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People throw caution to the wind as Covid cases drop

India records 85% decline in daily infections since 7 May, but experts fear that gains from lockdowns may be squandered by unruly crowds in public places.

Aishvarya Jain

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A day after major cities in several states relaxed curbs on movements following a sharp decline in Covid cases amid a devastating second wave of infections, there was alarm over the way crowds thronged railway stations, shopping malls and other public places, triggering fears of the gains from the lockdowns being squandered by unruly crowds throwing all caution to the winds.

Since the highest recorded peak on 7 May, the Ministry of Health has announced an 85 percent drop in daily Covid-19 cases. “We are witnessing this situation after 75 days, thus indicating an overall decline in infection rate,” said Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health. He also stated that there are just 5,000 ongoing Covid cases in 20 states and UTs across the country.

India reported 60,471 new Covid-19 cases in last twenty-four hours, the lowest in 75 days, and 2,726 deaths in the last 24 hours. The overall number of coronavirus cases in the country has now reached 2,95,70,881, with 3,77,031 deaths. There are currently 9,13,378 active cases, with 2,82,80,472 patients having recovered. The five most affected states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh respectively. Tamil Nadu recorded 11,805 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, pushing the caseload to 23,78,298, while 267 deaths took the toll to 30,068. Meanwhile, 23,207 people were discharged, taking the overall tally to 22,23,015 leaving 1,25,215 active infections.

Meanwhile, as several states announced easing of curbs, people are back on roads, with visuals of many individuals openly flouting Covid protocols.

After a five-week lockdown, authorities in Delhi have fully re-opened shops and malls, and allowed restaurants to have 50% seating. Suburban rail networks can run at 50% capacity, and offices have been partially reopened.

“Delhi’s top #mall saw a footfall of 19,000 people last weekend, as soon as it reopened. Have we gone totally mad?” Ambrish Mithal, a doctor with a Max HealthCare hospital in New Delhi said on Twitter. “Wait for #COVID19 to explode again, and blame the government, hospitals, country.”

The national capital reported 228 fresh Covid-19 cases, 12 fatalities and 364 recoveries in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of cases to 14,31,498, toll to 24,851 and recoveries to 14,03,569. There are 3,078 active cases in Delhi and the positivity rate is 0.32%.

As restrictions are lifted in big cities, migrant workers have begun returning from the countryside. In Bengaluru, media reported large crowds of workers at railway stations. “Unfortunately, citizens equate the government’s response to reopening, as a victory,” Dr Vishal Rao, a member of the expert committee on Karnataka’s Covid task force, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, according to the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the Russian Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine is more effective than any other vaccination against the Delta version of the virus, which was initially found in India. “Sputnik V is more efficient against the Delta variant of coronavirus, first detected in India than any other vaccine that published results on this strain so far—the Gamaleya Center study submitted for publication in an international peer-reviewed journal”.

Dr V.K. Paul, Member-Health, Niti Aayog, said the Delta plus variant has been around since March. This is a variant of interest, but not yet one of concern. We have to assess its presence through INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia).” WITH AGENCY INPUTS

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Harmanpreet’s emotional breakdown on Jhulan Goswami’s farewell game.

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Jhulan played her farewell match

The Indian Women’s Cricket team stepped into the iconic Lord’s stadium for the ODI match against England. While the team aimed to create history by clean sweeping England on their pitch, this match holds its importance beyond this.
The match was special as the Indian pace baller, Jhulan Goswami will bid adieu to the sports after this match. Ahead of the third and final match, Indian captain, Harmanpreet Kaur was seen crying and then Jhulan hugged her.

Jhulan’s cricket career has been spectacular where she played 12 tests, 2014 ODIs and 68 T20s for India. She has the record for the most number of wickets, 353 wickets, in her international career. This is the most by any player in women’s cricket.
“I’d like to thank the BCCI, my friends, my family, my coaches, teammates, and captains,” said the bowling legend to Sky Cricket before the start of the match. “Everyone, thanks for this opportunity, this is a very special moment.”

“When I started my career in 2002, I played my first series against England, and I’m ending against England in my last series. And the most important thing is that we’re 2-0 up in the series which is the most important thing for me at this moment.’
“Every moment [of 20-year career] has had a lot of emotions, a lot of effort put in. But the 2017 World Cup where our team came back and fought [is the highlight]. Nobody gave us a chance initially that we would be playing in a final, but the way we played that tournament was something different I think, and from there women’s cricket in India slowly and gradually picked up.
“And at this moment, we have our path to motivate generations and young girls to take up sport and that they have an option with cricket. I have to [keep emotions in check], I can’t come with all those emotions onto the cricket field, As a ruthless character, I have to come out and play hard cricket and give my best,” she added.

It was an emotional moment for the nation and the teammates. Captain Harmanpreet broke into tears during the farewell match of Jhulan Goswami.

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Following his ‘friend and greatest rival’, Nadal withdraws from Laver Cup 2022.

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nadal withdraws from tournament

Today was the final match of Roger Federer’s career and the Swiss tennis legend withdrew his name from the Laver Cup 2022 tournament. Moments later his friend and greatest rival Rafael Nadal followed him and withdrew from the event.

Nadal arrived in London, a day before his match alongside Federer. He straight up went to meet his teammates before going for the gala dinner. He could barely practice due to a shortage of time. The pair lost the final match of Federer’s glorious career to the Team World combination of Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe.

