Brazilian Nationals Get New Visa Crypto – Latest news headlines

Hong Kong-based digital asset exchange has begun issuing Visa crypto cards for its users in Brazil. Users applying for and receiving the cards will not be charged any monthly, annual, or ATM withdrawal fees, the company has said. Unlike normal Visa credit cards that offer a line of credit, these crypto Visa cards are prepaid in nature and need to be recharged using fiat or cryptocurrencies. These cards can convert all the tokens of the decentralised finance (DeFi) protocol stored in them into the respective market’s currency, which can then be used for purchases and ATM withdrawals.

“The Visa Card offers up to 8 percent back on spending, LoungeKey airport lounge access, and 100 percent subscription rebates for Spotify, Netflix, and Amazon Prime,” the asset exchange company wrote in a blog post announcing the expansion.

Brazilian nationals will have to clear an approval process after having applied for the card. As soon as the clearance comes through, users will be issued a virtual card that would be usable before the physical card arrives.

The crypto Visa card that is currently available in the US, Europe, the UK, Canada, and Singapore, is entering Brazil perhaps amid crypto adoption picking pace there.

In October, Brazilian cab-hailing major 99 enabled the sale and purchase of Bitcoin via its digital wallet app 99Pay.

In Fact, earlier this week, Brazilian parliamentarian Luizão Goulart proposed a bill to legalise cryptocurrency as a form of payment for workers in the public and private sectors.

If the bill does get cleared, Brazil could become only the second country to approve Bitcoin as legal tender, after El Salvador went through with the process in September.

Earlier this week, the overall valuation of the crypto market reached the $3 trillion (roughly Rs. 2,22,79,296 crore) mark, as per market research tracker, CoinGecko.

Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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Brazil suspends phase-3 trials of Covaxin | Hyderabad News | Sidnaz Blog

HYDERABAD: After Bharat Biotech terminated its MoU with Brazilian partner Precisa Medicamentos on Friday, Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa (Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria) said it has suspended Covaxin’s clinical trials in Brazil. Precisa had submitted a request for randomised, double-blind and placebo-controlled phase-3 study of Covaxin in Brazil to Anvisa.
“The Coordination of Clinical Research determined this Friday the precautionary suspension of clinical studies of Covaxin in Brazil,” said a notice by Anvisa on website.
“The suspension was carried out as a result of a statement from the Indian company Bharat Biotech Limited International, sent to Anvisa on Friday (23/7). In the statement, Bharat informs that the company Necessidade Comercializacao de Medicamentos Ltda is no longer authorized to represent Bharat in Brazil, which in Anvisa’s assessment makes it impossible to carry out the study. Bharat is the manufacturer of the Covaxin vaccine,” Anvisa said.
“The letters communicating the precautionary suspension were sent to Instituto Albert Einstein and the sponsor of the study, the company Necessidade Comercialização de Medicamentos Ltda. The application of the vaccine in Brazilian volunteers did not happen,” the Brazilian health regulator said.
The Phase-3 study, which was approved by Anvisa in mid-May this year, was to be carried out on 4,500 volunteers aged 18 years and above at Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Mato Grosso.
Late on Friday evening, Bharat Biotech announced the immediate termination of its deal with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals LLC, pulling the plug on the $324 million deal for supply of 20 million doses of Covaxin to Brazil.
However, the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker said it would continue to work with Anvisa to complete the regulatory approval process for Covaxin.
The Covaxin deal had come under the scanner and was suspended by Brazil after allegations of irregularities surfaced against Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.
While terminating the deal, Bharat Biotech said in a statement: “We have very recently been informed that certain letters, purported to have been executed by executives of the company, are being circulated online. We would like to emphatically state that these documents have not been issued by the company or its executives and therefore vehemently deny the same.”
“The company also stresses that all its actions, including its global dealings, are done in accordance with local laws and that the company employs and follows the highest standards of ethics, integrity and compliance at all times,” Bharat Biotech had said.

