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Sunday, June 20, 2021

Daily Briefing: Amid Covid-19 vaccine shortage, several states turn to the world

Read the latest on India's second second covid wave, vaccine shortage, an exclusive Idea Exchange with former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon and more.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 24, 2021 8:38:59 am
A look at the top news today, June 16, 2021.

The Second Wave

States looking to procure Covid vaccines from outside the country can strike Moderna off their lists as the US-based pharma giant told Punjab it only deals with the Centre. Now, the state appears to be pinning its hopes on COVAX, the WHO-led initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

And Punjab isn’t alone in looking for an external source to procure vaccines from. Several, including BJP-ruled states, have floated global tenders amid crippling shortages. We take a look at some. 

Meanwhile in Rajasthan, with people travelling to faraway places to get themselves inoculated, it is leading to tensions in some villages. 

Only in the Express

Former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, who was our guest at Idea Exchange, says India can’t lay claim to “vishwa guru” status yet;  explains that vis-à-vis China, the government shouldn’t be “defending a narrative”, but “actual position on the ground”; and believes that the country cannot rely only on atmanirbharta. 

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren speaks to The Indian Express about the relationship between the Centre and states during the pandemic.

From the Front Page

Most states are in favour of conducting the Class 12 Board examination in the July-August window, albeit in a shortened format and only for 19 major subjects, The Indian Express has learned. 

The decorated Olympic medallist has always enjoyed the media attention. However, on Sunday, Sushil Kumar, hid his face behind a towel as a Delhi Police Special Cell team paraded him in front of the flashbulbs following his arrest over the murder of a 23-year-old former junior wrestling champion. 

Following Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan’s letter asking Baba Ramdev to “completely withdraw” his “objectionable and unfortunate statement” against allopathy in relation to Covid treatment, the founder of Patanjali Ayurved took to Twitter to say that he “withdraws” his statement. “We have also, by using ayurveda and yoga, saved many lives during the pandemic; this also should be respected,” Ramdev wrote. 

Must Read

As an open letter penned by a nine-year-old from Kodagu went viral, the Karnataka police on Sunday confirmed that they were on the search to find her a mobile phone which allegedly went missing from a Covid-19 hospital. The owner of the phone — the child’s mother — had succumbed to the virus on May 16.

Like Remdesivir, a shortage of liposomal amphotericin B injections — a rare antifungal medicine that has emerged as a lifesaver for patients suffering from Black Fungus — has come to haunt Maharashtra. The state’s monthly requirement for the drug has grown 100 times and pharmaceutical companies seem to be incapable of servicing this increased demand.

The Indian Academy of Paediatrics has said that though children remain susceptible to Covid-19 infections, it was “highly unlikely that the third wave will predominantly or exclusively affect children”. In an advisory, the largest associations of paediatricians in the country informed that almost 90 per cent of the infections in children so far has been mild or asymptomatic.

And Finally…

Navdeep Bhatia – Nav to the world – once told Shaquille O’Neal that the big man had no juice left in his legs and they were quaking in fear while taking a free throw. This last week, some of National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) biggest names chimed in their congratulations to Raptors’ Nav Bhatia, who became the first ‘Superfan’ to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.



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