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Daily NEWS Summary: 20.07.2020

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine triggers the immune response

In a new research paper published in The Lancet, scientists at the Oxford University have said that their experimental vaccine, in an initial trial, produced a dual immune response in hundreds of people between 18 and 55 years old, demonstrated that the injection led them to produce antibodies and T cells that can fight the coronavirus. Meanwhile, according to media reports, the Indian Serum Institute (SEI) has signed an agreement with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to manufacture and supply one billion doses of the Oxford vaccine, which is being developed in collaboration with AstraZeneca.

“Preliminary results from a phase ½ trial involving 1,077 healthy adults found that the vaccine induced strong immune responses of antibodies and T cells up to day 56 of the ongoing trial. These responses may be even higher after a second dose, based on a subgroup study of 10 participants,

”The Lancet tweeted.

While these results are promising, they are still only preliminary. The effects of the vaccine were “measured by the amount of antibodies and T cells it produced in the volunteers’ blood, not in any response to the virus itself,” The Guardian reported.

The Supreme Court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to expand the committee investigating the deaths in the meeting of Vikas Dubey and his associates. Reminding the Yogi Adityanath government of its responsibility to arrest, detain and fairly prosecute a defendant in a court of law, he asked the state to consider including a former SC judge and a retired police officer. The main court also observed that “it was a failure of the institution” that “a person like Vikas Dubey obtained bail despite so many cases” against him.

  • “You must understand that, as a state government, you must be able to arrest, detain and prosecute an accused until he is found not guilty or guilty,” said Chief Justice of the Indian Supreme Court (CJI), Sharad A. Bobde, addressing the lawyer from the UP government.
  • The bench of three judges run by the CJI found “substance” in the arguments that there have been “up to 6,126 police encounters in which 122 people have been killed” in the state since Adityanath assumed the post of Chief Minister.
  • Chief defender Sanjay Parikh, who appeared at the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), called the court’s attention to statistics of deaths from state encounters.
  • “There is substance in what Parikh says … What is at stake is not an incident [of Dubey] in Uttar Pradesh, what is at stake is the entire system,” the CJI emphasized. The court, however, refused to leave a SC judge for the investigative committee. “We cannot prevent a trial judge from becoming part of the investigative committee,” he said.

Reopening of schools: states remain undecided; More than half of the states and territories of the Union, including the hot spots of Covid-19 Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, have not yet decided on a date to reopen the schools. This was conveyed to the Center at a recent meeting. The remaining states are divided between those ready to reopen in August, which includes Delhi and Bihar, and others that will not open until September, such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. The Union’s Ministry of Human Resources Development has also asked states to assess parents’ views on the issue and reverse Monday, offering options for reopening in August, September or October.

The number of coronavirus cases reported from India was 11.45,653 at the time this bulletin was published, with a death toll of 27,966. India reported its biggest single-day jump in coronavirus infections on Monday, adding 40,425 new cases. The toll increased by 681 to 27,497. The recovery rate was 62.61%. The Kerala government has mandated that all migrant workers entering the state undergo rapid tests based on antigen testing for the coronavirus, followed by 14 days of quarantine in the ward. Meanwhile, major pharmacist Mylan said he launched the generic version of the drug Remdesivir commercially under the brand name “Desrem” in India. It is priced at Rs. 4,800 per 100 mg vial.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of other VIPs, including Maharashtra Chief Prime Minister Uddhav Thackeray and his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, will attend a ceremony on August 5 to lay the foundation stone for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya said the temple trust. The Prime Minister will place a 40kg silver brick as the cornerstone. The PTI reports that the three-day Vedic rituals will take place before the main ceremony, which will begin on August 3.

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