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Latest News Today – Bharat Biotech Ends Brazil Agreement With 2 Firms Amid

Bharat Biotech said it will continue working with the Brazillian regulator on Covaxin approval.


Drugmaker Bharat Biotech on Friday said it has scrapped agreements with two Brazilian companies amid controversy over a $324 million deal between the South American country and Bharat Biotech for the import of 20 million doses of the made-in-India COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.

The termination of the agreements with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals came after the deal set off a major political row in Brazil and spawned an investigation by authorities in the country.

“The company has terminated the said MoU with immediate effect. Notwithstanding such termination, Bharat Biotech will continue to work diligently with ANVISA, the Brazilian drug regulatory body to complete the regulatory approval process for Covaxin,” it said.

Bharat Biotech is pursuing approvals in various countries as per legal requirements applicable in each country, it said.

Last month, Bharat Biotech had emphatically denied any wrongdoing on its part amid the growing controversy; the Hyderabad-based company said it had followed a “step-by-step” approach, and that: “EUA (was) received on June 4”.

However, after Brazilian authorities contradicted the claim, the company replaced “EUA received on June 4″ in its statement with ‘On 4th June, ANVISA authorized exceptional import of Covaxin vaccine by Ministry of Health for distribution and Use Under Controlled Conditions”.

The controversy erupted after a Brazilian health ministry official, Ricardo Miranda, red-flagged potential illegalities in the acquisition process of the vaccines, saying he had been pressured to clear the doubtful invoice.

Brazilian federal prosecutors and a Senate panel are investigating the deal, citing high prices, quick talks and pending regulatory approvals as points of concern in the February contract. President Jair Bolsonaro, cornered by political opponents, has denied any wrongdoing on his part.

Bharat Biotech signed an agreement with Precisa Medicamentos and Envixia Pharmaceuticals on November 20 to introducing Covaxin in Brazil.

Precisa Medicamentos is Bharat Biotech’s partner in Brazil, providing assistance, guidance and support with regulatory submissions, licensure, distribution, insurance and conduct of Phase III clinical trials, among others.

The global pricing of the vaccine has been set between $15-20 and accordingly, the jab was offered to the Government of Brazil at the rate of $15 per dose, Bharat Biotech said.

It also said that the company has not received any advance payments, nor has it supplied any vaccines to the Ministry of Health in Brazil, the company said.

The vaccine maker stressed that all its actions, including its global dealings, are done in accordance with local laws and the company employs and follows the highest standards of ethics, integrity and compliance at all times.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Latest News Today – Lionel Messi-Led Argentina Beat Brazil To Win Copa

Lionel Messi won his 1st major trophy with the national team as Argentina beat Brazil 1-0.© AFP

Superstar Lionel Messi won his first major trophy with his national team as Angel Di Maria’s goal gave Argentina a 1-0 win over hosts Brazil in the Copa America final on Saturday. The victory at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium ended Argentina’s 28-year wait for a major trophy, and also ended Brazil’s unbeaten home record that stretched back more than 2,500 days. Argentina had last tasted success at a major tournament in 1993 when the great Gabriel Batistuta’s brace gave them a 2-1 win over Mexico in the Copa final in Ecuador.

It was the first time in six editions playing at home that Brazil had failed to lift the trophy.

And while 34-year-old Messi’s odyssey has come to an end, Brazil’s Neymar, five years his junior, is still without a major title at international level having missed the Selecao’s win on home soil two years ago through injury.

Argentina edged a brutal and fractious affair thanks to Di Maria’s goal on 22 minutes.


The 33-year-old winger ran onto Rodrigo De Paul’s sumptuous through ball to lob Brazil goalkeeper Ederson with a first time finish.

Messi could have wrapped up the win two minutes from time but slipped when clean through with only Ederson to beat. 

