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Gadkari tests Covid-19 positive as India’s tally crosses 5-million mark

Aishvarya Jain

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Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday tested positive for Covid-19, following which he isolated himself. Another shocking news came when Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi also tested Covid positive and was taken to AIIMS, Delhi. As per reports, his condition is critical.

Meanwhile, India’s Covid-19 tally crossed the 50-lakh mark with a spike of 90,123 new cases and 1,290 deaths in the last 24 hours.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of people who caught the infection in the first fortnight of the month was more than twice the number of new infections in US — the second worst hit country. It is worth mentioning that India added 1 million Covid cases in a record time of 11 days in September.

After testing Covid positive, Gadkari tweeted, “Yesterday, I was feeling weak and consulted my doctor. During the course of my check up, I have been tested Covid-19 positive. I am at present doing well with the blessings and good wishes of all. I have isolated myself. I request everyone who has come in my contact to be careful and follow the protocol.”

The total case tally in the country stands at 50,20,360 including 9,95,933 active cases, 39,42,361 recoveries and 82,066 deaths. India logged in the highest number of single-day recoveries with 82,961 recoveries in the last 24 hours. A total of 82,961 patients were cured and discharged, steeply pushing the recovery rate to 78.53 per cent.

As many as 23,365 new Covid-19 cases and 474 deaths were reported in Maharashtra in the last 24 hours. A total of 17,559 patients were discharged. Total cases in the state rose to 11,21,221 including 30,883 deaths and 7,92,832 patients discharged. Active cases stand at 2,97,125 in the state. The total number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi rose to 2,30,269 with 4,473 new positive cases and 33 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The numbers of active and recovered cases are 30,914 and 1,94,516 respectively. The death toll stands at 4,839 in Delhi.

A total of 8,835 new Covid-19 cases, 10,845 recoveries, and 64 deaths were reported in Andhra Pradesh in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases is now at 5,92,760 including 90,279 active cases, 4,97,376 recoveries, and 5,105 deaths so far. West Bengal re- ported 3,237 new Covid-19 cases and 61 deaths in the last 24 hours, taking total cases to 2,12,383 including 1,84,113 discharges, 24,147 active cases, and 4,123 deaths.

Meanwhile, the total Covid cases in Haryana crossed the one lakh-mark on Wednesday. The state recorded 2694 fresh cases and 19 fatalities in the last 24 hours. The total tally now stands at 1,01,316 and death toll at 1045. Uttar Pradesh recorded 6337 fresh cases in the last 24 hours. 4690 people have lost their lives so far in the state. The active cases in the state now is above 67,000. The total tally in the state now stands at 3,30,265. Around 2,58,573 people have also recovered in the state.

As many as 110 new Co- vid-19 cases, 103 recoveries, and 1 death were reported in Manipur in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state stands at 8,320, including 1,751 active cases, 6,521 recovered cases, and 48 deaths. Punjab recorded 2,717 new Covid-19 cases and 78 deaths, taking the total number of cases to 87,184 including 63,570 recoveries, 21,022 active cases, and 2,592 deaths.

A total of 1,540 fresh Covid-19 cases reported in Uttarakhand in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases in the state now stands at 35,947 including 24,277 recoveries, 11,068 active cases, and 447 deaths. Chandigarh reported 366 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 8,958 including 3,171 active cases, 101 deaths, and 5,683 cured cases.

Kerala reported 3,830 new Covid-19 cases, 2,263 recoveries, and 14 deaths in the last 24 hours. Count of active cases now stands at 32,709, while 84,608 patients have recovered till now. A total of 1,590 new Covid-19 cases–832 from Jammu divi- sion and 758 from Kashmir division, 747 recoveries, and 11 deaths reported in Jammu and Kashmir in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases now at 58,244 including 19,503 active cases, 37,809 recoveries, and 932 deaths. Himachal Pradesh recorded 178 new Covid-19 cases and 18 recoveries, taking total cases to 10,513, including 6,435 recovered cases, 3,960 active cases, and 89 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Russian Direct Investment Fund on Wednesday confirmed reaching an agreement to supply 100 million doses of Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V to India’s Dr Reddy’s Laboratories. Last week, the Russian Health Ministry announced that the first batch of the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19 has been released into civil circulation. The Russian health ministry registered the first vaccine against Covid-19, named Sputnik V, on 11 August.

With agency inputs

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STERLING’S STRIKE HELPS ENGLAND DEFEAT CROATIA

Raheem Sterling, center, celebrates after scoring goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship match between England and Croatia at Wembley stadium in London.

