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States told to keep strict vigil to stop spread of Covid during festivals

India adds 31,923 new Covid-19 infections in last 24 hours; active cases lowest in 187 days.

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Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan has written to the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of all the States and Union Territories advising them to keep a strict vigil to curb the spread of Covid-19 amid the festive season.

“Covid-19 still remains a grave and continuing public health challenge in our country. While the country is witnessing a sustained decline in the number of daily cases as well as daily deaths, but the second surge of Covid-19 is still not over. Globally also, the surge in cases is being reported across multiple countries. This surge in cases has reinforced the importance of implementation of Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB) in addition to vaccination efforts,” read the letter.

It further adds, “In the coming months, various festivities will follow one after the other till December 31 2021. This is a critical period as there may be a tendency to ignore Covid-safe behaviour during festivals, resulting in large gatherings, events, fairs etc. It is critical to enforce adherence to guidelines to allow festivities in a cautious, safe and covid appropriate manner. Any laxity in implementation of Covid-appropriate behaviour could lead to serious consequences and can result in a surge in cases.”

The letter further instructs the concerned authorities to keep mass gatherings restricted to a limited number of people and allow them in districts not classified as ‘containment zones’ or areas reporting daily positivity rate of 5 per cent or below. Restrictions can be imposed and monitored on basis of weekly positivity rate and bed occupancy for a minimum of 14 days.

Authorities have also been instructed to follow the five-fold strategy of ‘Test-Track-Treat-Vaccinate and adherence to Covid appropriate behaviour’.

India reported 31,923 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Thursday. Out of these, Kerala reported 19,675 new infections on Wednesday. India’s cumulative tally has reached 3,35,63,421, and the number of active cases has declined to 3,01,604, which is the lowest in 187 days. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.09 per cent.

It has been less than 3 per cent for the 24th consecutive day, the ministry said, adding that the weekly positivity rate has also declined to 2.11 per cent, which is less than 3 per cent for the last 90 days.

According to the health ministry, 3,28,15,731 people have recovered from the disease so far, out of which 31,990 recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours. The country also reported the highest ever recoveries since March 2020 and it currently stood at 97.77 per cent.

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ED ATTACHES ASSETS IN BANK FRAUD CASE

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Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday provisionally attached assets worth Rs 146.67 crore of Future Metals Pvt Ltd and Future Exim India Pvt Ltd in a bank fraud case. According to ED, the total attachment in the case has reached Rs.185.67 crore. “ED has provisional attached assets worth Rs.146.67 Crore of M/s. Future Metals Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Future Exim India Pvt. Ltd. under the provisions of the PMLA, 2002 in a Bank Fraud Case. Total attachment in this case has reached to Rs.185.67 Crore.”

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‘NOD TO COVAXIN FOR KIDS AGED 2-18 YRS UNDER EVALUATION’

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NEW DELHI: The final approval for Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin for children aged 2-18 years is under experts’ opinion and evaluation, stated government sources on Thursday. Sources said after evaluation of the data, the final approval will be given by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI). Bharat Biotech in an official statement had said they are waiting for further approvals from drug regulators. This is one of the first worldwide approval for Covid-19 vaccines for the age group of beneficiaries.

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HAVE FULL FAITH IN PARTY HIGH COMMAND: SIDHU

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Amid Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu’s visibly rebellious attitude towards the recently appointed State Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, the former on Thursday said that he has kept his concerns pertaining to the state before the party high command, adding that he will follow their directions, expressing faith in their decisions.

Sidhu’s remarks came while speaking to reporters after meeting Congress in charge for Punjab Harish Rawat and party general secretary KC Venugopal in Delhi today. “I expressed my concerns regarding Punjab and Punjab Congress to party high-command. I’ve full faith in Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka ji and Rahul ji. Whatever decision they’ll take, it’ll be for the betterment of Congress and Punjab. I’ll follow their directions,” said Sidhu.

The meeting lasted for more than one and a half hours. In the meeting, the issues of Punjab regarding over which there is a dispute between Sidhu and Channi were discussed as well as whether Navjot Singh Sidhu will remain the President of Punjab Congress or not.

Rawat told reporters after the meeting that Sidhu will continue to serve the party as the Punjab Congress chief and will set up an organisational structure in the state. He further said that a decision on the same shall be announced tomorrow.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Rawat said, “Navjot Sidhu has clearly stated that the decision of the Congress President will be acceptable to him. The instructions are clear that Navjot Sidhu should work as Punjab Congress President and set up the organisational structure. An announcement will be made tomorrow.”

Sidhu had tendered his resignation as Punjab Congress chief on September 28.

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Centre directs states to reduce edible oil prices

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The Central government on Thursday has directed the states to ensure that the prices of edible oils are brought down to commensurate levels in line with the import duty reductions.

