Category Archives: National

Lakhimpur Kheri violence case: Ashish Mishra appears before UP Police

Ashish Mishra-09LUCKNOW: Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Misra’s son Ashish Misra appeared on Saturday before Uttar Pradesh Police in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence that killed eight people, including four farmers. His interrogation is going on at the Crime Branch office in Lakhimpur Kheri police lines.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court pulled up the UP government on Friday for not arresting Ashish Misra who allegedly ran his car over protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri last week. India Today Reported India Today.
The Lakhimpur police started questioning Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra on Saturday after he appeared before the investigators at the crime branch office at Lakhimpur reserve police lines, officials said.Uttar Pradesh Police have been interrogating Ashish Misra for the last four hours. During the interrogation, his mobile was also seized for investigation. A lot of his supporters have also reached the Crime Branch office in Lakhimpur Kheri where interrogation of Ashish Mishra is going on. Mishra’s lawyer Awadhesh Singh is also present there along with Sadar MLA Yogesh Verma.
The UP police had pasted a summon letter outside his residence, asking him to appear before the police inquiry related to the Lakhimpur Kheri case in which eight people were killed. According to a senior police official said Ashish Mishra reached the crime branch office at 10:40 am on Saturday. He appeared A few hours after the Lakhimpur police on Friday evening issued a second notice asking him to appear in connection with the violence that killed eight people, including four farmers.

Ashish Mishra, the prime accused in the case, was accompanied by his counsel Awadesh Singh and Lakhimpur Sadar MLA Yogesh Verma of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).According to sources, Ashish Misra could not provide proof of his whereabouts from October 3 between 2:36 pm to 3:30 pm. Mishra was taken to a room inside the crime branch office where police personnel investigating the matter began questioning him. His counsel accompanied him in the questioning.

The second notice was issued against Ashish Mishra on Friday after he failed to show up in response to the first one and missed his 10 am deadline on Friday. Like the first, the second notice was pasted on the minister’s Lakhimpur Kheri residence directing Ashish Mishra to appear before the Lakhimpur Kheri police crime branch at reserve police lines at 10 am on Friday.
(With Media Reports).

Capt Amarinder’s Delhi Visit Ruffles Feathers in Punjab’s Politics

amarindersingh-ians_12NEW DELHI : As per breaking inputs from the Punjab Congress infighting row, Captain Amarinder Singh is set to visit the Congress High Command in Delhi today. This is Captain’s first Delhi visit post-resignation as the Chief Minister of Punjab. This comes in around the ongoing cabinet expansion in Punjab after S. Charanjit Singh Channi, current Chief Minister, visits Rahul Gandhi’s residence for a late-night meet earlier this week.

Captain Amarinder Singh is likely to meet Sonia Gandhi, and this will be his first Delhi visit after his rather unceremonious exit as the Punjab CM. Amarinder Singh handed in his resignation over the endless infighting and party politics with Navjot Singh Sidhu camp, and he cited feeling humiliated as he finally quit. Listen in!
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s sudden Delhi visit created a buzz in political circles in the state as speculations of his new political innings gained ground. Singh, who resigned from his post and publicly lambasted the Gandhis, has kept everyone guessing about his next course of action. Sources said he was scheduled to visit Home Minister Amit Shah amid rumours of his joining the BJP.

As political pundits discussed the motive behind his visit to the Capital, Captain’s aide said too much was being read into the move. “He’s on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and also vacate Kapurthala house for the new CM. No need for any unnecessary speculation,” tweeted Raveen Thukral, Singh’s media adviser
Amarinder Singh’s Delhi visit is “personal” and there is “no need for speculation”, the former Punjab Chief Minister’s media advisor tweeted today, after buzz that the veteran politician – one of the Congress’ most high-profile faces and someone once seen as extremely close to the Gandhi family – was set to meet BJP chief JP Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah.
“Too much being read into Captain Amarinder’s visit to Delhi. He is on a personal visit, during which he’ll meet some friends and vacate the Kapurthala house for the new Chief Minister. No need for any unnecessary speculation,” Mr Singh’s media advisor, Raveen Thukral, said. Reports Mr Singh had a meeting lined up with two of the BJP’s most senior faces had triggered speculation he could add to the long list of top Congress leaders who have quit the party in recent months – except this would be a massive move, particularly with an election due in Punjab next year.

