COVID CASES SPIKE AS VACCINE POLITICS CONTINUES UNABATED - The Daily Guardian
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COVID CASES SPIKE AS VACCINE POLITICS CONTINUES UNABATED

India reports 41,806 new cases; Centre says that 1.92 crore vaccine doses are still available with the states/UTs.

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Registering a spike in daily Covid-19 cases, India reported 41,806 new cases on Thursday, even as vaccine politics continued unabated between the Centre and states. While on 14 July, India recorded close to 39,000 fresh cases, the trajectory took an upward swing on Thursday. As per data shared by Union Health Ministry, India’s active caseload now stands at 432,041 and active cases now constitute 1.39% of the country’s total positive cases.

In a bid to deflect growing criticism over plummeting vaccination numbers, the central government said more than 40.31 crore (40,31,74,380) vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs so far, through all sources and a further 83,85,790 doses are in the pipeline. The Health Ministry, in a statement, added that more than 1.92 crore (1,92,71,766) balance and unutilized Covid vaccine doses are still available with the states/UTs and private hospitals to be administered.

India’s cumulative covid vaccination coverage surpassed 39.49 crore (394978565), as per the 7 pm provisional report on Thursday as more than 35.15 lakh (35,15,093) vaccine doses were administered yesterday. 16,59,977 vaccine doses were administered as first dose and 1,61,950 vaccine doses given as second dose in the age group 18-44 years today. Cumulatively, 11,97,36,449 persons in the age group 18-44 years across 37 states/UTs have received their first dose and total 43,72,202 have received their second dose since the start of phase-3 of the vaccination drive.

The response from the Health ministry came in the backdrop of soaring complains of states/UTs about vaccine shortage. The principal opposition party, Congress, slammed Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya over the issue. Taking to Twitter, former finance Minister P. Chidambaram said on Thursday, “New health minister @mansukhmandviya is following the same path as his predecessor. It is a pity. State after state is complaining of a vaccine shortage. Vaccination centers have ‘no vaccine’ boards. People standing in line have to return home after the vaccination centres run out of vaccines.”

Earlier, several Chief Ministers namely Arvind Kejriwal, Ashok Gehlot, Hemant Soren and Uddhav Thackrey had blamed the Central government for not providing enough vaccines for eligible population. Meanwhile, Union Health Ministry reviewed preparations under the recently approved Rs 23,123 crore “India Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Package: Phase II” with Health Secretaries and senior officials of all States/UTs, through a video conference (VC) on Thursday.

Amidst growing apprehensions over a third wave affecting children, requirement for scaling up testing capacity, additional beds, including for paediatric care and makeshift hospitals, in sub-district levels was highlighted during the meeting. Apart from this, ways to ensure availability of critical drugs, testing kits and PPEs along with enhancing oxygen availability and strengthen home and village/ community isolation centres/ Covid care centres were also discussed comprehensively.

Meanwhile, Dr Samiran Panda, Head of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases at the Indian Council of Medical Research, has said that India is likely to be hit by the third wave of Covid-19 at the end of August, although the intensity will be a little lesser than the second wave. An NDTV report quoted Dr Panda as saying, “There would be a nationwide third wave, but that does not mean that it would be as high or as intense as the second wave.”

Dr Panda pointed out four factors that could lead to the third wave. The first is the drop in immunity acquired from the first and second wave. “If that goes down, it could lead to a third wave,” he said. The second factor, according to him, is a new variant that can bypass the immunity acquired. Even if the variant does not bypass immunity, it might have a tendency to circulate faster, which he presented as the third factor. The fourth factor is the premature lifting of restrictions by states, leading to a fresh surge, Dr Panda said. Asked if the variant involved could be Delta Plus, he said both Delta and Delta Plus have swept the country and added that he was not expecting any more public health havoc from the Delta variant.

Earlier this week, the Indian Medical Association (IMD) said that the third wave is “inevitable and imminent”, pointing out that “in many parts of the country both the government and public are complacent and engaged in mass gatherings without following Covid protocols”.

Earlier today, the World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that the world is in the “early stages” of the third wave of Covid-19, driven by the Delta variant of the virus.

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Police busts Pak-backed module aimed to carry out attack on I-Day

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Thwarting yet another possible terrorist attack around Independence Day, Punjab Police have busted a Pak-ISI backed terrorist module with the arrest of four members associated with Canada-based gangsters. The accused were associated with Arshdeep Singh alias Arsh Dala and Austraila-based gangster Gurjant Singh alias Janta. They were apprehended from Delhi during the intel-led operation carried out by the Counter-Intelligence unit of Punjab Police with the help of Delhi Police.

