Covid-19 vaccine likely to be ready in India by end of 2020, says SII

August 10, 2020


Bengaluru, Aug 11: Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII), has said the coronavirus vaccine may be ready by the end of this year and that the final price of the anti-virus dose will be announced in two months.

SII is part of an agreement with AstraZeneca, which along with Oxford University, has developed a vaccine that has reported satisfactory progress from the test results.

"We should have a vaccine by the end of this year. We will conduct trials in India on a few thousand patients in partnership with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)," Poonawalla told CNBC-TV18, adding the final pricing for the vaccine will be announced in two months.

Poonawalla had earlier said that by the end of August, between 4,000 to 5,000 people in Pune and Mumbai will be injected with the vaccine as part of trials scheduled to last over two month. He said the company aims to manufacture 300 million to 400 million doses by the year-end.

The institute has also inked a pact with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to make 100 million doses of the vaccine. This is for low-and medium-income countries, and with a price cap of Rs 250 a dose.


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News Network
September 22,2020


Geneva, Sept 22: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reported a record number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus registered across the world over the past week -- almost 2 million infections -- which marks the highest number in a single week so far.

"From 14 through 20 September, there were almost 2 million new cases of COVID-19, which represents a 6 per cent increase compared to the previous week, and the highest number of reported cases in a single week since the beginning of the epidemic. During the same period, there was a 10 per cent decrease in the number of deaths, with 36,764 deaths reported in the past seven days," the WHO said in a situation report late on Monday.

In particular, an increase in the weekly case incidence rate was reported across all regions in the last seven days, except for Africa, with the two Americas remaining the worst-hit areas and accounting for over 38 per cent of all new cases reported over the past week.

Meanwhile, Europe showed the greatest increment in the number of fatalities in the past week, with a 27-per cent increase compared to the previous week.


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News Network
September 12,2020


After the death of veteran social worker and Arya Samaj leader Swami Agnivesh, former CBI director Nageswara Rao, who was controversially installed in a midnight coup by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, revealed himself as the new Hindutva icon spewing hate.

“Good riddance @swamiagnivesh. You were an anti-Hindu donning saffron clothes. You did enormous damage to Hinduism. I am ashamed that you were born as a Telugu Brahmin.A wolf in sheep’s clothes. My grievance against Yamaraj is why did he wait this long,” tweeted the retired IPS officer.

Even as the shocking tweets by Rao caused widespread outrage on Twitter, he held his ground.

“Why do we celebrate as festivals the days savages were dead? Because they're pests destroying society & their death is a cause for celebration. It was also to warn people not to patronise the bad. Hinduism eschews अपात्र दानं & misplaced sympathy as they destroy both the giver & the sympathizer,” he responded to a criticism.

When someone reminded him that all religions call upon human beings to pray for the departed, the former policeman tersely quipped that her knowledge on this issue was inadequate.

When even a conservative Hindu voiced his disapproval of Rao’s crass sentiment, the officer but not a gentleman responded by saying, “Hinduism is NOT Faith. It's Dharma. Faith is blind belief & Hinduism is against it. Critical Inquiry informs Dharma. Vishnu took nine avatars so far to kill Adharmics, which we celebrate as festivals. Are these festivals Hate Virus?”

While a few of his ilk commended him for the vile tweet, many were shocked enough to try and shame him. The following are some of the reactions his tweets elicited:

*There is something very wrong about you as a person. I feel sorry for your family, I just can’t imagine how they put up with you. My sympathies. I can understand a person being like you but what I don’t understand is the public display of filth on Social Media!

*An IPS officer cannot be a religious or casteist bigot as it is against the CCS conduct rules. Karma will catch up with you, sir, when you blame a dead person on his death. Rest in peace Swami Agniveshji. You stood for humanity.

*Didn't know Swami Agnivesh was Telugu. Now double proud of him. Looks like Nageswara Rao is still waiting for the elusive Rajya Sabha seat/ governor post. Mr. Rao will be in the Sanghi dust bin till his last days

How do you eat and sleep in the night peacefully with so much venom? If there is real social distancing, it needs to be from these vultures.

*Swami Agnivesh was a Vedic scholar and a true Hindu nationalist. But RSS goons lynched him, abused him, attacked him throughout his life. But he stood strong for true nationalism. RIP, a pure soul left his body today.

*Any believer of the Hindu faith knows about the cycle of births and karma. You, Nageshwar Rao, should be very worried too. May Swamiji's soul find eternal peace.

*I think your tweet and thinking is shameful... I am a proud Hindu Brahmin. But my SANSKAR will never permit me to abuse any person specially when he is no more....

*You were a senior police officer. You did enormous damage to the people who believe in secularism in our establishment. You must feel ashamed as an Indian. It means your true identity was hidden behind Khaki. Get well soon.

*Wow & this man an IPS! A fitting reflection to what our society is all about ! These & their ilks are the ones placed at the helm of the bureaucracy to serve people. No wonder caste & gender bias run deep in the system careful what you wish for...the supporters whom you are proud of will discard you like rotten fish one day..

