilities of vaccines with different variants is based on global literature, which shows that Covaxin does not change with the Alpha variant at all and so it is the same as it is with the standard strain

"Covishield reduces slightly with Alpha, by 2.5 times.

"For the Delta variant, Covaxin is effective but antibody response is slightly reduced to three-fold reduction.

"For Covishield, it is two-fold reduction, while in Pfizer and Moderna it is seven-fold reduction," Bhargava said.

He stated that Covishield and Covaxin work against the variants of SARS-CoV-2 -- Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

Covid Vaccine People must avoid mass gathering, use masks correctly and consistently. Photo by Unsplash

According to Bhargava, the Delta Plus variant has also been isolated and cultured at ICMR-NIV, and laboratory tests to check vaccine effect on the Delta Plus variant.

"We should have these results in seven to 10 days as to whether the vaccine is working against the Delta Plus variant," he said.

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Bhargava also said that the second wave of Covid-19 is not yet over and pointed out that it is possible to avert the third wave provided individuals and society follows Covid appropriate behaviours.

He suggested that people must avoid mass gathering, use masks correctly and consistently, and any indicative hotspots need to be immediately identified. (IANS/AD)


People stroll early morning at the Mumbai promenade.

Prior to the brutal second wave of the pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cautioned civil services probationers against developing the despised "babu mindset". He gave the invaluable piece of advice while addressing civil services probies at the well-known Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie via video-conferencing. He also outlined the keystone mantra of "minimum government and maximum governance".

With the recent collapse of the under-construction flyover in Bandra Kurla Complex which injured 14 labourers, it seems like the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has got the PM's keystone mantra all wrong. The recent flyover collapse isn't an isolated incident, in fact, a month ago a similarly bemusing incident took place in the eastern part of the suburbs.

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Kashmir's natural splendour, with its beautiful valleys and towering mountains, is really unlike anywhere.

Along with the undeniable natural beauty, the Kashmir valley has developed a reputation for adventurous activities like trekking, hiking, and river rafting. Kashmir has maintained its charm, allowing us to time-travel into beautiful destinations which make one forget about the stress and worries of life. The hikes in Kashmir offer adventurers to go on a self-discovery trip through nature's lap over the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery that surrounds them on their journey. In addition to the hikes, there are many thrilling adventure activities, like rock climbing, rope climbing, etc. Trekking across the region of mountains and lakes will allow you to experience living in the "Paradise on Earth," and you wouldn't want to return to your regular life after that.

The following are some of the finest hiking destinations in Kashmir:

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Pind Daan at Jagannath Ghat, Kolkata.

The Pitru Paksha starts after the Full Moon day, and this day marks the beginning of the waning phase of the Lunar cycle. This event is roughly of 15-day period, and is of great significance. From this day, rituals like Tarpan or Tarpanam and Shradh are carried out to pay respects to dead relatives and ancestors.

It is believed that from the very first day till the last day, the unhappy souls of the deceased return to the Earth to see their family members. So, in order to ensure that the dead attain Moksha, i.e. to get liberation, family members of these souls quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger by performing the Pind Daan, which includes offering food consisting of cooked rice and black sesame seeds. The literal meaning of Pind Daan is the act of satisfying those who no longer exist physically.

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