New Delhi, Aug 2 (IANS) The domestically developed Covaxin is effective against the Delta plus variant of Covid-19, claims the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its study released on Monday.
Covaxin is developed by the Bharat Biotech in collaboration with ICMR and the National Institute of Pune.
The study states: "The sera of individuals who were fully immunized (with 2 doses) didn't show significant fold-reduction in the NAb titer against Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3."
Delta Plus is a mutated form of the Delta variant and was first discovered in India. It is characterised by increased transmissibility and spike protein mutations.
The study points that Delta variant with its characteristic spike protein mutations has mutated further into four sub-lineages with additional mutations which are associated with higher transmission and probable immune escape.
Last week, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh informed parliament last week that 70 cases of the Delta Plus variant were found by INSACOG, a group of 28 laboratories involved in genome sequencing.
Covaxin along with the other two vaccines -- Covishield and Russia's Sputnik -- has formed the trio for India's massive vaccination drive against the virus.
The research further states, "A significant increase in the NAb titer against B.1 variant in recovered cases with vaccination and breakthrough cases was observed compared to the Covid-19 native vaccines. Similarly, a significant increase in NAb titer was also observed among these two groups against Delta, Delta AY.1 and B.1.617.3 variants."
"This demonstrates the possible role of memory cells in immune-boosting with post-infection or infection after immunization. The comparative analysis of all the groups revealed that the B.1.617.3 variant seems to be less susceptible to neutralization followed by Delta AY.1 and Delta variants."
The study on efficacy analysis further establishes Covaxin to be 93.4 percent effective against severe symptomatic Covid-19 cases and 63.6 per cent protection against asymptomatic Covid-19.
Vaani Kapoor is thrilled that she got the opportunity to work opposite Akshay Kumar in the upcoming film 'Bell Bottom', a film in which she has a small but impactful role.
The actress says the decision to do the film was instant because she got a chance to share the screen with the actor.
"I'm fortunate to have got the opportunity to work with one of the icons of Hindi cinema today, Akshay Kumar sir. I'm deeply thankful for his trust and faith. I have a small but impactful role in 'Bell Bottom' which I'm hoping will be loved by audiences and critics alike," Vaani said.
The actress is thrilled with her journey and opened up about her instant decision on working with Akshay.
"I'm just thrilled that my journey in cinema so far has enabled me to be a part of the film and the fact that I could share screen space with Akshay sir, who is larger than life and such a great person, the decision was a no-brainer," he said.
Vaani also shared a secret that her father, Shiv Kapoor, is a huge fan of Akshay and he was ecstatic that the actress had an offer to do a big film opposite him.
She said: "I also have to share that my dad is a huge fan of Akshay Kumar and he was ecstatic that I was getting the opportunity to work with him. It was also amazing to see my dad so happy that I would be working with this megastar whose work he has loved for so long. He was just over the moon when I broke the news to him."
Vaani added: "So, for all these reasons, 'Bell Bottom' is a truly memorable film for me. I hope that it is loved by audiences worldwide."
She will be next seen in 'Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui', opposite Ayushmann Khurrana and 'Shamshera' opposite Ranbir Kapoor.
India on Monday reported 41,134 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with 424 deaths, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data showed.
India is registering less than 50,000 daily new cases for 36 continuous days. However, the country has registered marginal decline in fresh Covid cases than Sunday.
On Sunday, India had recorded 41,831 fresh cases of Covid-19. With 424 more Covid fatalities, India's cumulative death toll now stands at 4,24,773.
India's active caseload has crossed the four lakh mark and stands at 4,13,718. India's recovery rate currently stands at 97.35 per cent, however, the active cases constitute 1.31 per cent of the total cases. The weekly positivity rate remains below 5 per cent and is currently at 2.30 per cent. The daily positivity rate continues to remain below 5 per cent for 55 continuous days and currently stands at 2.81 per cent.
The government has advised the states to restrict the gatherings in the districts reporting over 10 per cent positivity rate.
According to the government data, a total of 36,946 patients were discharged from hospitals and health centres in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured to 3,08,57,467 to date as the virus continues to infect less than one lakh people for the last 54 days.
The Health Ministry data said that a total of 17,06,598 Covid vaccine doses were administered in the last 24 hrs taking total jab count to 47,22,23,639 so far.
In a tweet, Health Ministry on Sunday said that India had achieved landmark in vaccination drive against the Covid pandemic and has successfully jabbed over 47 crore people across the country.
The total number of samples tested so far has reached 46.96 crores as on Aug 2.
Our answer to JLo... Malaika Arora, but don't take our word for it, check out her latest photoshoot which is proof enough!
The diva, who is a few yeas shy of fifty did a promotional photoshoot, looking drop-dead gorgeous in a one-shoulder gown. The star will be seen as a judge in the upcoming reality show Supermodel of the Year season 2.
