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INDIA SEES 11,649 NEW COVID INFECTIONS, TOTAL CASES 1.09 CRORE

The recovery rate from coronavirus continues to rise and now stands at 97.31%.

Sabyasachi Roy Choudhury

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India’s tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 1,09,16,589 with 11,649 new infections, including 1,55,642 deaths. A total of 1,06,11,731 people have recuperated from Covid-19 so far. There are 1,37,567 active cases in the country as of date, which comprises 1.26 percent of the total caseload. India’s recovery rate continues to rise and now stands at 97.31%. 

Delhi recorded 141 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday, while the death toll rose to 10,893 with two new fatalities. The fatality count on Monday was same as that on February 2. The infection tally in the city stood at over 6,37,087 and the recoveries and active cases in the national capital mounted to 6,25,158 and 1,036 respectively. The death rate stood at 1.71 percent with two fatalities in the last 24 hours.

Maharashtra recorded 4,092 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, which took the state’s infection tally to 20,64,278, while 40 deaths pushed the count to 51,529, the health department said. A total of 1,355 patients were discharged during the day. With this, the recovery count in the state grew to 19,75,603.

Andhra Pradesh records 30 new Covid-19 cases, one fatality and 69 recoveries. Infection tally rises to 8,88,899, death toll now 7,163. There are 695 active cases of the disease in the state.

Odisha’s Covid-19 tally mounted to 3,36,262 on Monday as 88 more people tested positive for the infection, while one fresh fatality pushed the state’ s coronavirus death toll to 1,911. The state now has 744 active cases, while 3,33,554 people have recovered from the disease so far.

Goa reports 40 new Covid-19 cases, two fatalities and 59 recoveries. Infection tally rises to 54,275, death toll 781. The state now has 525 active cases.

West Bengal on Sunday registered two Covid-19 deaths. One from Kolkata and another from North 24 Parganas district, taking the toll to 10,232. The tally rose to 5,72,595 after 190 new cases of contagion were reported from various districts in the state.

Assam on Sunday reported five new Covid-19 cases. The state has so far reported 2,17,293 cases, and 1,087 persons have died. The overall positivity rate is 3.26 percent. the state reported more recoveries than the number of new infections as 15 persons were discharged. There are 274 active cases in the state at present.

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IPL RETURNS TO INDIA, MI TO FACE RCB IN OPENER ON 9 APRIL

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After nearly two years, the Indian Premier League is set to return home this April, with Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata hosting the event. The season will kick-start on 9 April 9 in Chennai with a clash between defending champions Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The world’s richest T20 competition was shifted to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year as India grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The IPL this year at home

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After joining BJP, ‘pure cobra’ Mithun says he will finish opponent in one strike

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Actor Mithun Chakraborty, ending weeks of speculation by finally joining the BJP at a massive rally addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata, on Sunday compared himself to the dangerous ‘Cobra’ snake and said he will finish the Opposition in one bite.

While sharing the dais with PM Modi in Kolkata on Sunday, he took a dig at Trinamool Congress (TMC) and said, “Ami ekta cobra, ek chobol-ei chobi (I am a pure cobra, My one bite is enough to kill people).” He also recited a famous dialogue from his 2006 hit film, MLA Fatakeshto, “Maarbo ekhane, lash podbe shoshaney (I will thrash you here, your body will fall into the crematorium)”.

While joining BJP, Mithun said that his dream came true by sharing a stage with PM Modi. “I had never imagined that I will be sharing the dais where the biggest leader of the biggest democracy our beloved PM Narendra Modi is about to speak. I always had a dream to work for the poor, downtrodden. Now, it is seen as being fulfilled,” he said at the Brigade Parade Ground here.

The veteran actor joined the BJP at the Brigade Parage Ground in the presence of state party chief Dilip Ghosh on Sunday. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, party vice president Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari were also present at the ground where PM Modi addressed an election rally.

