India's federal health ministry on Friday said about 30 Covid-19 vaccines were under various stages of development in the country, reports Xinhua.
According to the ministry, of the 30 vaccines, three were in the advanced stage.
"Nationally, nearly 30 COVID-19 vaccine candidates are under development, by both industry and academia. These vaccines are in different stages of pre-clinical and clinical development of which three candidates are in advanced stage of Phase I/II/III trials and four are in advanced pre-clinical development stage," Federal Health Minister Harsh Vardhan told the Indian parliament.
One COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be available by the beginning of the next year, said the minister.
According to the minister, a high-level expert group was looking into matters related to vaccine distribution and immunization.
"The distribution and immunization of the coronavirus vaccine are subject to availability. Once available, the coronavirus vaccine distribution follows the same route as for the current practice of vaccines distribution under Universal Immunization Program (UIP)," Vardhan said
India is in the grip of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the cases are increasing with each passing day.
India Friday said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 5,214,677 including 84,372 deaths.
Globally India is the second worst-hit country by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read Also: India records 96k new COVID-19 cases
Urging countries to get back on track, UN Messenger of Peace and Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has said that the Sustainable Development Goals are ‘the future’, reports UN News.
Malala Yousafzai, UN Messenger of Peace and Nobel Laureate, delivered remarks at the first virtual Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Moment of the Decade of Action on Friday.
The global goals represent the future for millions of girls who want education, women who fight for equality, and youths fighting for clean air, said Malala Yousafzai.
“When I last spoke here, I was just about to enter university…optimistic about what was ahead: university life, making new friends and access to an incredible education,” she told the inaugural SDG Moment event, intended to renew the efforts to meet the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the coming decade.
“This June, I graduated in the midst of a reeling world — one many of us could not have predicted."
The young Nobel Laureate recalled that five years ago Member States signed on to the SDGs, but, “So far, you have not kept up with your work”, she declared.
While acknowledging that COVID-19 has been “a striking setback to our collective goals” she stressed, “it cannot be an excuse."
“On education alone, 20 million more girls may never go back to the classroom when this crisis ends the global education funding gap has already increased to 200 billion dollars per year," she flagged.
Setting new norms
The young advocate signaled that moving forward, things should not return to the way they were.
“When will you commit the necessary funding to give every child 12 years of quality education? When will you prioritise peace and protect refugees? When will you pass policies to cut carbon emissions?”
Underlining the need for “a profound commitment to the way the world should be – a place where every girl can learn and lead, a place where we put people and our planet ahead of profits, a place where leaders keep their promises,” Yousafzai requested that those gathered “set the norms” of a new sustainable, healthy, educated and equitable era.
Britain on Friday stripped disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein of an honor recognizing his contribution to the UK film industry.
The 68-year old movie mogul was given the honor in 2004, reports AP.
A notice circulated on The Gazette, the UK's official public record, said “The Queen has directed that the appointment of Harvey Weinstein to be an Honorary Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated January 19 2004, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order."
The forfeiture committee can remove a honor, with the approval of the queen.
Weinstein had earlier been convicted of rape and sexual assault on two women and sentenced to 23 years in prison.
Accusations by dozens of women in 2017 led to the end of his career and helped spur #MeToo — a global movement demanding that powerful men be held accountable for their sexual misconduct.
Once one of the most powerful people in Hollywood, Weinstein's credits include "The English Patient," "Good Will Hunting," and "Shakespeare In Love."
China's satellite producer Galaxy Space announced that its new broadband communication satellite has entered the assembly stage after the company completed the development of satellite payloads
The satellite will be the second of the Beijing-based company, which aims to build a broadband satellite constellation in low-Earth orbit and create a global 5G communication network, reports news agency Xinhua.
Its first communication satellite was sent into space in January this year.
China's commercial satellite sector is expecting a boost after "satellite internet" was added to a list of "new infrastructures" in April by the National Development and Reform Commission.
A school teacher has forcefully been placed on administrative leave in Iowa City of the USA after he reportedly assigned students to pretend like a black slave and write their feelings, reports AP.
The assignment for an online freshman class at Liberty High School in Iowa City asked students to write four sentences about what they would do if they were a slave who was freed.
"Think very, very carefully about what your life would be like as a slave in 1865," the assignment reads. "You can't read or write and you have never been off the plantation you work on. What would you do when you hear the news you are free? What factors would play into the decision you make?"
The teacher, whose name was not released, was placed on administrative leave and the assignment was removed, Iowa City Community School District spokeswoman Kristin Pedersen said. A statement from the district called the assignment "inappropriate" and said it "does not support and will not tolerate this type of instruction."
Dibny Gamez said her 14-year-old daughter, Ayesha, could not complete the assignment because it made her feel uncomfortable. Ayesha is among a small number of Black students in the class.
"She just starts tearing up," Gamez said. "And I was, like, 'No, listen, you don't have to be ashamed of who you are.' I said, 'You are beautiful for who you are. Don't let not one soul make you uncomfortable for who you are.'"
Assignments asking students to role-play enslaved people or slave owners trivialize or distort the actual events of slavery, said Justin Grinage, a professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Minnesota who focuses his research on race and education.
"The best-case scenario with lessons like this is that students come away with a fabricated lie about history. So, best-case scenario, they don't really learn anything, or they learn the wrong thing," Grinage said. "Worst-case scenario is that it's a deeply traumatic experience for students of color, particularly Black students."