Moments after the match, Nadal withdrew from the singles tie. He is replaced by Cameron Norrie in the lineup against Team World’s highest-ranked player Taylor Fritz.
The Laver Cup confirmed on Saturday morning: “Matteo Berrettini will be stepping in for Roger Federer: ‘I cannot wait to start.’ Additionally, Rafael Nadal withdrew for personal reasons. He will be replaced by Cameron Norrie.”


“I am not doing well. It’s been a tough time for me, I hardly slept, I was stressed. Luckily everything is okay and I was able to get here,” said Nadal in the post-match presser explaining the reason behind his withdrawal.

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Police to arrest ex-students of Bhopal college over girl’s obscene video

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Police in Bhopal have arrested two former students of an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) for shooting an obscene video of a female college student and blackmailing her.

Rahul Yadav and Khusboo Thakur were arrested by police under Section 383 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and pertinent provisions of the IT Act, while Ayan, another suspect, has ran away.

“A 19-year-old girl went missing from her house on Friday.The parents filed a police complaint and the police traced her at Bhopal railway station after a few hours. When police registered the girl’s statement, she informed that on September 17, there was a cultural programme in the college on the occasion of Vishwakarma Jayanti. She was changing her clothes in a washroom where Khushboo shot her obscene video,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP), Rajesh Bhadoriya.

“The girl said three students showed the video to her boy friend and demanded ₹10,000 and also threatened to circulate it on social media. The girl’s parents worked in the ITI and she was afraid of public insult of her parents so she decided to run away,” said ADCP.

At the police station in Ashoka Garden, the cops filed a first information report (FIR).

Police are looking into the matter to determine whether she is the only girl experiencing this trauma or if it also happened to other girls, according to the police officer.

The three former students used to spend much of their time at the institution and harass students, according to the college students who reported them to the police.

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Nation

Ankita Murder Case: Outraged crowd vandalized BJP MLA’s car

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After the dead body of a 19-year-old missing teen girl was found in a canal in Rishikesh, there has been outrage among the locals.
It intensified on Saturday and the locals vandalized the car of BJP MLA Renu Bisht. Later, police had to escort the MLA safely.

The body was identified by the teen’s relative, who was reported missing for the past 6 days.
Three people were arrested by Uttrakhand Police on Friday including Pulkit Arya the son of Vinod Arya, a former BJP minister in the state. The girl was employed as the receptionist in a resort in the city, which is allegedly owned by the MLA.

Earlier in the day, the resort owned by the accused was also set on fire by the locals. Uttarakhand chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami expressed pain over the death of the woman and announced the setting up of an SIT, led by DIG police P Renuka Devi, to conduct a speedy probe into the killing.

As an effect of the protests, BJP expelled the father, BJP leader Vinod Arya and brother of the accused from the party earlier on Saturday.
“During the investigation, police learnt the accused and the woman had gone to Rishikesh on Sunday. While on their way back, Pulkit and the woman entered into an argument following which the accused threw her into a canal in Chilla,” the SSP said.

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Lalu Yadav criticises Amit Shah for attacking Bihar govt

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A day before he meets Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, RJD President Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday criticised Home Minister Amit Shah for his attack on the Bihar government coalition and emphasised the need for Opposition unity.

“Amit Shah has utterly lost his mind.  His administration has been overthrown in Bihar. The BJP will also lost in 2024. That is why he is sprinting there (Bihar) and speaking of jungle raaj. What did he do when he was in Gujarat,” Yadav said.

The former chief minister of Bihar said that “Jungle raaj” was present in Gujarat when he was there.

On Sunday evening, Kumar and Yadav will probably meet Sonia Gandhi, the president of the Congress.

We are making every effort for Opposition unity,” Yadav, who has been battling poor health, said, adding this will the agenda of their meeting.

The Bihar chief minister was slammed by Shah on Friday for allegedly betraying the BJP and attempting to advance his prime ministerial ambitions while “sitting in the laps of Congress and RJD.”

At a rally in Purnea, Shah predicted that the Kumar-Lalu Prasad jodi would be destroyed (soopda saaf) in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and that the BJP will win a majority by itself in the state assembly elections the following year.

In response, Yadav said, “Amit Shah bilkul paglaye hue hain” ( Amit Shah is absolutely insane).

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Lifestyle & Entertainment

Falguni Pathak remarks ‘Wish I could take action’ over Neha Kakkar’s ‘Maine Payal Hai’ remake

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The renowned singer Falguni Pathak is not happy with Neha Kakkar’s recreation of her iconic song ‘Maine Payal Hai Chhankai’. She said in a recent interview that neither the producers nor Neha made an effort to get in touch with her prior to or following the release of the new song, ‘O Sajna’. The veteran singer also said that she wished to take action against the Neha Kakkar song but was unable to do so since she did not have the song rights.

Neha has come under fire from several fans for ‘ruining’ the original. The original singer of the 1990s hit song, Falguni, reshared fan posts on Instagram Story, subtly criticising Neha’s rendition of the song titled “O Sajna.”

“How long you can go Neha Kakkar? Stop ruining our old classics for us. Falguni Pathak is the OG. Stop with it already,” one of the posts on Falguni’s Instagram Story read.

The actors Vivan Bhatena and Nikhila Palat were featured in the original song, which was launched in 1999. At a college festival, the song was performed as a puppet show. The song was a resounding hit. Recently, the updated version was unveiled.

The music video for “O Sajna” features Dhanashree Verma and Priyank Sharma. “O Sajna” was written by Tanishk Bagchi, who is renowned for reinventing classic Hindi melodies.

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