India reported 114,460 new Covid-19 cases, 189,232 discharges, and 2,677 deaths in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Health Ministry on Sunday. This is the lowest number of cases reported in the last two months. On 5 April, 96,982 cases were reported. The following day, the country saw 115,736 new cases.
With the rate of infection in the second wave of Covid-19 outbreak substantially slowing down across the country, several states have begun the process of unlocking gradually. However, there is not much relief in south India as the second wave is still raging there. In states where the number of infections is not decreasing, the restrictions are still in place.
Delhi on Sunday reported 381 new corona cases in the last 24 hours—a nearly three-month low. The positivity rate, the number of positive cases identified per 100, has dropped to 0.5 per cent—the lowest since 9 March when the national capital›s positivity rate was at 0.48%. Keeping this decline in mind, the Arvind Kejriwal government said that the second phase of unlocking will begin on Monday.
On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal during a digital press conference said that the lockdown will last another week after 7 June, but markets will reopen and Delhi Metro will resume service. Kejriwal declared that government and private offices would open on Monday.
Similarly, Maharashtra, which on Sunday witnessed 12,557 new coronavirus cases—lowest daily number of cases in the state in nearly three months—the state government said that the unlock process will begin on Monday. The Mahavikas Aghadi government›s five-level plan is based on weekly positive rates and oxygen bed usage in districts; however, no concessions would be offered in Mumbai until after 15 June.
On Sunday, the Yogi Adityanath government announced the lifting of Covid-imposed curfew from all districts barring Meerut, Saharanpur and Gorakhpur as active cases in these three districts are above 600, informed Additional Chief Secretary-Information Navneet Sehgal. Till Saturday, Meerut had 1,248 active cases while Saharanpur and Gorakhpur had 1,171 and 783 cases respectively. The unlock process in UP began a week ago when the government lifted the curfew for 20 districts.
On Saturday, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath said that a two-day weekly curfew should be implemented in all 75 districts. To make the curfew effective, he said, the police and local administrations should be in action from 6 pm onwards.
The number of daily recorded instances of corona has decreased significantly in Gujarat, prompting the state’s Vijay Rupani government to loosen certain lockdown restrictions. On Friday, the Rupani government declared that from 7 June, private and government offices in the state will be able to operate with 100% workforce.
Lockdown in place to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission in Haryana has been extended by another week, till 14 June 14. The restrictions were first imposed on 3 May. “Now, after duly considering the fact that although the Covid positivity rate and the number of new Covid positive cases have declined, so as to continue the preventive and precautionary measures to contain the Covid pandemic, the government has decided to extend the ‘Mahamari Alert-Surakshit Haryana’ from June 7 (5 am onwards) to June 14 (till 5 am) in the state of Haryana,” said an order issued by the Haryana Chief Secretary.
Since 1 June, the restrictions of the corona curfew in Madhya Pradesh have been gradually eased. Despite the progressive unlocking, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan stressed that residents and officials must take all necessary precautions to prevent the virus from spreading.
Coming to the southern states, the lockdown in Tamil Nadu has been extended till 14 June. However, some relief has been given during this time.
The lockdown has been extended once again in Karnataka. Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa said, “Lockdown has been extended in the state till 14 June to break the chain of Covid-19.”
In Kerala too, the state government had last week extended the lockdown till 9 June.
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Adhir calls Mamata ‘PM Modi’s middleman’, says she is helping BJP by opposing Congress
Senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Saturday called West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “middleman” and accused her of helping Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by opposing the Congress.
While speaking to ANI here today, Chowdhury said, “Mamata Banerjee is helping BJP by opposing Congress. She is becoming a middleman of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” “When Sonia Gandhi chaired a meeting of opposition parties in August, Mamata participated but soon after, Enforcement Directorate (ED) called Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee for questioning. It’s clear that PM Modi does not want the opposition to get stronger. It looks like they had an agreement that ‘Delhi yours, Kolkata ours’ otherwise she would not have spoken useless things about Congress,” added the Congress leader.
The Congress leader’s attack on the TMC supremo came after the TMC in its mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’ had said that Mamata Banerjee should be the face of the opposition against PM Modi and not Congress’s Rahul Gandhi.
The editorial also said that Congress has become irrelevant, calling TMC as the “real Congress”.
