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Sonia Gandhi to PM Modi: ‘Chronic food insecurity’ among poor due to lockdown

In the past few weeks, Gandhi has written letters to Modi to draw the union government’s attention towards plight of migrants, farmers, daily wagers, small and medium scale enterprises among others, while making key suggestions.

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Sonia Gandhi

NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote to Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi raising the issue of ‘chronic food insecurity’ faced by lakhs of people owing to the national lockdown and suggested ways to tackle it. This is Gandhi’s fourth letter to Modi since the 21-day lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Making a case for free access to food entitlements, Gandhi’s key suggestions on Monday included extending 10 kg grains per person to National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries for three months till September this year, for six months for those who do not have ration cards and releasing of food grains to states.

“Lakhs of vulnerable people across the country face chronic food insecurity due to the lockdown. This is tragic given that India has large buffer stock of food grains precisely for exigencies like the current pandemic,” she said in her letter dated Monday to Modi. Gandhi added she welcomed the union government’s decision to provide free 5 kg grain per person in addition to the entitlements under the (NFSA) from April to June.

“10 kg grains per person may be provided free of cost, for a period of 6 months, to those who may be facing food insecurity but not holding ration cards. I would like to bring to your notice that all migrant labour who have been facing acute distress may not be holding NFSA cards. In addition, many deserving people have been excluded from the NFSA lists,” she added.

Several states, over the last few weeks, have been taking steps to tackle the problem of agricultural produce and many have requested the union government to bring a special package for the farming section. Gandhi on also said the release of food grains to the states would help create storage space with Food Corporation of India (FCI) ahead of procurement of Rabi wheat and rice.

In the past few weeks, Gandhi has written letters to Modi to draw the union government’s attention towards plight of migrants, farmers, daily wagers, small and medium scale enterprises among others, while making key suggestions.

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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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Cities

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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