The daily dose: September 23, 2021

Jyothi Datta PT | Updated on September 23, 2021

We curate some of the top stories of Covid-19 for you

# Needless diplomatic row: The UK’s decision on entry of fully vaccinated Indians into its territory is baffling, to say the least, says BusinessLine’s editorial today.

“It is strange that the UK has a problem with traceable digital certificates with an in-built QR code from a transparent app but is willing to accept hand-written vaccine certificates from other developed countries.” And that’s just one of the bizarre features of this cross-border controversy.

# US boosters: The US moved a step closer on Wednesday to offering booster doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine to senior citizens and others at high risk from the virus as the Food and Drug Administration signed off on the targeted use of extra shots.

# Another investment: Vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII) will invest £50 million ($68 million) in OxfordBiomedica to help fund the development of a plant that manufactures Covid-19 shots, the British company said. Both companies produce AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.

# Centre’s plea to Kerala HC: The Centre appealed before a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court against a single judges’ verdict allowing willing persons to take a second paid dose of Covishield vaccine four weeks after the first jab.

The single judge had also directed the Centre to make necessary provisions in the CoWIN portal to enable those who want to take the second Covishield jab after four weeks in line with the initial protocol to schedule the second dose in the portal.

# Also in Kerala: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that Covid is more or less under control in the State, which is what prompted the government to go ahead with reopening of schools. Primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges, will open in phases from November 1.

# Vaccine exports: The World Health Organization (WHO) chief has thanked India for its decision to resume Covid-19 vaccine shipments from October. The WHO chief wrote on Twitter, “Thank you Health Minister @mansukhmandviya for announcing #India will resume crucial #COVID19 vaccine shipments to #COVAX in October. This is an important development in support of reaching the 40% vaccination target in all countries by the end of the year. #VaccinEquity.”

# More from the US: President Joe Biden is betting on millions more rapid, at-home tests to help curb the latest deadly wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is overloading hospitals and threatening to shutter classrooms around the country.

But the tests have already disappeared from pharmacy shelves in many parts of the US, and manufacturers warn it will take them weeks to ramp up production, after scaling it back amid plummeting demand over the summer.

# Cruising into better times?: Signalling the re-opening of the pandemic-hit tourism sector in Kerala for upcountry visitors, a luxury cruise from Mumbai with 1,200 travellers on board reached the shores of Kochi. The luxury liner MV Empress, owned by Cordelia Cruises, anchored at Cochin Port, Willingdon Island, at around 5 am. Around 800 guests on the ship, hailing from various States, disembarked at Kochi to explore a slice of the rich culture and history of the port city, in an on-shore tour adhering to Covid-19 protocols.

Published on September 23, 2021

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