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Telangana records highest Covid-19 positive rate, govt blames private labs

Lokeswara Rao

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With abysmal Covid-19 testing numbers, the situation in Telangana is worsening as the state’s Covid positive rate becomes highest in India at 25%. For every 100 tests, 25 people are found positive in the state, followed by Maharashtra (22%), Delhi (16%) and Tamil and Gujarat (11%). The Telangana government, however, has accused private labs for this situation and said that they didn’t follow the guidelines issued by ICMR resulting in a spike in cases. 

After repeated orders from the High Court, Telangana conducted only 1.10 lakh tests while the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh carried one million tests. As of last week, Telangana is testing only in thousands. Instead of raking up its efforts against the situation, the Telangana government put the onus on private labs and accused them of not adhering to testing norms prescribed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) leading to false positive results.

State director of public health, Srinivas Rao said, “We have issued notices to 13 private labs which are not following the norms. One of these private laboratories has reported an extremely high sample positivity rate. With 2,672 positive cases against 3,726 of total samples tested, the positivity rate is 71.7 per cent—a gross variation and discrepancy in the notified positivity rate of Covid-19 till date.”

 Also, it was noticed that most of the private labs don’t have the proper training to conduct Covid tests. When The Daily Guardian contacted a doctor in Gandhi Hospital, he said, “In Telangana, only symptomatic and critical patients are tested and only limited tests happen so most of the samples are tested positive. Government noticed that in some private labs most of the test results became positive. Maybe there is no proper training for them.”

On the other hand, in Andhra Pradesh, 10,17,140 Covid-19 samples were tested till Sunday. It is the first state to conduct coronavirus tests on such a massive scale. Andhra’s ruling party MP and parliamentary party chief Vijay Sai Reddy told The Daily Guardian, “Chief Minister Jagan sir’s efforts in healthcare are lauded across the nation. The government is testing samples on a large scale that’s why even opposition leaders are praising Jaganmohan Reddy.”

 However, despite these tall claims, cases are rising in Andhra too. About 961 people were tested positive on Sunday — highest single-day number in the state so far.

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After BSY, former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah tests positive for Covid-19

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Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that he has tested positive for COVID-19 and admitted himself to a hospital.

“I have been tested positive for COVID-19 and also been admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors as a precaution. I request all those who had come in contact with me to check out for symptoms and to quarantine themselves,” Siddaramaiah tweeted. Earlier on Sunday, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa had said that he tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

4,752 new COVID-19 cases and 98 deaths were reported in Karnataka on Monday, taking total cases to 1,39,571 including 62,500 discharges and 2,594 deaths, the State Health Department informed.

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India slams Pak in UN, calls it ‘nerve centre of terrorism’

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Calling Pakistan a nerve centre of terrorism, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador TS Tirumurti, has lashed out at Islamabad for harbouring terror groups, saying it is home to the largest number of listed terrorists internationally and designated terrorist entities.
In an interview to ANI, Ambassador Tirumurti on Monday (local time) said terror groups such as Jamat-ud Dawah, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen are continuing their operations from Pakistan.

“It’s a well-known fact that Pakistan is the nerve centre of terrorism. Pakistan is home to the largest number of listed terrorists internationally designated terrorist entities and individuals, including Jamat-ud Dawah, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen, they are continuing their operations from Pakistan. Let me state that the UN and its reports have reiterated the involvement of Pakistan in terrorist attacks abroad. You know, even in the recent report of the analytical support and sanctions monitoring team,” he said.

Referring to United Nations’ 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, the ambassador said there is a clear acknowledgement that the leadership and funding for the terrorist entities like Al-Qaeda, ISIS emanate from Pakistan.

“Under the 1267 Committee, which submits its report periodically terrorist activities of ISIL al Qaeda and its affiliates. There are several direct references to Pakistan’s involvement,” Tirumurti said

“This report, clearly mentions that Pakistanis are in leadership positions of terrorist groups, for example, the report mentions by name the leader of the Al Qaeda who is a Pakistani national, the names of the head of Isil and former head again Pakistani national clearly mentioned in this report. There is a clear acknowledgement that the leadership and funding for these entities emanate from Pakistan,” he added.

The UN report revealed that an estimated 6,000-6,500 Pakistani terrorists are in neighbouring Afghanistan, most of them with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, posing a threat to both the countries.

“In another report released in May, it mentions that Pakistan based terrorists organizations Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed continue to have a large presence of terrorist fighters in Afghanistan and are involved in carrying out terrorist attacks there,” the Ambassador said.

Tirumurti said Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has acknowledged that there are around 40,000 terrorists present in Pakistan and they have attacked neighbouring countries.

“Even in the recent resolution of the UN Security Council on the session of hostilities in the context of COVID-19, the security council has clearly recognised that they need to make an exemption for countries fighting against globally designated terrorist entities and individuals thereby in effect vindicating our position,” he said.

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Sushant case: Demand for CBI probe in Bihar assembly

The matter was raised by BJP legislator Neeraj Bablu in the Lower House, gets support from RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav.

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The issue of alleged suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput reverberated in both houses of the Bihar Assembly on Monday and the demand for a CBI probe was raised. The matter was raised by Neeraj Bablu in the Assembly, who is a cousin of Sushant Singh Rajput and a BJP MLA. He indicated at a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the actor’s “suicide” and demanded that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should immediately recommend a CBI probe into the matter.

