New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) The National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB) and the National Botanical Research Institute(CSIR-NBRI) have signed an MoU for extending joint collaborative efforts to boost the cultivation and production of medicinal plants and herbs in India.The MoU will facilitate development of Quality Planting Material (QPM) of medicinal plants and herbs identified by NMPB, help in establishment of their nurseries for QPM, development, promotion, conservation and cultivation of the appropriate medicinal plants in different agro-climatic zones, including the threatened medicinal plant species and plants for the high-altitude regions.Through this collaboration, NMPB will support CSIR-NBRI in carrying out the potential medicinal plant species with high commercial value for the germplasm collection or conservation and establishment of nursery, seed banks, and gene banks. The MoU was signed on Friday.NBRI while undertaking the survey of medicinal plants will work in coherence with NMPB in the desired direction.The outreaches of NMPB and its implementing agencies like State Medicinal Plants Boards (SMPB's), Regional-cum-facilitation centres will work together under the ambit of this MoU.Working under the Ministry of Ayush, NMPB is mandated to coordinate all matters relating to medicinal plants and support policies and programmes for growth of trade, export, conservation and cultivation of medicinal plants.--IANSrak/khz
New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) The CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), Adar Poonawalla, has said on Friday that the US policy change on vaccines will increase the supply of raw materials globally and to India and boost vaccine production.Thanking US President Joe Biden and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for the policy change, Poonawalla tweeted, "Thanks to the efforts of @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, & @DrSJaishankar, this policy change will hopefully increase the supply of raw materials globally and to India; boosting our vaccine production capacity and strengthening our united fight against this pandemic." The US administration has announced that because of the success of US vaccine manufacturers, it is confident about supplying its authorised vaccines. "As a result, we're removing the DPA priority ratings for AstraZeneca, Novavax and Sanofi. While the manufacturers will continue to make these three vaccines, this action will allow US-based companies that supply these vaccine manufacturers to make their own decisions on which orders to fulfil first," the US administration said in a briefing. "And the President has announced a US commitment to sharing a total of 80 million doses by the end of June. This is five times the number of doses any other country has committed to sharing. And these 80 million doses represent 13 per cent of the total vaccines produced by the United States by the end of this month," it added. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, "We've received requests from all over the world, and a number of important factors went into our decision about how to allocate these first 25 million vaccines. These factors included achieving global coverage, responding to surges and other specific urgent situations and public health needs, and helping as many countries as possible who requested vaccines.""Our approach also prioritises South and Southeast Asia, including countries like India, Nepal, the Philippines and others that are undergoing surges right now. It recognises our closest neighbors, Canada and Mexico, which received our first shared vaccines; and friends like the Republic of Korea, where our military shares a command. And it prioritises other partners around the world, including countries with low vaccination rates or dealing with urgent present crises, like the West Bank and Gaza, Ukraine, Kosovo, Iraq, Haiti and others," Sullivan added. Earlier on April 16, Poonawalla had tweeted for lifting the embargo on raw materials. "Respected @POTUS, if we are to truly unite in beating this virus, on behalf of the vaccine industry outside the U.S., I humbly request you to lift the embargo of raw material exports out of the US so that vaccine production can ramp up. Your administration has the details," he had said.--IANSsan/arm
<br>The court also asked the company workers to resume duty on Tuesday and the state government to depute a senior officer to the factory to see the Covid-19 safety protocols there.Hearing the case filed by the Renault Nissan India Thozhilalar Sangam (RNITS) the court directed the company to complete its study on the manner of maintaining the social distance in the production line and corrective measures are taken at the earliest.The court also ordered Renault Nissan Automotive to submit the number of workers suffering from Covid-19, including how many of them are hospitalised and in their homes.While the company submitted that it would provide the workers with face shields and masks the workers had said it would be difficult to work wearing them.On the other hand, they had submitted that the company could look at a reduction in production volume that would result in maintaining social distance.The counsel for RNITS said the workers didn't report for duty on Monday as the company did not adhere to the Covid-19 safety protocol.According to him, the exemption from the lockdown given to the factory is on the condition that Covid-19 safety measures are followed.The court also observed that worker's safety cannot be compromised for production volume.Earlier RNITS said, its Executive Committee considered the apprehension of workers about their safety and not wanting to risk their lives.According to the Union, the company management was not inclined to reduce production by cutting down the footfalls to maintain the social distance inside the plant.The Union said, social distance is not maintained in the car plant's body shop conveyor line.That apart, the management did not give the Union any acceptance to their demand of rehabilitation measures for the family members of the workers who died due to the Covid-19 and with respect to the medical treatment for affected workers."So far 200 workers alone have been vaccinated with the 1st dose of the vaccine and they also have not developed immunity. The union's request for operating line 1 in 3 shifts and line 2 in 2 shifts so as to ensure social distancing through reduced footfall, has not been accepted by the management," RNITS has written to the company management.Last week, the RNITS had declared an indefinite boycott of work from May 26 onwards till Covid-19 safety measures were implemented in the factory.Later Renault Nissan Automotive decided to close down the plant for five days -- May 26 to May 30- and restart production on May 31.Meanwhile factories of Hyundai Motor, Ford India and Eicher Motor have restarted their production after a couple of days of closure in the wake of Covid-19 spread."The Hyundai Motor car plant has restarted after a couple of days. Even