Amarinder Singh stepped down as Punjab Chief Minister 10 days ago – months before the election and after a long and bitter feud with rival Navjot Sidhu over several issues, including the farmers’ protests, electricity tariffs, and the 2015 sacrilege case and subsequent police action. As he quit a furious Mr Singh said he had been “humiliated” thrice by the Congress leadership in his battle with Mr Sidhu. He also wrote to Sonia Gandhi and warned her against positioning the former India cricketer as a chief ministerial candidate for next year’s election.
“… for the sake of my country, I’ll oppose his (Sidhu) name for Chief Minister. It’s a matter of national security… is an incompetent man… a total disaster…” he told NDTV . At the time Mr Singh also refused to comment on his political future; he told NDTV ” I can’t answer that right now” when asked if he would remain in the Congress.
Last week Mr Singh dropped worrying hints that he intended to follow through on his promise to oppose the Congress’ backing of Mr Sidhu, as he threatened to field a candidate against him and “make any sacrifice” to stop him becoming Chief Minister. Comments“He (Sidhu) is dangerous for the state,” he said in a statement released to the press.
Capping months of a power tussle with state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu that had polarized the ruling party in the state headed for elections in just about four months, Captain resigned from his post and slammed the Congress for the “humiliation”. “I was humiliated three times by the Congress leadership in the past two months…they called the MLAs to Delhi twice and now convened CLP here in Chandigarh today,” said Captain.

The former Punjab CM also called Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra “inexperienced” and Sidhu a drama master and a dangerous man, accusing him of behaving like a “Super CM” with the new chief minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, “simply nodding along. Captain Amarinder Singh also claimed that Punjab is now being run by the party from Delhi, according to a press statement issued here by an aide who summed up his interactions with the media.
“Priyanka and Rahul are like my children. This should not have ended like this. I am hurt,” the Congress veteran said. “The “Gandhi children” are quite “inexperienced” and their advisers are clearly “misguiding” them,” he added. Singh said he will only leave politics on a high. I was ready to leave after victory but never after a loss, he said. He reiterated that his options are still open. The former CM said he had offered his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi three weeks earlier but she asked him to continue.
Speaking about his future plans, Singh had said, “It is too soon to speak about the future. I will take a decision after consulting fellow colleagues.  I’ve been an Armyman, I’m wearing my regimental turban. But which line I’m going to go, I cannot say. I will be active (in the Punjab elections), resigning doesn’t mean I’m leaving politics,” in an exclusive interview to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami. While Singh and Sidhu have locked horns since 2019, the final blow to Singh came when the Congress High Command picked Sidhu as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, inspite of the CM’s vehement opposition.
(With Media Inputs).

 

Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra gets bail in pornography case

raj-kundraMUMBAI: A Mumbai court on Monday granted bail to Actor Shilpa Shetty’s husband Raj Kundra in a pornography case. The NRI businessman, who was arrested on July 19, was granted bail on a surety of Rs 50,000.
According to News agency PTI reported that the court also granted bail to another accused, Ryan Thorpe, who is his business associate.
On Saturday, Kundra had sought bail arguing that he was being made a “scapegoat” and that there was no evidence in the charge sheet that he was actively involved in creating pornographic content. The Mumbai Police had filed a 1,400-page charge sheet last week. Prnography case: Mumbai court grants bail to jailed businessman Raj Kundra
The businessman’s previous bail applications were rejected. In his fresh plea, Kundra said that since the charge sheet was already submitted by the police, it was clear that the probe against him in the pornography case was over and he was entitled to get bail.

