CENTRE ISSUES NEW TRAVEL NORMS AS FRESH COVID-19 VARIANTS EMERGE - The Daily Guardian
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CENTRE ISSUES NEW TRAVEL NORMS AS FRESH COVID-19 VARIANTS EMERGE

New rules apply to incoming international passengers, except those from the UK, Europe and Middle East.

Aishvarya Jain

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India’s Covid-19 infection tally climsbed to 1,09,50,201 with 12,881 new cases in last twenty-four hours, while 1,06,56,845 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 97.32 per cent. There are 1,37,342 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which accounts for 1.25 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated. The death count climbed to 1,56,014 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 101 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country. The Covid-19 case fatality rate stood at 1.42 per cent.

With fresh 8,600 coronavirus cases coming from Maharashtra and Kerala, a newset of travel guidelines has been issued as two new, highly more infectious strains of Covid, that is, the South African and the Brazilian strains, have been detected in India. The new rules apply to all incoming international passengers except those from the UK, Europe and Middle East, the health ministry has said.

Maharashtra reported 5,427 new Covid-19 cases and 38 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking total cases to 20,81,520. This is the highest rise in infections in 70 days. The state now has 19,87,804 total recoveries and 38,013 active cases.  Death toll stands at 51,669. 

In the view of sharp surge in Covid figures, Maharashtra declared a day’s lockdown in Amravati. The state administrations of Amaravati and Yavatmal districts announced lockdowns of different durations. While Amravati district collector Shailesh Naval announced a weekend lockdown, his Yavatmal counterpart MD Singh announced a 10-day lockdown.

Odisha reported 63 new Covid-19 cases pushing the state tally to 3,36,460while one more fatality pushed the death toll to 1,913. The tally includes706 active cases and3,33,788 recovered cases.

Telangana recorded 163 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the caseload to 2,97,113, while two deaths pushed the toll to 1,622, as per the government report. Recoveries were at2,93,791 with 101 patients getting cured of the disease. The state has 1,700 active cases. 

The Union Territory of Puducherry added 20 new cases of Covid-19taking the infection count to 39,526. A total of 1,711 samples were examined during the period, while 23 patients were discharged after recovery, taking the cumulative recoveries to 38,667.

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Congress does not agree with Shiv Sena’s demand for Bharat Ratna to Savarkar, says Nana Patole

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Friday said that the party does not share the same stand with Shiv Sena, its alliance partner in Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, over the demand for India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna to Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
“Bharat Ratna should be conferred on Savitribai Phule and Shahuji Maharaj. Shiv Sena’s stand is not our stand,” Patole told media while responding to a question on Shiv Sena’s demand for Bharat Ratna to Savarkar.
“To confer Bharat Ratna is the responsibility of central government and not the issue of the state government,” he added.
This comes two days after Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray in the state Assembly on Wednesday questioned Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders on why the ruling party at the Centre has not yet conferred the Bharat Ratna on Savarkar.
Earlier, in October last year, Sena leader Sanjay Raut had asked why the BJP government at the Centre had not given Bharat Ratna to Savarkar. He had also said that the party has never changed its stand on Savarkar. (ANI)

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Karnataka’s Bellandur Lake fire now under control

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): The fire, which broke out at Bellandur Lake in Bengaluru district of Karnataka on Thursday evening, has been brought under control.
Lake Marshals and Sarjapur fire personnel had reached the spot immediately to douse the blaze. Officials brought the fire under control with the help of three fire engines by midnight.
However, in the wee hours of Friday, flames erupted again and as a result, the fire brigade had to be called which doused the flames completely this morning.
“The fire took place at a private land nearby but due to wind flow, it also reached Bellandur lake. It is under control now,” said Sadashiva, Chief In-charge Marshal of Bellandur Lake.
Chemical effluents and sewage are often discharged into the lake which can catch fire. (ANI)

