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India’s active Covid-19 cases cross 4.5-lakh mark for first time

Still leading the infection race in the country, Maharashtra extends lockdown restrictions till 31 December.

Sabyasachi Roy Choudhury

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India’s active Covid-19 cases cross 4.5-lakh mark for first time

The total number of active coronavirus cases in India crossed the 4.5-lakh mark for the first time on Thursday, when 43,082 new Covid-19 infections were recorded, as per government data. With this, India’s total coronavirus cases rose to 93,09,787, and up to 492 people died of the highly infectious disease in the last 24 hours taking the overall Covid-19 related death count to 1,35,715. Total discharged cases rose to 87,18,517 with 39,379 new discharges in this period. “Nearly 70% of India’s Covid-19 active caseload is from Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Chhattisgarh”, said the Union Health Ministry on Friday. “Of the total deaths recorded so far, 83.80% are from 10 states/UT Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi,” it added.

Maharashtra reported 6,185 new Covid-19 cases, and 4,089 people were discharged, and 85 died in the last 24 hours, as per the State Health Department. The total number of active cases in the state are 87,969 taking the coronavirus case toll to 18,08,550. Meanwhile, 16,72,627 people recovered so far in the state, and 46,898 succumbed to the virus.

The Maharashtra government has extended the prevailing lockdown restrictions in the state on account of coronavirus till the midnight of 31 December. “The directions and guidelines issued on 30 September and 14 October to operationalise ‘Mission Begin Again’ for ease of restrictions and phase-wise opening will remain in force till 31 December for containment of Covid-19,” said a statement.

Delhi reported 5,482 new coronavirus cases, and 98 deaths in the last 24 hours. The total cases stand at 5,56,744, and 8909 people have died so far in the state. Meanwhile, 5,937 people were discharged in the last 24 hours, taking toll of recoveries to 5,09,654. Active cases stand at 38,181. 

Odisha reported 594 new cases of Covid-19, taking the total tally of cases in the state to 3,17,239. The total number of Coronavirus cases in the state include 3,08,839 recoveries, and 6,629 active cases. Fourteen patients died due to the virus on Thursday, according to the Health Department of Odisha.

Rajasthan recorded 18 more fatalities due to coronavirus on Friday, taking the death toll in the state to 2,255, according to health department bulletin. The state also reported 3,093 fresh cases that brought the infection count to 2,60,040 on Friday. The number of active Covid-19 cases in the state stands at 28,183. According to the bulletin, 2,29,602 people have been discharged after treatment till now.

Tamil Nadu on Friday logged 1,442 new coronavirus cases, taking the infection count to 7,77,616, while 12 more fatalities pushed the death toll to 11,681. Recoveries continued to outnumber the fresh cases with 1,494 people being discharged from health care facilities, pushing the aggregate to 7,54,826. Active cases in the state stand at 11,109.

Kerala’s Covid-19 tally touched 5,87,707 on Friday with the addition of 3,966 fresh cases while the toll rose to 2,171 with 23 deaths. A total of 4,544 people recovered from the disease, taking the total number of those cured to 5,21,522. Currently, 63,885 patients are undergoing treatment for coronavirus in the state.

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WB Assembly Polls: Dilip Ghosh holds roadshow ahead of filing nomination

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Kharagpur (West Bengal) [India], March 9 (ANI): West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh, along with BJP candidate Tapan Bhuiya, on Tuesday held a roadshow here ahead of filing nomination for the Assembly polls.
Last week, Ghosh had said that Bharatiya Janata Party will definitely win 200 of the total 294 Assembly seats.
West Bengal Assembly elections will be held in eight phases starting from March 27 with the final round of voting taking place on April 29. The counting of votes will take place on May 2.
The state is likely to witness a triangular contest this time with TMC, Congress-Left alliance and the BJP in the fray.
After winning 3 seats in the 2016 Assembly election in West Bengal, the BJP made deep inroads in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections winning 18 seats and reducing TMC’s tally to 22. Out of the total 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in West Bengal, Congress won two seats, the Left drew a blank. (ANI)

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Detective department of police to investigate Kolkata fire incident

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Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], March 9 (ANI): Kolkata Police on Tuesday registered a case in connection with the fire that claimed the lives of nine people.
According to the police, the Detective Department of the police will investigate the matter.
At least nine people, including four personnel of the fire department, two Railway personnel and an Assistant Sub Inspector of Police (ASI) died in the incident at a 13-storied-office building of the Eastern Railway in Kolkata’s Strand Road, Union Minister Piyush Goyal informed.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the fire that took place in Kolkata Monday evening and approved an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased persons, and Rs 50,000 to those who were seriously injured.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the site earlier and announced a Rs 10 lakh compensation and government jobs to one member of the deceased person’s next of kin.
The fire broke out on the top floor of the 13-storied building here at around 6 pm on Monday evening. As per a statement, Railway Protection Force (RPF) and other Railway staff immediately rushed to the 13th floor and evacuated most of the staff present there.
The fire brigade reached the incident site at around 6.30 pm and started operations to control the fire. The fire was brought under control by 11 pm. (ANI)

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Parliament adjourned for the day amid Opposition uproar over fuel price hike

