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India has Great Potential to become most Digitised Economy Globally in 7 years, says Bill Gates

Bill Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said automation, cloud services and AI are poised to eliminate manufacturing jobs

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Bill Gates
Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Flickr

New Delhi, November 17, 2016: Noting that India has great potential to become the most digitised economy globally in mere seven years, Microsoft founder Bill Gates has dubbed the government’s demonetisation measure as a “bold move” that will help in deflating the Indian shadow economy.

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“The Prime Minister’s bold move to demonetise high-denomination notes and replace these with new ones with high-security features is an important step to deflate India’s shadow economy,” Gates said while delivering the Niti (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog lecture on ‘Transforming India’ here on Wednesday.

Lauding the Aadhar Card scheme and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna for helping the disadvantaged sections in India to connect to the banking system, Gates said: “India has all the pieces in place for a compelling vision for digital financial inclusion. Aadhar will convert a cumbersome, paper-based account opening process into a 30-second all- digital system.”

The Aadhaar Unique ID system will also create a centralised data repository, he added.

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Speaking of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Gates, who co-chairs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, said automation, cloud services and AI are poised to eliminate manufacturing jobs.

Describing this as an opportunity for the Indian Information Technology sector, the Microsoft leader called for India to embrace these new technologies, despite the fears provoked by such rapid transformation.

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Aiming to work with the government on various issues including e-payments, digital health, digital literacy and e-agriculture in India, Gates held a meeting here with IT and Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday. (IANS)

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Coronavirus Vaccine May Take 9 Months To Develop, Says Bill Gates

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding several efforts to find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic

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Bill Gates
While vaccine development usually takes around five years, Gates believes that scientists may come up with a coronavirus vaccine within 9 months to two years time. Wikimedia Commons

While it appears that only a COVID-19 vaccine may take us back to normal, its development may take at least nine months to two years, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has said.

Even though several drugs are also being tested to treat COVID-19, Gates believes the perfect drug that might help the world go back to the way things were in December before the coronavirus pandemic is far from sight.

“Most of the drug candidates right now are nowhere near that powerful. They could save a lot of lives, but they aren’t enough to get us back to normal,” the Microsoft co-founder wrote in his GatesNotes blog on Thursday.

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In the absence of an “almost perfect drug to treat COVID-19”, it becomes imperative that every person on the planet gets vaccinated against coronavirus. “Realistically, if we’re going to return to normal, we need to develop a safe, effective vaccine. We need to make billions of doses, we need to get them out to every part of the world, and we need all of this to happen as quickly as possible,” he said.

While vaccine development usually takes around five years, Gates believes that scientists may come up with a coronavirus vaccine within 9 months to two years time. “As of April 9, there are 115 different COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the development pipeline. I think that eight to ten of those look particularly promising,” said Gates.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding several efforts to find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Microsoft co-founder explained that safety and efficacy are the two most important goals for every vaccine.

Coronavirus
While it appears that only a COVID-19 vaccine may take us back to normal, its development may take at least nine months to two years, billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has said. Pixabay

Some minor side effects, like a mild fever or injection site pain, are generally acceptable, and all vaccines do not have 100 per cent efficacy. “For example, this year’s flu vaccine is around 45 percent effective,” he said.

“I suspect a vaccine that is at least 70 per cent effective will be enough to stop the (COVID-19) outbreak. A 60 per cent effective vaccine is useable, but we might still see some localised outbreaks. Anything under 60 per cent is unlikely to create enough herd immunity to stop the virus,” Gates noted.

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To stop the pandemic, the world will need to manufacture and distribute at least 7 billion doses (or possibly 14 billion, if it’s a multi-dose vaccine) of the vaccine, he added. (IANS)

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Bill Gates Announces To Contribute Funds For Developing Coronavirus Vaccines

According to the scientists, a vaccine may take up to 12-18 months after successful human clinical trials

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Bill Gates
Gates last month stepped down from Microsoft's board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities. Wikimedia Commons

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has announced his foundation is paying for the construction of facilities that will manufacture seven promising coronavirus vaccines and the best two vaccines would be picked up for final trials.