Neeraj Bablu raised concern at the way the investigating team from Bihar which has gone to Mumbai for investigations was being treated. He said the team was deliberately being targeted and the IPS officer was unnecessarily being quarantined to conceal facts and “hide prominent names behind the murder of Sushant Singh Rajput.”

 The BJP MLA got support from unexpected quarters in the Vidhan Sabha, when RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav (leader of Opposition) stood up in his support and said that he was with Sushant’s family right from the beginning and wanted the matter to be investigated thoroughly.

He said, “RJD wants a thorough investigation in the case and I have even written a letter to CM Nitish Kumar for the same. I also demand that the film city being developed in Rajgir should be named after Sushant Singh Rajput.”The matter was also raised in the Upper House.

On the other hand, sharp reactions have also come from CM Nitish Kumar on the issue.

 Talking to media he said, “Whatever has taken place is wrong. This is not a political issue but a legal issue and the Bihar Police is just complying with its legal responsibility.”

He indicated that the Bihar DGP is looking into the matter and is in consultations with relevant people on the other side.

Sharp reactions also came from the DGP of the state, Guptehwar Pandey, and he hinted that the IPS officer was on official trip to Mumbai and that the relevant authorities on the other side were also informed about the way Vinay Tiwari was quarantined was not in consonance with law. The Patna IG would be sending a protest letter to the BMC for the same.

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No cash transfer, says Mumbai Police chief

Preeti Sompura

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Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh said that the Mumbai Police has gone through the accounts of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput and are yet to find anything suspicious. The investigating officials are however continuing with their probe, he said.

“The FIR filed by Bihar Police says that Rs 15 crore were siphoned off from Sushant’s account. During our probe, we found that he had Rs 18 crore in his account of which around Rs 4.5 crore are still there. Till now no direct transfer to Rhea Chakraborty’s account has been found,” said Singh.

 Singh also said that members of the actor’s family, including his father, three sisters and brother-in-law had given their statements to the police on 16 June, in which they didn’t raise any suspicions or allege foul play. However,

Rajput’s father has lodged a police complaint against actor Rhea Chakraborty and her family in Patna on 28 July in which he has expressed his lack of faith in the investigation being conducted by the Mumbai Police.

“Till now, the statements of 56 people have been recorded. Every possible angle is being investigated, be it a professional rivalry, financial transactions or health,” said Singh. “It has come to surface that he (Sushant) had bipolar disorder and was undergoing treatment and taking medicines for it. But what circumstances led to his death is the subject of our investigation,” he added.

The Mumbai Police chief further asserted that Rajput used to search for terms like “painless death”, “schizophrenia” and “bipolar disorder” on Google, as well as look up articles and his own name on the Internet. He also stated that there was no party held at Sushant Singh Rajput’s residence on 13 June. The actor had been found hanging from the ceiling of his Bandra residence on 14 June.

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Haryana the first state to have a college within radius of 15 km

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CHANDIGARH : Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal on Monday gave approval to set up 11 new colleges in the state. With this, Haryana has become the first state in the country to have a college within a radius of 15 km. The CM announced the setting up of these colleges at Morni Hills in Panchkula, Isharwal in Bhiwani, Goriwala in Sirsa, Firozpur Jhirka in Nuh, Chhatar in Jind, Ladna Chaku and Rajaund in Kaithal. New colleges will be opened at Pratap Nagar in Yamunanagar, Agroha in Hisar and Bhainswal Kalan, and Baroda in Sonepat district.

Stating that imparting education is a great gift, the CM said that 97 new colleges have been opened in the last 5 years whereas in the last 48 years only 75 colleges were opened.

“The new National Education Policy has also been announced recently which aims to enhance the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) in higher education to 50% by 2030, which presently stands at 32%”. NEP 2020 will be effective in achieving the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” he added further.

Khattar also said that the country’s first Skill Development University has been opened in the state in Dudhola, Palwal district. Haryana’s Minister for Education Kanwar Pal said, “A plan had been prepared to open 1,000 playschools in the state even before the arrival of New Education Policy.

 Haryana has set an example by conducting online classes during Covid-19 and is among the leading states after Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. The focus is being laid on improving the health and education of children. Along with higher education, 98 Sanskriti Model Schools are also being opened in the state.”

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Sushant’s father ends silence, exposes Mumbai Police’s laxity

Priyanka Sharma

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As the tussle between Mumbai and Patna police continues, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s father has finally broken his silence on the matter for the first time. In a video message, which is now taking social media by a storm, Sushant’s father has claimed that he had informed Bandra police on 25 February that his son was in danger and asked them to take action against people named in his complaint. But, even after 40 days of his demise, no action was taken. This is the reason he went ahead to file FIR in Patna. He further thanked the Bihar CM and the police force for their cooperation.

The statement especially comes at a high point when the probe on Sushant’s case is getting murkier each passing day. Following the “forceful home quarantine” of a Bihar police officer, who had arrived in Mumbai to probe the case, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier in the day said that the Bihar DGP would speak with the authorities in Maharashtra.

 BMC, on the other hand, defended its stance by citing “state government guidelines”. It said that the cop was just asked to follow precautionary guidelines on domestic travel.

 Reacting to the same, the Bihar DGP responded that they examined the quarantine guidelines and it appears that the quarantine was not needed. The official went there after informing and requesting for accommodation and vehicle, not secretly. Emphasising that the cop could have been exempted from protocol, he further added that Patna IG would be writing to BMC chief on the matter.

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