The Department of Food and Public Distribution wrote to all major oil-producing states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to ensure that the prices of Edible Oils are brought down to commensurate levels in line with the import duty reductions. The duty reduction will be effective from October 14, 2021 upto March 14, 2022. According to a press release by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, the government slashed the basic duty on Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil from 2.5 per cent to Nil. The Centre in the letter directed the state governments to ensure the passing on of full benefits of duty reduction by the Centre to the consumer to provide “immediate relief” from the ongoing high prices of the edible oils, especially during the ensuing festival season.

“This would also help in bringing down the food inflation and provide relief to ordinary consumers by the reduction in the prices of edible oils by Rs.15-20 per kg (approx),” said the press release.

The Agri-cess on these Oils has been brought down from 20% to 7.5% for Crude Palm Oil and 5% for Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower Oil. The basic duty on RBD Palmolein Oil, Refined Soyabean and Refined Sunflower Oil has been slashed to 17.5% from the current 32.5%, according to the release.

“The duty has been slashed considerably to Nil for Crude Palm Oil, Crude Soyabean Oil and Crude Sunflower and 17.5% for RBD Palmolein, Refined Soyabean Oil and Refined Sunflower Oil. This will benefit the consumers by Rs. 15 to 20 per Kg of Edible Oils,” said the release.

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INDIA EXPORTS 10 CRORE COVID-19 JABS EACH TO BANGLADESH, NEPAL, MYANMAR, IRAN

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The Divisional Forest Officer of Katarniaghat Akash Badhawan is changing the lives of human beings and animals residing in Katarniaghat, drawing parallels between Vidya Balan in the film ‘Sherni’ where she was also changing lives for the better.

The Daily Guardian spoke to Badhawan and got to know how they are working and changing the lives of everyone related to Forest.

The children only had used copies in their hands which meant that only oral studies were the hope for them and this initiative was started by Satyendra Kumar, Sub-Inspector of the Special Tiger Protection Force of the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary under the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. He was teaching about 20 children during his free time at the Motipur Forest Range Office campus. The strength of kids was reduced to 4-7. Then he was promoted and asked newly joined Divisional Forest Officer Akash Badhawan to look after these little ‘Mowglis’. The destiny of Mowgli School changed and new dawn knocked on the door of these Mowglis.

“When my wife Tanya and I first interacted with these kids, they were very fascinated that someone had come to meet them. Well, over biscuits that we gave them, the ice was broken and I asked them what games would they like to play at our fairly big garden of the Motipur Range Office and Eco-Tourism Centre. They slowly started speaking up, to my wife mostly, and some kids wanted footballs, some wanted carrom boards, some girls wanted ludo sets and some kids even wanted Hindi storybooks. Within 2 days, I got these kids footballs, carrom boards, badminton sets, and some basic books to begin with,” says Divisional Forest Officer, Akash Badhwan.

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Around 65,550 cases sorted out in Lok Adalats held in Haryana in 2020-21

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A total of 65,550 cases have been sorted out by Lok Adalat held across the state of Haryana, which were started as an experiment and in wake of the fruitful feedback, the concept of conducting Lok Adalat came into existence.

Abiding by the data, what came to surface is that as many as 53407 Lok Adalat were held during 2020-21 in 22 districts of the state which led to sort out the above-mentioned cases and several financial disputes involving an amount of 72.21 crore brought to an end. It was revealed by one day consultation programme of Chief Judicial Magistrates-cum-Secretaries, District Legal Service Authorities (DLSA) presided over by Justice Rajan Gupta, Judge, Punjab & Haryana High Court and Executive Chairman, Haryana State Legal Services Authority (HALSA).

In continuation to the aforesaid, it is worth mentioning that a total of 16995 cases were withdrawn in the National Lok Adalat held on Thursday while a total of 6497 cases were sorted out. In this series, as on October 13, 2021, Legal Services Authorities in Haryana covered 3,992 villages which count more than 60% of total villages of Haryana in the last 12 days. As many as 2,896 Legal awareness-cum-legal aid camps were organized by DLSAs in rural and urban areas.

A total of 60,548 persons were provided immediate legal assistance through hybrid mode out of a total 1,64,927 participants. Service Delivery Camps were organized in association with various government departments including 06 Mega Service Camps and 104 Microservice Camps wherein 19,620 and 4,524 persons were benefitted across the State.

Door-to-door visits were conducted in villages for which Legal Services Authorities have constituted 371 teams which interacted with 22,058 villagers and made them aware about their rights. 114 Legal Aid Help Desks were set up in melas/fairs to educate people about the concept of legal services and 3,407 persons were provided legal aid though these Help Desks.

Legal awareness through mobile vans is being created in Haryana and 13,948 persons were made aware. In association with the Education Department, Haryana, 482 competitions were held in schools/colleges of Haryana wherein 25,131 students participated. Legal Services Authorities are also spreading awareness by way of holding exhibitions.

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