In a press conference on Tuesday, Health Ministry Joint Secretary Lav Agarwal said one in every two COVID-19 deaths in India has been of senior citizens who constitute 10 per cent of the total population, while 73 per cent of COVID-19 deaths in the country are of people with comorbidities.
Also, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Annual Session 2020, said that India will get back its growth after the coronavirus lockdown and is already on that path with 'Unlock phase-1'. Stressing on the need for self-reliance, PM Modi said, "World is looking for a trusted, reliable partner; India has potential, strength, ability. India now needs to manufacture products that are 'made in India' but 'made for the world'." He said that strengthening the economy is one of the top priorities alongside fighting coronavirus.
On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also launched a mobile app for information on the availability of beds and ventilators in the city's COVID designated hospitals. Called 'Delhi Corona', the CM said, the app will help in reducing the 'information gap' in the capital.
Indian scientists have identified a unique trait in the genetic make-up in the novel coronavirus circulating in India, which is different from the virus that is prevalent in other parts of the world. Besides, other things, this particular trait could potentially make the virus weaker, one of the scientists involved in the study said.
This particular genetic difference, named ‘Clade I/A3i’, was found in 41 per cent of the genome sequences done on the virus collected from Indian patients. Globally, only 3.5 per cent of all the genome sequences done on this virus has this particular trait.
The researchers, who sequenced 64 genomes (the complete set of genetic material) linked the Clade I/A3i cluster to the predominant SARS-CoV-2 strain circulating in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Maharashtra, and Delhi. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has so far maintained that there are three principal variants in India of the SARS-CoV-2 virus: those that came from Wuhan, the US, and Europe via air travellers.
NREGA May demand is highest for month in 8 years: 2.19 cr households
With the lockdown sending lakhs of migrant labourers back to their villages, over 2.19 crore households utilised the rural job guarantee scheme in May, which is the highest for the month in the last eight years, according to official data.
An analysis of data in this category — available currently from 2013-14 on the MGNREGA portal — shows that the number of households that worked in May was 7.10 lakh higher than the 2.12 crore during the same month last year. Sources in the Ministry of Rural Development told The Indian Express that jobs adding up to over 41 crore person-days were generated in May 2020 as against about 36.95 crore in the same month last year.
Faced with the challenge of ensuring physical distancing in crowded hostels upon reopening, the IITs have sought a year’s extension to the 2021 deadline set by the government to add new seats for accommodating the 10 per cent Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota, The Indian Express has learnt. The 23 premier engineering institutes collectively approached the Centre with the request last month, citing the COVID lockdown.
Government sources said the HRD Ministry will refer the request to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, which had moved the EWS quota proposal that was later approved by the Union Cabinet early last year.