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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Daily Briefing: PM Modi warns of rapid Covid spread in rural India; Russia’s Sputnik vaccine unveiled in India

"I want to alert all farmers, all brothers and sisters living in villages, about Corona again. The infection is now reaching the village at a rapid pace," PM Modi said.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 15, 2021 9:01:41 am
A look at the top news today, June 10, 2021.

Good morning,

The Second Wave 

Sounding a note of caution to farmers and rural areas, Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that Covid-19 was spreading to villages at a “rapid” pace, but said India will not lose courage and will fight the pandemic and win.

Meanwhile, amid an acute shortage of vaccines, India has started using Russia’s Sputnik V Covid shot in its fight against the deadly virus, with the first dose administered in Hyderabad on Friday. The vaccine is being sold at a little over ₹995 per dose.

Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), that has seen deaths on successive days due to oxygen issues, saw 13 more casualties during the early hours of Friday. 

Only in the Express 

Over the last few days, scores of unclaimed and unidentified corpses were found floating in the river Ganga in several districts in East Uttar Pradesh. According to kin, eyewitnesses and locals, behind the bodies lie long-held traditions, deep economic distress and the sudden rush to lay the dead to rest — all under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In the first of a series of online, agenda-setting debates organised by The Indian Express and Financial Times, policy, business and finance leaders from India and overseas will gather for a discussion on India’s place in the post-pandemic world.

From the Front Page 

Weeks after the Punjab government started transferring minimum support price (MSP) payments directly to the bank accounts of farmers under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme (DBT), the state surpassed all previous records in wheat procurement for the rabi season. Around 132.08 lakh metric tonnes of wheat have been procured, 2 lakh metric tonnes more than the target set by the state. 

Delhi Police arrested nine people for allegedly pasting posters bearing derogatory comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to send Covid-19 vaccines abroad, and lodged 10 FIRs across several districts in this matter.

Must Read 

With Israel conducting massive retaliatory air strikes and massing tanks along the Gaza border, nurses from India, who were employed as caregivers for the elderly in the Middle Eastern country, find themselves in the middle of an escalating conflict that threatens their lives — and livelihood. The escalating crisis has already claimed the life of one such nursing professional — 32-year-old Soumya Santhosh from Kerala. 

Considered one of India’s particularly vulnerable tribal groups, the Dongria Kondhs, settled in the Niyamgiri hills of Rayagada district in Odisha, have reported their first few cases of the novel coronavirus. The cases were identified during a door-to-door survey, initiated by local authorities after tribe members had started showing symptoms of the deadly infection. 

And Finally

After 23-year-old wrestling champion, Sagar Dhankhar, was beaten to death during a brawl, the site of the crime, the famous Chhatrasal Stadium akhada in North-West Delhi, has acquired notoriety.  The iconic akhada produced some of India’s finest wrestlers, including two-time Olympic medalist Sushil Kumar, who is said to have been involved in the incident and went into hiding soon after. For Sagar’s grieving father, the brutal attack amounts to a betrayal by the ‘guru’.

Until tomorrow,
Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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