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Britain Sends Covid Aid to India But Has ‘No Vaccines to Spare’

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Britain Can’t Send Vaccines to India, Says Needed for Domestic Use: Britain has sent a consignment of medical supplies such as oxygen concentrators to India with more on the way but has said it has no vaccines to spare. Britain has so far ordered in all 517 million doses of vaccine for a population of 68 million. However, it is in the midst of a fast and extensive vaccination programme of its own – for which it has fallen short of about five million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due for delivery from India but which have now been diverted to domestic use to contain the spreading cases. In the midst of feeling short-changed by India over its vaccine supply, the British government was not expected to reverse the flow of vaccines in the direction of India.

Northern Ireland Gives Oxygen-producing Units: New British supplies to India will include three oxygen-generation units being sent from Northern Ireland. The units had been procured earlier in Northern Ireland to prepare for its Covid emergency arrangements. But these have not since been required by any hospital there. The oxygen units being sent by the British government are all from a stockpile of contingency arrangements subsequently not needed.

Air India to Restart UK Flights, Those with Indian Passports Barred: Air India is resuming flights to Britain from May 1, even if they cannot carry any visitors to Britain who hold Indian passports. These will now add to flights by British Airways, Virgin and Vistara. The flights are open to British nationals and to Indian nationals resident in Britain, who must undergo a ten-day quarantine at a government-designated hotel at an average cost of £1750 per head, besides tests before departure and after arrival. Given the worsening position in India, many British passport holders in India have been keen to head out. The new Air India flights are, however, a limited schedule operating until May 15.

Indian Covid Strain Spreads in Leicester: Fresh cases of the Indian variant of the virus have been found in Leicester, the city 100 miles north of London with a large population of Indian origin. It is thought these have arisen from travel from India before the red-listing last week. Medical chiefs in the city say an “enhanced response” is being put in place to stop the variant from spreading. This includes isolation of cases, monitoring of their contacts, and mass testing in particular neighbourhoods.

Spain Sending Aid, Also Putting Restrictions on Indian Travellers: It is now Spain’s turn to impose restrictions on travel from India, which will mean a mandatory ten-day quarantine. The Spanish are not, unlike the British, making a distinction between Spanish and Indian citizens. The quarantine covers all travellers who set out from India to arrive indirectly (there are no direct flights between Spain and India). The Spanish authorities have said also there is no reason to panic over the mutation found in India. The Spanish government is meanwhile sending seven tonnes of medical supplies to India. Just about every country is pitching in.

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Russian-made Sputnik V launched by Dr Reddy, to cost Rs.995 per dose

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Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, the Indian partner of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said it has commenced Sputnik V’s India rollout, with the first doses being administered in Hyderabad on Friday on a limited basis.

Deepak Sapra,, the global head of Custom Pharma Services at Dr Reddy’s Lab became the first person to receive the Sputnik V shot at Hyderabad today.

According to the reports, the Hyderabad-based company said the Russian vaccine – Sputnik V would be priced at Rs 948 per dose with an additional 5% GST to be charged on it, putting the price at around Rs 995.4.

“As part of a limited pilot, the soft launch of the vaccine has commenced, and the first dose of the vaccine was administered in Hyderabad today on May 14, 2021. The imported doses of the vaccine are presently priced at an MRP of Rs 948 + 5% GST per dose, with the possibility of a lower price point when local supply begins,” the company said in its regulatory filing.

Further, the company also said that the first consignment of imported doses that landed in India on May 1, 2021, has received regulatory clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory, Kasauli, on Thursday, May 13, 2021.

The pharmaceutical company expects more consignments of imported doses in the upcoming months. In later months, the supply of the Sputnik V vaccine produced by the Indian manufacturing partners is also expected to commence. Currently, the Russian vaccine manufacturing company is working closely with its six manufacturing partners in India to fulfil regulatory requirements to ensure a smooth and timely supply.

“Dr Reddy’s will work closely with stakeholders in the government and private sector in India to ensure the widest possible reach of the Sputnik V vaccine as part of the national inoculation effort,” the Hyderabad-based pharma company said.

The rollout of the Sputnik V vaccine at market rates, without any subsidy or philanthropic rate slash, comes at a time when left-liberals are waging war against Indian-made vaccines over its alleged ‘higher costs’ while batting for much costlier foreign vaccines.

Propaganda against Indian vaccines

Ever since various pharmaceutical companies developed vaccines for Covid-19, the left-liberals, joining hands with the opposition parties, have launched a vested campaign against Indian companies. The left-liberals have been attacking the Indian origin Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech and SII’s Covishield over its prices while forcing both the government and manufacturers to slash the prices.

The left-liberals had accused Indian companies of making huge profits at the expense of common people by keeping the prices of their vaccines high. In realilty the Indian made vaccines are among the cheapest in the wolrd.

It is interesting to see how the opposition parties and its left-wing media ecosystem reacts to the roll-out of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines that cost around Rs.1,000, which is nearly costlier than the two Indian-made vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield.

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Madhya Pradesh Woman Killed for Giving Birth to 4 Girls, Over Dowry

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A 28-year-old woman was killed allegedly by her husband and in-laws for giving birth to four girls, last of which was born just three months ago, and also over dowry in Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district, police said on Friday. Savitri Baghel was strangled to death allegedly by her husband Ratan Singh, his father Kilold Singh and mother Benoo Bai at their home in village Dindoli, some 80km from the district headquarters, on Thursday, Police Inspector Ramraja Tiwari said.

He said according to the deceased’s brother Krishna Baghel, Ratan Singh and his parents used to harass his sister for giving birth to four daughters and not bearing a male child. Krishna Baghel told the police his sister had given birth to the fourth daughter just three months ago, he added.

The family would also harass the woman for dowry, Tiwari said. The accused have been booked under IPC sections 302 (murder) and 304B (dowry death), but no arrest has been made so far, the police officer said.

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Pune Municipal Corporation receives consent to float global vaccine tender

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The Pune Municipal Corporation has finally received the consent of the state government to float global tenders to vaccinate its citizens. The approval from the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government came after the PMC threatened to move ahead with the process without their consent.

The consent by the Maharashtra Government comes more than three weeks after it was initially sought. The Pune Municipal Corporation had earlier decided to move ahead with the process saying that lives were more important.

Siddharth Shirole, BJP MLA from Shivajinagar constituency in Pune, on Thursday had slammed the state government for granting permission to the BMCV to float global tenders within 24 hours but not awarding the same to Pune despite 23 days having passed.

The Leader of the House in Pune Municipal Corporation is Ganesh Bidkar from the BJP. The BJP had accused the state government of discriminating against Pune. Pune wants 25 lakh vaccines to inoculate its citizens against Covid-19.

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