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A thunderous goal from Raheem Sterling helped England defeat Croatia 1-0 in the Group D encounter of the ongoing European Championships here at the Wembley Stadium on Sunday. England managed to gain full three points from the match against Croatia and now the Three Lions will lock horns against Scotland on June 18 while Croatia will square off against Czech Republic on the same day.

The first half between England and Croatia saw no goals and as a result, the scoreline remained 0-0 at halftime. In the first half, England held on to the ball for 58 per cent of the match, while Croatia held on to it for 42 per cent. The deadlock was finally broken in the 57th minute as Raheem Sterling registered the goal for England. This was Sterling’s first goal at a major tournament. Kalvin Phillips made a stunning run as he beat two players and then he went on to pass the ball to Sterling, and he did not disappoint and successfully netted the ball into the goalpost.No more goals were possible in the match, and in the end, England went away with a 1-0 victory. Austria will lock horns against North Macedonia while in another match, Netherlands and Ukraine will be squaring off against each other.

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Mizoram man who headed world’s largest family dies

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Ziona Chana, the man from Mizoram believed to head the world’s largest family with at least 39 wives and 94 children and 33 grandchildren, died on Sunday at the age 76.

Taking to Twitter, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Sunday bid farewell to him. “With heavy heart, Mizoram bid farewell to Mr. Zion-a (76), believed to head the world’s largest family, with 38 wives and 89 children. Mizoram and his village at Baktawng Tlangnuam has become a major tourist attraction in the state because of the family. Rest in Peace Sir!” he tweeted along with a group picture of the huge family.

Zion-a featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not in 2011 and 2013 for having the world’s largest family.

He reportedly lived with his family in a large 100-room, four-story building.

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We will be part of the next Union cabinet expansion: JD-U chief

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Amid the speculations of the Union Cabinet expansion, R.C.P. Singh, National president of the NDA-ally Janata Dal (United) on Sunday said that JDU is part of the alliance of the ruling NDA coalition at the Centre and the party will be part of the Cabinet whenever there is an expansion.

“There is no confusion. We are a part of NDA. Whenever there will be an expansion in the cabinet in Centre, JD (U) will be part of it,” he said.

At present, the JD(U) has no representation in the Union Cabinet. the JD(U) contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BJP.

However, RCP Singh chose not to comment on the inclusion of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in the ‘cabinet expansion’.

Singh also mentioned that everything is good in the alliance in Bihar and there are no clashes in the NDA-led government in the state. “Everyone is together in the NDA in Bihar. The NDA government will complete its present term in Bihar. Everyone is working towards the development of the state,” the JD(U) chief said.

“The RJD is spreading rumours that nothing is good in the NDA to keep its MLA together. There is everything good in NDA but there are clashes in the RJD,” he added.

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First three desi nuclear attack submarines to be 95% made in India

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In what would be a major boost for the submarine building capability within the country, the first three nuclear attack submarines to be built indigenously would be having 95 per cent Made in India content in them and it would further go up in the next three. The Cabinet Committee on Security is considering a proposal worth around Rs 50,000 crore for indigenously building three nuclear attack submarines which would be built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Visakhapatnam. This project is separate from the Arihant class project under which six nuclear-powered submarines are being built with the capability of launching ballistic missiles.

“The nuclear attack submarine project would be a big boost for the indigenous submarine capability as 95 per cent of it would be made in India. This would provide a big boost to the domestic defence sector including both private and public sector,” government sources told ANI.

For the six nuclear attack submarines, the planners are confident that they would be able to complete the project without any external help but if required, they may take help of one of its strategic partner countries, they said.

The project would also be very helpful for the economy as it is expected to generate a large number of jobs in the defence sector, the sources said.

The Navy and DRDO would first get a clearance for three of these boats and will have the option of building three more after the completion of this project. The Indian Navy proposal to have six indigenous nuclear attack submarines was one of the first few major defence modernisation proposals to have been cleared by the Narendra Modi government soon after it came to power in 2014.

Even though marred by some delays, India has been making big headways in the field of indigenous submarine building capability. The first Arihant class boat was commissioned a few years ago and the second one INS Arighat is also undergoing sea trials and is expected to be commissioned in near future.

India has plans of building 24 submarines including six nuclear attack ones which would give it long legs to operate in the Indian Ocean Region and will help it to keep its adversaries in check at long distances.

The first six conventional boats are already under construction in Mumbai under the Kalavati class project while the tender for the next six with greater capability would be issued soon after recent clearance by the Defence Ministry. There is a plan to build six more conventional submarines under the Project 76 but it will take a long time to be initiated.

