AS COVID-19 CASES BREACH 90K MARK, PM RUSHES CENTRAL TEAM TO WORST-HIT STATES - The Daily Guardian
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AS COVID-19 CASES BREACH 90K MARK, PM RUSHES CENTRAL TEAM TO WORST-HIT STATES

An ‘alarming rate of growth’ in infections and deaths witnessed in India, with 10 states contributing to over 91% of them. This is the biggest daily rise in cases since 19 September, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed the Covid-19 situation and vaccination exercise in the country amid an “alarming rate of growth” in infections and deaths, with 10 states contributing to more than 91 percent of them.

PM Modi directed that Central teams consisting of public health specialists be sent to Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh, where the situation is of serious concern and said the fivefold strategy of testing, tracing, treatment, Covidappropriate behaviour, and vaccination, if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment, would be effective in curbing the pandemic›s spread.

Over the last 24 hours, the country saw the biggest daily surge in Covid cases since mid-September, with 93,249 fresh infections, taking the tally to over 1.24 crore. This is the biggest daily rise in cases since 19 September, when 93,337 fresh infections were recorded. The death count climbed to 1,64,623 with 513 new fatalities. Registering a steady increase for the 25th day in row, the active cases surged to 6,91,597, accounting for 5.54 percent of the total infections.  The recovery rate further dropped to 93.14 percent.

Maharashtra continued to witness an upsurge in recording daily Covid-19 spikes as the state reported over 57,000 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours. This is the highest single-day rise in the number of cases in the state since the outbreak of the pandemic. As of date, Maharashtra has contributed 57% of the total cases and 47% of deaths in the country in the last 14 days.

With 57,074 more infections in a day, Maharashtra›s total tally of Covid-19 cases reached 30,10,597. As many as 222 coronavirus-related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the death toll to 55,878. The recovery rate is 83.8 percent and case fatality rate is 1.86 percent. In Mumbai, during the last 24 hours, there have been 11,206 new cases of Covid-19 (which is the highest ever in day-by-day figures in Mumbai). With this, the number of Covid-positive patients in Mumbai has increased to 4,52,681. There have been 25 deaths due to the virus in Mumbai during the last 24 hours in Mumbai, and a total of 11,779 deaths in the state capital so far.

Punjab has contributed 4.5% of the total number of cases in the country in the same period. However, it has contributed 16.3% of the total number of deaths, which has become a grave concern.

Similarly, although Chhattisgarh has contributed 4.3% of total cases in the country over the last 14 days, its contribution to India’s Covid death toll has exceeded 7% during the same period.

The meeting was attended by the Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Home Secretary, Chairperson (Empowered group on Vaccine Administration), Secretary Health, Secretary Pharmaceuticals, Secretary Biotechnology, Secretary AYUSH, DG ICMR, Principal Scientific Advisor to Government of India and Member NITI Aayog, besides other officials. During the meeting, various presentations were made to the attending members.

The Prime Minister directed that for sustainable Covid-19 management, awareness of the community and its involvement is paramount. “There is a need to continue Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for the pandemic’s management,” said PM Modi.

During the meeting, a special campaign for Covid-appropriate behaviour, with emphasis on 100% mask usage, personal hygiene and sanitation at public places/workplaces and health facilities, was decided to be organised from 6 to 14 April 2021.

The Prime Minister also emphasised on avoiding mortality under all circumstances by ramping up healthcare infrastructure, availability of oxygen and ventilators, besides required logistics, and ensuring that clinical management protocols are followed across all hospitals as well as for those in home care.

As for Delhi, it recorded over 4,033 new cases after recording 3,500 coronavirus cases for two consecutive days, while the positivity rate rose to 4.64 percent. With the new infections, the number of cumulative cases rose to 6,76,414, while 21 more deaths took the toll to 11,081.

Haryana reported seven fresh Covid-19 fatalities which took the death toll to 3,191, while 1,904 new cases pushed the tally to 2,98,133 in the state. The number of active cases in the state stands at 12,574 and the recovery rate is 94.71 percent.