Her stylist Maneka Harisinghani posted the photos on Instagram. Malaika is dripping gold in a label Slubne Atelier OrOr by designer Patrycja Kujawa which features a thigh-baring risque slit.
The ensemble with a metallic silver corset and sweetheart neckline shows off the star's envious curves. Harisinghani captioned the pictures: "Set FIRE to the R.A.I.N..."
Rajpal Yadav, who has been in the film industry for 24 years, says he is happy with what he has achieved till date. However, the talented actor, who is mostly known for his comic roles, says he has broken stereotypes and tried to avoid getting typecast.
"I'm very happy with what I've done till today. From day one I had decided that I would never repeat a character that I have played. Actors get typecast very quickly. So even if I'm offered a similar kind of role, I change its mentality. An actor cannot change his physique but the mentality can be changed," Rajpal Yadav told IANS.
The actor also revealed what he did to break stereotypes.
"I've done all possible variety of roles from negative to comedy to lead and supporting. Some people say, you should not play supporting characters once you've played the lead role. But I have done that and I enjoy breaking these theories," he added.
Among the kind of roles that he has portrayed on the screen, Rajpal is known for the comic ones. How easy or difficult is it for him to nail a comic role?
"Nothing is easy," replied the actor, adding, "But if your director is good, then the task becomes even more easy for the actor. If you are not understanding a situation and unable to properly communicate with your director, then that reflects on the screen as well."
Talking about his personal and professional life, how have things changed amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic?
"The entire world has been affected by the pandemic, from travelling to shooting to sports and everything. Can anyone imagine that the Olympics would be held without an audience? I believe in the saying 'jaisa desh vaisa bhesh'. So I will try to live according to the way other citizens of our country are living," he suggested.
On the work front, the actor's latest is the digitally-released comedy film 'Hungama 2' directed by Priyadarshan. Rajpal has collaborated with the filmmaker earlier in hilarious films like 'Bhool Bhulaiyaa', 'Hungama', 'Bhagam Bhag' and others.
Opening up on collaborating with Priyadarshan once again, he said: "Whenever I have worked with Priyan Ji, I have experienced a new thrill and I'm very happy to be a part of his Hungama 2 as well. Priyan Ji is an expert with comedy of errors. The miscommunication, running around and complicated situations he creates on the screen, he does it without an iota of confusion in his mind. He does his homework properly, is very focused and energetic on the set."
With films mostly releasing on OTT platforms in the present time, does it make a difference to him as an actor?
"I want OTT platforms to become very successful and at the same time cinema halls should also start functioning soon. I would like to thank OTT platforms for releasing our films at a time when theatres are closed because of the pandemic. Because of them, at least our films are reaching the audience," the actor concluded.
Also starring Paresh Rawal, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Meezaan Jafri and Pranitha Subhash, 'Hungama 2' streams on Disney+ Hotstar
Singer Neha Bhasin has been named as the first confirmed contestant of the new season of the controversial reality show 'Bigg Boss OTT'.
The news of Neha entering the show has been confirmed by the streaming portal Voot. Names of the other celebrities who will be seen in the show are still under wraps.
Neha is known for lending her voice for popular Bollywood numbers such as "Swag se swagat", "Asalaam-e-ishqum", "Heeriye" and "Jag ghoomeya", among many others.
'Bigg Boss OTT' marks the 15th season of the reality show 'Bigg Boss'. Filmmaker Karan Johar has been roped in to host the digital version, which premieres on August 8 on Voot.
Karan will anchor the drama for the six-week run of 'Bigg Boss OTT'.
After the completion of the digital exclusive, the show will move into Colors with the launch of Season 15 of 'Bigg Boss', hosted by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.
The growing popularity of the OTT space has helped in bringing talented actors to the forefront and one such name is Pankaj Tripathi, who has amassed a big fan following with his portrayal of Kaleen Bhaiya from 'Mirzapur' and Guruji from 'Sacred Games'.
He has often been called the "king" of the digital space. The 44-year-old actor credits the audience for all the love they have showered on him.
"I am humbled and it feels really good to be so loved. I'm thankful to all the viewers who decide whom to make the 'King' and the 'Queen' from among us actors - we actors call such viewers the intelligent and thinking audience - and I'm very thankful to them," Pankaj said.
The actor stressed that the numbers game in the industry keeps shuffling up and down.
He said: "I believe that originality means creating a space in the audience's hearts with good storytelling and performances that they wouldn't just like but also get inspired from."
"You see, the numbers game in the industry keeps shuffling up and down, but the most important thing to remember is to continue being a part of great stories so it reaches the hearts of the audience."
He feels thankful to be recognised for the work he does.
