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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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Earthquake of magnitude 4.1 strikes Jammu and Kashmir

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Earthquake Strong

Srinagar, Jan 16 : An earthquake of magnitude 4.1 hit Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, but there was no report of any damage, officials said.

At 10:01 pm, the earthquake struck at a latitude of 33.03 degrees north and a longitude of 75.93 degrees east — 93 kms east of Katra, they added.

The depth of the earthquake was 10 kms, the officials said.

They said while the tremors caused panic among people, there were no reports of any loss of life or injury or damage to property.

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Covaxin consent form says vax administered without ph-3 trial

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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COVAXIN Corona Covid vaccine

New Delhi, Jan 16 : Amid the vaccinaton drive against Covid-19, it has emerged that there is a separate consent form for those who are administered the ‘Covaxin‘ vaccine manufactured by Bharat Biotech.

The form says that “In phase-1 and phase-2 clinical trial ‘Covaxin’ has demonstrated the ability to produce antibodies against Covid-19, however the clinical efficacy of Covaxin is yet to be established and it is still being studied in phase-3 clinical trial, hence it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that the other precautions related to Covid-19 should not be followed.”

The form says that in case of any adverse and serious condition, the receiver will be provided utmost care at the health centre and in case of casuality the compensation will be provided by Bharat Biotech.

“The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor BBIL if the SAE is proven to be casually related to the vaccine,” it said.

Serious concerns were raised in certain quarters including by opposition parties and Congress leader Manish Tewari has questioned the efficacy of ‘Covaxin’ while the Prime Minister has warned people not to believe in “rumours”.

The world’s biggest vaccination drive come almost a year after the first coronavirus case was detected in India, and since then the deadly virus has claimed over 1.5 lakh lives and infected one crore people. The first case came to the fore on January 30, 2020 in Kerala.

Two vaccines — the Oxford vaccine ‘Covishield’ manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, and indigenously developed ‘Covaxin’ by Bharat Biotech — will be administered to priority groups. So far, the central government has procured 1.1 crore Covishield and 55 lakh Covaxin vaccines at a cost of Rs 200 and Rs 206 per dose, respectively.

In Delhi, which has 81 vaccination sites, ‘Covaxin’ has been allotted to six Centre-run hospitals while 75 Delhi government and private hospitals will receive ‘Covishield’.

The vaccine is first offered to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and those above 50 years of age, followed by the below-50 population with comorbidities, and finally to the remaining population based on disease epidemiology and vaccine availability.

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Disaster

Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake Hits Russia-Mongolia Border Region

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers

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Earthquake Strong

AN earthquake of magnitude 6.7 struck the Russia-Mongolia Border Region on Tuesday, the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences said.

The quake was at a depth of 10 kilometers, it added.

The epicenter of the earthquake was registered 277 kilometers southwest of the city of Angarsk, in the Russian Irkutsk region, and 30 kilometers from the Mongolian city of Turt, Russian state-owned news agency Sputnik reported. https://bit.ly/2XtgrJs

There were no immediate reports of damage or victims, the report said.

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