The 45-year-old was arrested on grounds of creating pornographic films and publishing them through some apps. The Mumbai Police had mentioned that he is the key conspirator in this racket.
Last Thursday, the Mumbai Police had filed a 1,400-page charge sheet in court listing charges against the businessman, who has been married to Shilpa Shetty since 2009. Raj Kundra had on Saturday requested bail arguing that the investigation is over and a charge sheet has been filed.

His bail request reportedly also alleged that he was being made a “scapegoat” and that there was not an iota of evidence in the charge sheet that he was actively involved in shooting “alleged questionable content” and streaming it through mobile apps. The businessman, arrested on July 19, said in his bail plea that he was falsely implicated and dragged into the case. The charge sheet said Raj Kundra was the “main facilitator” and, along with other accused, exploited young women struggling in the film industry.

Pornographic videos were posted on various websites and apps, the charge sheet alleged, adding that the videos were sold through subscriptions. The charge sheet includes statements of 43 witnesses, including Shilpa Shetty, who has been listed as a witness. The police have included in the charge sheet a statement by Shilpa Shetty that she was not aware of her husband’s activities as she was busy with her own work.
(Bureau REport with Agency Inputs).

 

IIT JEE Advanced Registration Postponed

jee-advanced-1200NEW DELHI :EE Advanced 2021: The utility course of for the JEE Advanced 2021, which was scheduled to begin on September 11, has been delayed as per the most recent notification. “Due to delay in publication in JEE (Main) 2021 results, the already announced date of registration for JEE (Advanced) 2021 stands postponed,” is posted on the official web site.

This year , the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur will conduct the JEE Advanced 2021 examination on October 3. Eligible candidates can apply on the official web site – jeeadv.ac.in.  The registration course of will now start on September 13 (afternoon) and shut on September 19 at 5 pm, nonetheless, candidates pays the appliance price until September 20, 5 pm. A price of Rs 2800 will probably be relevant. For females and reserved class candidates, the appliance price is Rs 1400.
The JEE Advanced exam is for admission to some of the top engineering colleges in India, including the Indian Institutes of Technology. Only the top 2.5 lakh candidates to qualify the JEE Main exam can sit for the advanced exam. “Due to delay in publication of JEE Main 2021 results, the already announced date of registration for JEE Advanced 2021 stands postponed,” reads a message on the official website of JEE Advanced 2021 – jeeadv.ac.in.
The last date to register for JEE Advanced 2021 is September 19 and the deadline for paying the fee is September 20. This year, JEE Main was conducted in four sessions and results of three sessions have already been announced. Over 35 students have secured perfect 100 percentile in the previous exams. The JEE Main result was expected today. While it is now confirmed that it has been delayed, there is no update on the new date.

Students who had registered for JEE Advanced last year but were unable to appear for it due to Covid-related restrictions have also been allowed to take the exam this year, without having to take the Main exam.
(With Agency Reports).

Freedom Of Expression Crucial In Democracy: Home Minister Amit Shah

Amit_Shah_PTI_0NEW DELHI : Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the most important thing in a democracy is a citizen’s independence and freedom of expression which is directly linked to good policing, and this needs to be continuously improved.

“Democracy is our nature… this was our character even before independence and we accepted this after gaining freedom. This is the nature of our people.
The biggest thing in a democracy is a person’s independence and freedom of expression,” he said.
When it comes to freedom of expression of a person, it is directly linked to law and order, he noted.
“Democracy is not just about voting for parties and forming a government… this is just a part of the system. What is the success or fruit of democracy? The fruit is that 130 crore people of the country, according to their capabilities and intelligence, get to develop themselves and the country gets the benefit of this cumulative effect for its development,” Amit Shah said. He emphasized that democracy cannot prosper if law and order in a country is not good.

