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An Expert Explains: The road to mass vaccination against Covid-19

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Written by Prabha Raghavan
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Updated: November 30, 2020 7:21:16 am

Serum Institute of India, where the vaccine Covishield is being developed. Photo tweeted by the Prime Minister during a recent visit. (Photo: Twitter @narendramodi)Once a vaccine becomes available in India, how does the government go about immunising the population? Which groups should get the vaccine first, and who should get it free? In an interview to Prabha Raghavan, India’s leading public health expert, Prof K Srinath Reddy, weighs in.
Why is it important to get vaccinated against Covid-19?
If a safe and effective vaccine becomes available, after convincing clinical trials and judicious regulatory approvals, it is best to get vaccinated. Covid-19 is a highly infectious virus which causes varied clinical manifestations with a wide range of severity. It has not been easy to predict who can be safe from it. Even young persons have been known to have become severely ill or die, though not as often as the elderly. The level of viral load a person is exposed to, the innate immunity status or pre-existing health conditions may be factors which influence this severity. Because of this unpredictable nature, everyone should feel vulnerable and seek protection.
A natural infection can …

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Alibaba, Tencent put talks to buy iQIYI stake on hold

alibaba, tencent put talks to buy iqiyi stake on hold

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd have each held separate talks with Baidu Inc to acquire a controlling stake in video streaming service iQIYI Inc, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.But the discussions have stalled with little hope of recommencing soon as they balk at a valuation of around $20 billion demanded by Baidu and as both companies, which have their own video streaming services, face heightened scrutiny by China’s antitrust regulators, two people said.Another Chinese tech giant TikTok owner ByteDance has also internally looked at the possibility of acquiring a controlling stake in iQIYI, three sources said.Considered China’s equivalent to Netflix Inc, Nasdaq-listed iQIYI has a market capitalisation of $16.4 billion, which values Baidu’s 56.2 per cent stake at about $9.2 billion.Tencent, whose interest in iQIYI was first reported by Reuters in June, believes the company is worth about half of what Baidu wants, said two of the people. Shares in iQIYI fell 1.7% on Friday.Baidu, iQIYI and Tencent declined to comment on the deal talks. ByteDance declined to comment on the extent of its interest in iQIYI. Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment.While it is the No. 2 …

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Monroe County to create new testing initiative; 511 new coronavirus cases Sunday

monroe county to create new testing initiative; 511 new coronavirus cases sunday

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Rochester, N. Y. (WHAM) – Monroe County will begin a new testing initiative as record numbers of cases continue to be reported. 511 new positive cases were reported on Sunday, coming in just shy of Saturday’s record of 515. The Department of Public Health and other municipalities have arranged a series of asymptomatic testing sites in response to portions of the community being designated COVID-19 Orange Cluster Zones.

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Kalamazoo County leader says it’s time to treat gun violence as a public health crisis

kalamazoo county leader says it’s time to treat gun violence as a public health crisis

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Kalamazoo Public Safety officers are investigating several shootings that happened over the holiday weekend, including one that left a man dead. Kalamazoo County officials are speaking out, saying enough is enough, and it’s time to find real solutions to gun violence in the area. Gun violence fatality: One dies after three shooting victims arrive a Kalamazoo hospital.

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Thailand Is Now Home to 96 Fintech Startups including Crowdfunding, Insurtech, Remittance Payments Services: Report

thailand is now home to 96 fintech startups including crowdfunding, insurtech, remittance payments services: report

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During the past few years, the Fintech sector in Thailand has grown significantly. The country is now home to at least 96 Fintech startups.
Thailand’s Fintech ecosystem includes companies and businesses operating in the digital payments space, blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT). There are several Fintechs offering financial comparison tools, Insurtech services, retail investment platforms, peer to peer (P2P) lending, personal finance solutions, business tools, crowdfunding services, financial education portals, remittance payment services, and financial infrastructure providers.
As reported recently, the Southeast Asia region (which includes Thailand) has emerged as a Fintech hotspot with a CAGR of 55% in equity funding. Digital challenger banks in Southeast Asia have adopted several different business models in order to establish operations in the Fintech and banking sector. They’ve experienced a threefold growth (over 300% growth) during the past five years, according to a new report from the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA).
Digital banking competition in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand should intensify as there’s been a boom in Fintech Investments, according to a recent report.
In addition to steady growth in digital banking services, there’s also been strong growth reported in the region’s nascent blockchain and crypto-assets sector. Thailand’ …

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EU proposes new post-Trump alliance with U.S. in face of China threat: FT

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By Reuters Staff2 Min ReadU.S. and European Union flags are pictured during the visit of Vice President Mike Pence to the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 20, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir(Reuters) – The European Union is seeking to forge a new alliance with the United States to bury the tensions of the Trump era and meet the challenges posed by China, the Financial Times reported on Sunday, citing a draft plan.The plan proposes rebuilding ties with common fronts on issues from digital regulation to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, the FT said.Relations between the United States and Europe have been strained under President Donald Trump. The EU and most of the bloc’s states have congratulated President-elect Joe Biden.“As open democratic societies and market economies, the EU and the US agree on the strategic challenge presented by China’s growing international assertiveness, even if we do not always agree on the best way to address this,” the FT cited the draft plan as saying.The plan, which will be submitted for endorsement by national leaders at a meeting on Dec. 10-11, proposed the launch of a new transatlantic agenda in an EU-U.S. summit in the …

