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UK government donates $26mn to speed up coronavirus vaccine

The coronavirus outbreak has been categorised as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

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London, Feb 3 : The UK government has donated 20 million pounds ($26 million) towards a break-neck plan to produce a vaccine to combat the deadly new coronavirus, which has till Monday claimed the lives of 361 people in China alone.

On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that government’s investment will go to CEPI – the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations – a global body aiming to fast-track the vaccine within six to eight months, reports the BBC.

But CEPI Chief Executive Richard Hatchett said such a tight timescale was “unprecedented”.

If the biologists are successful, more time would still be required to test the vaccine more widely and secure sign-off from medical regulators before it could be distributed across the world.

“This is an extremely ambitious timeline – indeed, it would be unprecedented in the field of vaccine development,” the BBC quoted Hatchett as saying.

“It is important to remember that even if we are successful – and there can be no guarantee – there will be further challenges to navigate before we can make vaccines more broadly available.”

The UK government’s contribution will help fund the efforts of Kate Broderick, a 42-year-old Scottish doctor based in California, who is working to create a coronavirus vaccine.

“We hope to get the final product into human testing by early summer,” Broderick, a molecular geneticist who works for the pharmaceutical company Inovio, told the BBC last week.

The coronavirus outbreak has been categorised as a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

On Monday, China’s National Health Commission said there were a total of 17,205 infected cases, while 2,296 patients remained in severe condition, and 21,558 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has overtaken that of the similar Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003, prompting various countries to impose travel restrictions to a varying degree.

The other countries were confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported are Japan (20), Thailand (19), Singapore (18), South Korea (15), Hong Kong (15), Australia (12), Taiwan (11), Malaysia (eight), the US (eight), Germany (eight), Macao (eight), Vietnam (seven), France (six), UAE (five), Canada (two), Italy (two), the UK (two), India (two), Philippines (two), Russia (two), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Spain (one) and Sweden (one), according to the BBC report.

On Sunday, the Philippines confirmed the country’s first death from the novel coronavirus, making it the first nation outside China to report a fatality.

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Coronavirus opportunity for India to unite as one: Rahul Gandhi

“Test more people, treat more people should be mantra today, I request you to raise your voice for more testing.”

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, April 6 : A day after the nation showed unity and solidarity against the coronovirus on the call of the Prime Minister, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi sees an “opportunity” for the country to “unite” despite differences and forge one purpose to defeat the deadly virus.

Rahul Gandhi shared a picture of two boys of different religions playing with colour on Holi and tweeted “The coronavirus is an opportunity for India to unite as one people, putting aside differences of religion, caste & class; to forge one common purpose: the defeat of this deadly virus.”

“Compassion, empathy & self sacrifice are central to this idea. Together we will win this battle,” tweeted Gandhi.

The party on Monday emphasised the need of testing as “If testing is not exponentially ramped up, we will be wasting precious time in the fight to save lives. We just cannot afford to lose even a single day.”

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also on Monday appealed to the citizens to raise their voice for “testing” more people to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Priyanka tweeted in Hindi and said, “To stop the spread of the coronovirus, the only way is to test more people so that the infected can be treated.”

“Test more people, treat more people should be mantra today, I request you to raise your voice for more testing.”

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Spitting corona patients in HP to be booked for attempt to murder

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Himachal Pradesh Police

Shimla, April 6 : A coronavirus positive patient spitting on someone will be booked on charge of attempt to murder, Himachal Pradesh Director General of Police S.R. Mardi said on Monday.

He said such an incident was reported from a hospital in the hill state.

“And in case any person gets infected thus and dies of COVID-19, a case of murder would be registered against the accused patient,” he said in a video message to the media.

He said that 52 persons have disclosed their recent foreign and inter-state travel history to the Himachal Police after his warning on Sunday.

He had warned that concealing such information, especially by members of the Tablighi Jamaat after return from Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi, would lead to a criminal case on attempt to murder or murder charge.

To prevent COVID-19 transmission through spitting, the state last week prohibited the sale and use of chewing gum for three months.

According to state’s health bulletin on Sunday, seven coronavirus patients have been undergoing treatment in the state. One patient was discharged after treatment, while one died.

Four other patients have been undergoing treatment outside the state.

All seven patients under treatment in Himachal are said to be members of the Tablighi Jamaat.

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Bhopal to impose complete lockdown from midnight

Traffic in any area will be completely restricted. Passes given for reasons other than emergency services have also been suspended, the district officials added.

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Guwahati Road Highway

Bhopal, April 5 : The Madhya Pradesh government has ordered a complete lockdown in the state capital from Sunday midnight in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

However, milk booths and medicine shops have been exempted from the lockdown restrictions, besides, goods and other essential services will be available at doorstep every day.

According to the district administration, the decision comes after two bureaucrats and a health officer here were found positives for covid-19.

Additional District Magistrate Satish Kumar S. issued a revised order of a complete lockdown in the state capital from April 5 midnight.

The authorities have also ordered closure of all the ‘mandis’. Vehicles of all government and private officials engaged in essential services will be exempted from this ban. Besides, media personnel are also exempted from the restrictions.

Traffic in any area will be completely restricted. Passes given for reasons other than emergency services have also been suspended, the district officials added.

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