“This work is done by police and forces that guard our borders. It is very important for a successful democracy that the security of a person is ensured. The citizen should keep getting his legal rights in an uninterrupted manner. A citizen should be able to discharge his duties as per the spirit of the constitution,” the Union minister stated.
Speaking at the 51st Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) Raising Day celebrations, Mr. Shah said democracy was not just about elections and government formation. Its objective was to ensure that the 130 crore countrymen were able to avail themselves of opportunities in accordance with their abilities to progress. The cumulative result would lead to the national development. He said “beat constable” deployed at the lowest level of the police system makes the “biggest contribution” towards making a democracy successful by protecting the common man.

Delivering the keynote speech during the 51st foundation day event of the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), the minister said democracy cannot be successful if law and order is not good. And hence, he said, upgrading and improving police force is the work of BPR&D. Mr Shah noted that the image of police, at certain times, is maligned by certain quarters. “I do not know why a campaign has been run to damage the image of police. Some incidents are hyped and shown, while good incidents are not popularized,” he said.

The home minister said while various other institutions like the parliament, state assemblies, judiciary, election commission, CAG and vigilance commission have made democracy successful, the beat constable of police deserved a far greater appreciation in this context. “Not because I am the home minister, but I have had this thinking since my childhood that to make democracy successful, the biggest contribution is of the beat constable,” he said.
Without reviving beat policing, basic policing cannot be good and this has to be updated which requires technology upgradation and BPR&D needs to work on that, the minister noted. “I want to say it again that the most difficult job in the government service is that of a policeman,” he reiterated.

.”There are no fixed work hours, neither a definite scope of work for a policeman. I have seen that all this takes a toll on their health and there is no acknowledgement of these things… the sacrifices made by police personnel is not mentioned much,” the minister rued. He asked the BPR&D to give “special focus” and work on the image building of police. The police should change their work style as per the challenge, he said, counting cyber attacks, drone attacks, narcotics smuggling, fake currency and hawala rackets as the “biggest” challenges for the security establishment.
(With Agency Inputs).

 

 

 

“We adapt to survive” strategy to mitigate Delta variant: Dr. Azhar Perwaiz

By GYAN BHADRA

Doctor NEW DELHI: Chameleon changes its colour. So does coronavirus? No prizes for guessing! The latter adapts “mutation” to survive and infect us. Public memory is not painfully short that it will forget the way coronavirus coming out from China and spreading out its wing across the world in 2019 was called Covid – 19. Later, the mutation of Covid-19 took place in January 2020 and December 2020 in both

England and India respectively. The metamorphosed viruses in England and India were nicknamed as “Alpha”(B.1.1.7) and “Delta” (B.1.617.2) respectively. As of now, Delta virus is the major prevailing strain worldwide infecting and taking in its fold 104 countries and counts for 97 percent of new coronavirus cases in England.
“As a matter of fact, Delta variant is considered as 50 percent more contagious than its predecessor. In quick succession, it can infect three to four other people as compared to one or two done by the original strain in the past. And it is highly likely to escape protection from currently available vaccine and conventional Covid-19 treatments,” says Dr. Azhar Perwaiz, Associate Director, Head Esophagogastric Surgery, Deptt. of GI Surgery, GI Oncology & Bariatric Surgery, Institute of Digestive and Hepatobiliary Sciences at Gurgaon – based Medanta The Medicity.

Dr. Perwaiz goes on to say that when on one hand scientists had engaged themselves in gathering information’s to counter or contain this new variant; on the other reports of emergence of a subvariant known as Delta Plus (B.1.617.2.1 or AY. 1) have surfaced on public domain.

As is wont of Delta Plus variant, it is more prone to attack lungs thereby causing serious pneumonia. And potentially it can escape from conventional vaccines as well. Analysing the important facet of this virus, Dr Perwaiz explains that it poses problems to differentiate this strain clinically owing to its symptoms which have uncanny resemblance with those of older strains. However, some exceptions of cough and loss of smell seem to be less; while headache, sore throat and fever are more pronounced. Fear and apprehensions relating to hospitalization of more people and deaths—-especially among unvaccinated people—- are writ large among healthcare providers. This is all too evident  from a preliminary report published in “The Lancet” journal.