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Del Mar’s 2020 race meetings successful in business, safety

del mar’s 2020 race meetings successful in business, safety

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What no fans saw this year were two banner meetings for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.“It’s been an amazing year,” DMTC President and COO Josh Rubinstein said Sunday at the end of Del Mar’s seventh fall meeting.“We went from not knowing if we’d even race this year to our second-greatest year ever.”Bettors wagered $662 million on Del Mar racing this year over 42 race dates. The record of $677 million was set in 2015 when Del Mar was open for 60 days (40 in the summer, 20 in the fall).
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The 15-day fall meeting finished with a total handle of $195.9 million — a 33 percent increase from 2019. The summer meeting saw an 8 percent increase despite fewer dates due to the COVID-19 pandemic.“We will be profitable this year,” said Rubinstein — despite the track operating without fans and minus the revenue from admissions, parking, concessions and other sales.And that’s only half the story.Del Mar completed the fall season without a horse fatality either in racing or training. During the summer, there were four fatalities with only one of those coming in a race — possibly positioning Del Mar to be named the sport’s safest facility for a third straight year.

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3 islands will be built off the coast of Malaysia and connected using autonomous vehicles — see the plans for ‘BiodiverCity’

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Three islands will be built in Penang, Malaysia to serve as cultural, business, and residential hubs.Transportation on the island will consist of autonomous boats, vehicles, and air travel, leaving the 4,500 planned acres car-free and pedestrian friendly. The project is a part of the Penang2030 initiative that’s centered around greener living while improving the state’s quality of life, household income levels, and “civic participation.”Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Bjarke Ingels Group, among other private entities, is partnering with Malaysia’s Penang state government to create the Penang South Islands.Bjarke Ingels Group, or BIG for short, and Ramboll, a project managing and engineer company, were recently selected by the Penang government to design the Penang South Islands project that will total up to 4,500 acres. The islands will also be built in collaboration with other private entities, including architect and planning company Hijjas, Knight Frank, and Ernst and Young.The plan, called BiodiverCity, is a part of the government’s Penang2030 initiative centered around improving the state’s quality of life, household income levels, and “civic participation”, all while taking on greener initiatives. The commercial build is still in progress, but will eventually consist of three islands — the Channels, Mangroves, and …

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Give someone the gift of relaxation with these 11 wellness and self-care products

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advertisement2020 has been… a challenge—for us, for you, for literally everyone you know and then some. Google Trends reported an all-time high in searches for “self-care” in May, and over the past year, we’ve made it our mission to find wellness services, tools, and products that actually do something. (Reader: We’ve found a lot.)advertisementadvertisementSelf-care is more than just carving out time, it’s finding the things that work for you in the way you need them to. Everyone is bound to have a unique definition of wellness, but for the sake of one less thing to stress over, we’ve rounded up our favorite self-care gifts that should satisfy most names on your holiday checklist. [Photo: courtesy Theragun]Theragun MiniFast Company named Theragun one of the Most Innovative Wellness Companies of 2020—which proved appropriate, because this year, we’ve needed the company’s products more than ever. This Theragun is mini, but mighty: it delivers 20 lbs of force and can be tucked into your gym bag, purse, or home office desk drawer for whenever you need relief. With 150 minutes of battery life and whisper soft QuietForceTechnology, this science-backed massager is a steal for $199. You might even pick one up for yourself.  [Photo: courtesy Vitruvi]Vitruvi Stay Diffuser & Essential Oil KitsVitruvi introduced two new diffusers to its family this year: Stay, a long-lasting, large-space diffuser, and Move, the first wireless version. Both designs were inspired by the modern cylindrical candle and provide the same zen-like experience as …

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Where are the Drone Companies? The Drone Capitals of the World

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If you are looking for a job, or hoping to get into the business, you may want to know where the most drone companies are located.  RS Components has put together a report  outlining the drone capitals of the world.  Using Crunchbase data, the report also looks at investment funding for those drone firms listed.
The Drone Capitals of the World
Despite China’s manufacturing dominance, according to the RS Components list, the U.S. has the most drone business headquarters.

That may be because a “drone company” means a lot more than just drone hardware, and can be hard to define. New software platforms for the drone industry are helping to bring unmanned aircraft mainstream.  The RS Components’ Drone Report finds that there are more than 450 drone headquarters in the U.S.  China is the number 2 country, but their research found only 50 drone companies there: Japan is a close third with 47 drone businesses.
Where the Funding Goes
from RS Components Drone Report

When it comes to funding, we found the RS Components data a little bit out of date – Skydio’s 100 million isn’t listed, so they aren’t on the top of the list.  SF-based Trulia is listed as the top funded company: but real-estate giant Trulia isn’t, strictly speaking, a drone company.  Startup Airware is still high on the list, and it’s true that they received significant funding in their time: but the company closed in 2018 and the assets were purchased by French firm Delair.

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