UK STARTS MASS COVID VACCINATION PROGRAMME
Britain on Tuesday hailed a turning point in the fight against coronavirus pandemic, as it begins the biggest and first vaccination programme in the country's history with a new COVID-19 jab. On the eve of the vaccine being rolled out, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was a "huge step forward" in the fight against the pandemic. It will be the country's biggest vaccination drive ever.
FRANCE ISOLATED IN TOUGH BREXIT STANCE
Emmanuel Macron may be talking tougher than the rest of the EU27 as Brexit talks reach their endgame, but despite claims to the contrary in London and by a UK media that always enjoy pointing fingers across the Channel, France is far from isolated.
India/ South Asia
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CANCELS ITS MEETING WITH THE PROTESTING FARMERS
The government cancelled its meeting with 40 protesting farmers' unions that was scheduled for today. The farm leaders declined to participate, after a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday night failed to break the deadlock.
INDIAN NAVY TO GET ANTI-DRONE SYSTEMS
A contract for procurement of a batch of Israeli weapon systems has been finalised by the Indian Navy. These systems are capable of bringing down high-speed enemy drones. The delivery of the SMASH 2000 fire control systems is expected to begin early next year. Their number, however, is not immediately known.
Latin America/ South America
SÃO PAULO in BRAZIL HAS ANNOUNCED the FIRST DATE TO START THE COVID VACCINATION IN LATIN AMERICA
It will start vaccinating its 46million population from January 25, 2020. Governor Joao Doria said that the Chinese CoronaVac will first be given to the priority groups. This group includes people with higher chances of getting infected like health professionals, citizens over 60years of age and the indigenous people.
AN ARGENTINA SENATOR DEMANDS THAT FOOTBALL STAR MARADONA BE PUT ON THE COUNTRY'S CURRENCY
Diego Maradona died of a heart attack two weeks ago. Senator Norma Durango presented a bill to Congress proposing an image of Maradona on the new 1000-peso banknotes. The notes would feature Maradona's face on one side and one of his famous goals on the other, she added. However, the final decision is yet to be made.
US/ North America
TRUMP IS HOPEFUL TO CONTINUE AS US PRESIDENT
Donald Trump has been making unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud and electoral malpractice in the presidential polls. The US elections are scheduled to be certified next week officially. Trump is still continuing his efforts to upend Joe Biden's victory.
JOE BIDEN ANNOUNCES NEW HEALTH TEAM FOR TACKLING COVID-19
The US President on Tuesday formally announced key members of his incoming administration's health team who will be managing the ongoing pandemic. Vivek Murthy, an Indian-American doctor is also a part of this team. During the briefing, Joe Biden outlined 3 key goals in the first 100 days of office. These include masking, vaccinations and opening schools for children.
SINOVAC COVID-19 VACCINE SHOWS UP TO 97% EFFICACY
On Tuesday, Indonesian company Bio Farma said that an interim data on trials were conducted on vaccine production by the Chinese company Sinovac, it showed up to 97% efficacy. Reports reveal that the company is gathering data on efficacy from the ongoing Phase 3 trials but on the contrary, a Sinovac spokesman said that the company had not received any efficacy readings from Phase 3 clinical trials. Bio Farma is waiting for full results and it expects Indonesia's food and drug agency to issue emergency use authorization of the vaccine by late January before mass vaccination begins.
AMIDST THE PANDEMIC THAILAND USES DRONES FOR BORDER SURVEILLANCE
Thailand is using drones and ultraviolet cameras for border surveillance amidst the pandemic. According to the officials at least 16 people who illegally crossed the borders and avoided the mandatory 14-day quarantine have tested positive for coronavirus since late November. Barricades are erected to stop illegal crossing and to curb infection risks. The Thailand-Myanmar border is one of the key challenges for the authorities to curb infection risks. The 2,414 km long boundary creates difficulties for surveillance. Military, police and volunteers have now been deployed to enforce stricter control of border areas.