during that period a couple of employees have died due to Covid-19," Hyundai Motor India Employees Union (HMIEU) President E. Muthukumar told IANS.Citing the Covid-19 spread, the HMIEU has requested the management to close the factory till June 7, the time when the state lockdown comes to an end.The HIMIEU has also asked the management to deploy only 50 per cent of the workforce if it considers the operations are necessary on alternate days.Speaking to IANS an official of the union in Ford India said, the factory has started working and talks are on with the management on our demands like financial compensation for the families of the workers who succumb to Covid-19.At the Eicher Motors plant near here, workers have started rolling out the Bullet and other high powered two wheelers.On the maintenance of social distance at the factory level M.Muthukaruppasamy, President, Royal Enfield Thozhilalar Podhunala Sangam told IANS: "A screen has been placed between two work stations."Another worker preferring anonymity told IANS that the management has told them that components for three days production is available at the factory and after that decision will be taken.Eicher Motors workers also told IANS that the management should show some compassion in settling the dues of workers who died of Covid-19 or other reasons.(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])<br>--IANS<br>vj/in
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) Amid shortage of Covid vaccine jabs in the country, the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry on Friday said that the production capacity will reach nearly 10 crore doses per month by September."The current production capacity of Covaxin will be doubled by May-June 2021 and then increased nearly 6-7 fold by July/August i.e.from 1 crore vaccines in April, to 6-7 crore vaccines in July/August. It is expected to reach nearly 10 crore doses per month by September 2021," it said in a statement.Meanwhile, the Health Ministry clarified that the reports claiming Bharat Biotech is producing 6 crore Covaxin doses per month are false. "Some unfound reports on unaccounted vaccine doses of Bharat Biotech having 6 crore doses is an error of comprehension. These reports are incorrect and are not supported by full information on the matter," as per the the statement.The ministry said that as of Friday, "Bharat Biotech has supplied 2,76,66,860 vaccine doses to the Centre. Out of these, 2,20,89,880 doses including wastage, have been consumed by all the states/UTs in the ongoing Covid 19 Vaccination drive. With this, the balance available doses of vaccines with States/UTs are 55,76,980 doses. Private hospitals have also received 13,65,760 doses of Covaxin in the same month over and above what has been supplied to the GoI and the states."In May, an additional 21,54,440 doses of Covaxin are to be supplied. This takes the total vaccine supplied and in pipeline till date to 3,11,87,060 doses. Almost 90,00,000 doses are committed for the month of June by the manufacturer.According to the ministry, the cumulative number of Covid vaccine doses administered in the country has crossed 20.86 crore.--IANSpd/vd
New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) Bharat Biotech said on Friday that the timeline for manufacturing, testing, and release for a batch of Covaxin is approximately 120 days.In a statement, the company said that manufacturing, testing, release and distribution of vaccines is a complex and multifactorial process with hundreds of steps, requiring a diverse pool of human resources. For vaccines to result in actual vaccination of people, highly coordinated efforts are required from international supply chain, manufacturers, regulators, and state and Central government agencies, it added. The company said production scale-up of vaccines is a step-by-step process, involving several regulatory SOPs of GMP (Standard Operating Procedures of Good Manufacturing Practices). There is a four-month lag time for Covaxin to translate into actual vaccination. "The timeline for manufacturing, testing and release for a batch of Covaxin is approximately 120 days, depending on the technology framework and regulatory guidelines to be met. Thus, production batches of Covaxin that were initiated during March this year will be ready for supply only during the month of June," the company clarified. Based on Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) guidelines, all vaccines supplied in India are mandated by law to be submitted for testing and release to the Central Drugs Laboratory, of the Centre. All batches of vaccines supplied to state and Central governments are based on the allocation framework received from the Centre. "The timeline for vaccine supplies to reach the depots of the state and Central Governments from Bharat Biotech's facilities is around two days. The vaccines received at these depots have to be further distributed by the state governments to various districts within their respective states. This requires additional number of days," the company added. It said pandemic vaccines are distributed by respective governments equitably across all sections of the population. Vaccines once available at the vaccination centres are then administered to recipients over a period of time, based on demand. --IANSsan/dd
Bengaluru, May 27 (IANS) Reeling under shortage of medical oxygen due to growing demand amid the pandemic's second wave, Karnataka on Wednesday offered incentives to industry to set up the gas production plants in the state."We are offering incentives to industrialists for setting up production plants to make the state self-sufficient in medical oxygen," Industries Minister Jagadish Shettar said in a statement.Shettar, who is in-charge of medical oxygen supply to hospitals, said though the state was getting 1,200 tonnes of the gas daily through the Centre to meet the present need, the state government wanted to produce more to meet its demand during the anticipated third wave later this year."I have directed my department officials to build oxygen buffer stock in all 31 districts and increase the gas storage capacity by 20 tonnes for emergency use in state-run hospitals," he said.Of 1,200 tonnes allotted to Karnataka, 830 tonnes are produced in six private plants in the state, 60 tonnes are supplied by small and medium enterprises, and 310 tonnes are transported from other states, including Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.The state has also received 150 tonnes of liquid medical oxygen, carried by Indian Navy ships, from Gulf countries like Kuwai, Qatar and the UAE."More oxygen in 4 cryogenic tankers through special freight trains are on way to the state from Kalinga in Odisha," said Shettar.The Industry Department has reactivated 2 state-run defunct plants at KGF (Kolar Gold Field) near Bengaluru and Yadgir to produce 500 tonnes of oxygen each daily."In addition, over 100 oxygen generators are being installed across the state to ensure adequate supply to Covid hospitals," added Shettar.--IANSfb/vd
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