ANI

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SECOND WAVE WASHES AWAY DABBAWALAS’ HOPES, FORCES THEM TO TAKE OTHER JOBS

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Currently, many dabbawalas are jobless, some of them have returned to their villages while others had to find new ways to earn their livelihood. According to the members of the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, many bicycles can be seen outside railway stations in this lockdown but there are not as many dabbawalas.

The pandemic has brought a halt to their lives. Only some of them are working and delivering dabbas in hotels and hospitals while the rest are earning their livelihood through other means. Some dabbawalas have become auto drivers or are selling vegetables to earn money.

Mumbai’s 130-year-old dabba delivery system has over 5,000 dabbawalas like Kailash Shinde who now operates and provides dabbas for hotels and travels from Andheri to Malad to Borivali and Bandra.

Since trains are being used only for essential services, dabbawalas face a lot of problems in travelling. Due to the lockdown, the places have been shut where they used to deliver dabbas.

Subhash Talekar, President, Mumbai Dabbawala Association says “we demanded the state government to allow us to travel in local trains as essential workers are being allowed. We should also get a nod to commute in trains as it gets difficult to go by any other vehicle to far off places. Lockdown has affected our economy drastically”

A dabbawala told us how this lockdown has impacted his life. Kailash lives in a chawl system in Andheri with his wife and two children. The pandemic and the lockdown have caused a lot of damage to dabbawalas. Kailash showed us his house and opened up about the difficulties he is facing due to the lockdown. 

He says, “Before the lockdown, I had a team of 18 people and used to earn from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000 from one house and had over 400 orders. But after the lockdown, I have a team of only three people and fewer orders. Now we get only Rs 5000 to Rs 6000 in which we have to survive as the money is divided among three people.”

Kailash and his wife earn to manage somehow and give good education to their children. His wife also works to support her husband and family, yet this is not enough.

Due to the pandemic, Kailash had to face commuting hurdles as half of the money earned goes into travelling. In an emotional appeal to the government, he says, “I request the government to look into the matter and allow us to travel in trains as the lockdown has greatly affected our economy. If trains are opened for dabbawalas, then it will be a ray of sunshine for them from the dark clouds of lockdown.”

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Experts find no proof of 3rd wave hitting kids hard, but states in no mood to take chance

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With 80,834 Covid-19 reported cases in the last 24 hours, India continued its declining trend of new infections and reported the lowest single-day count in 71 days, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Sunday.

The new cases pushed the Covid case tally in the country to 2,94,39,989. India has been witnessing a continuous fall in the active caseload and the current active number of Covid cases stands at 10,26,159 with a net decrease of 54,531 cases in the last 24 hours.

The weekly positivity rate further dropped to less than 5 per cent and currently stands at 4.74 per cent while the daily positivity rate stands at 4.25 per cent today. It has remained less than 10 per cent for 20 consecutive days now.

Despite the downward trend, most states seem to be gearing up for the anticipated third wave, especially on creating infrastructure for paediatric wards, given the buzz that the coming wave might hit kids particularly hard. In view of the pandemic, the states have kept the health budget of 8-14 % for the current year. The Delhi government allocated Rs 9,934 crore or 14% of the total budget to health. CM Arvind Kejriwal on 12 June cautioned that the chances of the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic were quite real, while he asserted that his government was preparing on a “war-footing” to combat it.

The Kerala government allocated Rs 2,800 crore to deal with the health emergency. The third wave of Covid-19 is expected to arrive in October, necessitating a larger budget for Covid mitigation.

Bihar has kept Rs 13,264 crore on health this year. The health department has focused its attention on arranging beds with medical facilities for children who, experts fear, could be mostly affected in the third wave. Currently, there are 816 beds for children in the nine medical college hospitals in the state. Of these, only 225 have oxygen facilities.

Uttar Pradesh allocated 5.5 per cent of its total expenditure for health. CM Yogi Adityanath said that the state is now preparing for a probable third wave. Paediatric ICUs in district hospitals and mini-PICU in community health centres were being operationalised. A new 20-bed PICU has been planned for Deoria and a mini-PICU in Laar.

Incidentally, as the states gear up to ramp up their paediatric wards, a new report says that there’s no substantial evidence to suggest that children will be more affected or have greater illness severity in the anticipated third wave.

The Lancet Covid-19 Commission India Task Force prepared the report after convening an experts group comprising leading paediatricians from the country to examine the issue of ‘paediatric Covid-19’ in India. It said that the infection’s symptomatology in children in India appears to be globally comparable.

“Most children with Covid-19 are asymptomatic, and amongst those symptomatic mild infections are predominant. Most children have fever with respiratory symptoms, and often present with gastrointestinal symptoms and a typical manifestation compared to adults. The proportion of symptomatic children increases as age increases as does the severity in such age groups,” the report started.

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