April 12, 2021 8:39:47 am
The Second Wave
Central teams dispatched to three states – Maharashtra, Punjab, and Chhattisgarh – that have been reporting the highest numbers of new Covid-19 deaths in the country, have raised red flags over oxygen supply issues, malfunctioning ventilators, and shortage of RTPCR tests in surge districts of these states.
- In Maharashtra, all eyes will be on the April 14 cabinet meeting, where Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is likely to take a formal decision on imposition of a full lockdown.
- And in the national capital, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also warned of a lockdown if hospitals start running out of beds for Covid patients. Delhi logged over 10,000 fresh cases in a day for the first time since the pandemic began.
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Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell, who was our guest at the Idea Exchange, spoke about the first Quad summit involving the US, India, Australia and Japan; the Myanmar coup; Australian innovations in Indian farm sector; and much more.
From the Front page
A day after four persons were killed in CISF firing outside a polling booth in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the incident as a “genocide” and Union Minister Amit Shah, who was campaigning in the state, blamed Banerjee’s provocative statements for the attack on central forces. And BJP’s state chief Dilip Ghosh described those who were killed in firing as “dustu chelera (bad boys)” and said there will be similar incidents if they do not behave.
A 14-year-old boy, who had gone missing from home just two days ago, was among the five militants killed in two separate encounters in South Kashmir. Police said the forces gave sufficient time to the militants to surrender, especially the 14-year-old boy, whose family they called to the site of the encounter.
A Bihar police officer was lynched by a mob in West Bengal when he led a team of policemen to look for a gang of alleged motorcycle thieves who operated in Bihar. His mother, who had a history of heart ailments, collapsed on seeing the body of her son and died the next day. And seven policemen were suspended for leaving the officer behind and fleeing when they were attacked.
Despite the country witnessing an unprecedented surge in Covid-19 cases, politics isn’t far away from the pandemic. In Gujarat, the BJP has rushed to defend its unit chief C R Paatil, who had been on the receiving end since the saffron party started distributing remdesivir, an antiviral drug used in the treatment of Covid, for free. The move comes at a time when many states have been facing a shortage of the drug.
The Uttarakhand Police has gone tech-savvy to ensure Covid-19 norms are followed as hordes of people have been turning up for the ongoing Kumbh mela in Haridwar. It has started using Artificial Intelligence to zoom in on those not wearing masks. Officials said over 350 CCTV cameras have been installed at different locations in the mela area, with about 100 of these equipped with sensors that generate an alert when the camera captures the image of a person without a mask.
Election campaigns have shifted from the big rally grounds to the small screens of one’s phones with political parties investing heavily on online presence. From Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches to Mamta Banerjee’s injured foot, the speed and scale of this operation illustrate the online campaign in play. On being given access to the phones of many BJP and TMC leaders, The Indian Express, in one instance, found that Dipak Das — the saffron party’s social media convenor in Cooch Behar — is the admin of 2,209 groups and a member of 3,500 in all.
Kerala’s Aswathy P has been a fighter since birth. She was born with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, a disorder caused by brain damage. Fifty-two days after her birth, she lost her mother. In 2020, she was denied admission to the state-run medical college in Manjeri under a special quota since her right arm “is involved in her disability” making her ineligible for medical courses. The 20-year-old didn’t give up and took her case to the Kerala High Court, which ruled in her favour and today, Aswathy is a first-year MBBS student in Manjeri college.
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