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Monday, June 21, 2021

Daily Briefing: Covid-19 positivity declines; Over 80 ONGC off-shore op staff missing

According to Health Ministry data, 18.45 lakh Covid tests were done every day on average between May 11 and May 17, which returned a weekly positivity of 16.9 per cent.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
May 19, 2021 8:35:22 am
A look at the top news today, June 2, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Second Wave 

With overall case positivity declining over the past seven days, the country’s head of Covid-19 Task Force said the “pandemic curve is stabilising” and it is “shrinking overall”. He, however, was guarded on whether the trend would continue, underlining that any complacency in containment and testing could result in a renewed surge.

The BJP claimed it has exposed a Congress “toolkit” that laid out instructions on how to “destroy his (Modi’s) image and erode his popularity” and advised that the new coronavirus mutant be dubbed the “India strain” or “Modi strain”.  In response, the Congress filed a police complaint against BJP leaders for “propagating” a “forged and fabricated letter”.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said more domestic companies should be given the licence to manufacture Covid vaccines and life-saving drugs. “There are two-three laboratories in every state. Let them make it…,” he said. 

Only in the Express 

Amid a strict state-wide lockdown, Kerala’s local self-governing bodies have joined hands with neighbourhood groups and youth organisations to combat the debilitating second wave. From supplying food and beds, to conducting the final rites of deceased Covid patients — these volunteers have been working on ground free of cost to plug the breach.  

From the Front Page

The absence of one name in the LDF government’s list of new ministers has drawn sharp reactions within party circles. Despite being praised globally for her handling of Kerala’s Covid crisis, KK Shailaja was left out of the state’s all-new Cabinet, in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will be the only repeat. 

While the Coast Guard and Navy were able to rescue 637 members of ONGC’s off-shore staff from their vessels that went adrift in gale-force winds and high waves in the Arabian Sea during Cyclone Tauktae, 80 more men are still missing, officials said.

Three people were killed and several injured near Silger village in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district after police opened fire on a group of tribals protesting against the CRPF camp that came up on May 12. After the death of three of their own, the protestors, who have accused the CRPF of illegally occupying their land, remain resolute in their decision to stay put at the site of the protest. But security forces have alleged naxal links. 

Must Read 

After making landfall near Una in Gir Somnath district on Monday, Cyclone Tauktae claimed at least 13 lives and left a trail of destruction in Gujarat’s Saurashtra region. Meanwhile, twelve people were killed in Maharashtra. 

A door-to-door survey by the Rajasthan government detected 7 lakh people with ILI (influenza-like illness) symptoms. An analysis shows that 51.26% of these cases were recorded in rural Rajasthan, which means every second case is reported from villages. To reign in the spread of the pandemic in rural Rajasthan, the Ashok Gehlot government has shifted focus to testing and handing over medical kits to people showing ILI symptoms.

And Finally 

India’s finest middle-distance runner Jinson Johnson was in the best shape of his career when coronavirus derailed his plans. Johnson’s severe bout of Covid — complete with breathlessness, fever, body ache and extreme exhaustion — dispels the commonly held belief that the virus doesn’t weaken the physically fit. He has since resumed training, but is yet to fully recover. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the string of arrests in the Narada sting case, why KK Shailaja was excluded from Kerala’s new cabinet, and the latest on the Covid pandemic in India. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express cartoon by EP Unny.

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