It has been obseved that higher reported incidence in demographic zones with less vaccinated population indirectly underscores the fact that unvaccinated people are most likely to be affected by the variant. As is well known that in most part of the world, kids and adolescents (age being less than 18 years) are still unvaccinated ; so their susceptibility to infection and, to make matters worse, turning them most vulnerable segment of the society will be a healthcare challenge to healthcare professionals in near future; in case a third wave is imminent.

Expressing his opinions on currently available vaccines, he says that these vaccines have registered moderate success against this strain. As per the report of UK-based Public health England agency, moderna vaccine’s two doses are posssibly 88 percent effective against the disease and 96 percent effective against hospitalization. As regards Astrazeneca vaccine, it is about 60 percent effective against the disease and 93 percent effective against hospitalization. And more or less same report emanates from Johnson & Johnson’s one shot vaccine. However, what takes the cake is the question: Will booster doses to those who has already been vaccinated could help in containing this variant?

This is a moot question on which the scientists are having brainstorming sessions. As Dr. Perwaiz avers, the situation is not holding up here; since there have been reports of further subvariants such as Epsilon variant (B.1.427/B.1.429) emanating from Southern California and isolated in more than 30 countries.And the Lambda variant(C.37) emerging from Peru accounts for less than one percent of cases in United States.

As a suggestive measure, he advises that if the virus can adapt to survive, then it is all the more necessary for “us” to adapt to survive and eradicate this demon once and for all. As there are not much to choose, so strict adherence to vaccination, masks, social distancing and hand hygiene remains the “Mantras for Survival”.

AP SSC Exams 2021 Cancelled- Results by July 31

AP BoardAMRAVATI(AP):  Andhra Pradesh, AP Board Exams 2021 for Intermediate and SSC Students have been cancelled. Education Minister of Andhra Pradesh has announced that AP Inter 2nd Year or Class 12 and AP SSC or Class 10 Exams 2021 would not be conducted. The state has decided to reverse its decision to conduct the examination after the Supreme Court hearing today. SC today had asked the government to reconsider its decision, pointing out that it won’t allow the exams to be conducted if it was not completely satisfied.
The Education Minister has confirmed the same. The Results for both Class 10 and 12 would also be released by July 31, as mandated by the Supreme Court.  As per the reports, the AP Intermediate Exams 2021 have been cancelled. The news comes after SC gave the State some serious objections and raised concerns over its preparedness to conduct the examination.
After the critical remarks made by the Suprme Court today, the Andhra Pradesh State Education Minister has decided to cancel the AP Inter Exams 2021. Official notice is awaited.A Suresh, Andhra Pradesh’s Education Minister, said it will not be possible for the state to organise the exams and declare the results by July 31 as ordered by the Supreme Court.
he Supreme Court on Thursday called upon the state of Andhra Pradesh to provide a “snapshot” of its file-recording that records the satisfaction of The Top Court would be hearing the matter of AP Inter Exams 2021 tomorrow – June 25 at 2 pm. The apex court has asked the government to present a plan. It ha also insisted that no examination would be allowed  un till the court is satisfied with the arrangements. Meanwhile, SC has asked other State Boards to prepare criteria in 10 days and declared board results by July 31.
The Supreme Court had said it may have to order ₹ 1 crore as compensation in case of each fatality (due to Covid during exams) if the government went ahead with its plan to conduct the exams.A Suresh, Andhra Pradesh’s Education Minister, said it will not be possible for the state to organise the exams and declare the results by July 31 as ordered by the Supreme Court. “If there is even one fatality, we may order compensation amounting to ₹ 1 crore… when other boards had cancelled, why (does) Andhra Pradesh want to show it is different?” a two-member bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari said this morning.
The CBSE and ISCE – two of the biggest education boards in the country – have cancelled the board exams due to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic that has killed thousands across the country over the last three months. Most of the state boards have also cancelled the Class 10 and Class 12 exams. “Other boards took a conscious decision based on ground reality. There is a new variant – ‘delta plus’. Nobody is clear how it will affect us… Who took the decision to hold these exams and what are the parameters on which the decision was taken?” the court asked.
(Bureau Report with Agency Inputs).

