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Kim congratulates Xi on COVID-19 containment

Kim’s latest words of praise for Xi came after he reappeared in a state media report on May 2 following a 21-day absence from the public eye.

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North Korean Kim Jong un

Seoul, May 8 : North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has sent a congratulatory message to Chinese President Xi Jinping for successfully containing the novel coronavirus, Pyongyang’s state media reported on Friday.

In a “verbal message”, Kim said that Xi “is seizing a chance of victory in the war against the unprecedented epidemic and strategically and tactically controlling the overall situation while leading the Chinese party and people”, Efe news quoted Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying in a report.

Kim also wished te President “good health” and expressed conviction that “the Chinese party and people would cement the successes made so far and steadily expand them and thus win a final victory under the wise guidance of Xi Jinping”, KCNA added, without specifying when the message was delivered to Beijing.

Kim has on several occasions praised the efforts of the Chinese government in controlling the pandemic, the real extent of which is unknown in North Korea since Pyongyang completely sealed its borders at the end of January in the face of the spread of the disease in the neighbouring country.

Kim’s latest words of praise for Xi came after he reappeared in a state media report on May 2 following a 21-day absence from the public eye.

During this period, the leader missed several important regime events, including the commemoration of the birth of the country’s founder and Kim’s grandfather Kim Il-sung, on the main national holiday on April 15.

Given the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic and the traditional secretiveness of the North Korean government, Kim’s disappearance had been accompanied by anonymously sourced reports in foreign media suggesting that he was gravely ill after undergoing cardiac surgery, or even dead.

The speculation was also fueled by the state media reporting that during his last public event, Kim named his sister as a member of the powerful Workers’ Party of Korea political bureau, a move interpreted by some commentators as a succession plan.

However, South Korean intelligence agencies refuted the speculations and later the North Korean leader’s reappearance ruled out the possibility that he could have undergone any medical procedure of this kind.

South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said that even a simple cardiovascular procedure would have required four or five weeks of recovery, whereas Kim was absent for three weeks.

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Priyanka Gandhi slams Yogi over Covid-19 handling in Uttar Pradesh

Then it was said the report was positive, but the ambulance came to take the body after 16 hours, Priyanka Gandhi said.

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Priyanka Gandhi

New Delhi, Jul 15 : Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday attacked the Uttar Pradesh government over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the ground reality is completely different from the “propaganda” of the Yogi Adityanath dispensation.

“Looking at the condition of the coronavirus ward of the medical college in UP CM”s home district (Gorakhpur), you will know how much the ground reality is different from the false propaganda of the UP government,” Priyanka Gandhi said on Twitter.

The COVID-19 ward of the medical college is full of drainage water. The patients are worried and there is no system of draining out the water, the Congress general secretary in-charge of UP East tweeted in Hindi along with a video of the ward with drainage water.

In a tweet earlier, Priyanka Gandhi said that according to media reports, first it was stated that the report of a deceased person was negative for coronavirus and the body was handed over to the person”s family.

Then it was said the report was positive, but the ambulance came to take the body after 16 hours, Priyanka Gandhi said.

This happened in the home district of the CM in Gorakhpur, she said.

“Is this how the UP government is fighting coronavirus?” Priyanka Gandhi said.

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Delhi records 1,647 new Covid cases, 41 deaths in 24 hours

Over 6,564 RT-PCR and 15,964 rapid antigen Covid-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

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Corona Death Body

New Delhi, July 15 : With 1,647 new coronavirus cases and 41 deaths in the last 24 hours, the national capital recorded a total tally of 1,16,993 cases and 3,487 deaths, health officials said on Wednesday.

According to Delhi government’s daily health bulletin, as many as 95,699 people have recovered, almost five times the number of active cases which stand at 17,807. Total of 2,463 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.

On June 23, the city had witnessed the highest single-day peak of 3,947 cases, but the number has come down steadily since then despite the number of tests increasing.

Testing numbers in the city have also gone up since the commencement of rapid antigen tests last month. Over 6,564 RT-PCR and 15,964 rapid antigen Covid-19 tests were conducted in the last 24 hours.

Currently, 4,021 beds are occupied in the hospitals out of a total capacity of 15,363 beds — 2,029 in the dedicated COVID Care Centres out of 9,284 and 167 beds in the dedicated COVID Health Centres as against the availability of 554 total beds. Over 9,943 people are under home isolation.

The number of containment zones in the national capital stood at 659. Last week, the number of containment zones increased by more than 150 after the city government decided to break existing hotspots into smaller clusters for better surveillance.

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US stocks rally after promising Covid vaccine results from Moderna

Earlier, Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 which is designed to protect against the Covid-19 virus was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults, say researchers.

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Vaccine

New York, Jul 15 : The Wall Street on Wednesday cheered the promising early results from US-based pharmaceutical major Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273, and solid earnings from Goldman Sachs Group.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 338 points in early-morning trading. The S&P 500 rose 1.1 per cent while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.9 per cent, reports CNBC.

The three main US stock indexes have recovered most of their losses from the coronavirus-led downturn.

Earlier, Moderna’s experimental vaccine, mRNA-1273 which is designed to protect against the Covid-19 virus was generally well tolerated and prompted neutralising antibody activity in healthy adults, say researchers.

Moderna stocks surged 17.8 per cent to a record high after the news.mRNA-1273 vaccine is designed to induce neutralising antibodies directed at a portion of the coronavirus “spike” protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter human cells.

In the Phase 1 trial, led by Lisa A Jackson of Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, the 45 participants ages 18 to 55 years received the candidate vaccine.Three groups of 15 participants received two intramuscular injections, 28 days apart, of either 25, 100 or 250 micrograms (mcg) of the investigational vaccine.

The results from the first stage of Moderna’s vaccine trial showed the first 45 participants developed antibodies to the virus.

The study showed that regarding safety, no serious adverse events were reported. The interim analysis included results of tests measuring levels of vaccine-induced neutralising activity through day 43 after the second injection.

Two doses of vaccine prompted high levels of neutralising antibody activity that was above the average values seen in convalescent sera obtained from persons with confirmed Covid-19 disease.

However, more than half of the participants reported fatigue, headache, chills, myalgia or pain at the injection site. Systemic adverse events were more common following the second vaccination and in those who received the highest vaccine dose.

“The mRNA-1273 vaccine-induced anti-SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified. These findings support further development of this vaccine,” the study authors wrote.

The researchers revealed that Moderna started its phase 2 trial in May and expects to start a phase 3 trial this month.

Russia has claimed to become the first nation to complete clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine on humans, and the results have proven the medication’s effectiveness, the media reported.

As on Wednesday morning, the overall number of global Covid-19 cases increased to more than 13.2 million, while the death toll soared to over 5,77,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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