The Maysorian Nation 16

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Republic starts vaccinations.

(Bizet). In the beginning of March the Republic of Maysoran, Algheran and Shaoran will start the first vaccinations against Covid-19, as our country recently received the first ten thousand doses of two vaccines, Covaxin and Covishield, both developed and produced in India. This week, the drug regulating authorities of the republic issued an emergency approval for two vaccins and according to the Ministry of Health the first doses will be given to four main priority groups; healthcare workers, people over 50, people under 50 with comorbidities and public workers. The vaccines are free and paid for by the Maysorian government, and Minister of Health, Anant Singh expressed his gratitude to the Indian government for the donation of at least one of the two vaccins. As a goodwill gesture, India donated 800 000 doses of Covishield to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, the Seychelles and the Republic of Maysoran, Algheran and Shaoran, and although the other vaccin, Covaxin is not donated, it still is much cheaper than other vaccins like Sinovax or Sputnik and within one or two months another deliverance to our country is to be expected. Another benefit is that the Indian vaccines can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, making it more suitable for the climate in our country.

The emergency approval of the two vaccins was fuelled by the fact that the amount of people who actually fell ill or deceased in covid-19 has grown unexpectedly much in the last months. Last year (see the Maysorian Nation 14) the Ministry of Health still stated that the situation was under control, due to the measures taken earlier that year, but recent figures indicate that the number of sick and dead in Covid-19 is much higher than was assumed, spreading rumors and panic in the population. According to the latest figures, now more than 450 people have died and probably several thousands have become ill or are infected with the virus, but these figures are probably quite unreliable, as many sick people still seem to stay at home rather than consulting a doctor. Mr. Anant Singh said at a press conference recently, that the emergency approval of the vaccines had to be seen as an “abundant precaution”, in order to get started with the vaccinations as soon as possible. The minister stated that it probably was only a matter of time before even the highly transmissible variant found in South Africa or the United Kingdom would spread in the Republic and he stressed that it was extremely important that people would vaccinate and seek help in the event of infection to avoid infecting others.

But among many residents of the Republic, the hasty approval has led to suspicion about the effect of the vaccine. In fact, according to some persistent rumors, the vaccine could even be a secret attempt of the government for birth control, especially amongst those parts of the population that have many more children than others. Activists also questioned the lack of transparency of the clinical trials by the Indian manufacturers and why there is so less data available. According to them, both vaccins can thus not be considered as safe until more clinical tests have been performed or as they stated, ”the population of our country should not be used as guinea pigs for vaccines from another country”. But the minister of Health dismissed all such unfounded rumors and allegations and said the vaccine was safe. To set a good example, several ministers and even the president were vaccinated in public in front of TV-camera´s.

Republic closes down one of two coal power plants.

The government of the Republic of Maysoran, Algheran and Shaoran recently announced that the coal-fired power plant at Maël will be closed by the end of this year. By doing this, the amount of electricity powered by coal will be reduced by almost half and so do the carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation, as it is one of only two coal power plants in our country. According to the government, the loss of electricity will be more than compensated by solar cells and wind power or other forms of renewable energy in a bid to cut the nation’s carbon footprint. The coal power plant of Maël was build in the early seventy´s and is now due to retire, as a spokesman of the Ministry of Energy explained, and as it is so much cheaper nowadays to build new turbines for wind power or to place solar cells, the use of coal for electricity generation is getting old fashion and unnecessary. No statesments were given about the second coal power plant, but as it was build only twenty years ago, it is likely to remain in use until the end of this decade. There is also an oil-fired small power plant at Orzet which also will remain in use, as the demand for electricity is rising each year and the country cannot risk running out of electricity when the wind isn't blowing. According to the Ministry, the replacing of coal power by wind power turbines and solar cells is financed partially by a loan from the Social Investment Bank of FICT.