The Covid-19 tally in Madhya Pradesh jumped by 3,178 to touch 3,06,851, while 11 deaths took the toll to 4,040. Meanwhile, 2,201 people were discharged from hospitals in the past 24 hours, taking the recovery count in the state to 2,81,476.

The Covid-19 death toll in Uttar Pradesh rose to 8,881 with 31 more fatalities in the state, while 4,164 fresh cases pushed the infection tally to 6,30,059. With 4,164 fresh infections, the total number of cases has now risen to 6,30,059.

Kerala added 2,802 new Covid-19 cases and ten more deaths, pushing the infection count to 11,35,233 and the toll to 4,668. A total of 2,173 people recuperated from the disease, taking the total recoveries in the state to 11,02,359. There are 27,893 people under treatment and 1,42,854 under observation, of which 4,403 are in isolation wards of various hospitals. 

Karnataka logged 4,553 fresh coronavirus cases and 15 deaths, taking the caseload and toll to 10,15,155 and 12,625 respectively. So far, 9,63,419 people were discharged cumulatively, including 2,060 in last twenty-four hours. There have been 39,092 active cases which includes 331 in the ICU.

The number of active coronavirus cases in Andhra Pradesh jumped over the 10,000 mark once again as 1,730 more people were infected with the disease, the highest in a day since 11 November last year. 

Tamil Nadu reported 3,581 new Covid-19 cases taking the total infection tally to 8,99,807. Also, 14 deaths in the last 24 hours pushed the death toll to 12,778. The number of active cases touched 21,958. Meanwhile, 1,813 recoveries took the recovery total to 8,65,071.

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 573 fresh Covid-19 cases, including 105 travellers, taking the tally to 1,33,012, while three more deaths due to the virus raised the toll to 2,008. Of the fresh Covid-19 cases, 122 were from the Jammu division and 451 from the Kashmir division.


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Beachside horror: 2 minors raped in Goa

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The incidents of crime in Goa continue abated with news coming in of the alleged rape of two minors at seaside town of Benaulim in South Goa.

Two minor girls in their complaint to the Colva police station have alleged that they were raped at the Benaulim beachside on Sunday night.

Noted women’s right activist Auda Viegas, founder, Bailancho Ekvott, currently counseling the minors, told The Daily Guardian that the girls were chatting with their two male friends on the waterfront when they decided to go back home. At approximately 3:30 am, they saw a car on the beach with 4 people standing next to it. They impersonated as cops and threatened the girls while beating up their male friends with rods. They took one girl to the shrubs and the other in the car to sexually assault them. Even after trying to run away from the car, the accused caught up and raped the minors. They even taped the girls and tried to blackmail them for extorting money.

Goa police has arrested the four accused and they are being interrogated.

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BROUGHT FARMERS’ MESSAGE: RAHUL DRIVES TRACTOR TO PARLIAMENT

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday drove a tractor to reach Parliament in protest against the three farm laws.

“I have brought farmers’ message to Parliament. They (The government) are suppressing the voices of farmers and not letting a discussion take place in Parliament. They will have to repeal these black laws. The entire country knows these laws favour 2-3 big businessmen,” he said, adding: “As per the government, farmers are very happy and those (protesting farmers) sitting outside are terrorists. But in reality, farmers’ rights are being snatched away.”

Rahul Gandhi was accompanied by Congress MPs, who raised slogans against the farm laws and the Centre.

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020.

WITH ANI INPUTS

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SC WON’T STAY PROCEEDINGS AGAINST GAMBHIR’S FOUNDATION

Ashish Sinha

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The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the proceedings against BJP MP Gautam Gambhir’s foundation in a case relating to illegal procuring and distribution of Covid-19 medicines. “You may have done this for charity, but if permitted, it could lead to serious discrepancy in drug supply,” the Supreme Court said. 

While refusing the plea filed by BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, the Supreme court observed: “It is not for individuals to hoard essential medicines and distribute to sections of population when commoners were running from pillar to post during the second wave. This is not done. We do not want to say anything, but we also have our ears to the ground,” the bench said.

