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Active cases below 7.5-lakh mark for 2 days in a row

Aishwarya Jain

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 On Wednesday, India’s Covid-19 case tally rose past the 76-lakh mark, while active cases fell below the 7.5 lakh mark. The number of new coronavirus infections reported in India in a span of 24 hours remained below 60,000 for the third consecutive day, taking India’s Covid-19 caseload to 76,51,107. A total of 54,044 fresh infections were reported in last twenty-four hours, while the death toll climbed to 1,15,914 with 717 fatalities being registered in a span of 24 hours.

Worst affected state in the country so far, Maharashtra’s Covid-19 tally increased to 16,17,658 with the single-day rise of 8,142 cases. The state also reported 180 deaths, which took the fatality count to 42,633. A total of 23,371 patients were discharged during the day after treatment, taking the tally of recovered people to 14,15,679. With this, the number of active patients in the state stands at 1,58,852. 

Delhi recorded as many as 3,686 fresh coronavirus cases. With this, the tally of coronavirus cases in the state has mounted to over 3.40 lakh, while the death toll mounted to 6,128. Forty-seven fatalities have been recorded in the last 24 hours. The case tally stands at 3,40,436 in the national capital, including 3,10,191 patients who have recovered. The number of active cases currently stands at 24,117.

Rajasthan recorded 14 more fatalities due to Covid-19, taking the death toll due to the disease in the state to 1,778. The state also reported 1,810 fresh cases in last 24 hours, pushing the total number of people infected with Covid-19 to 178,933. Meanwhile, 157,960 Covid-19 patients have been discharged from various hospitals of the state till now.

Gujarat’s tally of coronavirus cases rose to 162,985 after 1,137 new cases were reported in last 24 hours. With nine new fatalities, the death toll in the state rose to 3,663. As many as 1,180 patients were discharged from various hospitals across the state, which pushed the recovery count to 145,107.

Poll-bound Bihar’s Covid-19 tally rose to 2,08,237 as 1,277 more people tested positive for the infection, while eight fresh fatalities pushed the state’s coronavirus death toll to 1,019. As many as 1,319 more people have been cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 1,96,208.

Haryana reported 1,193 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number of infections in the state to 1,53,367, while 14 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 1,674. There are 10,187 active cases in the state, while the recovery rate is 92.27 per cent. 

Tamil Nadu on Tuesday saw a drop in cases, with 3,094 patients testing positive for Covid-19, taking the overall tally to 6,94,030. The death toll rose to 10,471 after 50 more people succumbed to the virus.

Karnataka reported 5,872 new Covid-19 cases, 9,289 discharges and 88 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking active cases to 1,00,440, discharges to 67,1618 and death toll to 10,696.

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MACRON CALLS BENNETT ON ALLEGATIONS OF SNOOPING

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JERUSALEM: According to a media report, French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken to Israeli PM Naftali Bennett regarding reports that Morocco’s security forces may have used the Pegasus spyware to snoop on his cellphones,.

A global media consortium last week reported that 50,000 cellphone numbers were being spied on using the Pegasus malware, which has been developed by Israeli cybersecurity company NSO Group. The mobile phones of French President Macron and 15 members of his government may have been among potential targets, according to a member of the media consortium.

Macron called Bennett on Thursday and asked him to ensure that “the issue was being taken seriously”, Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Saturday evening. The Israeli PM said that the allegations are from a period when he had not assumed office but assured that the required conclusions on the matter will be reached upon. Macron had called an urgent national security meeting on Thursday to discuss the Pegasus spyware after reports about its misuse in France emerged.

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IN A FIRST, SAUDI WOMEN STAND GUARD IN MECCA

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MECCA: Dozens of female soldiers have become a part of the security services that monitor pilgrims in Mecca and Medina, the birthplaces of Islam. This is a significant stride towards women empowerment.

For the first time, Saudi female soldiers are standing guard in Mecca as thousands of Muslim pilgrims take part in this year’s Hajj, as per Deutsche Welle report.

Women dressed in military khaki uniforms were seen monitoring the security situation in the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Along with khaki, they were sporting a hip-length jacket, loose trousers, and a black beret over a veil covering their hair. While adhering to Covid-19 protocols, thousands of vaccinated Muslim pilgrims gathered at Mecca to perform Hajj.

According to Al Jazeera, 10,000 vaccinated Muslim pilgrims circled Islam’s holiest site in Mecca last Sunday, but remained socially distanced and wore masks as the Coronavirus takes its toll on the Hajj for a second year running.

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63 dead, 5 missing in China’s flood-hit Henan

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HENAN: The death toll from the heavy rains and floods that hit China’s central province of Henan has risen to 63, while five people remain missing as of Sunday.

More than 852,000 people were relocated. Some 876.6 thousand hectares of crops were affected and 24,474 houses collapsed, reported Global Times. Torrential rains have battered Henan province since last weekend. Several videos surfaced on social media showing the severity of the flooding.

