# Crunching vaccine time: AstraZeneca was recently credited with saving nearly 6.3 million lives through the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine. Typically, it would take 5-10 years to develop a medicine.
However, the vaccine in partnership with Oxford was developed in just 10 months and AstraZeneca’s Chennai innovation centre had a critical role in making it possible, says a company executive.
# Global failures in Covid-19 response: Massive global failures in tackling Covid-19 led to millions of preventable deaths, says a Lancet Covid-19 Commission report, calling out the absence of international co-operation, even as it outlined solutions for future pandemics.
# Waiting to exhale: Considering the declining trend in Covid cases in India and rising air traffic volumes, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to resume the mandatory breath analyser tests for all pilots and cabin crew across airlines. The mandatory breath analyser test rules will come into effect from October 15.
# Optimistic exporters: India’s goods exports slowed down further in August 2022, growing 1.62 per cent (year-on-year) to $33.92 billion as global demand continued to contract, hit by inflation, high interests, and piling up of inventories in Western economies, according to this report.
However, exporters are optimistic that the situation would improve in October as demand for low-value products are on the rise and a lot of orders, which were earlier going to China, have now started coming to India. “Beijing is becoming costlier and less reliable with a zero Covid tolerance policy and anti-China sentiments are gaining ground day by day,” said A Sakthivel, President, FIEO.
# Film that kills: Scientists in the UK have developed a plastic film that can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which land on its surface with just room light. The self-sterilising film developed by a team at Queen’s University Belfast, UK, is less costly to produce, can be readily scaled, and used for disposable aprons, tablecloths, and curtains in hospitals.