The Police have also recovered three hand-grenades (P-86), one IED and two 9mm pistols along with 40 live cartridges in possession of the arrested persons, said Director General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav here on Sunday.

This is the third such module of cross-border smuggling of arms and explosives that has been busted by the Punjab Police in less than a week.

Those arrested have been identified as Deepak Sharma of Preet Nagar in Moga; Sandeep Singh of village Kotkaror Kalan in Ferozepur; Sunny Dagar of village Ishapur in Najafgarh in Delhi; and Vipin Jakhar, a resident of Goyla Khurd in New Delhi, where all of them were taking shelter.

Disclosing more details, DGP Gaurav Yadav said that following reliable inputs that associates of Arsh Dala are being harboured by Vipin Jakhar at his accomodation in village Goyla Khurd in New Delhi, teams of Punjab Police’s SSOC Mohali along with Dwarka Police conducted a raid at their premises on Friday, and managed to arrest them after recovering two 9mm pistols (foreign-made) along with 40 live cartridges.

“Working on the leads obtained during the questioning of the arrested persons, the police teams have also recovered one IED and three hand-grenades on Saturday from the locations pinpointed by them in Punjab,” he said, adding that the arrested accused also revealed that they were being tasked by Arsh Dala to execute criminal activities in areas of Delhi and Punjab ahead of Independence day to disrupt the peace and harmony.

The investigations so far revealed that Deepak Sharma, who is a history sheeter and was wanted by the Punjab Police in two cases including murder of Moga-based Jaswinder Singh alias Jassi, who was killed in March 2022 and another for firing in the house of Panchayat Secretary of Village Dala, Moga in June 2022, said the DGP. While, accused Sandeep, who recently came back to India from Dubai, had provided logistic support to Deepak to carry out firing at the house of Panchayat Secretary.

He said that accused Sunny Dagar, who is out from jail on parole, is an active member of Neeraj Bawana Gang and Tillu Tajpuriya gang in Delhi and NCR region and has been facing various cases of heinous crimes including murder, attempt to murder, extortion, theft etc. Meanwhile, the Police have procured remand for five days of all the arrested persons after producing them at the local Mohali Court on Saturday.

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Security In Delhi Beefed Up Amid Threat Alerts

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Delhi Police have tightened the security and vigilance at all eight borders of the city as well as the busy markets in view of the Independence Day celebration. The security near the Red Fort has been beefed up with many layers of protection as the inputs received from International Border are not only specific but are considered strong enough. For enhanced security at the Independence Day programme, the police personnel have deployed anti-drone system to ensure protection against drone attacks. This anti-drone system was manufactured by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics (BEL).

The Red Fort is shielded with a Radar system to ensure its safety from the Drones, as it is another threat apart from the Technological dangers for security. The police personnel are also taught the ways to combat suspected objects flying in the sky, the police said.

The police received some specifically strong alerts concerning the security in Delhi on August 15. The Intelligence agencies have issued a high alert for a terrorist attack in the city on Monday:

It has been informed that on the basis of the interrogation with the terrorists nabbed from different states including Punjab, a number of Drones from the Pakistan border– carrying numerous Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)– have reached various parts of the country.

In another alert, it was revealed that deadly weapons including Pistol, Hand Grenades, and AK 47 have been sent to India with the help of Drones from Pakistan.The Police further, quoting the Intelligence forces, said that the terrorists can also lead to several lone wolf attacks on Independence Day. In the attack, a single person can attack the mob with a sharp-edged weapon or a big vehicle.

The police have completely banned the flying of Kites (for as long as the Independence Day programme continues) around the Red Fort after the alert regarding some terrorist attack via a flying object like a kite was issued to the police by the agencies.Delhi Police has further received another input to be vigilant as some suspicious object put along with the crutches can attack the Fort, hence the police have been advised to ensure a very strong screening.

“The terror outfits namely SFJ, Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), ISIS Khurasan Module are planning to conduct a massive attack during August 15,” Intelligence agencies informed the police.

The police are also keeping a vigilant eye over suspicious activities and persons as the terror modules are also involving local criminals.

This year, special kind of Alarm Cameras are installed around the Red Fort, which starts alarming the nearby stationed police personnel of any suspected movement.Apart from around 250 eminent personalities who are expected to arrive at the Red Fort on Monday, nearly 8,000-10,000 people are also likely to attend the programme, hence the police have installed 1,000 cameras with high-resolution quality in the nearby areas.

