- Centre says augmenting availability of Corona vaccine & completing vaccination of vulnerable groups ‘topmost priority’ of govt
- 1.5 lakh doses of Sputnik V vaccine arrive in India; RDIF ties up with Indian companies for bulk production
- Centre issues advisory on management of fungal infection among Corona patients
- Ayush Ministry adds 7 more centres for free distribution of Ayush-64 to Covid patients
- Uttar Pradesh govt to launch massive vaccination drive of 18 to 44 age group today
- Over 17 crore doses of Covid-19 vaccine administered in country so far
- IAF flight carrying over 1300 oxygen concentrators arrives from Israel
- Nearly 4,200 tonnes of Liquid Medical Oxygen delivered by Railways so far across country
- India strongly condemns terrorist attack on Girls school in Afghanistan
- IAF operates Covid Air Support Management Cell to efficiently coordinate for distribution of all relief aid
- US Navy seizes illicit weapons cache in Arabian Sea
- NASA criticizes China as debris from rocket lands in Indian Ocean
Outreach and overreach
- Judicial intervention
- Supreme Court order forming a 12-MEMBER NATIONAL TASK FORCE for the effective and transparent allocation of medical oxygen to the States and Union Territories “on a scientific, rational and equitable basis”.
- Making recommendations on augmenting the supply based on present and projected demands and facilitating audits by sub-groups within each State and UT is also part of its remit.
- The Court has also mandated it to review and suggest measures for ensuring the availability of essential drugs and remedial measures to meet future emergencies during the pandemic.
- In other words, the national task force has become a judicially empowered group that may significantly guide the handling of the health crisis set off by the second pandemic wave.
- Several High Courts and the Supreme Court are examining different aspects of the pandemic response, including availability of beds and oxygen.
- Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, who heads the Bench hearing the suo motu proceedings, has clarified that the Court was not usurping the executive’s role, but only wanted to facilitate a dialogue among stakeholders.
Search For Order | ToI
- The sources of oxygen supply are unevenly spread but the demand for it comes from across the country.
- CMs asking for higher oxygen allocation
- The Centre responded favourably to the court’s suggestion on a task force to streamline the process of allocation.
- The government will take the final call on the task force’s recommendations.
- The litmus test for governance is our capacity to deal with surges in a way that limits loss of lives and restricts economic damage.
US Abandoning Kabul To Bombers of Kids | ET
- The bombing near a school in a Shiite area targeting girls is a grim trailer of what likely lies ahead, once the United States and its Nato allies withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in September.
- The US and Nato allies have a moral obligation to not turn the clock back in Afghanistan.
- The US did not just start the war to pursue Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda, for whom the Taliban had offered refuge in the land they ruled.
- The US helped Pakistan create and nurture the mujaheddin — many of whom would go on to form the Taliban — with the goal of using zealots to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan.
- When the Soviets exited Afghanistan, the US, too, left, leaving the Taliban to take over the country.
- It was no accident that the terrorists who hijacked Indian Airlines flight 814 in 1999 took the plane to Kandahar and exchanged their hostages, the plane’s passengers, for terrorists held in Indian prisons.
- The Taliban has been loyal to its original sponsors, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, and maintains its original medieval theology and worldview.
- USA must complete the training and equipping of Afghan security forces, and extend intelligence and other support, so that they can ward off Taliban violence.
A TRIPS waiver is useful but not a magic pill
- In October 2020, India and South Africa, at the WTO, proposed (https://bit.ly/3vTJ9SK) waiving Sections 1, 4, 5, and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS agreement (covering copyrights, industrial designs, patents, and undisclosed trade information) related to the prevention, containment, or treatment of COVID-19.
- The United States has finally relented and declared its support for a temporary waiver of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement for COVID-19 vaccines at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
- The U.S.’s support of the TRIPS waiver is a significant step forward in the global fight against the pandemic.
- Legally, the waiver is surely possible since Article IX of the WTO Agreement allows for waiving obligations in ‘exceptional circumstances’ (https://bit.ly/3uCTMJy), which the COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly is.
- In the aftermath of the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa in the 1990s, the WTO adopted a decision in 2003 waiving certain TRIPS obligations to increase the accessibility of medicines in countries that lacked manufacturing capability.
- Medicines useful in treating COVID-19 and other therapeutics must be also included in the waiver.
- Countries should start working towards making suitable changes in their domestic legal framework to operationalise and enforce the TRIPS waiver.
- Notwithstanding the usefulness of the TRIPS waiver, it is not a magic pill.
- It would work well only if countries simultaneously address the non-IP bottlenecks such as technology transfer, production constraints, and other logistical challenges such as inadequacy of supply chains and unavailability of raw materials to manufacture vaccines and medicines.
- The horror of sweeping infections, severe disease and staggering death rates has made a lockdown a popular measure, unlike last year’s imposition on an ill-prepared nation.
- Public acceptance of restrictions comes with the realisation that the threat to life from a mutating virus.
- WHO explains that SARS-CoV-2 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets and aerosols produced when people cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe, are within one metre of each other and also in crowded, poorly ventilated settings.
- Moreover, rather than shut out employment and services completely, home delivery services and some vending have been permitted.
- A slowing infection curve will give everyone breathing space in coming weeks, although the heart-rending death rate may take time to decline due to the lag effect.
- A drop in the vaccination rate poses a serious challenge, and it is incumbent on the Centre to arrange for vaccine imports or augment domestic production to scale it up.
- Testing access must also be dramatically increased by May-end to assess the true scale of the pandemic.
- Without such progress, the lockdowns may yield only small gains, since the opportunity to build the systems to handle another surge would have been frittered away, again.
Q.) Which nation has authorized Pfizer’s Covid vaccine for ages 12 and older?
Q.) Scotland is part of United Kingdom since ____?
Q.) The most trafficked mammal in the world is ______?