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Researchers work in a lab at the Yisheng Biopharma company in Shenyang, in China’s northeast Liaoning province on June 10, 2020. The company is one of a number in China trying to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. VOA

A U.S. biotechnology company says it will make the first widespread tests of a possible coronavirus vaccine next month.

Moderna is working with the U.S. National Institutes of Health in developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

The company said Thursday it will make the first large U.S. study next month in 30,000 volunteers. Some will get the actual vaccine, and others will get a placebo.

A Chinese biotech firm, Sinovac, also plans to test its vaccine next month, on 9,000 volunteers in Brazil. Brazil will also be the testing ground for a vaccine being developed by Britain’s Oxford University.

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The Trump administration is working with private labs in what it calls “Operation Warp Speed,” which hopes to have 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine ready to go by January.

A street vendor wearing a mask to protect herself from the spread of the new coronavirus attends a June 11, 2020, protest in Mexico City demanding the resumption of economic activities. VOA

But experts say there’s never any guarantee a vaccine will work or, if it does, will offer more than a few months of protection.

Another major study forecasts millions sinking into extreme poverty because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A report by the United Nations University says the economic fallout could plunge 395 million people into conditions in which they are forced to live on $1.90 a day or less – the definition of extreme poverty.

A separate World Bank report this week put that number between 70 million and 100 million people.

“The outlook for the world’s poorest looks grim unless governments do more and do it quickly and make up the daily loss of income the poor face,” one of the U.N. report’s authors, Andy Sumner, said. “The result is progress on poverty reduction could be set back 20-30 years and making the U.N. goal of ending poverty look like a pipe dream.”

The U.N. report says South Asia – India in particular – will see the largest number of people sinking into extreme poverty, followed by sub-Saharan Africa.

Experts are appealing to economically powerful nations, such as the United States, to forgive the debts of developing countries that would take a stong hit from the pandemic.

The U.S. top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the World Health Organization isn’t perfect, but the world needs it.

“It certainly has made some missteps, but it has also done a lot of good,” Fauci told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday. “I would hope that we could continue to benefit from what the WHO can do at the same time that they continue to improve themselves. I’ve had good relationships with the WHO, and the world needs the WHO.”

Floor supervisor Dumitru Carabasu demonstrates how to sanitize dice when there is a new shooter at a craps table at Excalibur Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, June 11, 2020. The casino recently reopened amid the coronavirus pandemic. VOA

President Donald Trump announced last month that he is pulling the United States out of the WHO, accusing it of being dominated by China and letting China “mislead the world” on the coronavirus. The U.S. is by far the largest donor to the WHO.

Also Read: COVID-19 Could Push Millions of Children into Forced Labor: Warn UN Agencies

Fauci told the CBC that when the outbreak began in December in Wuhan, some Chinese scientists were “not able to express” their concerns about human-to-human transmission in a clear way, leading the WHO to downplay the risks. Fauci did not elaborate on what he meant by the inability express those concerns.

“There may have been things that would have been done sooner both in China and outside China,” Fauci said. “The original reports were vaccine that this was a dominant animal-to-human spread.”

With the number of U.S. cases surpassing the 2 million mark, according to Johns Hopkins University, and the number of new cases appearing to rise, Fauci said it is still possible for the U.S. to avoid a deadly second wave through mass testing. (VOA)


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A woman is about to break her Karwa Chauth fast as she has taken a glimpse of the moon

Karwa Chauth is a Hindu festival that is primarily celebrated by married Hindu women. On this day, married Hindu women keep Nirjala fast, which means fasting even without consumption of water, from sunrise to sunset. The reason behind this fast is to pray for their husband's life, health, and safety.

According to the Hindu calendar, Karwa Chauth is celebrated on the fourth day after Purnima in the month of Kartik.

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Wikimedia Commons

The box of the Mysore Sandal Soap

Karnataka is famous for Sandalwood, and this is best projected in the state's own Mysore Sandal Soap. This golden, fragrant soap that is rich with the goodness of Sandalwood, has a rather fascinating history behind it, and it is not for cosmetic benefit at all.

Mysore Sandal Soap, surprisingly, was not created by anyone interested in the beauty benefits of soap or its cosmetic value. Instead, it was created by Maharaja Krishna Raja Wodeyar IV and Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the Diwan of Mysore.

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Photo by Pixabay

Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics