#Once in 100 years: An op-ed article in BusinessLine today highlights how the pandemic offers a once in 100 years’ opportunity to invest in health. “We must not miss it”, says the writer.

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Once in a hundred-year chance to revitalize public health in India: suggestions for Budget.
It must focus on revamping the health system

#Delta to fade away? With the spread of the Omicron variant, which is now in community transmission in India, the Delta variant will fade away, according to the latest study of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

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Omicron to displace Delta as dominant strain: ICMR study
The study suggests that individuals infected with Omicron have a significant immune response, which could neutralise the Delta variant

#Infections dip: Meanwhile, 2,86,384 people tested positive for coronavirus infections in a day, and India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 4,03,71,500, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday. The death toll has climbed to 4,91,700 with 573 fresh fatalities.

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Active COVID-19 cases in country decline to 22,02,472
The active cases comprise 5.46 per cent of the total infections

#Antibody cocktails in a spot of bother: An antibody cocktail that held out promise as a single shot to prevent the worsening of Covid in high-risk people with mild to moderate symptoms, has seen its use getting further restricted by the United States Food and Drug Administration against the Omicron variant.

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Antibody cocktail in a spot of bother, as USFDA further restricts its use against Omicron
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#Apps weed out misinformation: One of the greatest threats during this pandemic, apart from the virus, of course, is misinformation. And to weed it out, a team of citizen volunteers in Chennai created free apps with helpful information.

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How Chennai volunteers developed free digital apps to fight Covid
The all-in-one site has useful contact details, essential information for city residents

#UK unmasks: Coronavirus restrictions including mandatory face masks were lifted in England on Thursday, after Britain’s government said its vaccine booster rollout successfully reduced serious illness and CovidO19 hospitalisations.

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England lifts Covid restrictions as Omicron threat recedes
Requirements of face coverings, pass for entry into nightclubs, and other large venues have been scrapped. 

#Vaccine awards: Six businesspersons were conferred with the Padma Bhushan by the government, including Cyrus Poonawalla of Serum Institute, and Krishna and Suchitra Ella of Bharat Biotech - recognised for their contribution of developing vaccines to fight the Covid pandemic.

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Vaccine-makers Krishna & Suchitra Ella, Cyrus Poonawalla awarded Padma Bhushan
Chandrasekaran of TCS, Sundar Pichai of Google, Satya Nadella of Microsoft too honoured

#Dominant Omicron: Over 21 million new coronavirus cases were reported around the world last week, representing the highest number of weekly cases recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation. The global health body also emphasised that the Omicron variant is becoming dominant due to its significant growth advantage.

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Over 21 million new Covid-19 cases reported globally last week, highest number of weekly cases recorded since beginning of pandemic: WHO
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#Waiting for school to reopen: Tejasvi Bhonsle mentors children aged around 11, studying in Std VI. Much like everywhere in the world today, her class is online, with students crammed into tiny “boxes” on her screen over a Whatsapp call.

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Online education has created problems beyond the digital divide for school children
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#Losing steam: The Covid-19 booster drive in US is losing steam, worrying health experts who have pleaded with Americans to get an extra shot to shore up their protection against the highly contagious Omicron variant. Just 40 per cent of fully-vaccinated Americans have received a booster dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the average number of booster shots dispensed per day in US has plummeted.

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COVID-19 vaccine booster drive is faltering in US
Average number of booster shots dispensed per day has plummeted from a peak of one million in early December to about 4.9 lakh as of last week

#Reformulated vaccine: Pfizer is enrolling healthy adults to test a reformulated Covid-19 vaccine that matches the hugely contagious Omicron variant, to see how it compares with the original shots. Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced the study on Tuesday.

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Pfizer begins testing omicron-matched COVID shots in adults
Covid-19 vaccine-makers have been updating their shots to better match Omicron

#Budgeting for healthcare in a pandemic: Tune in to a snapshot on what different stakeholders seek from the government.

BL Budget: Still hopeful of higher allocations for healthcare  BL Budget: Still hopeful of higher allocations for healthcare