1. The Indian state of Kerala has declared a state of alert in all districts after identifying 14 cases of the Zika virus. A six-member central team of experts has been dispatched to Kerala to get a grip on the situation in the state, stated the Union Health Ministry on July 9, 2021.
2. Pfizer and BioNTech announced on July 8, 2021 that they would seek regulatory authorization for a third booster dose of their Covid-19 vaccine. The announcement comes after the initial data from an ongoing trial showed that a third shot increases the antibody level by 5-10 times against the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and the Beta variant first detected in South Africa, in comparison to the first two doses alone.
3. The newly formed Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 8, 2021 approved ‘India COVID-19 Emergency Response & Health System Preparedness Package: Phase-II’ worth Rs 23,123 crore to boost emergency health infrastructure in states to tackle COVID-19 in the Fiscal Year 2021-22.
4. ICC CEO Manu Sawhney will leave the organisation with immediate effect, informed the International Cricket Council (ICC) on July 8, 2021. Geoff Allardice will remain the Acting CEO of the organisation and will be supported by the leadership team working closely with the ICC Board.
5. India and Nepal on July 9, 2021 signed a Letter of Exchange (LoE) to revise the 2004 India-Nepal Rail Services Agreement (RSA) and which will facilitate the import and export of goods through the Indian railway freight services.
6. Anurag Thakur was among the 43 new Ministers who were sworn into PM Modi’s cabinet on July 7, 2021. He has received two portfolios of Minister of Information and Broadcasting and Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports.
7. Hardeep Singh Puri is the new Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas; and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs. Hardeep Singh Puri succeeds Dharmendra Pradhan, who has taken charge as the new Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
8. Ajay Bhatt is the new Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence and Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism.
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