Coronavirus: Chinese researchers find batch of new coronaviruses in bats


Chinese researchers said Thursday they had found a batch of new coronaviruses in bats including one that may be the second-closest yet, genetically, to the COVID-19 virus.

According to the researchers, their discoveries in a single, small region of Yunnan province, southwestern China show just how many coronaviruses there are in bats and how many have the potential to spread to people.

Weifeng Shi of the University of Shandong and colleagues collected samples from small, forest-dwelling bats between May, 2019 and November, 2020. They tested urine and feces as well as taking swabs from the bats’ mouths.

“In total, we assembled 24 novel coronavirus genomes from different bat species, including four SARS-CoV-2 like coronaviruses,” the researchers wrote in a report published in the journal Cell.

One was very similar, genetically to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that’s causing the current pandemic, they said — a viral sample called RpYN06 taken from a horseshoe bat species called Rhinolophus pusillus.

It would be the closest strain to SARS-CoV-2 except for genetic differences on the spike protein, the knob-like structure that the virus uses when attaching to cells, they said.

“Together with the SARS-CoV-2 related virus collected from Thailand in June 2020, these results clearly demonstrate that viruses closely related to SARS-CoV-2 continue to circulate in bat populations, and in some regions might occur at a relatively high frequency,” they wrote.

Researchers are trying to find where SARS-CoV-2 came from. Although a bat is a likely source, it’s possible the virus infected an intermediary animal. The SARS virus that caused an outbreak in 2002-2004 was tracked to an animal called a civet cat.

“Bats are well known reservoir hosts for a variety of viruses that cause severe diseases in humans and have been associated with the spillovers of Hendra virus, Marburg virus, Ebola virus and, most notably, coronaviruses. Aside from bats and humans, coronaviruses can infect a wide range of domestic and wild animals, including pigs, cattle, mice, cats, dogs, chickens, deer and hedgehogs,” they wrote.

Most of the samples came from species of horseshoe bats. In 2017, researchers sampling a cave in Yunnan found viruses very close genetically to the SARS virus in horseshoe bats.

Three of the samples described in Thursday’s report were also close to SARS genetically.

“Our study highlights the remarkable diversity of bat coronaviruses at the local scale, including close relatives of both SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV,” they wrote. The bat species they sampled are common across Southeast Asia, including southwest China, Vietnam, Laos and elsewhere.

Although there’s some controversy about the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, a World Health Organization report said the most likely source is an animal — probably a bat.

People hunt and eat bats, and bats can infect other animals that are also hunted and eaten by people. Viruses can infect people when they handle or slaughter the animals.



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Second batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine reaches Hyderabad


As many as 60,000 doses of the second batch of Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V on Sunday landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said on Sunday.

“Pleased to share that the consignment that arrived today in Hyderabad contains 60,000 doses of the second dose
component of the #SputnikV vaccine. Samples from the consignment will be sent for release to the Central Drugs
Laboratory,” the drug maker tweeted.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories on May 14 soft launched imported COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V vaccine which is priced at
Rs 948, with five per cent GST per dose (retail price).

“Given the recent launch of the Russian vaccine in the Indian vaccination campaign, this second delivery has become
very timely. The efficacy of the #SputnikV is well-known in the world,” Nikolay Kudashev Russian Ambassador to India
tweeted.

The first consignment of 1.50 lakh doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) landed in
India on May 1, and received regulatory clearance from the Central Drugs Laboratory.

The Indian drug-maker had earlier said these consignments will be used across different channels as a pilot
to line up the supply chain for the larger vaccination programme rollout.

Thanks for dropping by and seeing this article on current Indian and Political news titled “Second batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine reaches Hyderabad”. This article is shared by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our national news services.

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Vaccination suspended in Bavaria after glitch in cold chain prompts concerns over Pfizer vaccine batch going off — RT World News



Covid-19 immunization had to be suspended in nine Bavarian districts on Sunday over concerns that strict cold chain conditions had not been maintained during deliveries of the Pfizer vaccine.

The complicated logistics of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’s distribution made for a bumpy start of the immunization campaign in Bavaria, Germany, on Sunday. The vaccine has to be stored at extremely low temperatures to maintain the stability of proteins that trigger an immune response, and it needs to be used within days once being unfrozen. Now, concerns over cold chain integrity have put the vaccination on hold, Bayerischer Rundfunk radio has reported.

