Plan B: IPL in Sri Lanka or South Africa if covid situation worsens in India

News Network
January 13, 2022

With Covid-19 cases surging in India, clouds have formed over the likelihood of India being the venue for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI)  is mulling holding the league outside of India amid the ongoing scenario. However, unlike the past two years where the IPL has been partially or fully held in UAE because of the pandemic, the BCCI is now keen to look at other options for the flagship event.

Cricket board officials are considering South Africa and Sri Lanka as their backup options for IPL 2022, according to a report in The Indian Express.

“We can’t be dependent on UAE all the time so we decided to explore more options, South Africa’s time difference also works out well for the players,” a BCCI official told the publication.

South Africa, so far, has hosted two cricket series and has impressed BCCI officials for the way the country handled the Indian players.

“The place where the team was staying for the second Test is spread over several acres. There were walking tracks and even a pond on the property and that has made things easier for the players who for the last couple of years or so have been confined to their rooms on several overseas tours,” an official said.

A BCCI official, recently said that the board is prioritising holding the tournament in India but the decision will be dependent on what the state governments decide.

BCCI had to postpone the upcoming edition of the Ranji Trophy indefinitely due to the rise in Covid cases in the camps. The domestic U19 Behar Trophy was also halted midway for the same reason.

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News Network
May 10,2022

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Bengaluru, May 10: Terming his recent transfer to the training wing of the Karnataka state police as a “harassment” by the government of Karnataka, Director General of Police (DGP) Dr P Ravindranath has tender his resignation.

After handing over charge to Addl DGP Arun Chakravarthy at Directorate of Civil Rights Enforcement (DCRE) yesterday, Ravindranath had walked from his office on Palace Road to the office of the state police chief on Nrupathunga Road to meet state police chief Praveen Sood.

In his resignation letter addressed to Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, the IPS officer wrote: "I am pained to observe the opacity shown by Karnataka Chief Secretary, Ravikumar when I requested him to issue government order to set up protection cell as per rules of SC & ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules 1995."

"I am prematurely transferred without any public interest just to harass me, since I have taken legal action against people involved in fake caste certificate issue," he wrote.

The 1989-batch officer is known for resigning and later withdrawing his resignation letters. He had tendered his resignation in 2008, 2014 and 2020.

Earlier speaking to media, the top cop said that he is being targeted by a 'few individuals' who are influencing the government. "I am not against the government. The transfer is not on my request or in the interest of the public. It is a clear case of conspiracy and I have decided to resign," he claimed.  

Ravindranath said he demands justice and will take further decisions. "Recently, I had revealed the names of a couple of influential people during a press meet. Notices were issued to them to appear before the officer in the Directorate of Civil Rights Enforcement (DCRE), where I have worked for about one-and-a-half years. Soon after that press meet, I was targeted and the government decided to transfer me by violating norms," he added.

He expressed willingness to work at DCRE for some more days as he wants to give justice to the genuine SC/ST community. "I wanted to initiate action against those individuals who have taken fake certificates to obtain government jobs through the SC/ST quota. I have been working sincerely and without bias," he added.

Ravindranath, while serving as ADGP, had tendered his resignation to the then Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar through the state police chief Praveen Sood on October 28, 2020. He had then accused a ‘few individuals' of harassing him.

The officer was unhappy over the promotion of two other IPS officers to the post of director general of police when his name was second in seniority. He later withdrew the resignation after meeting then CM BS Yediyurappa. 
 

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News Network
May 16,2022

People who are vaccinated and then get infected with Omicron may be primed to overcome a broad range of coronavirus variants, early research suggests.  

A pair of studies showed that infection produced even better immune responses than a booster shot in vaccinated patients. Teams from Covid-19 vaccine maker BioNTech SE and the University of Washington posted the results on preprint server bioRxiv in recent weeks.

The findings offer a reassuring sign that the millions of vaccinated people who’ve caught Omicron probably won’t become seriously ill from another variant soon -- even though the research needs to be confirmed, especially by real-world evidence. 

“We should think about breakthrough infections as essentially equivalent to another dose of vaccine,” said John Wherry, a professor and director of the Institute for Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania who wasn’t involved in the research but reviewed the BioNTech study. That could mean that if someone had Covid recently, they could wait before getting another booster shot, according to Wherry. 