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): The Parliament was adjourned till March 10 following repeated uproar by the Opposition in both Houses over rising fuel prices.
Both the Houses were adjourned and will meet tomorrow at 11 AM.
Earlier today, both Houses of Parliament were adjourned till 2 pm on Tuesday following continued ruckus by the Opposition over the rise of fuel prices.
Parliament faced repeated adjournments following constant disturbance by the Opposition over the rising fuel prices in the country.
Earlier the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh said, “During the remaining part of the Budget Session, members will be seated in Rajya Sabha chambers and its gallery, with some physical distancing. 142 seats have been made available in Rajya Sabha chamber and remaining members to sit in the gallery.”
The decision to revise the timing of both Houses was announced on Monday. Both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were operating under curtailed hours of timing and social distancing norms amid COVID-19 induced norms.
The second part of the Budget Session of Parliament commenced from Monday with all COVID-19 precautionary measures in place. (ANI)

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DRDO successfully proves land-based prototype of AIP system, Rajnath congratulates

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday congratulated the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) after it successfully proved the land-based prototype of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system.
“Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has congratulated DRDO, Indian Navy and the Industry for this significant achievement,” tweeted the official handle of Raksha Mantri.
“DRDO successfully proved the land-based prototype of the Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) system on March 8. The plant was operated in endurance mode and max power mode as per the user requirements. AIP system is being developed by Naval Materials Research Laboratory (NMRL) DRDO,” tweeted DRDO.
“AIP has a force multiplier effect on the lethality of a diesel-electric submarine as it enhances the submerged endurance of the boat, several folds. Fuel cell-based AIP has merits in performance compared to other technologies,” informed DRDO. (ANI)

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Fadnavis demands arrest of police officer involved in Antilla bomb scare probe

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 9 (ANI): Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday demanded the arrest of Mumbai Police officer Sachin Vaze for his alleged involvement in the death of Mansukh Hiren, the man who owned the vehicle that triggered a scare outside Reliance group chairman Mukesh Ambani’s residence.
Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze is currently serving in the Crime Intelligence Unit and was the Investigative Officer in the Antilia bomb case at the beginning of the probe, before he was replaced by an ACP-level officer.
While speaking in the Maharashtra Assembly, Fadnavis asked, “Why he is not being arrested yet? if not under 302 (murder) why not under Section 201 of IPC (destroying evidence) at least for now? Who is defending him?”
He also read out the statement of Hiren’s wife in the House – “I suspect Police officer Sachin Vaze has killed my husband,” and made several allegations against Vaze while reading out the statement.
“The Scorpio car of Mansukh Hiren was with Sachin Vaze for four months from November last year to February 2, 2021. Sachin Vaze took statements from Mansukh from February 26 to 28. Mansukh told his wife on March 3 that Sachin Vaze has asked him to get arrested, and Vaze assured bail in two to three days, but Hiren refused the suggestion,” he said while reading out the wife’s statements.
He further alleged that Mansukh had written a complaint to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and against the police and media for harassment, and the complaint had been prepared by Vaze, alleges Fadnavis quoting Hiren’s wife.
Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze is currently serving in the Crime Intelligence Unit and was the Investigative Officer in the Antilia bomb case at the beginning of the probe.
A car carrying unassembled explosive materials was found abandoned at Carmichael Road in South Mumbai on February 25, near the house of Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani.
The owner of the vehicle, Mansukh Hiren, was found dead in a creek in the Thane district on Friday. Now, ATS Maharashtra is investigating this case as a murder case.
Soon after, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) received orders from the Ministry of Home Affairs to probe the case.
The Leader of Opposition also demanded a reply from Home Minister. There were at least 3 adjournments due to uproar in the House since Mansukh Hiren’s death issue. (ANI)

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Delhi budget: We aim for ‘Singapore-level’ per capita income by 2047, says Sisodia

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New Delhi [India], March 9 (ANI): Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday presented a budget worth Rs 69,000 crore for the financial year 2021-22 and said that the Aam Aadmi Party-led government aims to increase the per capita income of the national capital to Singapore’s level by 2047.
“We are aiming towards making Delhi’s per capita income equivalent to Singapore’s per capita income by 2047. A growth of 16% in the income would be required to successfully achieve this goal. It will be difficult but we will work towards making it a success,” said Sisodia during his budget address.
The Delhi government has allocated Rs 50 crores in this year’s budget to provide free COVID-19 vaccines to the people of the national capital.
“COVID-19 vaccines will be available free of cost for people of Delhi in government hospitals in the union territory. We have allotted Rs 50 crores in the budget for the same,” said Sisodia.
He also said that the number of COVID-19 vaccinations will soon be increased from 45,000 to 60,000 per day.
The Deputy Chief Minister also announced that Delhi will have its first Sainik School alongside Delhi Armed Forces Preparatory Academy where students will be acquainted with the NDA coaching besides regular studies.
“Today I present this ‘Deshbhakti Budget’ in view of the Centre’s celebrations of India’s 75 years of independence. This budget will focus on India’s 75 as well as 100 years of independence,” said Sisodia while presenting the budget.
The budget session of the Delhi assembly is scheduled to continue till March 16.
The nationwide vaccination drive was rolled out in the country on January 16 and vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2. The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination started on March 1 for those who are over 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified co-morbid conditions. (ANI)

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