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Complaint against Twitter India MD, Actor Swara Bhasker Over Ghaziabad Posts

_SwaraNEW DELHI : A complaint has been lodged in Delhi against actor Swara Bhasker, the Managing Director of Twitter India and two others over “inflammatory tweets” on the assault on a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad earlier this month. The police are, however, yet to file an FIR (First Information Report) based on the complaint by an advocate.
A lawyer approached Delhi Police with his complaint on Wednesday, a day after Twitter, several journalists and Congress leaders were named in an FIR in Ghaziabad over “provoking communal sentiments” with posts sharing the elderly man’s allegations. The complainant claims that Swara Bhasker, journalist Arfa Khanum and a person named Asif Khan, through their Twitter handles, “got inspired from the incident and started a propaganda to spread hate amongst the citizens”. Manish Maheshwari, the head of Twitter in India, did not take any action to remove these false tweets knowing the fact that the incident did not have any kind of communal angle”, the complaint says.

In the case filed by Uttar Pradesh Police, Twitter has been accused of not removing “misleading” content linked to the incident. The charges the social media giant faces include “intent to a riot, promoting enmity and criminal conspiracy”. The man, Sufi Abdul Samad, had alleged that his beard was cut off and he was forced to chant “Vande Mataram” and “Jai Shri Ram” by a group that assaulted him. UP Police say there was nothing communal about the incident; the man was attacked by six people — Hindus and Muslims – who were angry with him for allegedly selling fake good luck charms.

The Delhi Police has said that a complaint has been received against Twitter MD Manish Maheshwari, actress Swara Bhasker, journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani and others in connection with the Ghaziabad assault case. The complainant, an advocate named Amit Acharya, said that Bhasker, Sherwani, and others spread hate against the citizens as they tried to give the incident a communal angle. He had submitted the complaint at the Tilak Marg police station on Wednesday.
“The tweets did not indicate their personal opinions instead showed wrong intentions of the users to initiate conspiracy against religious harmony in the country to encourage hate and enmity between the religious groups,” Amit said in the complaint. “Tweets were shared on social media at a very large scale and thousands of users have liked, quoted and also retweeted the same. The users knowingly shared the false information and have thereby committed offences,” he added.
The video which went viral on social media shows four men beating Sufi Abdul Samad up, chopping his beard and asking him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in the Loni area of Ghaziabad. Police, however, ruled out any communal angle in the incident, saying Samad was attacked by six men – Hindus and Muslims – who were unhappy over the amulets he had sold to them. Police said that Samad practiced occultism and had sold some amulets to Parvesh Gurjar, a man involved in the incident, to free one of his family members from some “evil effect” but a dispute arose between the two as there was no desired result of the amulet.
(With Agency Inputs ).

 

Markets, malls to open daily, with 50% capacity: Delhi eases more curbs

mktNEW DELHI : Amid a drop in COVID-19 cases, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced more relaxations in restrictions, allowing malls and markets to open daily from 10 am to 8 pm from Monday. As part of reopening the national capital in a phased-manner.  As per the new directions, all the markets can now re-open without following the odd-even criteria. Schools, colleges, educational & coaching institutions will remain closed.
Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious festival gatherings prohibited. Swimming pools, stadiums, sports complexes, cinema theaters, multiplexes will remain closed. Shops, malls and restaurants in Delhi will open from tomorrow as Covid numbers in the national capital drop to a three-month low. Shops will be open seven days a week instead of the current odd-even system. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, however, said this will be on trial basis for a week and strict action will be taken if the Covid numbers rise.