Officials in seven districts of Upper Franconia and two districts of Swabia decided to suspend vaccinations  after discovering inconsistencies in records of temperature in transport boxes. Swabian authorities have since consulted the producer and decided to proceed as planned, but the situation in Franconia remains fluid.



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Jabbing the clouds: German pilot draws syringe in the sky as nation prepares launch of Covid-19 vaccination program


“If there is even the slightest chance that the vaccine does not meet the quality criteria 100 percent, a batch will not be deployed,” Christian Meissner, the chair of Upper Franconian District Association, said about the decision. He added that the public expects the process to be “flawless.”

The shipping boxes developed for the vaccine use dry ice to keep the temperature relatively low, but higher than below -70 degrees celsius. The producer says that under these conditions the vaccine remains viable for up to 10 days. Upon delivery it needs to be put back into an extra cold freezer for long-time storage, kept in the transport box for up to 30 days with additional cold ice added as necessary or moved to a regular refrigerator and be used within five days. Once unfrozen, the vaccine cannot be frozen again.

Most of German federal states received some 10,000 doses of the vaccine, or 150,000 doses for the entire country. A total of 1.3 million vaccine doses are to be delivered by the end of the year. A second booster shot is required three weeks after the first shot for the formula to have full effect.



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Europe now has 25 million coronavirus cases – AFP tally


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Navy’s 1st batch of women pilots ready for take-off


Kolkata, Oct. 22 : The first batch of women pilots of the Indian Navy have been operationalized on Dornier aircraft by the Southern Naval Command (SNC) at Kochi. They are Lieutenant Divya Sharma from Malviya Nagar in New Delhi, Lieutenant Shubhangi Swaroop from Tilhar in Uttar Pradesh and Lieutenant Shivangi from Muzaffarpur in  Bihar.

The three women pilots were part of the six pilots of the 27th Dornier Operational Flying Training (DOFT) Course, who graduated as ‘Fully operational Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) Pilots’ at a passing out ceremony held at INS Garuda, Kochi on Thursday.

 

SNC Chief Staff Officer (Training) Rear Admiral Antony George presented awards to the pilots who are now fully qualified on Dornier aircraft for all operational missions.

These officers had initially undergone basic flying training partly with the Indian Air Force and partly with the Navy prior to the DOFT course. Amongst the three women pilots operationalized for MR flying, Lt Shivangi was the first to qualify as a naval pilot on December 2 last year.

The course comprised of one month of ground training phase which was conducted at various professional schools of the SNC and eight months of flying training at the Dornier Squadron of SNC, INAS 550. Lt Divya Sharma & Lt Shivam Pandey were adjudged ‘First in Flying’ and ‘First in Ground’ subjects, respectively.

 



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SpaceX launches another batch of Starlink satellites, more to come Wednesday


SpaceX shared this scenic view of a Falcon 9 being readied for launch earlier this year.


SpaceX

After “Scrubtember” and then “Scrubtober” played havoc with the SpaceX launch schedule, Elon Musk’s rocket company is hustling to get more of its Starlink broadband satellites into orbit. The company’s 14th batch of orbiting routers was sent aloft from Cape Canaveral in Florida Sunday morning, and another set of 60 or so satellites is scheduled to launch from Florida on Wednesday, according to airspace closures.

Sunday’s launch came courtesy of a tower of flames out the end of a Falcon 9 rocket first stage that was making the sixth flight of its career. It successfully landed on a droneship in the Atlantic to possibly fly another day. Both halves of the rocket’s nose cone were also caught by ships equipped with huge nets, although one seemed to at least partially break through the net.

SpaceX and competitor United Launch Alliance saw several launch attempts scrubbed by weather and technical problems between late August and early October, leading to the rise of the hashtags #scrubtember and #scrubtober. Since then SpaceX has now managed to get two Starlink missions off the ground, including this one on Sunday.

A SpaceX mission to launch a new military GPS satellite and a ULA launch of a US spy satellite remain grounded while technical problems continue to be worked out. 

SpaceX needs to get thousands of its internet-beaming birds into low-Earth orbit over the next few years to meet the requirements of its FCC authorization. So far, over 700 satellites have been launched and more than 60 of the oldest models have been or will soon be deorbited. All this means that SpaceX has a way to go to reach its ultimate ambition of creating a mega-constellation with tens of thousands of satellites. 