However, the top court permitted Gautam Gambhir’s foundation to intervene in the pending proceedings before the Delhi High Court. During the hearing, senior advocate Kailash Vasdev, appearing for the foundation, sought a stay on the prosecution under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. 

Earlier, the Delhi government’s drug controller had told the Delhi High Court that Gambhir’s foundation has been found guilty of unauthorized stocking, procuring and distributing the Fabiflu medicine to Covid-19 patients. On May 24, the Delhi High Court had directed the Drugs Controller to conduct an inquiry against Gautam Gambhir, AAP MLAs Preeti Tomar and Praveen Kumar in a case of unauthorized distribution of Covid drugs.

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OUST BJP GOVT IN KARNATAKA, CM REJIG OF NO USE: CONGRESS

Siddaramaiah says ‘there is no benefit for the common man if one corrupt CM is removed to make way for another corrupt CM’.

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The Congress in Karnataka on Monday demanded the ouster of the BJP government in Karnataka instead of the party finding a replacement for Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who resigned on Monday.

Alleging that the BJP government in Karnataka was “illegitimate as it was born out of defections and corruption”, the main Opposition party wondered whether changing the face would also change the government’s “diabolical character”. “There is no benefit for the common man if one corrupt CM is removed to make way for another corrupt CM. Instead the whole BJP party, which is responsible for the miseries of people, should be ousted,” former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, tweeted.

Reacting to Yediyurappa’s resignation, the Congress stalwart said: “The power politics in BJP is unfortunate when people are suffering due to natural calamities. Crops have been destroyed in many districts due to floods and nine people have lost their lives. It is unfortunate that the representatives of the government are busy in power politics instead of helping the people in distress.”

The Congress national general secretary and party’s Karnataka in

charge Randeep Singh Surjewala alleged that the malady is with BJP’s corrupt government and appalling maladministration in Karnataka, for it is an illegitimate government born out of “defections and corruption”.

“Will merely changing the face change the diabolical character of the BJP government synonymous with mal-governance & decay?” Surjewala said in his tweet. “The ignominy, torment and insult being heaped upon Sh. BS Yediyurappa by Modiji, dictating him to tender his resignation, makes him PM’s latest victim and member of the ‘forced retirement club’,” Surjewala tweeted.

In his reaction to Yediyurappa’s resignation, the Congress state president D.K. Shivakumar said the Chief Minister should explain why he turned emotional and choked when he announced his resignation. “It is not Yediyurappa who was crying but the state and its chief minister were in tears. We opposition parties are different but he represents the government. That’s why Yediyurappa should explain whether he was crying, the state was crying or the party was crying,” Shivakumar told reporters here.

While announcing his resignation, an emotional Yediyurappa pointed out that a few MLAs from his party were not happy with him, sending out a signal that he was upset with their statements. Most vocal among the BJP legislators was Vijayapura MLA

Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who had predicted the exit of Yediyurappa, alleging that he and his family members were involved in corruption. Targeting Yediyurappa, his MP-son BY Raghavendra and BJP state vice president BY Vijayendra, Yatnal had even asked the BJP central leadership to end the “dynastic politics” in Karnataka BJP. MLC A H Vishwanath had also repeatedly demanded Yediyurappa’s resignation.

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Protesting farmer unions have no fresh proposal: Tomar

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NARENDRA TOMAR

Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Monday said the government has been sensitive in its talks with farmer unions who are demanding repeal of three farm laws and is ready for discussions.

The minister said that during talks, the government gave “one-sided” proposals in favour of farmers but the protesting unions rejected them all without giving any reason. He said the government asked farmers to come up with their proposal but they have no proposal and that’s why were not coming for talks.

“During talks, the government gave them one-sided proposals (in their favour). The farmers refused to accept them without giving any reason. We then asked about their proposal and asked them to come with it,” the minister told ANI.

“Farmers’ unions have no proposal and that is why they are not coming for talks. I want to tell farmers’ unions that we are ready to talk whenever they want discussion,” he added.

