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News18 Evening Digest: Govt Says First Covid-19 Shots Likely by Jan 13; Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech Call Truce and Other Top Stories

Men walk past a mural of frontline workers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai on December 21, 2020. (REUTERS)

Men walk past a mural of frontline workers amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Mumbai on December 21, 2020. (REUTERS)

Here are the top stories of this evening: First shots likely by January 13; Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech call truce; Bird flu declared as state disaster in Kerala; Union budget to be presented on Feb 1; 'Madam Chief Minister' faces backlash for 'caste appropriation'; Church invalidates interfaith couple's marriage

First Shots Likely by January 13, No Ban on Vaccine Exports, Says Health Secy

The Union Health Ministry on Tuesday said that it is prepared to roll out the coronavirus vaccine within next few days, paving way for mass vaccination drive in the country. "We are prepared to roll out Covid-19 vaccines within 10 days of granting emergency use authorisation date, based on dry run feedback," said Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan at a press conference. Approval to two vaccines was given on January 3. Read More

Serum Institute, Bharat Biotech Call Truce After Vaccine War, Say Both Committed to Smooth Rollout

Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech on Tuesday said they will work together to develop, manufacture and supply the Covid-19 vaccines in India and globally. In a joint statement on behalf of the two companies, SII CEO Adar Poonawalla and Bharat Biotech Chairman and Managing Director Krishna Ella announced their combined intent to develop, manufacture and supply the Covid-19 vaccines for India and the world. Read More

Bird Flu Declared as State Disaster in Kerala, High Alert Sounded After Cases in 2 Districts

The Kerala government on Tuesday classified an outbreak of bird flu as a state-specific disaster after cases were reported from some parts of Kottayam and Alappuzha districts. The authorities have issued a high alert in the state considering the potential of the virus to infect humans, official sources said, and had on Monday ordered culling of ducks, hens and other domestic birds in and around a one km radius of the affected areas. Tests conducted at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal have confirmed the bird flu outbreak, officials said. Read More

Union Budget to be Presented on Feb 1, Parliament to Hold Budget Session from Jan 29 to Feb 15

Parliament will hold the first part of Budget Session from January 29 to February 15, during which the Union Budget 2021 will be presented on February 1. The second part of the Budget Session will begin March 8. Both Houses of Parliament will function for four hours each day during the session, sources told News18. Read More

'Why No Dalit Actors?': Richa Chadha's 'Madam Chief Minister' Faces Backlash for 'Caste Appropriation'

Actor Richa Chadha has come under intense backlash on social media after the poster of her upcoming film Madam Chief Minister was released on Monday. The political drama starring Richa Chadha is all set to have a theatrical release on January 22, the makers announced Monday. The film has been accused of caste appropriation and not having an actor from the Dalit community to play the lead role. Read More

An Interfaith Couple Tied the Knot in Kerala Last Year. The Church Has Now Invalidated Their Marriage

An interfaith marriage held between a Muslim man and a Catholic woman was declared invalid by a three-member inquiry commission of the Syro-Malabar church body in Kerala's Kochi and recommended action against the priests who solemnized the marriage. The wedding, which was conducted last year on November 9, was held at the St Joseph’s Church in Kadavanthara between a Muslim man from Kochi and a Catholic woman from Irinjalakuda. Read More


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