The special cell of Delhi Police has successfully projected the pictures of around 1,000 suspicious persons, anti-national elements, and terrorists to the other unit of the police force, to ensure that every unit and department stays cautious.

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INDIA’S WARREN BUFFET RAKESH JHUNJHUNWALA DIES AT 62

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday expressed grief on the sudden passing away of ace stock market investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala. “Rakesh Jhunjhunwala was indomitable. Full of life, witty and insightful, he leaves behind an indelible contribution to the financial world. He was also very passionate about India’s progress,” prime minister Modi tweeted “His passing away is saddening. My condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

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World Has Seen New India Rising: President Murmu

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In her maiden address to the nation on eve of Independence Day, President Droupadi Murmu said that the makers of modern India enabled each and every adult citizen to participate in the collective process of nation-building and asserted that India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy.

“We Indians proved skeptics wrong. Democracy not only grew roots in this soil, it was enriched too,” the President said, adding that India can be credited to have helped world discover true potential of democracy.

The President recalled that India adopted universal adult franchise right since the beginning of the Republic and highlighted that India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy.

She said, “In most other well-established democracies, women had to wage long-drawn struggles to get the right to vote. But India adopted universal adult franchise right since the beginning of the Republic. Thus, the makers of modern India enabled each and every adult citizen to participate in the collective process of nation-building. Thus, India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy.”

India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world, the President said, adding that India has made unprecedented progress in the development of physical and digital infrastructure.

“The pandemic has uprooted lives and also economies in the entire world. When the world has been battling the economic consequences of the great crisis, India got its act together and is now moving forward. India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world. India’s start-up ecosystem ranks high in the world. The success of start-ups in our country, especially the growing number of unicorns is a shining example of our industrial progress,” the President said. 

Ms. Murmu further stated that Country’s growth is becoming more inclusive and regional disparities too are reducing.

On the health side, Ms.Murmu said, “world has seen new India rising in recent years, more so after outbreak of Covid-19.”

The President also said, “National Education Policy aimed at preparing future generation for next stage of industrial revolution, reconnecting it with heritage.”

Ms. Murmu said “Keyword for India today is compassion for downtrodden, for needy and for those on margins.”

The President said, “Gender inequalities are reducing, women are breaking many glass ceilings, “our daughters are the biggest hope for nation”.”

“Government and policy

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World Looks At India For Managing Diversity: RSS Chief

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Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday said the whole world looks towards India for managing diversity. He was speaking at a function on ‘[email protected]: My Vision My Action’ in Nagpur city of Maharashtra.

“The world points at India when it comes to managing diversity efficiently. The world is full of contradictions but managing dualities will only come from India, he said. Bhagwat said there have been many historical events which were never told to us nor taught in a proper way.

For instance, the place where Sanskrit grammar was born is not in India. Did we ever ask a question why? he said. “It is chiefly because we first forgot our own wisdom and knowledge and later the land was conquered by foreign invaders who mainly came from north west region,” he said.

We unnecessarily gave importance to caste and other similar structures,” Bhagwat said.

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Farooq Abdullah tests positive for COVID-19, the party informed

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Farooq Abdullah

President of Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Farooq Abdullah tested positive for COVID on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, Abdullah’s party said, he is recovering and has self-isolated.

“Dr. Farooq Abdullah tested positive for COVID-19 a couple of days ago, with mild symptoms. He’s recovering well and his doctors have been advised to rest while he recovers,” the party said.

Last year on 30 March after he received his first dose of vaccine against coronavirus Abdullah was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Congress general secretary in charge of communications and senior party leader, Jairam Ramesh informed.

Taking to Twitter Jairam Ramesh said, “Congress President Smt. Sonia Gandhi tested positive for Covid-19 today. She will remain in isolation as per Govt. protocol.”

In the last three months, Gandhi has tested positive for Covid for the second time. As per government protocol, the party chief will remain in isolation.

Earlier on Wednesday (10 August), Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi tested positive for COVID. Taking to Twitter Vadra tweeted, “Tested positive for COVID (again!) today. Will be isolating at home and following all protocols.”

Moreover, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge Tuesday tested positive for COVID.

“I have tested positive for #COVID19. I request those who came in contact with me recently to take care,” Kharge tweeted.

However, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was also reported ill and canceled his visit to the party’s ‘Netratv Sankalp Shivir.’

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