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Latest News Today – Copa America: Lionel Messi Dazzles With Splendid

Copa America: Lionel Messi hit a sublime free-kick goal against Equador in the quarter-finals.© AFP

Fans all across the world skipped a heartbeat yet again as Lionel Messi scored a breathtaking free-kick to ensure a semi-final qualification for Argentina in the ongoing Copa America. Messi put the ball past Ecuador keeper Hernan Galindez in the dying minutes of the quarter-final as the Argentina captain scored his side’s third, and possibly the most spectacular, goal of the day. Danger bells rang for Ecuador when Angel Di Maria was fouled at the edge of the penalty box in the 91st minute, resulting in Piero Hincapie getting sent off through a straight red.

This gave way for Messi to step-up for the free-kick with Ecuador down to 10-man.

Messi, unperturbed by the six opposition players in the wall as well as one on the ground (in case Messi opted for a grounded shot), belted the ball past Galindez in the top right-corner to make it 3-0.

This was Messi’s second goal through a free-kick in the ongoing competition, with the earlier one coming against Chile in their opener.

The win propelled Argentina to the semi-final, where they are scheduled to meet Colombia. The other semi-final features Brazil and Peru.


The goal was Messi’s 58th career free-kick strike, bringing him closer to former Argentina captain Diego Maradona’s tally of 62. Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has 56 free-kick strikes to his name so far in his career.

The sublime free-kick also accounted for Messi’s fourth goal of the tournament. After his opening strike versus Chile, he went on to score two more in their 4-1 win over Bolivia.

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Latest News Today – Bharat Biotech On Brazil Covaxin Deal Row: Step-By-Step

Bharat Biotech says reports over past few weeks had “misrepresented” the procurement process of Covaxin.

New Delhi:

Bharat Biotech said today that it had followed a “step-by-step” approach towards contracts and regulatory approvals with Brazil amid investigations in the country to the deal for 20 million Covaxin doses.

Brazil has decided to suspend a $ 324 million contract, which has engulfed President Jair Bolsonaro in accusations of irregularities, on the advice of the federal comptroller.

“In the specific case of procurement of Covaxin by the Ministry of Health, Brazil, since the first meetings during Nov 2020 until June 29, a step-by-step approach has been followed towards contracts, and regulatory approvals, during this eight-month-long process,” Bharat Biotech said in a statement.

“EUA received on June 4. As of June 29, Bharat Biotech has not received any advance payments nor supplied any vaccines to MOH Brazil. Bharat Biotech has followed a similar approach towards contracts, regulatory approvals and supplies in several countries worldwide, where Covaxin is being supplied successfully,” said the Hyderabad-based vaccine maker.

Brazilian federal prosecutors have opened an investigation into the deal citing comparatively high prices, quick talks and pending regulatory approvals as red flags for the contract signed in February.

Bharat Biotech says reports in the media over the past few weeks had “misrepresented” the procurement process of Covaxin in Brazil and other countries.

“The procurement process for COVID-19 vaccines and several vaccines for routine immunization follow a common process which is widely accepted, and established in Industry,” said Bharat Biotech.

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No US emergency nod coming, Covaxin to seek full approval | | Live Newspaper Hyderabad

HYDERABAD: In a move that will delay rollout of indigenous Covid-19 vaccine Covaxin in the US market, Bharat Biotech’s US partner Ocugen has dropped plans of applying for an emergency use authorisation (EUA). It will instead pursue the biologics license application (BLA) route, which is a full approval, based on the US drug regulator’s recommendation.
“Although we were close to finalizing our EUA application for submission, we received a recommendation from the FDA to pursue a BLA path. While this will extend our timelines, we are committed to bringing Covaxin to the US,” Dr Shankar Musunuri, CEO & co-founder of Ocugen said in a statement.

Ocugen said it is in discussions with FDA to understand the additional information required to support a BLA submission and anticipates that data from an additional clinical trial will be required to support the submission.
This could mean that Bharat Biotech and Ocugen may have to conduct a smaller clinical trial in the US, on the lines of the phase-3 study it is conducting on 4,500 volunteers in Brazil, where it recently received approval for Covaxin imports.

