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First batch of COVID-19 vaccines arrives in Canada

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(Last Updated On: December 14, 2020)
The first COVID-19 vaccines landed in Canada on Sunday with the first Canadians set to get the jab on Monday. 
 
Reuters reported that Canada and the United States are set this week to become the first Western nations after the UK to begin inoculations with the newly approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
 
“The first batch of doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Canada,” Canada’s President Justin Trudeau said on Twitter on Sunday night.
 
The initial 30,000 doses will go to 14 sites across Canada. The most vulnerable people, including the elderly in long-term care facilities and healthcare workers, will be first in line for shots, Reuters reported.
 
The vaccines left Belgium, where they were produced, on Friday, and traveled to Germany and the United States before being split up and sent to different parts of Canada.
 
“The intent here is to ensure that we continue to have regular drip feed of vaccines in the coming weeks,” with 249,000 doses expected by the end of the year, Major-General Dany Fortin, who is in charge of vaccine distribution, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp earlier in the day.
 
While it is “good news” that the vaccine has arrived, Trudeau said: “Our fight against COVID-19 is not over.”
 
Forecasting a rapid acceleration of the spread of the novel coronavirus during the second wave, Canada’s federal health authorities called on Friday for provinces to impose more health restrictions heading into the holidays.
 
The country has had 460,743 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 5,891 new infections reported on Sunday. On Friday, health officials said Canada could see 12,000 new cases a day by January.

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India hosting key SCO anti-terror meeting

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) anti-terror body Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) representatives came together Monday for the start of a three-day meeting in New Delhi.

Among those attending is a three-member Pakistani delegation that arrived in India on Saturday via the Wagah border.

The situation in Afghanistan and the worsening humanitarian crisis in the country is expected to be on the agenda.

According to Indian media reports, New Delhi is also expected to raise issues regarding the security situation in Afghanistan.

The RATS is the Executive Committee of the SCO, headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which is a permanent unit of the organisation which serves to promote cooperation of member states against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

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IEA says girls’ schools will reopen soon

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Zabihullah Mujahid, spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), and deputy minister of the IEA’s Ministry of Information and Culture, said progress has been made at a meeting of religious scholars and girls’ schools would reopen soon.

Speaking to reporters in Kabul on Sunday Mujahid said: “Good progress has been made at the meeting of the country’s scholars regarding the reopening of girls’ schools and other major political issues, and girls’ schools will be reopened in the near future.”

He said that the meeting, attended by tribal leaders and influential people of the country, is focusing on major political, security and social issues.

“The Ulema are consulting on the reopening of girls’ schools, and progress will be made soon,” said Mujahid.

Meanwhile, Anas Haqqani, a senior member of the Islamic Emirate, said on Wednesday that a meeting of religious scholars would be held to discuss the issue of girls going to school.

The closure of girls’ schools above the sixth grade sparked a major outcry around the world with the international community repeatedly calling for schools to reopen.

Officials at the Ministry of Education of the Islamic Emirate have said that they will reopen girls’ schools in the near future within the framework of Islamic principles.

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Uzbekistan to host international conference on Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: May 16, 2022)

Tashkent will host a high-level international conference on Afghanistan at the end of July, Uzbekistan’s interim Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Norov announced.

Norov said the key focus would be on security, political stability and the socio-economic development of the region.

“As for Afghanistan, unfortunately, we are seeing a decrease in the attention of the international community to the situation in this country. Meanwhile, the situation there remains difficult, due to the acute economic crisis and the difficult humanitarian situation, challenges to regional security and stability remain,” he said.

Tashkent Times reported that Norov felt the international community should take responsibility for the present and future of Afghanistan and provide continued assistance to resolve problems in the country.

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