Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on October 15 met the Director General of WTO Ngozi Okonjo Iweala in the U.S. amidst India’s proposal for a temporary waiver of intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines and medicines worldwide.
The U.S. will allow fully vaccinated foreign travellers to enter the country from November 8, the White House announced on October 15. With the announcement of the implementation of the new date, the U.S. will essentially lift travel restrictions from countries like India, United Kingdom and China.
Here are the latest updates:
India records 15,981 COVID-19 cases, 166 fatalities in a day
India recorded 15,981 COVID-19 cases in a day taking the infection tally to 3,40,53,573 while 166 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 4,51,980, according to the Union Health Ministry’s data on October 16.
The number of active Covid cases has declined to 2,01,632 and comprises 0.60% of the total infections. The national recovery rate was recorded at 98.07%, the data updated at 8 am showed.
In a day, the active COVID-19 caseload declined by 2,046. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 3,33,99,961, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.33%. -PTI
South Africa to vaccinate 12 to 17-year-olds
South Africa will start vaccinating children and teenagers from October 20 as its steps up its drive to reach heard immunity against Covid by giving half of its six million young people the jab by December. “We have reached the stage where we are ready to open up vaccination for children between the age of 12 and 17,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla said on October 15.
The Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, will be administered to the age group. -PTI
FDA panel endorses booster shot for J&J COVID-19 vaccine
A panel of U.S. health advisers endorsed booster doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine on October 15, saying they should be offered at least two months after immunization.
J&J has asked the Food and Drug Administration for flexibility with its booster, arguing the extra dose adds important protection as early as two months after initial vaccination but that it might work better if people wait until six months later. -AP
U.S. FDA delays decision on Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents- WSJ
The U.S. health regulator is delaying its decision on authorizing Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents to check if the shot could increase the risk of heart inflammation, the Wall Street Journal reported on October 15, citing people familiar with the matter. -Reuters
Pfizer-BioNTech ask EU agency to approve vaccine for kids 5-11
Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotechnology company BioNTech said on October 15 they have requested to have their coronavirus vaccine licensed for children ages 5 to 11 across the European Union.
If EU regulators agree, it would be the first opportunity for younger children in Europe to get immunized against COVID-19.
Pakistan relaxes curbs as cases subside
Pakistan on October 15 further relaxed coronavirus related restrictions by allowing the reopening of cinemas and shrines for fully vaccinated people.
The decision was taken by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) at a meeting after the pandemic situation continued to improve. -PTI