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Apollo hospitals to roll out Sputnik V COVID vaccine at Rs 1,195

• Apollo Group of Hospitals has announced that it will begin the rollout of the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V, across its hospitals in India from June second week at an estimated price of Rs 1,195 per dose. • The hospital group said that it will be charging Rs 995 for the vaccine and Rs 200 would be administration charges. • The group said that it prioritise frontline workers, high-risk population and corporate employees. It is planning to administer million of vaccine doses every week in June and double that in July.

Centre approves financial assistance to 67 families of journalists who died due to COVID-19

• The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Press Information Bureau has begun a special drive to provide assistance to families of journalists who passed away due to COVID-19 under the Journalist Welfare Scheme (JWS). • The Ministry has compiled and collated the details of all those journalists who lost their lives due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. • The centre on May 27, 2021 approved a proposal of the Journalist Welfare Scheme Committee headed by Amit Khare, I&B Secretary, to provide financial relief worth Rs 5 lakh to each of the families of 26 journalists who died due to Covid-19. • The centre had provided such assistance to 41 families of the journalists who died due to COVID in FY 2020-21, taking the total number to 67.

India, New Zealand to be crowned joint winners if WTC Final ends in draw or tie

• The International Cricket Council (ICC) on May 28, 2021 announced the playing conditions for the World Test Championship final at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton in June. • The play conditions confirm that if the ICC World Test Championship final between India and New Zealand ends in a draw or tie, both teams will be crowned as joint winners. • A Reserve Day will be allocated to make up for any lost time during the regular days of the Final.The final is scheduled to be played from June 18 to 22 and June 23 will be set aside as the Reserve Day.

DRDO's anti-COVID drug priced at Rs 990 per sachet

• Defence Research and Development Organisation's (DRDO) anti-Covid-19 drug, 2-DG will be sold at Rs 990 per sachet by Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL). • The company will provide the medicine to Centre and state government at a discounted price. • The first batch of the anti-Covid-19 drug was released by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on May 17, 2021. • The Drugs Controller General of India had earlier allowed emergency use authorisation of 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), an anti-viral drug as an adjunct therapy for moderate to severe coronavirus patients.

Zydus Cadila introduces new feature in packaging of its critical drugs

• Zydus Cadila has introduced a new feature in the packaging of its critical drugs to help people ensure that the product is not fake or counterfeited. • The company has incorporated a new IT-enabled scratch code, which will be printed under a scratchable surface. • The user can scratch the surface and verify the code through the app or the website to know whether if the product purchased by them is genuine or not. • This security feature has been developed by Hyperlink Infosystem to enable patients and institutions to detect counterfeits.

🛑SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 26, 2021, launched the Starlink 28 mission comprising another set of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, marking the 13th Starlink launch of the year 2021. • Starlink 28, the 13th Starlink launch of the year 2021 is unique because SpaceX has used its newest boosters to launch the satellites into orbit. • Starlink 28 mission marked the fourth successful liftoff of Starlink satellites by SpaceX within a month on one of its 229-foot-tall (70 meters) Falon 9 rockets. • The rocket’s first stage touched down Earth right nine minutes after the launch, marking the 85th landing by SpaceX’s reusable launch system program. • Usually, the first stage of launch vehicles does not land back after a launch. SpaceX has been developing a reusable launch system for space vehicles.