DELHI LOGS 37 NEW COVID-19 CASES, NO DEATHS FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE DAY
Delhi recorded 37 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday and no single death was reported for the second consecutive day. According to Delhi Health Bulletin, as many as 25,091 have succumbed to the disease so far in the national capital. The total count of coronavirus cases in the city has gone up to 14,39,603. The city has 320 active cases at present. The case fatality rate in the national capital is 1.74%. The positivity rate is 0.06%. With 51 more persons discharged in the last 24 hours, the total number of discharged patients has gone up to 14,14,192.
As many as 2,90,32,667 Covid-19 tests have been conducted in Delhi including 47,902 RT-PCR tests and 12,802 rapid antigen tests conducted in the last 24 hours. As many as 73,833 beneficiaries were vaccinated in the last 24 hours taking cumulative beneficiaries to 71,52,597.
PM Modi to launch Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana during UP visit today
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Uttar Pradesh on Monday. According to Prime Minister’s office, at around 10.30 am in Siddharthnagar, Prime Minister will inaugurate nine medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh. “Subsequently, at around 1.15 pm in Varanasi, Prime Minister will launch Pradhan Mantri Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana. He will also inaugurate various development projects worth more than Rs 5200 crore for Varanasi,” PMO said.
According to the official release, Prime Minister Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana (PMASBY) will be one of the largest pan-India schemes for strengthening healthcare infrastructure across the country. It will be in addition to the National Health Mission.
The objective of PMASBY is to fill critical gaps in public health infrastructure, especially in critical care facilities and primary care in both urban and rural areas. “It will provide support for 17,788 rural Health and Wellness Centres in 10 High Focus states. Further, 11,024 urban Health and Wellness Centres will be established in all the states,” the release said.
The release said that critical care services will be available in all the districts of the country with more than 5 lakh population, through Exclusive Critical Care Hospital Blocks, while the remaining districts will be covered through referral services.
Under the scheme, the release said that people will have access to a full range of diagnostic services in the public healthcare system through a network of laboratories across the country. Integrated Public Health Labs will be set up in all the districts.
Under PMASBY, a National Institution for One Health, four New National Institutes for Virology, a Regional Research Platform for WHO southeast Asia Region, nine Biosafety Level III laboratories, five New Regional National Centre for Disease Control will be set up.
PMASBY targets to build an IT-enabled disease surveillance system by developing a network of surveillance laboratories at block, district, regional and national levels, in Metropolitan areas. Integrated Health Information Portal will be expanded to all States/UTs to connect all public health labs, said PMO.
“PMASBY also aims at the Operationalisation of 17 new Public Health Units and strengthening of 33 existing Public Health Units at Points of Entry, for effectively detecting, investigating, preventing, and combating Public Health Emergencies and Disease Outbreaks. It will also work towards building up trained frontline health workforce to respond to any public health emergency,” it added. Notably, nine medical colleges to be inaugurated are situated in the districts of Siddharthnagar, Etah, Hardoi, Pratapgarh, Fatehpur, Deoria, Ghazipur, Mirzapur and Jaunpur. Of these, eight medical colleges have been sanctioned under the Centrally sponsored scheme for “Establishment of new medical colleges attached with district/ referral hospitals” and one medical college at Jaunpur has been made functional by the state government through its own resources. “Under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, preference is given to underserved, backward and aspirational districts. The Scheme aims to increase the availability of health professionals, correct the existing geographical imbalance.”
Centre asks states to ensure reduction in edible oil prices
The Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) will be meeting all states and Union Territories on Monday through video conferencing to review the action taken on the stock limit order on edible oil prices.
In a letter written to all states by Secretary DFPD, Sudhanshu Pandey, the Department has outlined initiatives taken by the Centre to ease prices of edible oils for relief of consumers and keeping the festive season in mind. The DFPD is monitoring the prices of edible oils and their availability to consumers. This is especially important to the context of the upcoming festival season in which demand for edible oils will increase. Various steps have already been taken by the government like based on the interaction with all the states and edible oil industry associations, stock disclosure notification has been issued and DFPD has created a web portal to monitor the stock of edible oils, oilseeds on a weekly basis in the country.
Demand and consumption of edible are different for the different states, Union Territories (UT) as per the preference of the consumers. However, for finalizing the stock limit quantity of edible oils and oilseeds, the states, UTs may consider the previous stock limit imposed for edible oils and oilseeds by the state, Union Territory. It may be considered that any stakeholder (refiners, millers, wholesalers etc.) should not hold the stocks in excess of two months of the storage capacity.