Pankaj concluded: "When I get to hear of the news where the audience is talking about the craft...personalities, and their preferences when it comes to content, it makes us actors feel very humbled and thankful to them for recognising the work that we do."
He has redefined high-octane action entertainers with his death-defying stunts, power-packed performances and sprinkle of laughter with witty lines. Filmmaker Rohit Shetty, who has given a new meaning to action cinema agrees that the genre in Hindi cinema has immensely evolved.
Rohit, who currently awaits the release of his film 'Sooryavanshi' told IANS: "It has evolved a lot especially because of the exposure to the west. We have technicians from all over the world coming to India and working in our films. The same team who worked in Cape Town on 'Fear Factor' have done a lot of stunts with me in my films as well."
The 48-year-old filmmaker, who has given a gamut of hit franchises such as 'Golmaal', 'Singham', films like 'Simmba' and 'Chennai Express', added: "Because of the kind of budgets with which we operate and the evolution of the CGI technology, our action has definitely evolved a lot in a good measure."
Shetty has had a track record of his masala entertainers featuring Bollywood biggies such as Ajay Devgn, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shah Rukh Khan being super-hits at the box-office.
Talking about how he has managed to have a 100 per cent hit track record with all his films, Shetty has no clue.
He laughed: "That I really don't know."
The filmmaker, who was a stunt double for actor Akshay Kumar in the movie 'Suhaag', just feels he is "lucky".
"All I can say is that I am blessed and that I am lucky that they (the audience) like my films and I am thankful to them that I have reached here today," he added.
Shetty has always pushed the envelope when it has come to his films. He has dabbled in action, comedy and even sprinkled romance on his movies.
He does not have a favourite genre as he says he just enjoys shooting.
"I enjoy shooting; be it films or 'Khatron Ke Khiladi'. I only work when I am going to enjoy doing that otherwise I won't do it," he said.
Asked his mantra to handle difficult people and situations calmly, Shetty shared: "I think one has to adapt and realise that everybody is not going to be on the same page as you are. One also has to be patient with everyone because every individual is different where thinking is concerned."
He shared that being patient is the key.
"It is also important to know how well people are trained when it comes to action. As far as Khatron Ke Khiladi is concerned, the contestants are not trained for action, so you need to keep that in mind and be very calm," he said.
The filmmaker is currently seen hosting the 11th season of 'Khatron Ke Khiladi' on Colors.
Actress Hina Khan, whose film "Lines" recently released on an OTT platform, had to shoot scenes involving bike rides for which she learnt how to ride a bike in order to ace the part.
Hina plays the role of Nazia in the film, which traces the life of a family living in a small village on the Kargil borders and how an outbreak of war changes their lives. The film stars Hina alongside well-known actress Farida Jalal.
Hina practised on a Yamaha bike of the '90s. She had to learn how to ride a bike from scratch, but got a hold of it within a week.
Sharing her experience, Hina told IANS: "When I noted that there is a scene in which I have to ride a bike, it was shocking. I was so nervous as I had never ridden a bike before and had to start from scratch.
"I did fall a couple of times and got injured too, but nothing major happened thankfully. It was all worth it in the end. And yes, it was tough, but it was super fun as well."
The Akshay Kumar-starrer spy thriller "Bell Bottom" will now have a theatrical release on August 19.
The film's release was pushed from April 2021 to July 27 due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.
Akshay shared the news on Twitter, along with a motion poster of the film featuring the entire cast of the film.
"Mission: To Entertain you on the BIG SCREEN Date: August 19, 2021 Announcing the arrival of #BellBottom! #BellBottomInCinemasAug19 @vashubhagnani @humasqureshi @LaraDutta @ranjit_tiwari @jackkybhagnani @honeybhagnani @monishaadvani @madhubhojwani @nikkhiladvani @EmmayEntertain," Akshay tweeted.
"Bell Bottom" is an espionage thriller set in the 1980s. The film was largely shot in Glasgow, Scotland, amid lockdown. Ranjit M. Tewari's directorial also stars Vaani Kapoor, Lara Dutta Bhupathi and Huma Qureshi.
India recorded 44,230 fresh Covid-19 cases with 555 deaths in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data showed on Friday.
On Tuesday, India had registered 29,689 new Covid cases, less than the 30,000-mark in 132 days, and 415 deaths.
The total number of deaths has reached 4,23,217 as per the government data and active cases number 4,05,155.
According to the government, 42,360 people were discharged from hospitals and health centres in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cured to 3,07,43,972 till date as the virus continued to infect less than one lakh people over the last 52 days.
According to the health ministry data, a total of 45,60,33,754 Covid vaccine doses have been administered in India so far, including 51,83,180 in the last 24 hours.
The total number of samples tested so far has reached 46,46,50,723 as on July 29, including 18,16,277 samples tested on Thursday.