Mithun, 70, was a Rajya Sabha MP for the TMC for two years. He resigned from the position in 2016 citing health reasons after his name surfaced in the

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PM Modi bats for ‘asol paribartan’ in Bengal

‘What if Didi’s scooty falls in Nandigram’, says the PM targeting Mamata Banerjee.

Sabyasachi Roy Choudhury

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed a mega rally at the Brigade Ground in Kolkata on Sunday. In his speech, PM Modi made remarks about the current Mamata Banerjee-led state government and declared that West Bengal will move towards development after the BJP is elected to power.

The rally was organised a few days after the Election Commission announced the dates for the eight-phase Assembly elections in West Bengal. The rally, which witnessed a record crowd presence, was also attended by several top BJP leaders along with noted personalities like veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty, whom the PM called “Banglar chhele” (Bengal’s son).

Setting the tone for the BJP’s campaign, Modi said, “The next 25 years are very important for the development of Bengal,” asserting that if the BJP is selected, the next five years will be aimed at laying the foundation of the state’s development. He assured people that the dream of ‘Sonar Bangla’ will be fulfilled as the government is planning for Bengal’s development along with an increasing investment in the state and protecting its culture, that will bring widespread change. “I have come to Kolkata to assure the people in the state of ‘asol poriborton’ (real change),” said Modi.

“The democratic system in Bengal will also be strengthened,” Modi promised, adding that efforts will be made to re-establish public belief in government systems, the police and the administration, which has been destroyed in the past.

 “CM Mamata Banerjee broke the trust when it comes to change,” said Modi, stating that the state trusted Banerjee and her cadre but the TMC government broke the trust of people. “The fight is now between the people and the TMC-Congress-Left government,” he said, asserting that the people want ‘shanti’, ‘Sonar Bangla’ and a ‘pragatisheel Bangla’ and, therefore, will fight those who have an anti-Bengal attitude.

He also accused Banerjee of nepotism for choosing to play the limited role of «bua» (aunt) to her «bhatija» (nephew) instead of becoming «didi» (elder sister) to the people. The PM also asksed Banerjee to consider herself as ‘India›s daughter’, instead of limiting herself to the idea that she is solely ‹Bengal›s daughter›.

Citing the recent incident of an 80-year woman in Bengal on whom cruelty was unleashed, PM Modi also commented on the treatment of women in the state.

The Prime Minister also took a dig at her changing her constituency this time from Bhowanipur to Nandigram. “Your (Mamata Banerjee’s) scooty took a turn towards Nandigram instead of going to Bhawanipore. Didi, I wish everyone well and don’t want anyone hurt. But what can I do if the scooty is destined to fall in Nandigram?” he said. The PM was referring to Banerjee’s scooter ride a few days ago in protest against rising fuel prices.

“I have known Didi for several years but this is not the Didi who stood up against the Left Front government. Her remote control is elsewhere. We are outsiders, they say, but are the founders of Congress not outsiders? Are Marx, Lenin and Mao not outsiders? But our leader was Syama Prasad Mookerjee, so Bengal is in the BJP’s DNA. We are indebted to Bengal,” PM Modi said, addressing the rally.

Slamming the Bengal CM further and accusing the state government of playing a “Corruption Olympics”, Modi asked what changes the TMC has been able to bring in the lives of the common people of the state in the last ten years. The TMC government is hoarding the cash provided by the Centre for several schemes, saying that the government does not do any work and does not let others do it, either, he claimed. “The BJP believes not only in announcing schemes, but also in implementing schemes,” said Modi.

The Prime Minister then threw a direct challenge at Banerjee, saying, “Didi, listen, TMC ka khela shesh. Khel khatam, vikas shuru. (The TMC’s game is over. The game ends, development begins)” Targeting Mamata Banerjee›s rule as one of «corruption and loot-tantra (loot), he said to the crowd, “Nothing is hidden. Bengal knows everything. But this khel (game) will not continue.

