Coronavirus updates | Telangana to start Class 9, 10 and colleges in February

A decisive phase in India’s fight against coronavirus began in the wee hours on Tuesday as the first consignment of Covishield vaccines left Serum Institute of India for Pune airport, four days ahead of the nationwide inoculation drive launch.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that the State governments would not have to pay for vaccinating the priority group of three crore healthcare and frontline workers, stating that the Centre would bear the cost.

The announcement came as the Central government placed a purchase order with the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII) for 11 million doses of Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield, at a cost of ₹210 per dose (including GST).

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Here are live updates:

1st consignment of Covishield vaccines leaves Serum Institute

Three temperature-controlled trucks rolled out of the Serum Institute’s gates shortly before 5 am on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 and left for Pune airport, from where the vaccines will be flown across India. The trucks carried 478 boxes of the vaccines, each box weighing 32 kg, a source closely involved in the transport arrangements said.

The trucks left the Serum Institute of India premises at Manjari and reached the airport, located 15 km from the facility.

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Schools to open after 315-day COVID break in Telangana

Following Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s direction to open schools and colleges from February 1, officials will be meeting on Tuesday to finalise the guidelines and standard operating procedures to be adopted with regard to classes, teaching and exams.

About 26,000 government schools and 11,000 private schools in Telangana will be opened for students of higher classes after a gap of 315 days as the last working day of the previous academic year was March 21.

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Dr. Reddy’s seeks DCGI nod for Sputnik-V phase-3 trials

Pharma major Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories on Monday said safety data pertaining to phase-2 clinical trial of Russia’s Sputnik-V COVID-19 vaccine candidate has been submitted to the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for review seeking approval to continue phase-3 clinical trials.

The company said this referring to a review undertaken by the independent Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). “The phase 2 study was conducted on 100 subjects as part of the randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled study in India. The DSMB concluded that no safety concerns were identified and the study has met the primary endpoints of safety. Further, the safety data has been submitted to the DCGI for review and approval to continue phase 3 clinical trials.

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School shut down after teacher tests positive for virus

A government middle school in Pakkamudayanpet here was shut down on Monday after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19. Over a hundred staff members and students were administered swab tests.

The premises of the Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Government Middle School was disinfected. So far, no one else has tested positive for the virus.

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State awaits arrival of COVID-19 vaccine vials

With the State expecting the arrival of COVID-19 vaccine consignments ‘anytime soon’, Health and Medical Education Minister K. Sudhakar said the vaccination – that will begin from January 16 – will be given in two doses.

“The second dose will be administered to frontline workers 28 days after the first one. Around 45 days later, immunogenicity in our bodies will be developed. And, until then people who get vaccinated should be careful,” said the Minister, who accompanied Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa in the Prime Minister’s videoconference meeting with CMs of all States on Monday.

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(With inputs from our Correspondents, agencies)

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