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Government Plans For Daily Vaccination Record On PM Modi’s Birthday – dot newz

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India’s single-day vaccination record is around 1.03 crore – set in August (File)

New Delhi:

India’s next big daily Covid vaccination record – after 88.09 lakh on June 21 and 1.03 crore on August 27 – is likely to be on Friday, when leaders of the ruling BJP have been urged to promote the jabs and state officials told to double the daily rate to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 71st birthday,

Top officials now accept they are aiming for a record on the Prime Minister’s birthday.

“He is our Prime Minister… on his birthday we will try to make a fresh daily vaccination record,” Dr Sujeet Singh, the Director of the National Centre for Disease Control, told NDTV.

The push for a new daily record on the Prime Minister’s birthday comes amid intense scrutiny of vaccination numbers, and with the focus on an ever-growing target – currently around 1.2 crore doses per day – to inoculate at least 60 per cent of the population by December-end.

While a large part of efforts to boost numbers for the day will likely come from BJP-ruled states (or those ruled by its NDA allies), the worry is if the larger states – which must deliver big numbers to ensure a record is set – are withholding vaccines in the build-up to Friday.

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India plans to inoculate around 60 per cent of its population by the end of the year

Back in June – when Madhya Pradesh set a national record by administering nearly 17 lakh vaccines in a day – the day before those numbers only 4,098 people were jabbed.

n Bihar, for example, fewer than 87,000 doses were administered till 5 pm, according to data from the government’s CoWin dashboard.

For the week ending September 10 it gave over 48.1 lakh doses. For the week starting September 11 (which ends Friday, with the PM’s birthday), fewer than 25 lakh doses have been given so far.

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Weekly vaccination trends for UP

Like Dr Singh, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has also acknowledged a “huge vaccination drive” will be carried out on Friday and said, “we are getting ready for that”.

“It is the Prime Minister’s birthday on the 17th… on that day we will carry out a huge vaccination drive across Bihar. We are getting ready for that,” Mr Kumar said yesterday.

In Uttar Pradesh – another of the ‘big’ states ruled by the BJP, and where less than seven per cent of the population in India’s most populous state is fully vaccinated – government sources say the aim is to “significantly better its single-day record”.

That record is around 35 lakh doses, and it was set last week.

To reach that target camps are planned for Ballia in the eastern part of the state, where less than two lakh people have been vaccinated. Ballia’s population is around 30 lakh.

“We will have a special campaign in place for September 17… there will be 192 vaccination centres on the day and targets will be fixed soon,” Dr SK Tiwari, the district’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, said.

In central UP’s Kannauj, officials say the Friday target is 26,000 doses – double the district’s daily numbers. As of 5 pm Wednesday, fewer than 2,100 doses were given.

As with Bihar, for the week ending September 10 UP administered over 92.5 lakh doses. For the week ending September 17, so far, only 34.75 lakh doses have been administered.

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Weekly vaccination trends for Bihar

Dips in Bihar and UP are mirrored in other states – including Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat; the latter state administered over 36 lakh doses between September 4 and 10, and fewer than 11 lakh from September 11 to today.

Overall, the seven-day average of doses administered has gone from nearly 60 lakh at the start of September to below 50 lakh today.

Ultimately, record vaccination numbers are good, even critical, if a country of over 130 crore people is to be fully protected against the coronavirus.

But this will need a sustained and daily focus on vaccine delivery rather than one-day records.

Focus on vaccination also comes as top government officials continue to warn of a third wave of infections from existing variants of the virus, as well as further possible mutations.

Concerns have also been expressed over the forthcoming festival season and possible disregard for Covid safety rules, which triggered a wave of infections this time last year.



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India, Russia To Provide Immediate Humanitarian Assistance To Afghanistan – dot newz

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PM Modi and Russian President Putin emphasised the central role of the UN in Afghanistan. (File)

New Delhi:

India and Russia on Monday underlined that the Afghan soil should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist groups including ISIS, the Al-Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and decided to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

In their summit talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin also pitched for the formation of a truly inclusive government in Kabul and reiterated their strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan, according to a joint statement.

The mentioning of LeT in the statement assumes significance as it reflects Russia’s understanding of India’s concerns over the possible risk that the Pakistan-based terror groups pose after the Taliban’s capture of power in Kabul.

The statement said the leaders welcomed the close coordination between India and Russia on Afghanistan, including through the creation of a permanent consultative mechanism on the issue between the security councils of both countries.

“They highly appreciated the finalisation of the roadmap of interaction between India and Russia on Afghanistan, which symbolised convergence of views and interests of the two sides,” it added.

