Health workers collect swab samples in Narkeldanga Main Road Kolkata

Former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh passed away Sunday morning while undergoing treatment in New Delhi. Singh, who had recently resigned from RJD, had fallen critically ill after developing post-COVID complications. Singh’s condition had deteriorated on Friday night, and he was admitted to AIIMS on Saturday with complaints of recurrent cough. The 74-year-old was later put on a ventilator.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah was admitted to Delhi AIIMS on Saturday for a “complete medical checkup” ahead of the Monsoon Session of Parliament from Monday. He will remain in the hospital for 1-2 days, a statement issued by the medical institute said on Sunday. This comes nearly two weeks after the 55-year-old BJP leader was discharged from the top medical institute for post-Covid care. This is his second visit to the hospital in over a month.

A study on the first national sero surveillance to estimate the prevalence of the novel coronavirus, conducted in May, shows that as many as 8.56 lakh cases were present in the 233 districts deemed ‘zero-caseload’ at the time — confirming the under-detection of cases in the country. While an independent group of experts began investigating the severe illness in a participant that led to a halt on clinical trials of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, the World Health Organisation said there was nothing to be discouraged about, since these kinds of incidents routinely happen during trials.

Meanwhile, the India trials of the vaccine, being carried out by Pune-based Serum Institute of India, have also been halted. Serum had, on Wednesday, claimed that the India trials would remain unaffected by AstraZeneca’s decision. However, it was issued a show-cause notice by the officer of the Drug Controller General of India, and on Thursday, Serum said it was putting a hold on India trials. Till now, 100 participants have been given the vaccine in India where combined phase-2 and phase-3 trials were approved last month. About 1,600 participants were planned to be enrolled for the complete trial.

In Geneva, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the AstraZeneca pause was not a setback, and nothing to be discouraged about. She said the incident just demonstrated that the process of vaccine development was not always a “fast and straight road”.



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