Prices of petrol and diesel rose for the 15th consecutive day on Sunday. After 82 days of keeping prices stable during the lockdown, oil marketing companies began raising rates on 7 June. Petrol prices are now at a two-year high with the cumulative increase crossing ₹8.8 on Sunday. Diesel prices have risen ₹7.9 in 15 days. To catch up on the rest of the news in five minutes before you start your day, here’s Mint Lite.
New covid-19 drug on shelves
A new medicine to treat covid-19 patients is in the market after the Drugs Controller of India granted approval to Glenmark Pharmaceuticals for favipiravir, an antiviral drug. It’s a prescription drug, and is priced at ₹103 a tablet. Doctors say the drug is “promising”, though—as with all coronavirus medication—there isn’t substantial evidence on its efficacy yet. Glenmark said favipiravir has shown clinical improvement of up to 88% in mild to moderate covid-19 cases by reducing the viral load in four days. In China, researchers have started a second phase human trial of a possible coronavirus vaccine, its Institute of Medical Biology at Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences said. The trial will evaluate whether the vaccine can safely trigger immune responses in healthy people. About a dozen vaccines are in different stages of human tests globally, but none have passed large-scale, late-stage phase 3 clinical trials, necessary to get regulatory approval for sale.
Dengue adds to covid crisis
Indonesia, already fighting covid-19, is now facing an outbreak of dengue haemorrhagic fever. From January to June, 64,251 dengue haemorrhagic fever cases were reported with 385 deaths, its health ministry said. Singapore has reported a spike in dengue cases, and may have its largest outbreak ever this year. Malaysia isn’t far behind as the rainy season has set in. In India too, dengue is a cause of concern, especially with the monsoon arriving. Kerala has reported a rise in dengue cases, even as it battles a sudden surge in covid-19 infections. The pandemic has taken focus away from vector-borne diseases, and much of the prevention work has not happened. Nashik and Hyderabad have issued advisories. A Lancet study in March warned that dengue and covid-19 are difficult to distinguish because of their “shared clinical and laboratory features”. It emphasized the possibility of missing a covid-19 case because of a positive dengue test result.
80 million displaced in 10 years
Nearly 80 million people worldwide, or 1% of the world’s population, were uprooted at the end of 2019 after fleeing wars or persecution. That’s close to double the number recorded a…