The government and protesting unions have earlier held several rounds of talks. The minister said that the Modi government has been working for the welfare of farmers for the past seven years.

“The government is trying to make farmers prosperous. 1.8 crore farmers have received 1.37 lakh crore in PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. MSP has been increased. Farmers’ contribution to GDP is increasing also,” the minister added. (ANI)

Tomar also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of “misleading farmers” on three new farm laws and asked if the Congress leader was “lying” in the party’s manifesto for last Lok Sabha elections which talked of the repeal of APMC Act and freeing restrictions in inter-state trade of agricultural produce.

Taking a dig at Gandhi over his coming to Parliament on a tractor, Tomar said he does not have a right to represent farmers. Tomar also criticised Gandhi for violating traffic rules when he drove the tractor with party leaders to parliament. “I want to tell Rahul Gandhi not to mislead farmers as he does not have the right to represent farmers,” the minister told ANI.

“It is because of his shallow thinking he has lost the position of leader who is accepted by all in his party. Rahul Gandhi is responsible for the state Congress is in the country,” he added.

Gandhi had said he has brought a message from protesting farmers who are demanding repeal of the three farm laws. “Several traffic rules were broken as so many people rode the tractor. This violation of traffic rules is condemnable and it does not set the right precedent,” Tomar said.

He said Gandhi has to clarify whether he was lying or Congress lied when it listed provisions that reflect some of the spirits of farm laws in the party’s election manifesto. “Rahul Gandhi should clarify whether Rahul Gandhi was lying when (several provisions) of these laws were part of their election manifesto. Was he lying then or lying now? Rahul Gandhi has to explain this from Congress side,” Tomar said.

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After Punjab, Rahul takes Rajasthan turn; big cabinet reshuffle buzz gains ground

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After Navjot Singh Sidhu’s appointment in Punjab, it is being claimed that Rahul Gandhi is now busy in fixing the Congress. And Rajasthan seems to be next in line, with a big reshuffle buzz in the state cabinet.

Rahul Gandhi’s move has been criticised by many Congress watchers, saying it will impact the party in the coming elections. There had been talks about Sidhu being made the Punjab Congress president for over a year, but the decision was taken seven months before the Assembly polls. The move has further divided the party in Punjab.

Similarly, in Uttarakhand, Harish Rawat had been demanding a change for more than a year, but the change made seven months before the election has increased the conflict in the state. Congress lacks leaders in Uttarakhand. Conflict among the remaining leaders can do harm. As far as Rajasthan is concerned, there is no election yet.

But Rahul Gandhi has sent K.C. Venugopal and Ajay Maken there and then the situation has heated up. The BJP has made serious efforts to bring down the Ashok Gehlot government in Rajasthan. Toppling the Gehlot government would have meant a direct challenge to the Gandhi family, as before that, the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh had been toppled.

After the rebellion in Rajasthan, the Congress high command had made major changes. Govind Singh Dotasara was given the command of the state in place of Sachin Pilot. All the units were disbanded. After this, the Congress high command made a new state executive and new appointments in the organisation. But with the district and the block, the policy of going slow was made for many posts and political appointments in the organisation. When Sidhu’s case in Punjab heated up, the Sachin Pilot group increased its activism.

By sending Venugopal and Maken to Jaipur, Rahul Gandhi has further given impetus to power shift buzz in the state. After calling the legislators to get consent, they said that the decision has been left to the high command. No one ever challenges the high command in Congress.

Gehlot is still the most trusted leader of the Gandhi family. It is a different matter that the Sachin Pilot camp is successful in conveying the message to the media.

If sources are to be believed, there may be a big reshuffle in the Rajasthan cabinet. Around 8 to 10 ministers can be removed. Big faces will be given a place in the organization. Some can be brought into the party politics at the central level. The number of supporters of Sachin Pilot has also been reduced to 7-8. One or two of them can be given a place in the government. If the decisions of the high command end factionalism in Rajasthan, for Rahul Gandhi, this will be an achievement. However, the chances of ending factionalism are less visible.

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