UK adds India to COVID-19 travel 'red list' amid new variant cases
Britain on Monday added India to its COVID-19 travel "red list", which effectively bans all travel from the country and makes a 10-day hotel quarantine compulsory for UK residents arriving back to the country. Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the move in the House of Commons as he revealed that 103 cases of the so-called Indian variant had been identified in the UK, of which the "vast majority have links to international travel".
COVID-19 vaccination to be available to all above 18 from May 1
In the view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the country, the government on Monday announced that from May 1 everyone above the age of 18 years would be eligile to get the vaccination against the virus. Vaccine manufacturers have been permitted to release up to 50 per cent of their supply to state governments and in the open market at a pre-declared price.
India needs to get multiple COVID-19 vaccine licences, ramp up production: Chandrasekaran
Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran on Monday said India needs to get as many different COVID-19 vaccine licences as possible and replicate multiple factories on a war footing to ramp up production in order to meet the requirements as the country. The country is currently reeling under the devastating second wave of the pandemic.
WH refuses to comment on SII's request to lift ban on vaccine raw material export to India
The White House on Monday did not respond to questions on the request by Serum Institute of India to lift export ban on certain raw materials needed for ramping up production of COVID-19 vaccine. The Serum Institute of India has been saying that the Biden administration is blocking exports of raw materials that it needs to make COVID vaccines, and the Serum Institute has also urged President Biden to lift that embargo.
UK forms taskforce for state-backed digital currency Britcoin
British finance minister Rishi Sunak told the Bank of England on Monday to look at the case for a new "Britcoin", or central bank-backed digital currency, aimed at tackling some of the challenges posed by cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. A BoE-backed digital version of sterling would potentially allow businesses and consumers to hold accounts directly with the bank and to sidestep others when making payments, upending the lenders' role in the financial system.
NASA's 'Wright Brothers moment'; flies first helicopter on MarsNASA has successfully flown a small helicopter on Mars. The American space agency's miniature robot chopper called 'Ingenuity' was airborne for less than a minute early on Monday, April 19. With this, NASA has achieved the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft on another planet.
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