A Bharat Biotech spokesperson confirmed, “Yes, we are conducting a clinical trial in the US.” However, the spokesperson did not provide any further details on the size of the trials or the timelines.
“The FDA provided feedback to Ocugen regarding the master file the company had previously submitted and recommended that Ocugen pursue a BLA submission instead of an EUA application for its vaccine candidate and requested additional information and data,” Ocugen said in a regulatory filing.
Bharat Biotech is yet to submit its phase-3 efficacy data and has only provided an interim efficacy figure of 78% based on the second interim analysis.
Pointing out the reasons for going for BLA, Bharat Biotech said: “With a good herd immunity and significant percentage of the population vaccinated, the pandemic is reducing in the US. On the sidelines of this, the USFDA had earlier communicated that no new EUA would be approved for new Covid-19 vaccines.”

Admitting that BLA process would extend timelines for making Covaxin available in the US, Bharat Biotech said: “All applications have to follow the BLA process, which is the standard process for vaccines. Therefore, for BLA, data from an additional clinical trial will be required to support the marketing application submission for Covaxin.”

Dr Bruce Forrest, acting chief medical officer and member of the vaccine scientific advisory board of Ocugen, said that in the “clinical trials to date, the emerging safety profile of Covaxin is supportive of it being generally well tolerated with a good safety profile, India’s health ministry reporting no potential thromboembolic events following the administration of over 6.7 million doses of Covaxin in that country.”
Ocugen had earlier indicated that it was planning to file for EUA in the US in the first half (H1) of 2021 and was hopeful of rolling out the vaccine in the US in H2 of 2021 with a target of supplying 100 million doses per annum starting 2021 and plans to set up local manufacturing there.
Watch US FDA rejects emergency use authorisation for Covaxin

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Latest News Today – Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Booed On Plane, Tells

Jair Bolsonaro’s disapproval rating has risen sharply along with the death count from Covid (File)

Brasilia, Brazil:

They say Brazil is polarized under far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, but the divide was literal Friday, when he boarded a commercial plane to greet supporters in the front — as opponents booed him at the top of their lungs from the back.

Visiting the southeastern state of Espirito Santo to inaugurate a public works project, Bolsonaro took a moment at the airport to briefly enter a departing plane and say hello.

It was all smiles in the roomier, more-expensive front of the plane, as seen in a video he posted on Twitter of himself snapping selfies with passengers and crew.

But videos from the back of coach posted on social media show a riotous scene as passengers waved the middle finger and hurled protest slogans at the president, including “Get out, Bolsonaro!” and “Genocidal maniac!”

That is a reference to the president’s widely questioned handling of Covid-19, which has claimed more than 480,000 lives in Brazil, second only to the United States.

Responding to the boos, Bolsonaro removed his face mask to joke, “Those people saying ‘Get out, Bolsonaro’ should be traveling by donkey.”

Brazilian media reports said he had also removed his mask in the airport, in violation of regulations in place to contain the pandemic.

The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro has frequently criticized face masks, lockdowns and vaccines to fight the pandemic, instead touting the medication chloroquine despite studies showing it is ineffective against Covid-19.

The plane episode turned into a top trending topic on Twitter in Brazil, under the tag “ForaBolsonaro” (Get out, Bolsonaro).

The president’s disapproval rating has risen sharply along with the death toll from Covid-19, and opponents are increasingly ready to take to the streets in protest despite the pandemic.

They have called for new demonstrations Sunday, on the opening day of the Copa America, the South American football championships.

Bolsonaro controversially defied warnings from epidemiologists to bring the tournament to Brazil when original hosts Argentina and Colombia fell through because of surging Covid-19 caseloads and social unrest.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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400 UK, Brazil, South Africa Virus Variant Cases In | Sidnaz Blog

Coronavirus: India has logged over 1.14 crore cases so far.

New Delhi:

Four hundred coronavirus patients in India have so far have been found to be affected with three mutant variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, the government said today amid a worrying surge in several parts of the country. Of these, 158 cases were reported in the last two weeks. 

On March 4, there were 242 such cases across the country, the centre said.

The three variants are believed to be more contagious or easier to catch. These three mutated virus variants also have the potential to re-infect persons who have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, citing findings by World Health Organization.