SpaceflightNow.com reports that Wednesday’s mission is set to lift off at 5:25 a.m. PT (8:25 a.m. in Florida). As soon as the live video feed becomes available, we’ll add it here. 





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Mitchell Marsh facing genuine fight for Aussie all-rounder role from fresh batch of challengers


The good news is that Mitch Marsh has seen a specialist, does not need surgery and may be fit to play the third round of the Sheffield Shield.

The bad news for Marsh is that while he has dealt with a series of injuries Australia has developed a job-lot of rivals for the all-rounder role.

Shane Watson used to say the best thing about being an all-rounder is there is very little competition for your place in the national side, but Marsh has two competitors in his own team and another sharpening his resume in Queensland.

Watch the 2020/21 Marsh Sheffield Shield LIVE on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

For the first time in a long, long, time, Australia has a glut of — potential — all-rounders.

Marsh, 28, rolled his ankle in the first round of the Indian Premier League. He had to wait for a flight to be arranged from the UAE before returning home and then sit out a two-week hotel quarantine in Perth before a specialist could review the injury.

The captain of the West Australian Shield side was released from quarantine on Sunday and assessed earlier this week.

It is understood his condition will be monitored and assessed in a week or so before a decision is made to fly him to Adelaide where he could join the state team ahead of the international summer.

Coming off a seven-wicket haul and a solid performance with the bat in the last Ashes Test of 2019, Marsh was hoping for a productive 2019-20, but had only himself to blame after he broke a hand punching a wall during an early Shield game.

The all-rounder emerged from quarantine this week in time to see two rivals put their hand up with performances that are sure to catch the selectors’ eye and a third consolidate his chances.

Queensland’s Michael Neser, 30, has been Australian 12th man for 10 matches since 2018. A bowler by trade he has been a handy lower-order batsman without reaching three figures. That changed when the quick took five wickets and then scored a maiden first-class century in Queensland’s thrilling win over Tasmania this week.

At the same time, Western Australia’s Ashton Agar matched Neser’s five wickets and a century in WA’s win over South Australia.

Agar played just two matches in the 2013 Test series and two more in Bangladesh four years later. At just 26 years of age he has plenty of cricket left in him.

Another Perth product, Cameron Green, is considered by many to be the man who could bring to Australian cricket the impact with bat and ball that Ben Stokes provides for England.

Green impressed early with the ball, but the 21-year-old was forced to play as a batsman for most of last summer after injuring his back.

The youngster duly scored 699 runs, hit three centuries and averaged 63 for his state, a performance that caught the eye of Aussie captain Tim Paine and moved Ricky Ponting to call for his inclusion in the Test team. Green scored a half century in WA’s first innings.

Just last week Watson told News Corp a player such as Green has the world at his feet.

“From a batting perspective it looks like he has got it together. Some of those highlights I saw last year from Sheffield Shield cricket, goodness me, far out, he is an incredibly dominant young batsman — the power and the strokes he has got are impressive,” he said.

“The challenge he faces with the bowling is managing the body, it takes a while as a young bowler for your body to get used to what it needs to do. You have to refine your technique but also understand how far you can push yourself.”

Legend’s 24-hour deadline for Cricket Australia role

Ian Healy has been approached to join the Cricket Australia board and has 24 hours to make a decision which will be ratified at an Annual General Meeting later this month along with three other directorial positions.

Former NSW premier Mike Baird will also join the board courtesy of an audacious manoeuvre by that state to move its representative Richard Freudenstein to a vacant independent position and allow Baird to migrate to the head body.

Healy, the former wicket keeper, will replace Michael Kasprowicz who walked away from the board earlier this year in frustration after 11 years in the role. The former fast bowler still had 12 months to serve before facing re-election.

Healy has been approached to do the job but will do due diligence before accepting the role which would, along with the two other changes, be ratified at the AGM on October 29.

The 56-year-old played 119 Tests and 168 ODIs for Australia between 1988-99 and was so loved by his home state that Adam Gilchrist was booed on debut at the Gabba when he replaced Healy behind the stumps in the Test side.

Healy stayed close to the game as a commentator for Channel 9 before the last rights deal saw the broadcast move to Channel 7 and Fox Cricket.

