Anyone over the age of 45 can get the COVID vaccine starting April 1
Daily NEWS Summary | 23-03-2021; Today government has announced that from April 1, people over the age of 45 will be eligible to take COVID-19 vaccines. They have to sign up for the vaccination. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that even people without comorbidities over 45 can be vaccinated.
- Secondly Javadekar added that, Cabinet also decided that the second dose of the vaccine can be taken between four and eight weeks, on the advice of doctors.
- It was allowed to be taken four to six weeks earlier, but scientists have now said that taking the second dose between four and eight weeks works best.
81% of samples in Punjab test positive for the British variant
Daily NEWS Summary | 23-03-2021; With 81% of the latest batch of 401 COVID-19 samples submitted by the state for genome sequencing testing positive for the UK variant, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday asked people to vaccinate, even when he urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expand the scope of vaccination as this mutant infects young people more.
- Expressing concern about the emerging situation, the Chief Minister highlighted the need for the central government to urgently open vaccination to a larger part of the population.
- The process needs to be sped up, he said, pointing to the fact that experts had found the existing Covishield vaccine to be just as effective against the UK variant.
- Vaccinating more people is critical to breaking the chain of transmission, he added.
- Further Captain Singh also urged people to strictly adhere to all Covid-19 safety protocols, including wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
- The appeal came after the head of the state Covid expert committee, KK Talwar, briefed him on the development of the new variant in the state, which has seen an increase in the number of positive cases for Covid-19 in the last weeks.
- Singh said that Dr. Talwar had informed him that while the UK variant B.1.1.7 was more contagious, it was not more virulent. Variant B.1.1.7 is spreading rapidly in many parts of the world, accounting for 98% of new cases in the UK and 90% in Spain. UK authorities have suggested that it is up to 70% more transmissible than the original virus.
India abstains from voting on Sri Lanka’s resolution at the HRC
Daily NEWS Summary | 23-03-2021; India abstained in a crucial vote on Sri Lanka’s human rights record at the UN Human Rights Council. However, the resolution on “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka” was adopted after 22 member states out of 47 Council members voted in favor.
- The Sri Lankan government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the main group representing war-affected Tamils in the north and east of the island, had sought opposite results by passing the resolution. Both had hoped to obtain India’s support for their respective appeals.
- In a pre-vote statement, the Indian delegation said that India’s approach to human rights in Sri Lanka was guided by the “two central considerations” of supporting Tamils in Sri Lanka.
- For equality, justice, dignity and peace; and the guarantee of the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka, We have always believed that these two goals are mutually reinforcing and that Sri Lanka’s progress is best ensured by addressing both goals simultaneously, India said, reiterating its previous position.
- India said it supports the international community’s call for the Sri Lankan government to fulfill its commitments to decentralize political authority, including holding early elections for provincial councils.
- And to ensure that all provincial councils can function effectively, in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lankan Constitution.
- A total of 11 countries, including China and Pakistan, voted against the resolution, in favor of the Sri Lankan government, while 14 countries, including India, abstained.
Agitation in Bihar Assembly over bill enabling police to arrest anyone without warrant
Daily NEWS Summary | 23-03-2021; The vehement opposition to a bill introduced in the Bihar assembly by the Nitish Kumar government on Tuesday sparked unprecedented unrest in the House, and police were called in to physically expel lawmakers who had besieged the president’s chamber .
- Members of the opposition Grand Alliance, comprising the RJD, Congress and the Left, have been agitated by the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021.
- RJD lawmakers have tabled a motion against the draft. law, raising slogans against him. The bill, which was introduced last week, seeks to change the name of Bihar military police and gives them the power to arrest people without a warrant.
- As the bill was debated, agitated opposition members flocked to the well, where bailiffs attempted to prevent them from colliding with those of the treasury banks.
- President Vijay Kumar Sinha adjourned the House session until 4:30 p.m. but was eventually taken hostage in his chamber as members of the Grand Alliance surrounded her on all sides, shouting slogans.
Loan Default: SC Calls on Lenders to Pay EMI’s Compound Interest
Daily NEWS Summary | 23-03-2021; The Supreme Court has ordered banks and financial institutions to reimburse compound interest / criminal interest charged to EMI‘s during the moratorium period granted during the Covid-19 lockdown, from March 1 to August 31 of last year.
- Judge Shah, author of the judgment, ruled that additional interest in the form of compound interest or criminal interest is usually charged to debtors in default on loans.
- With down payments already postponed during the moratorium, what was the need to overburden borrowers, who were already reeling from financial losses from a pandemic and foreclosure, the court asked.
- The ruling has also relieved banks and lenders, as the court lifted their nearly six-month ban that prevented them from reporting borrower accounts as past due assets (PADs).
- In October last year, the Supreme Court prevented banks and lenders from reporting borrower accounts as NPA.
- The court declined to receive complaints from petitioners that the government had not done enough to ease the burden of financial pressure during the pandemic.
- The higher court also rejected persistent demands by borrowers for full interest relief for IMEs included in the moratorium period. It also refused to extend the moratorium until December 2020 or, as some of the petitioners claimed, an additional six months from August 31, 2020.
- The court said a full waiver of interest on EMI loans would hit harshly on banks and depositors.
AstraZeneca may have used outdated information in vaccine trial: United States
Daily NEWS Summary | 23-03-2021; The results of a US trial of AstraZeneca‘s Covid-19 vaccine may have used “outdated information,” US federal health officials said in a statement in early March. The Data and Safety Oversight Committee said in a statement that it was concerned AstraZeneca provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data.
- AstraZeneca reported on Monday that its Covid-19 vaccine offered strong protection to adults of all ages in a long-awaited U.S. study, a finding that could help rebuild and boost public confidence in the vaccine around the world.
- The company aims to file a claim with the Food and Drug Administration in the coming weeks. External government advisers will publicly debate the evidence before the agency makes a decision.
Covid Updates: The number of coronavirus cases reported in India was 1,16,99,617 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with a death toll of 1, 61,654.
- The Home Ministry on Tuesday released a new set of guidelines in light of the increase in Covid-19 cases.
- The directives oblige the governments of the states / territories of the Union to strictly apply the Test-Track-Treat protocol in all regions of the country, to ensure compliance with appropriate Covid-19 behavior by all and to extend the vaccination campaign to cover all objectives groups.