Current Affairs in Short: 1 July 2021
An expert panel constituted by the central government has recommended against granting permission to the Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct Phase II and Phase III clinical trials of the Covavax COVID-19 vaccine on children aged between 2-17 years.
Delhi to rollout cloud-based health project by March 2022
• Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reviewed the progress of the ambitious cloud-based Health care Information Management System (HIMS) on July 1, 2021 and said that it is likely to be rolled out by March 2022.
• The Chief Minister said that there have been some delays due to the pandemic but the project is expected to be fully implemented by March 2022.
• The Delhi government also plans to start a health helpline and special surveys will be conducted for issuing of e-health cards for residents of Delhi.
Govt panel rejects SII's request to conduct Covavax trials on children
• An expert panel constituted by the central government has recommended against granting permission to the Serum Institute of India (SII) to conduct Phase II and Phase III clinical trials of the Covavax COVID-19 vaccine on children aged between 2-17 years.
• The panel asked the Serum Institute to first submit the safety and immunogenicity data from the ongoing trials on adults.
• SII Ceo Adar Poonawalla had said earlier in March 2021 that the trials for 'Covavax', the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US-based vaccine manufacturer Novavax, have begun in India. He had added saying that the vaccine is expected to be launched by September 2021.
• The Serum Institute had on June 28, 2021 applied to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) seeking permission to conduct clinical trials of Covavax on children at 10 sites.
Third-wave may not come if COVID norms are followed: AIIMS director
• AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria said on July 1, 2021 that if people are careful and India is able to vaccinate a large number of population, then the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic may not even come.
• The AIIMS Director said that it all depends on how we behave. "If we are careful and we have good vaccination coverage, then the third wave may not come, or it will be very little," he said.
• Further, speaking on mixing of vaccines, Dr Guleria said that more data is required on the mixing of doses. He said that studies have come which say that it may be effective but with more than usual side effects.
Former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld passes away at 88
• Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld passed away at the age of 88 years on June 30, 2021. The Rumsfeld family issued a formal statement that read, "It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of Donald Rumsfeld, an American statesman and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. At 88, he was surrounded by family in his beloved Taos, New Mexico."
• Donald Rumsfel had served as the US Secretary of Defense under former US President Gerald Ford from 1975 to 1977 and then under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2006.
• Rumsfel had overseen some of the major US operations including the Iraq war and the US invasion of Afghanistan, which is till date regarded as America's longest war.
UK opens new post-study work visa for International students
• The United Kingdom Home Office on July 1, 2021 officially opened its new post-study work visa for international students. The visa will offer overseas graduates from India and other destinations the option to apply for the right to stay on for job experience at the end of their university courses.
• The graduate visa, which was announced last year by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, is now open for applications from this week.
• It is expected to particularly benefit Indian students, who are known to choose their degree courses based on the prospect of work experience.
• The visa route is designed for international graduate students who have been awarded their degree from a recognised UK university to stay on and look for work for at least two years.