“No case of re-infection by mutant variants of SARS-CoV-2 virus has been reported from India so far,” the Minister said.

The mutant strain from the United Kingdom was first reported in India on December 29 in six passengers who had returned from Britain. These were also the first cases of a mutant strain in the country, which has logged the second highest Covid infections in the world after the United States,.

The UK strain, which had triggered panic worldwide about three months ago, had also led to travel restrictions in India with the government announcing a temporary ban on flights.

The government had released details of the genomic surveillance consortium INSACOG, which has been formed to detect the presence of different strains of coronavirus in India.

India has been seeing a huge surge in daily Covid infections over the last few days; it logged more than 20,000 cases everyday over the last one week.

35,871 new cased were reported in the last 24 hours taking the tally to 1.14 crore total infections, the government said this morning. This is the biggest daily surge since early December.

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Brazil Reports Record COVID-19 Deaths For Second | Sidnaz Blog

Brazil’s 24-hour death count had just set a new record Tuesday, at 1,641. (File)


Brazil registered a record of Covid-19 deaths for the second straight day Wednesday, with 1,910 lives lost to the pandemic.

With a surge in cases currently pushing health systems to the limit in many areas, Brazil has recorded a total of 259,271 deaths, according to the health ministry — the second-highest death count worldwide, after the United States.

“For the first time since the pandemic began, we are seeing a deterioration across the entire country,” public health institute Fiocruz said before the latest figures were published.

“The situation is alarming.”

Brazil’s 24-hour death count had just set a new record Tuesday, at 1,641.

The sprawling country of 212 million people is having its deadliest week of the pandemic, with an average of 1,331 deaths per day.

Brazil has struggled to control Covid-19 throughout.

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro faces sharp criticism for downplaying the new coronavirus, flouting expert advice on containing it with lock-downs and face masks, and over his government’s slow pace in vaccinating the population.

Now, the situation has been exacerbated by a surge in cases stemming from the holidays and carnival season, when many people ignored the cancelation of official events to hold large gatherings and clandestine parties.

Experts say the emergence of a new virus variant known as P1 in the Amazon rainforest city of Manaus is also to blame for the recent surge.

The variant is now present in 17 of Brazil’s 27 states, and has been detected in more than two dozen countries.

Studies indicate it is more contagious than the original strain of the virus and can re-infect people who have already had Covid-19.

‘Brink of collapse’

Intensive care units are currently more than 80 percent full in 19 Brazilian states, according to Fiocruz.

That means the hardest-hit states will have a tougher time sending overflow patients to neighboring ones.

Meanwhile, the country’s vaccination campaign got off to a relatively late start, in mid-January, and has been hit by shortages.

Brazil is so far using Chinese-developed CoronaVac and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, both of which require two doses.

It has administered a first dose to 7.1 million people and two doses to 2.1 million.

But it is far off pace to meet Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello’s pledge of vaccinating the entire population by the end of the year.

“We weren’t ready,” said Isabella Ballalai of the Brazilian Immunological Society (Sbim).

“This was predictable. We knew there was a new variant and there should have been a lockdown,” she told AFP.

Instead, in the absence of a nationwide response from the federal government, Brazilian states and cities have resorted to piecemeal containment measures.

In the latest example, Sao Paulo declared new “code red” restrictions Wednesday, ordering non-essential businesses closed for two weeks from Saturday.

The partial lockdown bars all but “essential activities” in the state of 46 million people, but allows schools and churches to remain open, along with health services, supermarkets and public transportation.

“We’re going to face the two worst weeks since March last year,” said Governor Joao Doria.

“Sao Paulo and Brazil are on the brink of a health system collapse.”

Doria, who is expected to challenge Bolsonaro in the 2022 presidential election, lashed out at his rival.

“This is your fault. It’s because of your denialism,” he said, addressing Bolsonaro in a news conference.

“More than 1,000 people are dying every day in Brazil. It’s like five plane crashes a day…. Many of the Brazilians who have been buried died because you didn’t do what you were supposed to: lead.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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