He recently started a morning radio program in Brisbane with SEN Track. Fellow commentator and former teammate Mark Taylor was previously a board member but stood down in 2018 after an acrimonious period that included an ugly pay dispute and the cheating scandal.

It has been a tumultuous year for the board highlighted by the departure of chief executive Kevin Roberts in the middle of the year.

Kasprowicz’s departure 12 months before his term was due to expire added to the sense of disorder.

The board consists of six directors nominated by the six states and three independents. The state representatives are essentially independent but are nominated by their associations.

Baird will have to quit the NSW board to accept the role with Cricket Australia.

Cricket NSW has had a major win in convincing the board’s nominations committee to allow its representative Freudenstein to move into an independent seat vacated by Jacquie Hey which will allow the former NSW premier onto the board.

Hey, who many speculated would become the first female chair of cricket is the chair at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and indicated earlier this year she would be leaving.

It was understood Dr Vanessa Guthrie was being groomed by Western Australia to move from its board to CA’s but she will miss out which means the board has only two women and is short of its target of 40 per cent female representation which it has resolved to reach in 2022.

Highly respected former player and commentator Mel Jones is on the board as a Victorian representative while Michelle Tredenick is an independent director.

Tasmanian director Paul Green is also due for re-election at the AGM but has been nominated by his state to continue in the role.

NSW’s ability to get two of its people in place comes after a period of hostility between the organisation and head office.

MORE CRICKET NEWS

The Blues were one the biggest critics of Roberts and the relationship with chairman Earl Eddings, whose position comes up for re-election in 12 months, has been strained.

John Knox, chairman of Cricket NSW, has a reputation as a power player in the game and has kept directors nervous ever since he took it on himself to call chairman David Peever in November 2018 and tell him he had lost support.

Peever resigned that day after a short fight.

Head office was paranoid the former Credit Suisse chief executive had eyes on the role of chairman of Cricket Australia but those fears were eased significantly when he recently accepted a major job as chair of Ares SSG management.



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First batch of Russian vaccine produced


Russia said that it has produced the first batch of its coronavirus vaccine, after President Vladimir Putin announced it had been first in the world to approve a vaccine.

Putin’s announcement on Tuesday about the vaccine was met with caution from scientists and the World Health Organisation who said it still needed a rigorous safety review.

“The first batch of the novel coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute has been produced,” the health ministry said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies.

Putin said the vaccine was safe and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, though clinical trials were not yet complete and final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people only started this week.

Western scientists were sceptical, with some warning that moving too quickly on a vaccine could be dangerous, but Russia denounced criticism as an attempt to undermine Moscow’s research.

The Russian vaccine is called “Sputnik V” after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space in 1957.

It was developed by the Gamaleya research institute for epidemiology and microbiology in Moscow in co-ordination with the Russian defence ministry.

The head of the institute, Alexander Gintsburg, told the TASS state news agency on Saturday that volunteers taking part in the final stage testing of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy would have two inoculations.

Russia has said that industrial production is expected from September and that it plans to manufacture 5 million doses per month by December or January.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said this week that the vaccine would first be made available to medics and would later be available to all Russians on a voluntary basis.

With more than 917,000 confirmed infections, Russia’s coronavirus caseload is currently fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.

Currently Russia has 92,000 people hospitalised with the virus and 2,900 in intensive care, according to the health ministry.am/mm



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Russia produces first batch of Covid-19 vaccine: Ministry


MOSCOW: Russia said Saturday that it has produced the first batch of its coronavirus vaccine, after President Vladimir Putin announced it had been first in the world to approve a vaccine.
Putin’s announcement on Tuesday about the vaccine was met with caution from scientists and the World Health Organization who said it still needed a rigorous safety review.
“The first batch of the novel coronavirus vaccine developed by the Gamaleya research institute has been produced,” the health ministry said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies.
Putin said the vaccine was safe and that one of his own daughters had been inoculated, though clinical trials were not yet complete and final stage testing involving more than 2,000 people only started this week.
Western scientists were sceptical, with some warning that moving too quickly on a vaccine could be dangerous, but Russia denounced criticism as an attempt to undermine Moscow‘s research.
The Russian vaccine is called “Sputnik V” after the Soviet-era satellite that was the first launched into space in 1957.
It was developed by the Gamaleya research institute for epidemiology and microbiology in Moscow in coordination with the Russian defence ministry.
The head of the institute, Alexander Gintsburg, told the TASS state news agency on Saturday that volunteers taking part in the final stage testing of the vaccine’s safety and efficacy would have two inoculations.
Russia has said that industrial production is expected from September and that it plans to manufacture 5 million doses per month by December or January.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said this week that the vaccine would first be made available to medics and would later be available to all Russians on a voluntary basis.
With more than 917,000 confirmed infections, Russia’s coronavirus caseload is currently fourth in the world after the United States, Brazil and India.
Currently Russia has 92,000 people hospitalised with the virus and 2,900 in intensive care, according to the health ministry.