The statement said the “leaders emphasised that Afghanistan’s territory should not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing any terrorist groups including ISIS, Al-Qaeda, LeT etc.”.

“They reaffirmed their firm commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing, the dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and countering radicalisation, to ensure that Afghanistan would never become a safe haven for global terrorism,” it said.

The statement said both sides recalled the importance of the relevant United Nations resolutions on Afghanistan as well as the recent outcome documents of the Moscow format consultations and other international and regional mechanisms.

PM Modi and President Putin emphasised the central role of the UN in Afghanistan.

“The sides discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan, especially the security situation and its implications in the region, the current political situation, issues related to terrorism, radicalisation and drug trafficking etc.,” the statement said.

It said the two leaders outlined the priorities, which include ensuring the formation of a truly inclusive and representative government, combatting terrorism and drug trafficking, providing immediate humanitarian assistance and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities.

“The leaders reiterated strong support for a peaceful, secure and stable Afghanistan while emphasising the respect for sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and non-interference in its internal affairs,” the statement said.

“They also discussed the current humanitarian situation and decided to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people,” it added.

It said both sides strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and urged the international community to intensify cooperation against terrorism, including safe havens, terror financing, arms and drugs trafficking, radicalisation and malicious use of information and communication technology.

“Both sides reaffirmed their shared fight against international terrorism, concerted action against all terrorist groups, including those proscribed by the UN, condemned cross-border movement of terrorists and called for the perpetrators of terror attacks to be brought to justice, without any political or religious considerations,” the statement said.

The two sides denounced any use of terrorist proxies and emphasised the importance of denying any logistical, financial or military support to terror groups to launch or plan attacks.

“Both sides reaffirmed the need to support and strengthen the FATF and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism in their shared fight against terrorism. They reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthening the current international drug control regime based on the three relevant United Nations conventions,” the joint statement said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Talks On Sputnik Light Vaccine Production In India Near Completion, Says Russia – dot newz

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The production of the Sputnik Light vaccine assumes significance in light of the Omicron variant. (File)

New Delhi:

The talks on the production of anti-COVID vaccine Sputnik Light in India are nearing completion, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.

“The talks on Sputnik Light are nearing completion,” Lavrov said following the talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in New Delhi today, reported Russian media TASS.

The agreement on the production of the two-component vaccine Sputnik V in the Republic is also being implemented, the minister added.

“Quite a large scale is expected – around hundred million doses each year,” TASS reported quoting him.

The CEO of Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev had said: “We are hopeful for the launch of Sputnik Light in India in December and we are working very well with Indian institutes.”

“We have Serum institute as our production partner in India, and we believe that Sputnik Light will play a big role in the Indian vaccination campaign,” he added.

In mid-September, a committee of experts under the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) issued a permit for intermediate tests of the third (final) stage of Sputnik Light studies in India. Once approved, Sputnik Light will be the first one-dose coronavirus vaccine to be used in India.

The production of the Sputnik Light vaccine against coronavirus in India assumes much significance as a new variant of COVID-19 was first reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) from South Africa on November 25. As per the WHO, the first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on November 9 this year.

On November 26, the WHO named the new COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, which has been detected in South Africa, as ‘Omicron’. The WHO has classified Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’.

Dozens of countries have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African nations since the mutation was discovered.

The new Omicron coronavirus variant has been confirmed in 23 countries and their number is expected to rise, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had said.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in the country, including post-arrival testing for infection.

India currently uses three vaccines, including Covishield developed by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca and produced by India’s Serum Institute, Covaxin produced by India’s Bharat Biotech, and Russia’s Sputnik V. Two US vaccines, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, have recently also been approved for emergency use in the country, though the vaccination using those jabs has not started yet in India, according to TASS.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Amid Omicron Alarm, 100 Back From Abroad Untraceable Near Mumbai – dot newz

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Returnees to KDMC areas from ”at risk” nations have to undergo 7-day home quarantine. File

Thane:

Amid the Omicron scare, Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation chief Vijay Suryavanshi today said 109 out of 295 recent foreign returnees to the township in Thane district were untraceable currently.

He said the mobile phones of some of these people were switched off while many of the last given addresses were found to be locked.

Mr Suryavanshi said returnees to KDMC limits from all ”at risk” nations have to undergo 7-day home quarantine, and a COVID-19 test will be conducted on the eighth day.

“Even if it is negative, they will have to undergo another 7-day home quarantine and it would be the duty of housing society members to ensure the norm is not violated. Marriages, gatherings etc are being watched to curb violations,” he said.

“Some 72 per cent of the people in KDMC have taken the first dose of the vaccine and 52 per cent are fully vaccinated,” he added.

One Omicron case was detected in a Dombivali resident recently.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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