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Siddaramaiah urges PM Modi to ensure every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision of the central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost.
In a letter (dated March 5, 2021) to Prime Minister, the Congress leader said it is essential to make the vaccines accessible and available to everyone.
“India has approved two vaccines for administration in many phases but the progress is very slow. India has only administered 0.5 per cent or less of the population while other countries are making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people. Israel has vaccinated 36 per cent of the population, the United States of America 6 per cent and the UK 4 per cent. India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population,” he said.
The decision of the Central Government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will “adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread,” Siddaramaiah said.
“More than 70 per cent of the population will find it difficult to afford the vaccine and may prevent them from accessing it . This will act as a deterrent for our fight against pandemic and return to normalcy,” he claimed.
Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly said that many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, United States of America and the United Kingdom, have made COVID-19 vaccines free of cost and “it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone.”
Targetting the central government over PM Cares fund, Siddaramaiah said, “Though it is the right approach to collaborate with private health centres, both Central and State governments should take the burden to reimburse. One of the narratives built during the collection of funds through PM Cares was that the funds shall be used to vaccinate everyone at free of cost. The office of the Prime Minister has failed to release the accounts of PM Cares fund and failed to provide vaccination at zero cost as well.”
He urged the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and “ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVI-19 at zero cost.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to Central government sources.
The Health Ministry has said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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Siddaramaiah urges PM Modi to ensure every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 5 (ANI): Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reconsider the decision of the central government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVID-19 at zero cost.
In a letter (dated March 5, 2021) to Prime Minister, the Congress leader said it is essential to make the vaccines accessible and available to everyone.
“India has approved two vaccines for administration in many phases but the progress is very slow. India has only administered 0.5 per cent or less of the population while other countries are making huge strides to increase the immunity among its people. Israel has vaccinated 36 per cent of the population, the United States of America 6 per cent and the UK 4 per cent. India can progress only when the vaccines are widely available at zero cost to the population,” he said.
The decision of the Central Government to allow private healthcare centres to charge Rs 250 for administering the vaccine will “adversely impact the efforts to ensure immunity to everyone and to contain the spread,” Siddaramaiah said.
“More than 70 per cent of the population will find it difficult to afford the vaccine and may prevent them from accessing it . This will act as a deterrent for our fight against pandemic and return to normalcy,” he claimed.
Leader of Opposition, Karnataka Legislative Assembly said that many countries, across the world, including Brazil, Canada, United States of America and the United Kingdom, have made COVID-19 vaccines free of cost and “it is the right approach to ensure speedy administration to everyone.”
Targetting the central government over PM Cares fund, Siddaramaiah said, “Though it is the right approach to collaborate with private health centres, both Central and State governments should take the burden to reimburse. One of the narratives built during the collection of funds through PM Cares was that the funds shall be used to vaccinate everyone at free of cost. The office of the Prime Minister has failed to release the accounts of PM Cares fund and failed to provide vaccination at zero cost as well.”
He urged the Prime Minister of India to reconsider the decision and “ensure that every Indian is vaccinated against COVI-19 at zero cost.”
The price of the coronavirus vaccine at private facilities in the country has been capped at Rs 250 per dose, which includes Rs 100 as a service charge, according to Central government sources.
The Health Ministry has said that the COVID-19 vaccination will be free of charge at government vaccination centres.
India commenced its second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination drive to inoculate people above 60 years and those over 45 with comorbidities against the coronavirus from March 1. (ANI)

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BMC raids Mumbai night clubs for violating COVID-19 protocols

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) raided two night clubs for violating the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing norms on Thursday night.
The night clubs namely, R Adda in Juhu and Barrel Mansion in Vile Parle, not just operated beyond 3 am but also flouted all social distancing and pandemic norms. The clubs were over-crowded and people there were not wearing face masks.
Speaking to the media, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh said that the Covid-19 guidelines are in place but some violations have been observed in restaurants and pubs.
“Detailed guidelines of Covid-19 are in place but still there are violations of the protocols observed especially in restaurant and pubs. The BMC and state police are taking strict action against the violators and we can see some control in the violations,” Shaikh said.
Mumbai Suburbs BJP legislator Yogesh Sagar blamed the state government for the violations.
“Not only in pubs and restaurants but COVID-19 violations are everywhere due to the nightlife in the state which strongly supported by the government,” Sagar said.
“Violations are particularly seen in the constituencies of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Ministers from Mumbai,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra has 86,359 active COVID-19 cases, 20,49,484 recoveries and 52,340 deaths so far. (ANI)

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BMC raids Mumbai night clubs for violating COVID-19 protocols

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 5 (ANI): Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) raided two night clubs for violating the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing norms on Thursday night.
The night clubs namely, R Adda in Juhu and Barrel Mansion in Vile Parle, not just operated beyond 3 am but also flouted all social distancing and pandemic norms. The clubs were over-crowded and people there were not wearing face masks.
Speaking to the media, Mumbai Guardian Minister Aslam Shaikh said that the Covid-19 guidelines are in place but some violations have been observed in restaurants and pubs.
“Detailed guidelines of Covid-19 are in place but still there are violations of the protocols observed especially in restaurant and pubs. The BMC and state police are taking strict action against the violators and we can see some control in the violations,” Shaikh said.
Mumbai Suburbs BJP legislator Yogesh Sagar blamed the state government for the violations.
“Not only in pubs and restaurants but COVID-19 violations are everywhere due to the nightlife in the state which strongly supported by the government,” Sagar said.
“Violations are particularly seen in the constituencies of Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Ministers from Mumbai,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Maharashtra has 86,359 active COVID-19 cases, 20,49,484 recoveries and 52,340 deaths so far. (ANI)

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