He also slammed the practice of commission baaji in the state, saying that roads leading to the airport, the Kolkata Metro expansion and regularisation of slums have been halted due to this. He said that it is time for the BJP to come to power in the state and end the practice.

Modi also declared that Kolkata won’t be stopped from becoming a futuristic city. Kolkata’s citizens wish to see their city on the top of the list of cities with a high livability index and the BJP will fulfil that target, he said.

Come 2047, when India will complete 100 years of its independence, Bengal will lead India, he said further.

According to ANI, the rally was expected to be attended by at least 700,000 people. More than 1,500 CCTV cameras were installed across the city and drones were used to monitor the venue.

The Assembly elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases from March 27 to April 29 and the results for the 294-seat Assembly will be declared on May 2.

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Dragon turns dove, talks peace, partnership with India

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After initiating the disengagement of troops and weapons along the the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday said that “returning to peaceful negotiation is the right way forward”.

China’s position, he said, is very clear. “We are committed to settling the boundary dispute through dialogue and consultations,” he said, adding that at the same time the Xi Jinping regime has resolved to safeguard its sovereign rights and interest.

The Foreign Minister said, “China and India are each other’s friends and partners and not threats and rivals. Both need to help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other, we should intensify cooperation instead of harboring suspicion over each other.”

The boundary dispute, an issue left from history, is not the whole story of the China-India relationship, he said. “It is important that the two sides manage the dispute properly and at the same time expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling conditions for settlement of the issue.”

Following the disengagement along the LAC in Pangong Tso area, there has been no progress over other disputes in Gogra-Hot Springs area, Demchok and Depsang plains.

However, on Sunday, Wang said it falls on both sides to solidify existing consensus, strengthen dialogue and communication and improve the various management mechanisms to jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

In the year ahead, he said, Beijing hoped that India will work with China to truly deliver on important common understanding of the leaders of the two countries that India and China are not threats to each other but opportunities to each other’s development.

Together, the Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi governments can bring greater benefit to the people of China and India, and make greater contribution to efforts for an Asian century, the Chinese Foreign Minister said.

The China-India relationship, he argued, is essentially about how the world’s two largest developing countries get along and pursue development and rejuvenation together, he said that. “As two ancient civilisations next door, and two major emerging economies each with over one billion people, China and India have broad common interests and tremendous potential for cooperation,” Wang pointed out.

Domestically, he said, both countries face historical mission—accelerating growth. And internationally, he said, the world expects both the countries to safeguard the common interests of developing countries and advance multi-polarity in the world. “Our positions are the same or close due to similar national realities,” he said.

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INDIA’S COVID-19 VACCINE ROLLOUT ‘RESCUED WORLD’: TOP US SCIENTIST

Total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country crosses 2 crore, says the Union Health Ministry; India reports 18,327 fresh coronavirus cases.

Aishvarya Jain

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India’s rollout of the Covid-19 vaccines in collaboration with leading global institutions has “rescued the world” from the deadly pandemic, said a top American scientist, adding that and the country’s contributions should not be underestimated.

India, called the pharmacy of the world, is one of the world’s biggest drug-makers and a larger number of countries have approached it for procuring Covid-19 vaccines.

Dr Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, during a recent webinar, “Covid-19: Vaccination and Potential Return to Normalcy—If and When”, said that the Covid-19 vaccine rollout is “India’s gift’” to the world in combating the virus. The webinar was organised by Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH).

“This is something very special and I see it myself because I’m on weekly teleconferences with our colleagues in India, you make a recommendation, and within days it’s done and not only done, but it’s done well and with incredible rigor and thought and creativity,” Dr Hotez said. The scientist further said that he felt compelled to make this statement because “India’s huge efforts in combating global pandemic is a story that’s not really getting out in the world”.

India has provided 56 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines under grants assistance to a number of countries. The vaccines were sent to Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Seychelles.

