- A two-day dry run for coronavirus vaccine programme begins today in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat and Assam. Focus on management of possible adverse events post-immunisation. States will report observations to the Centre. The government plans to cover 30 crore people in the first phase when it rolls out Covid vaccine.
- The winter session of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly, which was scheduled to begin on December 28, was on Sunday postponed hours after the protem speaker disclosed that 61 employees and officials of the Assembly secretariat and five MLAs had tested coronavirus positive. The decision to put off the three-day session was taken at an all-party meeting held in evening, he said.
- Hyderabad is poised to emerge as a “saviour” from coronavirus, with up to five vaccine-makers – Bharat Biotech, Biological E, and Aurobindo Pharma, Dr Reddy’s, and Hetero – based in the city racing to bring out an antidote. Some of these companies have also drawn up plans to scale up their vaccine manufacturing capacities.
- Hundreds of British tourists forced into quarantine in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier fled in the night rather than seeing their holidays go downhill, the local municipality said on Sunday. Around 200 of the 420 or so quit under the cover of darkness, the SonntagsZeitung newspaper reported.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin will receive the Sputnik V vaccine against coronavirus, a Kremlin spokesman told a TV channel on Sunday. Russia launched a voluntary vaccination programme in December, starting with the most vulnerable groups in Moscow.
- New York State Health officials on Saturday said they are probing a Brooklyn-based healthcare provider on suspicion of violating state guidelines for distribution of COVID-19 vaccine. ParCare Community Health Network “may have fraudulently obtained COVID-19 vaccine, transferred it to facilities in other parts of the state in violation of state guidelines…” the New York state Health Commissioner said in a statement.
- Top US government scientist Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday that the worst of the pandemic may be yet to come, driving the country to a “critical point” as holiday travel spreads the coronavirus. President-elect Joe Biden had cautioned on Wednesday that the nation’s “darkest days are ahead of us – not behind us.”
- After delaying its for nearly a week and under pressure from all sides, US President Donald Trump finally signed a massive $900 billion stimulus bill on Sunday, in a long-sought boost for millions of Americans and businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic. The package “providing coronavirus emergency response and relief” is part of a larger spending bill that, with Trump’s signature, will avoid a government shutdown on Tuesday.
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