Zhengzhou, the provincial capital of 12 million people, is one of the worst-hit areas.

Zhengzhou’s meteorological station has described the level of rainfall as “once in a thousand years.”

Henan’s water resources department, meanwhile, has called rain levels in parts of the province “once in 5,000 years.”

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XI JINPING MEETS TOP MILITARY OFFICIALS IN LHASA

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Chinese President Xi Jinping, 68, made his first official visit to Tibet from Wednesday to Friday. But his important visit was kept under wraps by China’s official media till the end of the tour on Friday due to the sensitivities of the trip.

Xi underlined the importance of long-term stability and prosperity in Tibet during a meeting with top military officials in Lhasa, the state media reported on Saturday, a day after he made aunannounced visit to the strategically important region, including to Nyingchi, a town close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh.

Xi, who is also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, met top officials of the Tibet Military Command of the People’s Liberation Army, guarding China’s border with India in Arunachal Pradesh, and also called for “fully strengthening the work of training soldiers and war preparation,” as per the CPC-run tabloid Global Times report.

As part of his trip, he first went to Nyingchi, a strategically located town close to the border with Arunachal Pradesh. On Thursday, Xi went to Nyingchi Railway Station. It was the first time in recent years, a top Chinese leader visited the Tibetan border town. From there he went to the provincial capital Lhasa by the recently launched high-speed train.

He wound up his visit to the politically sensitive Himalayan region on Friday by meeting “representatives of troops stationed in Tibet”.

“Xi met with representatives of troops stationed in Tibet, calling for efforts to strengthen military training and preparedness in all aspects and make contributions to the lasting stability, prosperity and development of Tibet,” as per the state-run Xinhua news agency report.

However, the Global Times said that Xi, in his meeting with the PLA representatives, stressed “the local troops should fully strengthen the work of training soldiers and war preparation and contribute positive strength to promote the long-term stability and prosperity of Tibet”.

Xi’s first visit to Tibet took place amidst the current India-China military tensions in eastern Ladakh.

According to Xinhua, Xi visited the Tibet Autonomous Region in connection with the 70th anniversary of Tibet’s “peaceful liberation the first time in the history of the Party and the country.”

He extended congratulations to the 70th anniversary of Tibet’s peaceful liberation, visited officials and ordinary people of various ethnic groups and conveyed the CPC Central Committee’s care to them, the report said.

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CHINA DISMANTLING PEACE IN AFGHAN BY COLLUDING WITH PAK, TALIBAN: COLUMNIST

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New Delhi: A columnist from Jammu and Kashmir, Farooq Ganderbali, on Sunday, blamed China for dismantling peace in Afghanistan by collaborating with Pakistan and supporting the Taliban. Ganderbali tweeted,“China is trying to dismantle peace in the region by collaborating With Pakistan and supporting Taliban, all this at a time when peace and civilian rule of democracy was getting restored in the great nation of Afghanistan. The adventures of Pak-China will kill stability for Afghan.” He often writes in a Pakistani Newspaper Pakistan Christian Post highlighting the plights of the Christian minority in the country. Ganderbali is also the founder of Peace and Justice Forum.

With the US troops’ drawdown from Afghanistan on the verge of completion, a new terror axis is emerging in the Afghan-Pak geopolitical theatre with the convergence of interests between Pakistan and China. Amid the Taliban’s increasing grip over Afghanistan, Pakistan has dropped all pretensions of being an ally of the US led-western countries despite the much-needed American safety net on key issues that have a direct impact on its economy, wrote Fabien Baussart in The Times of Israel.

“We will no longer allow China’s Uyghur separatist fighters (from Xinjiang),” Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said in a widely circulated interview. Taliban spokesperson admitted that some Uyghur had previously sought refuge in Afghanistan. He, however, promised not to host them.

According to Baussart, the Taliban can be as duplicitous as their patrons. “Well, China may hope to leverage its money power against any likelihood of a breach in the promise by the Taliban; such a hope, even after its Pakistan experience, exposes its inability not to look beyond the nose.” From all accounts, he stated that China seeks to fill the unfolding void in Afghanistan. “It is ready with cash and weapons that the Taliban may need in case the nationalist forces try to checkmate its expansion within the country.”

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INDIA AND PAKISTAN NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO RESOLVE BILATERAL ISSUES: US

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WASHINGTON: The United States has said that India and Pakistan need to work with each other to resolve their bilateral issues, observing that it had always encouraged the two neighbours to build a more stable relationship going forward. “With regard to India-Pakistan, I would just note that we strongly believe that India and Pakistan’s issues are ones for them to work out between themselves,” .

During a conference call on Friday, Dean Thompson, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs told reporters, “We are pleased to see that the ceasefire that went into place earlier this year is — has remained intact, and we certainly always encourage them to continue their efforts to find ways to build a more stable relationship going forward.” Thompson said this in response to a question. —Correspondent

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