WHO removes Remdesivir from list of COVID-19 medicines
The World Health Organization said on Friday it has suspended Gilead's remdesivir from its so-called prequalification list, an official list of medicines used as a benchmark for procurement by developing countries, after issuing guidance against its use in hospitalised Covid-19 patients. "The suspension is a signal to countries that WHO, in compliance with the treatment guidelines, does not recommend countries procure the drug for Covid." He added that the WHO was not aware that any international procurers were providing the drug to low- and middle-income countries.
Hong Kong bans Air India flights from Delhi after COVID cases spike
Hong Kong has banned Air India flights from Delhi till December 3 after a few passengers on its flight tested positive for the novel coronavirus post-arrival earlier this week, an official said on Friday. This is the fifth time Air India's flights from India have been banned by the Hong Kong government for bringing passengers who tested positive for the pathogen after arrival. Passengers from India can arrive in Hong Kong only if they have a coronavirus-negative certificate from a test done within 72 hours prior to the journey.
Railways rolls out double-decker train coach that runs on 160kmph
Rail Coach Factory (RCF) Kapurthala has rolled out a semi-high speed double-decker coach that can run at a top speed of 160 kilometres per hour. The new double-decker coach is packed with modern facilities and design. This double-decker train has a capacity of 120 seats and can accommodate 50 passengers on the upper deck and 48 passengers on the lower deck. The middle deck on the rear end comprises 16 seats on each side.
COVID 19-driven reforms can raise India's medium-term growth: Fitch
Fitch Ratings on Friday said the revival of the government's reform agenda in response to the coronavirus pandemic shock has the potential to raise India's medium-term growth rate. It said raising medium-term growth rates under these circumstances will require reforms to support investment and boost productivity and it will take time to assess whether the reforms are implemented effectively.
Will ensure China plays by rules; US to rejoin WHO: Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden has said that he wants to make sure that China plays by the rules and announced that his administration will rejoin the World Health Organisation. Biden was responding to a question on Thursday about his remarks during the presidential debates that he wanted to punish China over the way Beijing has been behaving. In April, President Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the WHO, accusing the UN organisation for failing to oversee the onset of the coronavirus as it began to spread in China.
Pfizer approaches USFDA to secure emergency use authorisation for COVID vaccine
Pharmaceutical major Pfizer has approached the US health regulator to secure emergency use authorisation for its experimental coronavirus vaccine. The company stated on Friday that the authorisation would enable the use of its vaccine in high-risk populations of the United States by the middle or end of December this year. Pfizer has been working with German biotech company BioNTech on an mRNA vaccine candidate, BNT162b2, for novel coronavirus. The companies have submitted a request for emergency use authorisation (EUA) to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for the same.