India slams rich nations for vaccine patent hurdle
India has hit out at developed countries that are seeking to block its joint initiative with South Africa for patent waiver on Covid-19 vaccines. It has urged World Trade Organisation (WTO) members to decide on the issue quickly given the massive impact of the pandemic.
Covid-19 cases rise for 16th day in a row
Total of 98 fatalities reported in India on Tuesday. Maharashtra again accounted for more than half of India’s death toll with 54 fatalities, followed by Kerala (16), Punjab (10) and Karnataka (7). Punjab logged 730 fresh cases on Tuesday.
COVID-19: UK extends furlough scheme by 5 months, gives more help to self-employed
Europe|: London: Britain will extend its huge job-protecting furlough programme by five months until the end of September and expand parallel support for the self-employed, finance minister Rishi Sunak is due to announce in a budget speech on Wednesday. Workers covered by the furlough scheme — currently about one in five private-sector employees — will continue to receive 80 per cent of their salary for hours not worked. But employers will have to start contributing to the cost as the economy reopens from lockdown, paying 10 per cent of the hours their staff do not work in July, rising to 20 per cent in August and September, the ministry said. “Our COVID support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK,” Sunak was due to say in his budget speech to parliament, according to excerpts sent to media by the finance ministry. “There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead — and beyond.” The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) had been due to expire at the end of April, raising fears of a sharp jump in unemployment at a time when the economy is still likely to be struggling under the weight of coronavirus restrictions. The Confederation of British Industry welcomed the move. “Extending the scheme will keep millions more in work and give businesses the chance to catch their breath as we carefully exit lockdown,” CBI chief economist Rain Newton-Smith said. The CJRS will cost £70 billion (Dh360 billion) between its launch in March last year during the onset of the pandemic and the end of April, according to estimates made last month by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Sunak is also due to announce on Wednesday that a further 600,000 self-employed workers will become eligible for government support. Until now the government had only allowed applications from workers who were self-employed in the 2018-19 tax year, but eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be expanded to those who first reported being self-employed in 2019-20. A fourth SEISS grant for the self-employed will be available from next month worth 80 per cent of three months’ average trading profits up to £7,500 in total, and details of a fifth grant would be provided on Wednesday, the ministry said.
'The impossible is not impossible': The push to make Covid-19 vaccines at record speed
Before the pandemic, Anne Leonard's friends and family had only a cursory interest in her two decades of work manufacturing pharmaceuticals. But recently, when her grandmother learned that her work as the director of quality assurance at the Catalent facility in Indiana meant that her granddaughter was helping keep the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines safe, she was so proud, she told all her friends about her granddaughter's efforts to help end the pandemic.
Father's death in New York nursing home leaves daughter mourning: 'No one deserves to die alone'
Samuel Arbeeny was one of nearly 15,000 nursing home residents who died in the wake of the Cuomo administration’s March 25 directive that barred nursing homes from refusing people just because they had COVID-19.
Trump ally Rep. Lee Zeldin exploring NY governor bid amid Cuomo controversies
Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York says he’s “actively exploring” a run for governor next year as embattled Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment as well as a federal probe into the state’s handling of COVID deaths at nursing homes amid the coronavirus pandemic
India's present overall case positivity rate suggests Covid-19 close to being under control
India's present overall Covid-19 case positivity rate of 5.11 per cent suggests the pandemic is close to being under control, the Union health ministry said on Tuesday. Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan said though certain states are seeing a surge in the number of Covid-19 active cases, "the fact remains that recovered cases are still more than 97% and active cases under 2%".
'We're leaving it open': Progressives weigh withholding vote on Covid relief over minimum wage
House progressives are strongly pushing to pass a $15 minimum wage now as they believe this moment is their best shot, and some are already signaling they are willing to withhold their votes if the final version of the Covid relief package does not include the provision.
Over 1.54 crore vaccine doses administered so far, over 6 lakh on Tuesday: Govt
The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses given in the country has crossed 1.54 crore which include 6,09,845 shots administered on Tuesday, the Union Health Ministry said in its provisional data. The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) being inoculated against the virus. Vaccination of the frontline workers (FLWs) started from February 2.