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AFL release next batch of fixtures, fans set for footy marathon


The AFL announced the next four rounds of matches on Tuesday night, kicking off a footy bonanza.

Western Bulldogs will take on Richmond at Metricon Stadium on Wednesday July 30 to kick off 20 straight days of footy, which will see four rounds played back-to-back-to-back.

33 matches will be played across that time, including double headers on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

North Melbourne will return to Blundstone Arena in Hobart to play matches in Rounds 11 and 12.

As revealed by SEN’s Chief Sports Reporter Sam Edmund earlier on Tuesday, games won’t take place in the Northern Territory during the next set of matches.

SEE ALL THE MATCHES HERE

Round 9

Wednesday July 29

Western Bulldogs vs Richmond (Metricon Stadium), 7:10pm

Thursday July 30

Carlton vs Hawthorn (Optus Stadium), 3:40pm

Melbourne vs Port Adelaide (Gabba), 8:10pm

Friday July 31

Essendon vs Brisbane Lions (Metricon Stadium), 7:50pm

Saturday August 1

North Melbourne vs Adelaide Crows (Metricon Stadium), 2:35pm

St Kilda vs Sydney Swans (Gabba), 5:10pm

West Coast vs Geelong Cats (Optus Stadium), 8:10pm

Sunday August 2

Gold Coast vs GWS Giants (Metricon Stadium), 3:35pm

Fremantle vs Collingwood (Optus Stadium), 6:10pm

Round 10

Monday August 3

Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs (Adelaide Oval), 6:40pm

Tuesday August 4

Richmond vs Brisbane Lions (Metricon Stadium), 7:10pm

Wednesday August 5

Geelong Cats vs North Melbourne (Gabba), 5:40pm

Adelaide Crows vs Melbourne (Adelaide Oval), 7:40pm

Thursday August 6

Collingwood vs Sydney Swans (Gabba), 5:40pm

Gold Coast Suns vs St Kilda (Metricon Stadium), 8:10pm

Friday August 7

Essendon vs GWS Giants (Metricon Stadium), 7:50pm

BYES: Fremantle, West Coast Eagles, Hawthorn, Carlton

Round 11

Saturday August 8

Port Adelaide vs Richmond (Adelaide Oval), 4:05pm

Brisbane Lions vs Western Bulldogs (Gabba), 7:40pm

Sunday August 9

West Coast Eagles vs Carlton (Optus Stadium), 1:35pm

North Melbourne vs Melbourne (Blundstone Arena), 6:10pm

Monday August 10

Geelong Cats vs St Kilda (Gabba), 6:10pm

Fremantle vs Hawthorn (Optus Stadium), 6:40pm

Tuesday August 11

Adelaide Crows vs Collingwood (Adelaide Oval), 6:40pm

Wednesday August 12

Gold Coast Suns vs Essendon (Metricon Stadium), 7:10pm

BYES: GWS Giants, Sydney Swans

Round 12

Thursday August 13

Sydney Swans vs GWS Giants (Optus Stadium), 6:10pm

Friday August 14

Geelong vs Port Adelaide (Gabba), 7:50pm

Saturday August 15

North Melbourne vs Brisbane Lions (Blundstone Arena), 2:35pm

Melbourne vs Collingwood (Gabba), 5:10pm

Fremantle vs Carlton (Optus Stadium), 6:10pm

Sunday August 16

Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide Crows (Metricon Stadium), 1:05pm

St Kilda vs Essendon (Gabba), 3:35pm

West Coast Eagles vs Hawthorn (Optus Stadium), 4:10pm

Monday August 17

Richmond vs Gold Coast Suns (Gabba), 7:10pm








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