The Center calls on states to increase the interval between doses of Covishield
Daily NEWS Summary | 22-03-2021; The Center wrote to the Union States / Territories on Monday to increase the interval between two doses of Covishield to 4-8 weeks (from 4-6 weeks), stating that there is evidence of increased protection if the second dose of Covishield is administered 6-8 weeks after the first dose.
- In a press release, the Department of Health said that in light of emerging scientific evidence, the interval between two doses of a specific Covid-19 vaccine, namely Covishield, has been reviewed by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (NTAGI) and subsequently by the National Group of Experts on the Administration of Covid-19 Vaccines (NEGVAC) at its 20th meeting.
“At this meeting, the recommendation to provide a second dose of Covishield with an interval of 4-8 weeks after the first dose, instead of the 4-6 week interval previously practiced, was reviewed. This revised decision of the time interval between two doses is applicable only to Covishield and not to the Covaxin vaccine, ”the ministry said.
- The letter written by Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to the Heads of State / UT Secretaries noted that the ministry had accepted the recommendations of NTAGI and NEGVAC and subsequently advised States and UT to take over the administration of the second dose of Covishield to beneficiaries in this context, stipulated time interval of 4 to 8 weeks after the first dose.
Covid Updates: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India stood at 11,652,756 at the time of this bulletin, with the death toll at 1,61,410.
- Director Pharma AstraZeneca said advanced testing data from a US study of its Covid-19 vaccine showed it to be 79% effective.
- Although the AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved in more than 50 countries, it has not yet been given the green light in the United States. The results were announced on March 22.
- In a statement, AstraZeneca said that its Covid-19 vaccine had a 79% effectiveness rate in preventing symptomatic Covid-19 and was 100% effective in stopping serious illnesses and hospitalizations.
- The researchers said the vaccine was effective in all ages, including the elderly, something that previous studies in other countries had failed to establish.
- The first results of the US study are just one set of information that AstraZeneca must send to the Food and Drug Administration.
- An FDA advisory committee will publicly debate the evidence behind the injections before the agency decides whether or not to allow emergency use of the vaccine.
Lok Sabha Passes Bill Empowering Delhi L-G at Elected Government’s Expense
Daily NEWS Summary | 22-03-2021; The Lok Sabha today passed a bill that seeks to clarify that the “government” of Delhi means the “lieutenant governor.” The bill was approved amid strong opposition from Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which called the legislation “unconstitutional.”
- Union House Minister of State G Kishan Reddy said that the Delhi National Capital Territory Government (Amendment) Bill 2021 has become necessary because there is ambiguity on some issues related to the functioning of the Delhi government and that several cases have also been brought to court.
- The bill also obliges the Delhi government to follow the advice of the L-G before any executive action. The ruling AAP government in Delhi opposed the bill.
- Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even urged the central government to withdraw the bill, saying the AAP exemption was set to fall at the feet of the Modi government for withdrawal.
Lok Sabha approves a bill that allows up to 74% of FDI in the insurance sector
Daily NEWS Summary | 22-03-2021; The Lok Sabha today passed the 2021 Insurance (Amendment) Bill, which aims to raise the cap on foreign direct investment (FDI) in insurance companies from 49% to 74%. The bill had previously been approved by Rajya Sabha and now requires presidential approval to become law.
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who spearheaded the bill in both houses, said the move was intended to address some of the long-term capital availability issues in the insurance industry.
- Secondly, she added that stakeholders had been consulted by the insurance regulator, the Insurance Development and Regulation Authority of India (IRDAI), before the decision was made to go ahead.
- In a response to the debate on the bill in the House, Sitharaman said apprehensions about the phased buyout of public sector insurance companies were unfounded, as the banking and insurance sector was designated as a strategic sector and 74% . The ceiling is only a limit imposed on FDI.
Bhima Koregaon case: NIA court rejects bail of 83-year-old father. Stan swamy
Daily NEWS Summary | 22-03-2021; The special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) today rejected the bail statement presented by Jesuit priest Stan Swamy in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
- Judge D.E. Kothalikar argued that Fr. Swamy was found in possession of objectionable material and that there was sufficient evidence to link him to the activities of the banned organization. Although he rejected his bail, the court relied on letters allegedly written by co-defendants Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson.
- P. Swamy, 83, activist, has worked with tribes for decades and is currently being held in Taloja Central Prison after being arrested in Ranchi on October 9, 2020. He has Parkinson’s disease and has lost the capacity of hearing with the ears and suffers from severe pain due to lumbar spondylosis.
- Special Prosecutor Prakash Shetty previously indicated that during the investigation it was established that Fr. Swamy was a strong supporter of the activities of organizations such as Vistapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and the People’s Union for civil liberties, which are supposed to work as fronts for the CPI (Maoists).
- Lawyer Sharif Shaikh, representing Father Swamy, had previously argued that the prosecution presented nothing in the file to suggest that Father Swamy was involved in any type of terrorist activity.
- Therefore, Articles 16 (sanction for terrorist act), 20 (sanction for membership of a terrorist gang or organization), 39 (offense related to supporting a terrorist organization) of the Prevention of Illegal Activities Act does not they were applicable.
Transferred after Home Secretary Complaint: Former Mumbai Police Chief Param Bir Singh
Daily NEWS Summary | 22-03-2021; Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh today reported to the Supreme Court that his transfer order came “immediately after” he complained to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and other senior leaders, “bad corrupt practices” of the home minister of the state, Anil Deshmukh.
- Singh alleged that Deshmukh held meetings with “junior officers” such as Sachin Vaze, now detained in connection with the bomb fear case at Mukesh Ambani’s residence, and Sanjay Patil, a section ACP. social services, at his residence in February.
- It was done “bypassing their elders”. The Minister of the Interior had “instructed” the duo “to accumulate 100 million rupees each month”.
The governor must send a factual report to the president: Maharashtra BJP
Daily NEWS Summary | 22-03-2021; On a related note, the BJP’s Maharashtra unit said today that the party will meet with Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on Wednesday to ask him to send a factual report to the president on the developments following the letter. former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh accusing Home. Minister Anil Deshmukh will demand 100 million rupees per month.
- Meanwhile, Congress, which is part of Maha Vikas Aghadi‘s government (along with the Shiv Sena and the NCP), accused the BJP of trying to destabilize the coalition government.