Speaking at a virtual India-Sweden summit alongside Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Prime Minister Modi on Friday said that ‘Made in India’ Covid-19 vaccines have been provided to more than 50 countries. “During the Covid-19 pandemic, on a regional and on a global level, we have understood the importance of collaboration. India has provided medicines and other essential items to over 150 countries. Along with this, with the help of online training programmes, we shared our experiences with frontline workers and lawmakers of Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa,” he emphasised.

In the meantime, India reported 18,327 fresh coronavirus cases and the tally has climbed to 1,11,92,088, while the number of recoveries has surged to 1,08,54,128. The death count due to the viral disease has gone up to 1,57,656 in the country with 108 more fatalities reported in a 24-hour period. The cumulative number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in India has crossed 2 crore, the Union Health Ministry said.

Maharashtra continued to report over 10,000 daily novel coronavirus cases after breaching 22 lakh-mark in total positive cases since the pandemic hit the state. The worst-hit state in terms of total Covid-19 cases recorded more than 11,000 infections in last 24 hours, the highest in nearly five months. With 11,141 new Covid-19 cases in the state, the total virus infections reached 22,19,727. Along with that, 38 virus-related deaths in the last 24 hours took the state’s toll to 52,478. Case fatality rate stands at 2.36%. Moreover, the state recorded 6,013 recoveries, bringing the total number to 20,68,044, while active cases stood at 97,983. The recovery rate stands at 93.1%

The national capital recorded 286 new Covid-19 cases and two deaths in last twenty-four hours, while the number of tests rose to over 91,000, the highest so far amid a sudden surge in incidences. The positivity rate stood at 0.31 per cent.

Meanwhile, Eight more people died from coronavirus in Uttar Pradesh as 117 fresh cases pushed the total number of infections in the state to 6,04,279. So far, the infection has claimed 8,737 lives in the state.

Gujarat’s coronavirus tally rose to 2,73,386 with the addition of 575 cases. As 459 patients got discharge from hospitals during the day, the recovery count mounted to 2,65,831.

Seventeen more people died from coronavirus in Punjab as 1,051 fresh cases surfaced, pushing the state’s infection count to 188,391. So far, the disease has claimed 5,927 lives in the state. The number of active cases also increased from 7,164.

Southern state of Tamil Nadu saw its daily tally of new Covid-19 infections continue to show an upward trend after crossing the 500 mark once again, with 567 people testing positive for the virus, pushing the numbers to 8,55,121 while one death took the toll to 12,518. Recoveries, which were outnumbering new infections, saw a dip with 521 people getting discharged taking the cumulative number to 8,38,606 leaving 3,997 active cases in the state.

Kerala recorded 2,100 new Covid-19 cases and 13 related deaths taking the total affected in the state to 10.77 lakh and the toll to 4,300.

Andhra Pradesh reported 136 new coronavirus infections, taking the state’s tally to 8,90,692. The death toll after one new fatality stands at 7,174.

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Is it justifiable? Nitish jibes Giriraj Singh for ‘beat up officials’ remark

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New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday used sarcasm to target Union Minister Giriraj Singh’s recent remark of “beating up officials.”
The union minister and BJP leader had on Saturday during a public meeting at his constituency of Begusarai in Bihar advised people to “beat up with bamboo sticks” those officials who appeared insensitive to their concerns.
When asked about Singh’s remarks, the chief minster said: “You should ask him if using the word ‘beat up’ is justifiable or appropriate.”
Singh had in his address said: “If someone (any government official) doesn’t listen to your grievances, hit them with a bamboo stick. Neither we ask them to do any illegitimate job, nor will we tolerate illegitimate ‘nanga nritya’ by any official.”
“Members of Parliament, Members of Legislative Assembly, village mukhiyas, District Magistrates, Sub-Divisional Magistrates… these are all under obligation to serve the people,” said the minister who holds fisheries, animal husbandry and dairy farming portfolios. (ANI)

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