TOP NEWS –
1. WHO experts to visit China from Thursday to investigate virus origin
China on Monday said that a group of experts from the World Health Organization will arrive in the country on January 14 for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, AP reported.
The long-awaited mission will come at a time when the coronavirus has affected over 9 crore people worldwide, causing almost 20 lakh deaths.
The WHO team “will conduct joint research cooperation on the origins of Covid-19 with Chinese scientists,” the National Health Commission said in the statement, according to AFP. The team will be expected to quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival in China.
2.US President Biden to receive second Covid vaccine dose on Monday
US President-elect Joe Biden will receive his second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday — three weeks after his first injection was broadcast live on TV to boost public confidence in the jab.
Biden told Americans “there’s nothing to worry about” when he got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware on December 21.
His team had said that his second jab would also be done in front of the media.
3.Micronesia in Pacific records first COVID-19 case
Pacific nation of Micronesia with just 100,000 inhabitants recorded its first coronavirus case ending its run as one of the few places in the world where the virus hadn’t arrived.
The man and his other crewmen remain on the ship which is anchored off the island nation under round-the-clock surveillance. The Micronesia president said that schools, churches and businesses will continue to remain open.
Several island nations which were virus-free have lost the status recently with the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu falling to the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the world.
However, several other island countries including Tonga, Palau, Nauru and Kiribati reportedly still remain virus-free.
4.Four Air-India women pilots fly over north pole on world’s longest flight route
In a historic move, Air India’s longest direct route flight with the all-women pilot team landed at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from San Francisco (SFO), flying over the North Pole and covering a distance of about 16,000 kilometers.
“Today, we created world history by not only flying over the North Pole but also by having all women pilots who successfully did it. We are extremely happy and proud to be part of it. This route has saved 10 tonnes of fuel,” said Captain Zoya Aggarwal.