In an interview with host Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, he said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is moving forward with building manufacturing capacity for the seven vaccine candidates to save time, as the novel coronavirus pandemic spread throughout the world, reports The Hill.

“Even though we’ll end up picking at most two of them, we’re going to fund factories for all seven just so we don’t waste time in serially saying �ok which vaccine works’ and then building the factory,” Gates was quoted as saying.

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Gates last month stepped down from Microsoft’s board of directors to dedicate more time to his philanthropic priorities. “It’ll be a few billion dollars we’ll waste on manufacturing for the constructs that don’t get picked because something else is better. But a few billion in this situation we’re in, where there’s trillions of dollars…being lost economically, it is worth it,” Gates emphasized on the TV show.

According to the scientists, a vaccine may take up to 12-18 months after successful human clinical trials. Gates has called for a nationwide shutdown in the US, saying the country needs to enforce stricter lockdown measures in every state.

Bill Gates
Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates has announced his foundation is paying for the construction of facilities that will manufacture seven promising coronavirus vaccines and the best two vaccines would be picked up for final trials. Wikimedia Commons

US president Donald Trump said on Saturday that country is headed into a few brutal weeks ahead where “there will be a lot of death”, and also circled back to his riff on reopening the economy as the coronavirus death toll surged past 8,400, overwhelming the domestic health care system.

The country’s caseload climbed to more than 300,000. Gates has also called upon donor governments to help low- and middle-income countries prepare for this “pandemic”, in addition to helping their own citizens respond. “By helping countries in Africa and South Asia get ready now, we can save lives and also slow the global circulation of the virus,” the Microsoft co-founder wrote in his GatesNotes blog.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in February announced that it would immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the novel coronavirus. (IANS)

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Bill Gates Calls Upon Donors To Help Poor Countries Fight Novel Coronavirus

COVID-19 is transmitted quite efficiently

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Bill Gates
"By helping countries in Africa and South Asia get ready now, we can save lives and also slow the global circulation of the virus," the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist wrote in his GatesNotes blog. Wikimedia Commons

Saying that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has started to behave a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen the world has been worried about, Bill Gates has called upon donor governments to help low- and middle-income countries prepare for this “pandemic”, in addition to helping their own citizens respond.

“By helping countries in Africa and South Asia get ready now, we can save lives and also slow the global circulation of the virus,” the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist wrote in his GatesNotes blog on Friday.

“In any crisis, leaders have two equally important responsibilities: solve the immediate problem and keep it from happening again. The COVID-19 pandemic is an excellent case in point. The world needs to save lives now while also improving the way we respond to outbreaks in general,” Gates wrote.

While saving lives the is the “more pressing” need, the second point has “crucial long-term consequences”. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation earlier this month announced that it would immediately commit up to $100 million for the global response to the novel coronavirus. A significant portion of the commitment that the foundation made is focused particularly on developing countries, Gates said in the blog post.

Explaining why COVID-19 is a big threat, Gates pointed out that the virus can kill healthy adults in addition to elderly people with existing health problems. “The data so far suggests that the virus has a case fatality risk around 1 per cent; this rate would make it several times more severe than typical seasonal influenza and would put it somewhere between the 1957 influenza pandemic (0.6 per cent) and the 1918 influenza pandemic (2 per cent),” Gates said.

“Second, COVID-19 is transmitted quite efficiently. The average infected person spreads the disease to two or three others. “That’s an exponential rate of increase. There is also strong evidence that it can be transmitted by people who are just mildly ill or not even showing symptoms yet,” he added.

Coronavirus
Saying that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has started to behave a lot like the once-in-a-century pathogen the world has been worried about, Bill Gates has called upon donor governments to help low- and middle-income countries prepare for this “pandemic”, in addition to helping their own citizens respond. VOA

Gates warned that COVID-19 will be much harder to contain than Middle East Respiratory Syndrome or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which were only spread by those showing symptoms and were much less efficiently transmitted.

“In fact, COVID-19 has already caused 10 times as many cases as SARS in just a quarter of the time,” he said. “The good news is that national, state, and local governments and public health agencies can take steps over the next few weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Gates wrote.

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Saying that the world also needs to accelerate work on treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, he warned, “There is no time to waste.” (IANS)