Alexandra Walls, a principal scientist at the University of Washington who authored one of the studies, cautioned that people shouldn’t seek out infections in response to the findings.

The data comes as Omicron continues to fuel outbreaks around the world, most notably in China, where residents of Shanghai have endured almost six weeks of lockdown. Waves of new variants are coming more quickly in part because Omicron is so transmissible, giving it ample opportunity to spread and mutate as countries drop restrictions, said Sam Fazeli, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. Meanwhile, regulators are weighing whether Covid vaccines should be updated to target Omicron.

BioNTech’s team argued that the data indicate that offering people an Omicron-adapted booster shot may be more beneficial than multiple ones with the original vaccines.

The Washington research, conducted together with Vir Biotechnology Inc., looked at blood samples from people who had been infected, and then had two or three doses of vaccine, as well as those who’d caught the delta and Omicron variants after two or three doses; others still had been vaccinated and boosted but never caught Covid. A final group had only been infected with Omicron and never vaccinated.

One part of the study zeroed in on antibodies, the protective proteins tailored to recognise and neutralise invaders. It showed vaccinated people who’d caught Omicron had antibodies that outperformed the others. They were even capable of recognizing and attacking the very different delta variants. 

“That indicates that we are at the point where we may want to consider having a different vaccine to boost people,” said David Veesler, an assistant professor at the University of Washington, who led the research. The scientists were also able to identify antibodies in the nasal mucous of these patients, which could help them neutralise the virus as soon as it enters the body. 

Nasal sprays are poised to be the next weapon for fighting Covid

Both the Washington and BioNTech studies also looked at another piece of the immune system: B cells, a type of white blood cell that can kick in to produce a burst of fresh antibodies if they recognise a pathogen. People who’d had an Omicron breakthrough infection had a broader response from these useful cells than those who’d had a booster shot but no infection, the BioNTech team found. 

Crucially, the Washington team also found that the broad response was missing in unvaccinated people who had caught Omicron as their first exposure to the virus. This “would be a problem if a new variant that is significantly different emerged,” Veesler said. 

There’s no guarantee that future mutations will be as mild as Omicron, and the pandemic’s future is hard to predict since it depends not just on immunity in the population, but also on how much the virus mutates. 

Other researchers who reviewed the studies said the findings match up with the growing body of evidence for an immune boost from exposure to different virus variants via vaccination and infection. Scientists have also shown broad immune responses in people who caught delta after getting their shots. 

“Maybe this is an indication that an updated booster might be a good idea,” said Theodora Hatziioannou, a virologist at The Rockefeller University who helped lead a team that looked at breakthrough infections in a group of vaccinated people in New York City. 

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News Network
May 10,2022

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has opened a new Aadhaar Seva Kendra (ASK) in the coastal city of Mangaluru to serve the residents better. 

10 things to know about ASK in Mangaluru.

1.    The new ASK is situated at Crystal Arc building, Balmatta Road, Hampankatta at the heat of Mangaluru city.

2.    This is the fifth ASK in Karnataka after Bengaluru, Mysuru, Davangere and Dharwad. There are 83 such centres in the entire country and this is the first centre allotted to the entire coastal Karnataka.

3.    The new centre can process upto 500 Aadhaar enrolment and updation applications per day, according to ASK Regional Manager G Gajendra.

4.    People can avail all Aadhaar-related services like enrolment and updation of address, name, gender, date of birth, mobile number, email ID, photo and biometric updation (fingerprint and iris) at the centre.

5.    The centre functions all seven days in a week from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. The time will also be extended depending on the demand from the people. 

6.    People can also book online appointments at ask1.uidai.gov.in and choose a convenient date and time to avail the services at ASK as well. 

7.    Aadhaar enrollment and biometric updation is free of cost for those in the age group of 5 to 15. 

8.    For other updates/corrections, a nominal fee of Rs 50 will be charged while for the Aadhaar biometric a sum of Rs 100 will be charged.

9.    ASK will hold camps in villages for Aadhaar-related services in the coming days to help those bed-ridden and sick who are unable to travel to the Aadhaar service centre to get an Aadhaar card, said Mangaluru ASK Manager Balakrishna.

10.    In case if people do not have any required documents to furnish, then they can get a standard format authorised by a gazetted officer to get the Aadhaar, he said.

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