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UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Wikimedia Commons

The Covid-19 crisis “has revealed how unequal our societies are,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message for World Health Day.

Highlighting the inequalities and injustices that have been apparent throughout the pandemic, the UN chief said in his message for the day to be marked on Wednesday that the vast majority of vaccine doses administered so far have been confined to “a few wealthy countries” or those producing the shots cleared for distribution, the Xinhua news agency reported.


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More than 36 million doses of COVAX have been delivered to 86 countries. Pixabay

“Within countries, illness and death from Covid-19 have been higher among people and communities that contend with poverty, unfavorable living and working conditions, discrimination and social exclusion,” said Guterres.

Thanks to the COVAX initiative, the UN-backed international effort to provide equitable vaccines across the world, more countries are receiving doses, “but most people in low and middle-income countries still must watch and wait,” the top UN official added.

“Such inequities are immoral, and they are dangerous for our health, our economies, and our societies.”

To date, COVAX has shipped more than 36 million doses to 86 countries, the UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told correspondents at the UN headquarters on Monday.


Covid-19-related disease and death have been shown to be higher among individuals and populations living in poverty within countries. Pixabay

Algeria received more than 36,000 doses over the weekend from COVAX, he said, helping to accelerate the vaccination campaign already underway there.

“The UN Resident Coordinator, Eric Overvest, said the new doses will help ensure that no one is left behind,” Dujarric added. “Our teams on the ground have helped to train healthcare workers, sensitize people on vaccines, and supported the cold chain.”

As of April 5, the World Health Organization is reporting that there have been nearly 131,021,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including more than 2,850,520 deaths.

Up to the end of March 31, there had been 547,727,346 vaccine doses administered worldwide.

ALSO READ: Study: After COVID Mental Illnesses Will Be The Next Pandemic

“As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, we must implement policies and allocate resources so all can enjoy the same health outcomes,” said Guterres.

That will involve reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, he added, “and it means delivering universal health coverage so everyone, everywhere, can thrive.” (IANS/KB)


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Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday asked the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to prevent dumping of toxic wastes in India. Speaking at an event to celebrate DRI's 64th foundation day, Sitharaman lauded DRI's compact strength of about 800 officers for their relentless efforts despite the imminent risks. The Finance Minister stated that the officers may be keeping a low profile, but they are acting like the frontline defence forces, doing spectacular work in safeguarding the economic frontiers of the country. "The recent smuggling attempts of huge quantities of narcotics, gold, red sanders, ivory, cigarettes etc. unearthed by DRI were appreciated by the Finance Minister," the Ministry of Finance said in a statement.

"Sitharaman said that the message through such enforcement actions should be such that these acts of brazen attempts at smuggling are nipped in the bud," the statement added. The Finance Minister also said that better coordination among the law enforcement and intelligence gathering agencies and sharing of actionable intelligence are the way forward in protecting the frontiers of the country more efficiently. "Sitharaman also asked the DRI to focus on interdicting dual use technology items as well as preventing the dumping of toxic wastes in our country," the statement said. (IANS/ MBI)


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Photo by Brandon Romanchuk on Unsplash

Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features.

Tech giant Amazon has expanded the sound detection capabilities of Alexa along with more features. Alexa can now identify the sounds of running water and appliances beeping, reports Android Central. This means users can set up an Alexa routine to notify themselves when the washer beeps to indicate that laundry is finished, the report said.

When Alexa detects that the faucet has been left open, it will send users a notification as well so they can take appropriate action, it added. Amazon previously said at its event in September that it would add the ability to programme Alexa to recognise custom sounds, but that feature has yet to arrive. Having said that, the two new sound detection capabilities not only help users save energy, but they also make it easier to avoid paying for unnecessary charges on your home utilities, the report said.

The retail giant has also announced ultrasound motion detection, which will allow you to set up "Occupancy Routines" on additional Echo devices. This feature allows your smart speaker to detect nearby motion and initiate a routine, such as turning on the lights. It is compatible with many of the best Alexa speakers including the 4th-gen Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock. (IANS/ MBI)


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Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit.

By Olivia Sarkar
It's the holiday season, which means it's time to be merry! As the month of December approaches, we're all in a festive mindset. With Christmas just around the corner, there will be plenty of parties and get-togethers with friends and family.

Comforting Christmas cocktails help you enjoy the celebrations and get into the festive spirit. The Leela Palaces, Hotels, and Resorts offer distinctive cocktails ranging from Hot Toddies to Decadent Egg Nogs. Sit back and enjoy one martini at a time to make the festive season a little brighter.

Dirty Chai Eggnog:

Eggnog is a Christmas favorite that is accustomed to toasts for good health and prosperity. It is an American tradition that has spread around the world. Historically, it has been made using eggs, milk, and alcohol. Our culinary artists have given an Indian twist to this winter drink, making it quintessentially desi!



Recipe:

30 ml Bourbon
30 ml Baileys
90 ml Hot milk tea
Whole Spices
Sweet cream foam to top up

Garnish:
Cinnamon powder and star anise.

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