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Switzerland to destroy 10 million doses of Moderna

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Switzerland will need to destroy 10.3 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine against COVID-19, after they expired this week, the health ministry said on Saturday (Sep 24).

The ministry said it had no choice but to eliminate the jabs after the doses expired last Wednesday, according to Keystone-ATS.

It told the news agency that 2.5 million of the doses were being stored at a Swiss army logistics base and 7.8 million were in an external storage depot in Belgium.

The ministry confirmed an initial report on Swiss news site Beobachter, which estimated that the doses set for destruction were worth around 280 million Swiss francs (US$285 million).

The health ministry, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP, pointed to its early procurement strategy in the race to develop vaccines to counter the global COVID-19 pandemic.

It ordered doses from various manufacturers to avoid becoming reliant on vaccines that might eventually prove ineffective and to guard against any delivery problems.

The fact that vaccines based on mRNA technology, from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, turned out to be effective, left Switzerland with a large surplus of doses.

In June, the Swissinfo news site estimated that Switzerland had an excess of about 38 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines, that would expire before the year-end.

The ministry said that about 3.5 million doses of the new, adapted Moderna vaccine would be available when Switzerland kicks off its next booster campaign next month.

Switzerland, which has counted 13,556 deaths from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, has fully vaccinated nearly 70 per cent of its population of 8.7 million.

(channelnewsasia.com)

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India assumes G20 Presidency

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In a historic moment, India formally assumed the G20 Presidency, from Indonesia, on December 01, 2022.

The G20, or Group of Twenty, is an intergovernmental forum of the world’s 20 major developed and developing economies, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.

On the occasion, the Indian Prime Minister penned an article outlining India’s vision for the G20 Presidency. This was carried by publications across the world. In his article, the Prime Minister said that India looks forward to a Presidency of healing, harmony and hope.

A key element of India’s G20 Presidency will be taking the G20 closer to the public and making it truly a ‘People’s G20’. To realize this, citizen engagement and large scale public participation through various Jan Bhagidari activities are planned throughout the year.

To mark the first day of India’s Presidency, numerous activities were planned. Earlier in the day, a special University Connect event was organized, which virtually brought together students from 75 universities across the country. External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar and Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Shri P.K. Mishra were among the distinguished speakers at the event. The University Connect event aimed at engaging the youth in G20 activities. School students were also involved through special G20 sessions in various schools.

Taking people participation further, the Hornbill Festival in Kohima featured a special focus on G20. One hundred monuments, including some UNESCO World Heritage sites, were specially illuminated, and citizens were invited to join a selfie campaign on MyGov around these illuminated monuments. Sand artist Shri Sudarshan Pattnaik created sand art of India’s G20 logo on Puri beach in Odisha.

The G20 website recently launched by the PM also seamlessly migrated to the g20.org domain today and India took over the official social media handles, including the twitter handle @g20org, from the previous Presidency.

Drawing inspiration from its G20 Presidency theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – ‘One Earth One Family One Future’, India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities across 32 different workstreams and would have the opportunity to offer G20 delegates and guests a glimpse of India’s rich cultural heritage and provide them with a unique Indian experience.

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Musk says misunderstandings with Apple, resolved

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Elon Musk has said he and Apple boss Tim Cook have “resolved the misunderstanding” over Twitter possibly being removed from the app store.

On Monday, Mr Musk accused Apple of threatening to cut the platform from its app store and said it had halted most of its advertising on the site.

But the Twitter boss tweeted on Wednesday that: “Tim was clear that Apple never considered doing so.”

He did not say if Apple’s advertising was discussed at the meeting.

(BBC News)

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Fmr. Chinese leader passes away

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China’s former leader – Jiang Zemin passed away due to leukemia and multiple organ failure in Shanghai at 12:13 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2022, at the age of 96, it was announced on Wednesday.

The announcement was made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the State Council of the PRC, the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the Central Military Commissions of the CPC and the PRC.

It was announced in a letter addressing the whole Party, the entire military and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups.

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