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Covid Crisis in India Very Serious, Cases Yet to Peak, Says US Official

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A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) receives treatment inside the emergency ward at a hospital in New Delhi. REUTERS

A patient suffering from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) receives treatment inside the emergency ward at a hospital in New Delhi. REUTERS

There’s a lag time between when people are infected, when they become sick and when they may need care, said Gayle E Smith, the State Department Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security

  • PTI Washington
  • Last Updated:May 01, 2021, 08:05 IST
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The Covid-19 crisis in India is indeed very serious, the Biden Administration said on Friday, noting that the cases have not peaked yet. I’m afraid that the crisis in India with the surge in the virus is indeed very, very serious. India’s reporting an increasing number of cases almost every day. The crisis has not peaked yet, Gayle E Smith, the State Department Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security told reporters at a news conference here.

Smith explained that in a surge, there’s a lag time between when people are infected, when they become sick and when they may need care. “I think this is something that’s going to need urgent and persistent attention for some time. That’s why we have in the immediate sense been focused on key supplies like oxygen support, protective medical gear, vaccine manufacturing supplies, diagnostic tests and other things that are needed quite simply to respond to this immediate surge, she said. The Biden Administration is looking at other things that can be done to build up supply chains within India so that there can be a more steady supply of all those things that are needed to manage this over time, Smith asserted.

Smith said once the Administration received the request of items from India, the interagency quickly moved to get these approved. There are a couple of outstanding things that agencies are working on. But again, we’ve rotated these goods in on a steady rhythm so far so I think it’s been a pretty prompt response, Smith said. State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said the United States will continue to lead the world in confronting Covid-19. Smith also praised the role being played by the US corporate sector in this assistance effort towards India. With the crisis in India, we have been very active on responding to that. Planes have landed with supplies. Our teams are closely engaged with the Government of India to see what else may be needed additionally, she said.

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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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