For guidance states may prefer to indicate limits which may have been imposed by states earlier is enclosed for consideration. However, for other categories, similar quantities as appropriate for the state may be fixed. For example: for refiners, stocks of the maximum of 2 months of the average scale of the last six months could be used. Similarly, quantities may be fixed for extractors/millers may be fixed. ANI
IN CRUISE DRUGS CASE, NCB WITNESS’ BODYGUARD ALLEGES PAY-OFF
In a surprising twist to the cruise drugs case, in which film star Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan is in jail, the bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi, who is a witness of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) against the star kid, has alleged that Gosavi took Rs 50 lakh from an individual after the raid at the cruise ship. He has also alleged that NCB made him sign a blank paper. In a video message, the bodyguard, Prabhakar Rohoji Sail is heard alleging, “I worked as a bodyguard of Kiran Gosavi. I assisted him during the Mumbai cruise drugs case.” “On the night of the raid, I reached the place around 9:45 a.m. He asked me to stand near a car and somebody gave me two bags filled with cash for Gosavi. I took it to Vashi at Gosavi’s home and gave it to him. Right after this, I saw Kiran Gosavi packing bags and leaving for somewhere,” he said. “I handed over the bags of cash to him in his car. However, when he counted the cash it was only Rs 38 lakhs. Later, I left from there to Vashi,” he further alleged.
Reacting to the allegations made by the driver, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, in a tweet wrote, “Witness in #AryanKhan case made to sign on blank paper by NCB is shocking. Also, there are reports that there was a demand of huge money. CM Uddhav Thackeray said that these cases are made to defame Mah’shtra. This seems to be coming through Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil. Police should take a suo-moto cognizance.”
On 18 October, Maharashtra Police registered a case against Kiran Gosavi, the man who was seen taking a selfie with Aryan Khan at the NCB office soon after the latter was detained. As per the police, the case was lodged at Kelwa police station in Palghar alleging that Gosavi had duped Lakhs of rupees from people on the pretext of sending them abroad for jobs. Earlier, a case was registered against Gosavi with Faraskhana police station of Pune city on 19 May 2018, for allegedly committing fraud by promising a person a job in Malaysia by taking money. However, he neither returned the money nor offered the job to the complainant. The accused was booked under Sections 419, 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with relevant sections of the Intellectual Technology (IT) Act. Chargesheet was filed in the court as the accused was not found. He is still wanted in the case. The driver has also made allegations of corruption against NCB zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, who is helming the probe in the case. Reportedly, Wankhede said that he would give a “fitting reply” to the allegation against him.
According to a source in the NCB, “Investigation of this case has some important connections with other states too. The probe agency may soon go to other states to investigate the case.” According to sources, nearly five to six drug peddlers are on the NCB radar for alleged involvement in the cruise drugs case. “Now NCB is looking for the financial trail in the case. The agency will now check all the financial transactions of the accused arrested so far,” a source added.
An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on October 2. A total of 20 people, including Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan, have been arrested so far in the case.
43 countries come together to denounce China’s treatment of Uyghurs
A group of 43 countries has denounced China for its human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. The group of countries from all continents rebuked China for its detainment of Uyghurs in the western region of Xinjiang, reported the HK Post. Generally, Western nations have been vocal about Beijing’s human rights record at the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee and this year Turkey, Eswatini and Liberia joined them. The new additions to last year’s group, which included 39 nations, push back Chinese claims that the rebuke is part of a Western effort to keep China from rising.
“We have seen an increasing number of reports of widespread and systematic human rights violations, including reports documenting torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, forced sterilization, sexual and gender-based violence, and forced separation of children,” French Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said on behalf of the group.
He further added that “widespread surveillance disproportionately continues to target Uyghurs and members of other minorities”.
Meanwhile, a new report published by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) based in Canberra called for an investigation into China’s Xinjiang following the publication of leaked documents allegedly detailing Uyghur repression.
Between July 2016 and June 2017, government monitors assigned by Beijing flagged at least 1,869,310 Uyghurs and other citizens in Xinjiang for using Zapya (file-sharing application), the report revealed. ASPI’s latest report is based on thousands of documents leaked to the think tank.
Since early 2017, vast numbers of Uyghur men and women, as well as other Muslim ethnic minorities, have been arbitrarily detained or imprisoned according to the United Nations and human rights groups.
They include hundreds of thousands who have been sent to prisons, in addition to the one million the UN estimates to have been sent to internment camps.
The detentions and alleged abuses inside enclosed government facilities have been described by the United States and international human rights groups as a form of genocide constituting crimes against humanity.
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