Brazil is testing an experimental coronavirus vaccine, but interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello acknowledged Tuesday that the government has yet to strike a deal to get it if it works. Other nations have already secured hundreds of millions of doses of the shot created by Oxford University.
The country’s pandemic response has faced criticism since March when President Jair Bolsonaro started defying social distancing recommendations. Hours before Brazil’s health minister spoke at the congress, a judge ordered Bolsonaro to wear a face mask whenever he is outdoors in the capital of Brasilia.
Pazuello, an army general who made his career in logistics, discussed Brazil’s efforts to buy a vaccine for the virus or acquire the technology to make it. The country’s health regulator, Anvisa, approved human clinical trials for the potential vaccine this month.
Pazuello said a decision on a deal for Brazil to acquire the planned vaccine is expected by the end of the week but will depend on the government’s chief of staff. British researchers started testing the experimental shot in May aiming to immunize more than 10,000 people, including older people and children. The vaccine is one of about a dozen in the early stages of human testing.
Brazil, where coronavirus infections are still on the rise, is the only country other than the United Kingdom testing the Oxford vaccine. The country counts more than 1 million confirmed cases and more than 52,600 fatalities. Clinical trials began in Sao Paulo on Monday and will start in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday. The British Embassy says 5,000 health professionals are being vaccinated.
“We are working directly with the three most promising” vaccines, Pazuello said, naming the Oxford shot, a vaccine under development by American company Moderna and one of the Chinese experiments, which he did not disclose.
Vijay Rangarajan, the British ambassador to Brazil, told The Associated Press he hopes Brazil will be one of the first countries to receive the vaccine if it works.
“However, that will depend on when the country will sign the agreement,” he said by e-mail. “There is already production capacity for the vaccine of 2 billion doses worldwide. But much of the global production is already purchased.”
An Earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 felt in Nepal, India and China
An earthquake of Magnitude 4.9 hit Nepal, India, and China at around 03.00 pm IST. Tremors were felt in Nepal with light tremors in some cities like Muzaffarpur, Hajipur, and Patna in the Indian state of Bihar.
The epicenter is said to be 10 km from Phulpingkatti in Nepal. More updates are awaited.
London Bridge Down: Death of Queen Elizabeth brings a moment of reckoning for Britain
LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II has died in Scotland aged 96 after battling health problems since last October, the Royal Family announced Thursday. Doctors had placed the queen under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, her estate in the Scottish Highlands.
Buckingham Palace has just released the following statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her close family rushed to her bedside as doctors grew “concerned” about her health on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said. Her grandson and his wife, Harry and Meghan Markle – who had a public showdown with the Palace, flew in from Canada.
According to news agency AFP, the Queen pulled out of a planned meeting with her senior political advisors on Wednesday, after being told to rest. The previous day she had audiences at Balmoral – her Scottish Highlands retreat, with outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson and appointed his successor, Liz Truss.
In recent months, the Queen appeared visibly frail and had a series of withdrawals from public engagements. She had taken to walking with a stick and was also seen touring the Chelsea Flower Show in a motorized buggy.
In June, the UK came together for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the British throne. Her husband, Prince Phillip, died last year at the age of 99, two months before his 100th birthday.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Liz Truss, born 101 years later in 1975, and appointed by the Queen earlier this week. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
Bharat Ratna awardee and true gem Lata Mangeshkar Ji is no more
The nightingale of the music industry, Lata Mangeshkar Ji passed away on February 6 at the age of 92 in the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai. She was born on September 29, 1929. Very few singers have achieved the admiration that she did in her life.
She sang thousands of songs in more than 20 different languages. Not only in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan, she was also admired and praised in western countries.
PM Modi was among the first ones to share the sad news. “The kind and caring Lata Didi has left us. She leaves a void in our nation that cannot be filled. The coming generations will remember her as a stalwart of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerise people,” he tweeted.
Apart from Bharat Ratna, she received numerous honors like the Daughter of the Nation award, the Legion of Honour award from the French government, and many more. Lata Mangeshkar truly was a gift that India will never cease cherishing.
We at Giveupnot pay our heartly tributes to her and wish that “unki aatma ko sadgati prapt ho”, OM SHANTI.