*In Hinduism only Rakshas celebrate death. The Rakshas who in principle are against the values of Hinduism. Swami Agnivesh was the real Hindu, who preached values & principles as mentioned in Bhagwat Geeta. Clearly, you seem to have no knowledge of Hinduism.

M. Nageswara Rao, a relatively junior officer working in the CBI, was installed as the director post-midnight after the then Director, CBI initiated an inquiry against Rakesh Asthana, now heading the Narcotics Control Bureau, for corruption. Both Asthana and Rao were perceived to be close to the ruling dispensation.

Weeks before he retired at the end of July as Director General, Fire Services and Home Guards, Rao stoked Hindu sentiment by tweeting that there was a conspiracy to vilify Hinduism and steal ‘Hindu Knowledge’. His communally charged tweets were condemned then as unbecoming of a serving officer.

Also Read: Social activist, Arya Samaj leader, former minister Swami Agnivesh passes away at 80


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Media Release
September 26,2020


Mangaluru, Sept 26: Taking up medicine and becoming a doctor is a challenge for many youngsters these days, as the profession faces the onslaught of new diseases and viral pandemics like Covid-19. It also has to deal with social miscreants taking law into their hands and physically attacking doctors for silly reasons.

Swimming against the current, one young lady has not only chosen medicine as her profession, not just completing Post Graduate specialisation in General medicine, but she has also excelled in the field by reaching the highest level of Super Specialisation in India today, that is DM (Doctor of Medicine). She is Dr Sphoorti Pai, hailing from Shivamogga in Karnataka.

Dr Sphoorti Pai has completed DM in Endocrinology from St John's Medical College, Bengaluru and has scored the highest marks in Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. That is something for all the young doctors to ponder, as not many reach her level, nor do they match her performance. She has done that while curing hundreds of ailing poor patients in the hospitals that she has worked over the years.

Dr Sphoorti P Pai is the elder daughter of Dr Prashanth Kumar Pai and Sucheta Pai.  She did her schooling from 1st to 10th at Vasavi Vidyalaya, Kote Road, Shivamogga, completed her PUC at DVS Composite PU College, Shivamogga, MBBS and MD (General Medicine) from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore. Her credentials are listed at the end of this article.

Sphoorti's father Dr Prashanth Kumar Pai is a senior consultant physician at Sahyadri Hospital Shivamogga. He is also an exponent of Hindustani Tabla and her mother Sucheta Pai is a Post Graduate in English literature from Manasagangotri Mysore. She was a lecturer at Kuvempu University Shivamogga. She is a good homemaker and an enthusiast in Hindustani Classical vocal.

Her younger sister Dr Pranati Pai is a graduate in Dental Sciences from SDM Dental College, Dharwad. At present Dr Pranati is pursuing MDS in Prosthodontics from Bapuji Dental College, Davangere. She was the under-9 yrs State Champion in chess and has won many prizes in chess tournaments. She is also good at singing and sketching.

Her paternal grandparents Shanthi Pai and Late Raghupathi Pai are from Hosangadi in Udupi District. Her grandfather was a merchant and agriculturist. Dr Sphoorti's maternal grandparents Dr Suresh D Isloor and Dr Veena S Isloor established their own nursing home Sahyadri Hospital in Shivamogga in 1964, and the hospital celebrated Golden Jubilee in 2014. Dr Suresh Isloor has been conferred the prestigious Dr BC Roy Award for his contribution in the field of Medicine. Dr Isloor is a specialist in both Eye and ENT, which is again rare in the field of medicine.

Dr Sphoorti Pai is married to Vignesh Prabhu, who is a graduate in Engineering from Bangalore Institute of Technology and MBA from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Rohtak. He is currently placed as Manager at SLK Software, Bangalore.

Dr Sphoorti Pai's achievements:

• Class topper in school

• National Talent Search Examination Scholar – State level 25th rank and received the prestigious national scholarship from 10th standard till completion of MBBS.

• Has represented Karnataka State team, which won the gold medal in 51st National School Games 2005-2006 at Vishakapatnam.

• Has won many prizes in district, state and national level chess tournaments.

• Essay on environment was selected for publication in a book which was released by the then President of India, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006.

• Has won prizes in essay competions, drawing and music.

• Secured 6th rank in medical, 17th rank in engineering, 4th rank in ISMH in CET, Karnataka in 2008.

• 6 Gold medals in Pathology, ENT, General Medicine, Topper in 3rd and 4th year MBBS and Best outgoing student graduating from Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute in 2014.

• 13th rank in PGCET for MD entrance in 2014.

• 7th rank in MD General Medicine from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2017.

• 28th rank in medicine branch for NEET super specialty entrance examination in 2017.

• Completed DM Endocrinology from St John’s Medical College Bangalore in 2020.

• Her hobbies are playing chess, singing, drawing pencil sketches and cooking.

• When asked about how she could achieve all that at such a young age, she just smiles and says, "One should have honesty, self-confidence, genuine interest and dedication in what one does. Then impossible becomes possible".

• Dr Sphoorti Pai has future plans to excel in the field of endocrinology and contribute to the well-being of her patients and society.  


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