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Pakistan hopeful of acquiring Covid-19 vaccine within the next 6 months

The official said the vaccine might not be effective for life and an energy booster would be required every year.

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COVID-19 Vaccine

Islamabad: A Pakistani official from the Ministry of National Health Services has expressed hope that the country would acquire a vaccine against the novel coronavirus in the next six months.

The official said on Sunday that Pakistan has also prepared antibodies against spike proteins, Dawn news reported.

“At present, 15 vaccines were in phase-III trial globally out of which 11 target the spike protein,” he said.

The official said the vaccine might not be effective for life and an energy booster would be required every year.

Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that positive cases in Pakistan that had remained below 2 per cent for the last six weeks had now surpassed it.

Speaking to Dawn news, Umar said that the nationwide maximum positivity rate at the peak of the pandemic was recorded at 23 per cent while the minimum was 1.7 per cent.

“Within three weeks, the positivity rate went from 6 per cent to 23 per cent, therefore people need to understand that the virus can spread rapidly.

“We had observed that it was transmitting from restaurants and wedding halls, which was why we decided to revise the guidelines,” he added.

Currently, Pakistan’s overall Covid-19 caseload has increased to 319,317, while the death toll stood at 6,580.

Cities

Amid cyclones, Andhra Police lends hand to disaster management

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

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Cyclone Nisarga

Amaravati: In the recent heavy rains, floods and very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, Andhra Pradesh Police was on the forefront to save lives, feed stranded people and bring order amid the chaos, officers said.

The state witnessed torrential downpours in October and November powered by back-to-back cyclones, resulting in almost all the water bodies overflowing, causing much trouble to the common man and farmers alike.

Amidst these conditions, police personnel from constables to Superintendents of Police were working round the clock to help people.

“We had deployed almost 1,500 people from the district force for cyclone duties. We also got one platoon of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). We were deployed continuously for almost 72 hours,” Prakasam’s Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal told IANS.

Amid incessant rain, policemen were deployed at all spots where the streams and water bodies were overflowing, at coastal villages, and to assist the district administration in evacuation.

“We assisted district administration in crowd control. At least 10 rescue operations were carried out in the district to save lives,” said Kaushal.

The SP said a special control and command post, equipped with radio communication, was set up in case mobile phones stopped working.

“Even till today (Monday) morning, we had deployed police in some places, preventing vehicles going in certain roads which were still under water,” he said.

Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.

In Nellore district, which bore the brunt of Nivar, along with Chittoor and Kadapa, three policemen carried a two-month-old baby to safety in Nellore town.

Policemen manned the Midatalavagu, a water body in spate near Kondapuram village to secure people and their movement.

They also monitored the rainwater inflows and outflows at Somasila dam where three gates were opened.

On National Highway 16 (NH 16), near Janardhan Reddy colony in Nellore, police supervised repairs to the road to prevent disruption of vehicle movement.

In similar fashion, police have also enabled the repair of a damaged bridge near Baghat Singh colony on NH 16 and also cleared many trees which were uprooted.

They also rescued two farmers from the middle of a raging water body after they were stuck there.

Not just the elements, police were also compelled to battle rumours.

On Monday, a Nellore district police official busted some rumours circulating claiming that the Kundaleru dam was breached.

–IANS

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Economy to grow only 0.3% in 2 years as India enters first technical recession

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

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National debt under Modi govt surges

New Delhi, Nov 30: The Indian economy is forecast to show an average growth of only 0.3 per cent in two years as India enters its first technical recession, GDP could post further decline in 3QFY21.

As per a report by Motilal Oswal Financial Services, “Real GDP declined 7.5 per cent YoY in 2QFY21 (or 3QCY20), worse than our expectation, but better than the market consensus”.

Fiscal spending, consumption plus investments, posted its first major contraction since FY15 and is the worst on record. On the contrary, decline in private spending narrowed to -9.2 per cent in 2QFY21 from -35.4 per cent YoY in 1Q. The government and private sectors are naturally highly interlinked with each other, the report said.

A comparison of India with other major nations suggests India is no longer the worst affected economy — as the Philippines’ real GDP saw double-digit decline in 3QCY20 and decline was also higher in the UK and Mexico.

Due to a weaker-than-expected 2QFY21, we revise down our 3QFY21 and 4QFY21 growth forecasts.

“We now pencil in a decline of 1–2 per cent YoY in 3QFY21 (v/s a negligible decline earlier) and growth of 2–3 per cent YoY in 4QFY21 (v/s +4.2 per cent projected earlier). Accordingly, India’s real GDP is forecast to decline 7.5 per cent YoY in FY21 (v/s the previous forecast of -6.5 per cent ), but grow 8.5 per cent in FY22 (against 7.8 per cent growth expected earlier). This implies average growth of only 0.3 per cent in the two years,” the report said.

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Fauci warns of ‘surge upon a surge’ in US Covid-19 cases

His warning came as more than 90,000 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the US, with over 18,000 in intensive care units, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

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Anthony Fauci

Washington, Nov 30: Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious diseases expert, has warned that the US might witness a “surge upon a surge” of new coronavirus cases cases in the weeks after Thanksgiving due to cold weather and travel.

“We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality,” Xinhua news agency quoted Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as saying on Sunday night in an ABC News interview.

“Having said that, we have to be careful now because there almost certainly is going to be an uptick because of what has happened with the travel.

“We understand the importance of families getting together. And it’s just something that we have to deal with that we likely will have an increase in cases, as we get into the colder weeks of the winter, and as we approach the Christmas season,” he added.

Fauci urged travellers to be safe when returning home from holiday travels, encouraging them to quarantine if possible and to get tested.

When asked if people should expect similar restrictions and recommendations for Christmas this year, the top expert replied: “I can’t see how we’re not gonna have the same thing because when you have the kind of infection that we have, it doesn’t all of a sudden turn around like that.

“So clearly in the next few weeks, we’re gonna have the same sort of thing and perhaps even two or three weeks down the line… We may see a surge upon a surge.”

Fauci added that he did not foresee “a relaxation” of the current Center for Disease Control (CDC) restrictions.

His warning came as more than 90,000 Covid-19 patients are currently hospitalized across the US, with over 18,000 in intensive care units, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

In its latest update on Monday, the Johns Hopkins University revealed that the US’ current caseload and death toll stood at 13,374,162 and 266,838, respectively.

The two tallies account for the world’s highest, making the US the worst-hit country.

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