• The Starlink satellites are placed in Earth’s low orbit to avoid the issue of time lag also called latency between the user and the server. Longer the distance from the Earth, the greater the time lag. • Earth’s low orbit is at a height of less than 1000 kilometers. Satellites in the low orbit of Earth move in sync with Earth’s rotation. This means the satellites also orbit the Earth in 24 hours. • SpaceX, owned by Elon Musk has developed a network of satellites called Starlink broadband satellites which the company launches into the orbit of Earth to provide internet coverage from space to Earth. • The Starlink satellites' orbit is placed at a relatively low orbit of 340 miles. The Starlink orbit is slightly higher than the International Space Station (ISS) but below the orbits of terrestrial satellites. • The Starlink satellites are launched on the Falcon 9 rocket that has also been engineered by SpaceX. It is the world’s first reusable rocket built for the transportation of people and supplies to Earth’s orbit. • SpaceX is building a constellation of Starlink internet satellites. So far, the company has launched 1,737 Starlink satellites into orbit. SpaceX has already obtained approval from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 12,000 satellites into Earth’s low orbit. • The company had informed that it would require at least 1,440 Starlink satellites to activate the commercial service. The company is in process of rolling out the services by the end of this year. So far, 500,000 users have signed up for the Starlink services via the company’s website. 🛑• The Central Government has been doing everything to increase the availability of Liposomal Amphotericin B injections to deal with Mucormycosis or Black Fungus. • In order to increase production, the government has given licenses to five more companies that can make the necessary drug. The officials were instructed by PM Modi to get this drug from anywhere in the world. • Reportedly, Indian missions all over the world have been involved in securing the supplies of AmBisome. It has been achieved with the held of USA’s Gilead Sciences • Gilead Sciences has been working on expediting the supply of AmBisome to India through Mylan. So far, over 1,21,000 vials have reached India and another 85, 000 vials are on the way. • The firm is most likely to supply one million doses of AmBisome to India through Mylan.

• The National Highways Authority of India has issued guidelines to ensure that the service time is not more than 10 seconds per vehicle even during the peak hours at toll plazas on National Highways. • The new guidelines by NHAI will ensure the smooth flow of traffic at the toll plazas as the vehicles will not be allowed to queue up more than 100 meters. • NHAI, in a statement, stated that in most of the toll plazas, there is no waiting time after the mandatory 100% Fastag. It added that if there is a queue of waiting vehicles of more than 100 meters because of any reason, the vehicles will be allowed to pass without paying the toll, till the queue comes within 100 meters. • As per the guidelines, a yellow line at a distance of 100 meters from the toll booth will be marked in each toll lane on highways. • NHAI assured that it values the time of the commuters and is committed to providing them smooth and safe journey on highways. • The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that prior registration will not be needed to get vaccinated in the rural areas in the state. He added that villagers will be able to get vaccinated directly at the centers. • The Chief Minister while reviewing the Corona Vaccination work in the state said that the COVID-19 vaccination must be undertaken as a campaign in MP. • In urban areas in MP, the remaining vaccines can be used without prior registration after 4 pm. It has also been announced that Aadhaar Card will not be mandatory to get vaccinated without prior registration and a driving license, Voter ID, etc. will also be valid. • Chief Minister has directed that the priority groups must be formed in 18 vaccinations such as hawkers, hand cart owners and the parents of young children must also be kept in the priority group. • In MP, more than 1 crore Corona vaccine doses have been administered to people above 45 years of age along with those who are between 18-45 of age. The state has been receiving doses of Covishield and Covaxin. • The President of France Emmanuel Macron acknowledged on May 27, 2021, France’s complicity in Rwanda genocide. It claimed around 8,00,000 lives from April-June 1994. • The President admitted that the country played its part and it bears the political responsibility for the events that took place in Rwanda. • He mentioned that France is obligated to face history and admit that it has caused suffering to the Rwandan people by allowing lengthy silences at truth exams. The country did not understand that to prevent a regional conflict or civil war, it actually sided with the genocide regime. • The French President made the statement in his address at the Kigali Genocide Memorial in Rwanda’s Gisozi. • The US President Joe Biden has nominated Indian-American Arun Venkataraman for the Director-General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service and Assistant Secretary for global markets in the Commerce Department. • Arun Venkataraman has over 20 years of experience advising international organisations, the US government, and companies on international trade issues. • Venkataraman is currently the Counsellor to the Secretary of Commerce. He advised the department on trade as well as on other international economic matters. • As the first-ever Director of Policy at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration under former President Obama, Arun Venkataraman had helped shape the US Government’s responses to the critical challenges that were faced by the firms in the United States and in the market around the world, including India and China.

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