Addressing a virtual press briefing, the Chief Minister said that the government will monitor the situation for a week and if COVID-19 cases rise, restrictions will again be imposed on markets and restaurants. He also asserted that the coronavirus situation in Delhi is under control to a larger extent and preparations are on for a possible third wave. The phase-wise unlocking process in Delhi had begun with allowing construction and manufacturing activities from May 31.
Restaurants — which were open only for takeaways and home deliveries — can now have diners but with only 50 per cent of seating capacity. Weekly markets have also been allowed but with 50 per cent vendors and only one market per day will function in each municipal zone. Salons can open but spas will remain shut. Government offices can open with full capacity, private offices with 50 per cent capacity. Delhi Metro and buses will run at 50 per cent capacity.
On Saturday, Delhi government data indicated that only 213 cases were recorded over a 24-hour period — the lowest in more than three months, bringing the overall caseload to 14,30,884. The national capital also recorded 28 deaths due to COVID-19 which took the total death count to 24,800. The current figures are a huge improvement on the numbers from April-May as the national capital crossed 28,000, an all-time high. The subsequent crisis at hospitals – with a shortage of drugs, beds and oxygen – had made headlines.

 

U K-Sending-vital-medical-equipment-to “Vishva Guru” (India) to fight covid

Boris-Johnson-696x392LONDON: The United Kingdom on Sunday said it was sending life-saving medical equipment to India – including ventilators and oxygen concentrators – as the country battles a devastating wave of Covid infections that has seen the active caseload jump to 27 lakh and leave over 1.9 lakh dead.
The first shipment is expected to reach Delhi Tuesday, with more scheduled for the coming week. In total, nine containers carrying over 600 pieces – including 495 oxygen concentrators, 120 non-invasive ventilators and 20 manual ventilators – of vital medical equipment will be sent.
London will ship more than 600 pieces of equipment to New Delhi to support its fight against the virus, following a request from India and Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledging the UK would do “all it can” to help. “We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against Covid-19,” Johnson said in a statement.

“We stand side by side with India as a friend and partner during what is a deeply concerning time in the fight against Covid-19,” Johnson said in a statement. “Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus.
“Vital medical equipment, including hundreds of oxygen concentrators and ventilators, is now on its way from the UK to India to support efforts to prevent the tragic loss of life from this terrible virus,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement. The UK is working closely with the Indian government to identify further avenues of possible assistance during the pandemic, news agency AFP reported.

Hours earlier the European Union also promised to help India in its fight to contain a wave of infections that has brought an already-creaking health infrastructure to its knees. The European Commissioner for Crisis Management said the EU Civil Protection Mechanism had been activated after a request from the Indian government.
“The EU will do its utmost to mobilise assistance to support people of IN. Our #ERCC is already coordinating EU MS that are ready to provide urgently needed #oxygen & medicine rapidly,” Janez Lenarcic, the Commissioner, tweeted. Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: “To the people of India I want to express my sympathy on the terrible suffering that Covid-19 has again brought over your communities.” On Friday France also spoke up, saying it stood by India in this crisis.
“I want to send a message of solidarity to the Indian people, facing a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. France is with you in this struggle, which spares no-one. We stand ready to provide our support,” French Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain said. India reported 3.49 lakh new cases in 24 hours on Sunday morning – adding to the 3.46 recorded Saturday, the 3.32 lakh on Friday and the 3.14 lakh on Thursday.

The frightening surge has left hospitals overflowing, and oxygen and medicines in very short supply.The week-long oxygen crisis in Delhi – where at least 50 patients died Friday alone due to supply issues – has grabbed much of the headlines, but the situation is as dire in other parts of the country.

Several states and UTs, including Delhi, have imposed night curfews and strict restrictions on movement during the day, and have announced free vaccination programmes in an effort to inoculate as many people as quickly as possible to contain the virus. The surge in cases in India, experts have said, is likely the result of more aggressive strains in circulation, in addition to people’s laxity in following Covid-appropriate protocols.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose government has been criticised for failing to anticipate and plan for this wave of infections, has held multiple meetings over the past week. The country has opened up vaccination to all those over the age of 18, starting May 1, and approved a third Covid vaccine – Russia’s Sputnik V – for emergency use.
(With input from AFP).