Current Affairs in Short: 21 April 2021

According to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), COVAXIN neutralises against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and effectively neutralises the double mutant strain as well.

Sangeeta Nair
Apr 21, 2021, 17:40 IST
Current Affairs in Short
Current Affairs in Short

COVAXIN neutralises multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2: ICMR study

•According to a study by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), COVAXIN neutralises against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 and effectively neutralises the double mutant strain as well.
•The ICMR studies showed that Covaxin neutralised the UK and Brazil variants of SARS-CoV-2.
•Covaxin also neutralised the Indian double mutant variant of SARS-CoV-2, which as per experts has fueled the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic in India.

Less than 0.4 pc of medical oxygen exported from India

•According to government sources, the annual export of medical oxygen from India is less than 0.4 per cent of the annual production capacity in the country.
•The sources further stated that a majority of these industrial oxygen exports took place in December 20 and January 21 when medical oxygen consumption had reduced by half to 1418 MT/day from a peak of 2675 MT/day in September.
•The sources added that there are two categories of exports of liquid oxygen, Medical and others (industrial) and between April-February 2020-21, India exported 9884 MT of Industrial Oxygen and only 12 MT of Medical Oxygen.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package for 'Corona Warriors' extended for one year

•The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package scheme has been extended for one year with effect from April 20, informed Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on April 20, 2021.
•The Minister shared that the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package(PMGKP) has provided a safety net to the dependents of corona warriors who lost their lives to COVID-19. 
•The Minister further shared that all claims under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package will be settled by the New India Assurance Company till April 24, after which a new dispensation will be provided to cover 'Corona Warriors'.
•The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package(PMGKP) was announced in March 2020 and has been extended thrice till April 24 2021. 
•It was launched to provide a safety net to the healthcare workers to ensure that in case of any adversity due to COVID-19, their families are taken care of.

Wastage of COVID-19 vaccine 'criminal waste' in current situation: Delhi HC

•The Delhi High Court on April 20, 2021 expressed its concerns on the wastage of the COVID-19 vaccine, saying that the wastage of vaccine in the current situation is a 'criminal waste'.
•The court directed the government to look into the situation to permit full utilisation of vaccine. The direction came while the HC was hearing a petition concerning the COVID-19 situation in the national capital.
•The observation was made by a Division Bench comprising Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli. The bench directed the Centre to ensure that all doses are to be fully utilised. The court was responding to a report that stated 44 lakh vaccines were wasted out of 10 crores.

SII prices Covishield at Rs 400 per dose for government hospitals, Rs 600 for private

•The Serum Institute of India has revised the pricing of its vaccines following the directives of the Government of India. •The price of Covishield will now be Rs 400 per dose for state hospitals and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals. 
•The vaccine manufacturer stated that they are ensuring that their vaccines are affordable in comparison to other vaccines in the world. 
•The manufacturer further stated that they scale up the vaccine production. The SII urged corporate and private individuals to access vaccines through facilitated machinery and private health systems. 

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