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Covid cases continue to rise in India for 5th consecutive day



As the number of new Covid-19 cases showed an upward trend over the past five days, India reported 14,264 new cases in the last 24 hours on Sunday with the overall tally mounted to 1,09,91,651, health officials said.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said that there were 90 more Covid-19 fatalities, taking the overall toll to 1,56,302.

In the past one month, the country has been recording less than 15,000 new infections daily with the toll not going over the 200-mark.

However, in the past few days the coronavirus cases in various parts of the country suddenly showed a spike.

On Saturday, 13,993 cases were reported, on February 19, the count of new cases was 13,193, on February 18 it was 12,881, on February 17 it was 11,610, on February 16 the number was 9,121 and February 15 had 11,649 cases.

Earlier, the health ministry officials said that the average daily new infections for the last 15 days were oscillating between 9,000 to 12,000 while the deaths were between 78 to 120.

On February 9, India had reported 9,110 new cases, the lowest this year so far. Last year, the lowest 9,633 cases were recorded on June 3.

As per the Ministry’s data, there are 1,45,634 active cases at present after 11,667 patients were discharged in a day. Till now, 1,06,89,715 persons have been discharged so far.

The recovery rate has remained to 97.27 per cent, while the fatality rate is down to 1.42 per cent.

The ministry also informed that 6,70,050 samples were tested on Saturday. The cumulative tests done by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) so far stands at 21,09,31,530.

Meanwhile, 1,10,85,173 doses of corona vaccine have been administered in the country since the drive began on January 16 after approval for ‘Covishield’ and ‘Covaxin’.

As per the Union Health Ministry, India has become the fastest nation in terms of the vaccine doses administered, even though many countries had launched their vaccination campaigns earlier than her.


Nine killed in gelatin stick explosion in Andhra Pradesh




At least nine workers were killed and some others injured in gelatin sticks explosion in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district on Saturday, police said.

The incident occurred near Mamillapalle village in Kalasapadu mandal when the labourers were unloading gelatin stick from a vehicle for using them at a limestone mine.

Such was the impact of the explosion that the body parts of the deceased were blown apart and the vehicle was completely burnt.

The workers hailing from Kalasapadu and Pulivendula mandals were carrying gelatin sticks for blasting the rocks at the mine.

Police rushed to the spot and shifted the bodies for autopsy. They took up the investigation and were trying to find out if the quarry had license to use the explosives.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy expressed shock over the deaths in the explosion. He conveyed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

The chief minister enquired about the incident and its reasons from senior officials.

TDP national president and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu also expressed deep shock and grief over the death of several innocent workers in the blast.

He demanded that the government extend all help and announce ex gratia to the kin of the deceased on par with the LG Polymers in Vizag.

In a statement here, the TDP chief demanded immediate steps to provide better medical care to all those who were injured in the blast. It was unfortunate the tragic incident took place claiming so many lives in the chief minister’s own native district. To prevent such incidents, proper safety standards should be followed there. All the workers should be given perfect safety equipment.

Chandrababu Naidu said that the government should immediately launch rescue and relief operations. The rulers should explain to the people why they had allowed the mining works at a time when there was an 18-hour curfew clamped all over the state to check the spread of coronavirus.

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Hospital staffer held for sale of fake Remdesivir worth Rs 30K




The complicity of hospital staff in the black marketing of medicines and selling fake injections amid the Covid-19 crisis has shaken people’s belief in the healthcare system in the national capital. The Nangloi police have uncovered a similar nexus where a person working as a dialysis staffer at a hospital in New Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh area has been arrested for selling fake Remdesivir injections.

A whistleblower informed to the Nangloi police about the sale of such fake Remdesivir injections in the Shalimar Bagh hospital. When a victim dialled the accused hospital staffer telling him to provide Remdesivir for treatment of his uncle, he searched on the internet about procuring the injection. One person demanded to provide Remdesivir injections in the Rohini area. When the victim reached the hospital with an injection sold worth Rs 30,000, it turned out to be fake. The victim’s uncle had died even before the injection could be arranged.

A team of Nangloi Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Mihir Sakariya, has started investigation into the matter.

Two accused Kamal and Deepak from the hospital’s technical surveillance were arrested by the police. Twenty five-year-old Kamal is a dialysis staffer at a hospital in Shalimar Bagh with his accomplice and roommate Deepak, 29, have been arrested. Deepak runs a home care service providing nursing facilities at homes.

Fifteen fake Remdesivir injections, Rs 34,000 in cash and an oxygen concentrator have been recovered from both the accused.

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Crime branch to probe recovery of O2 concentrators from Delhi eateries




The probe of recovery of over 500 oxygen concentrators from famous Delhi restaurants has been handed over to the crime branch.

This development comes a day after the Delhi Police arrested another person identified as Gourav Khanna, CEO of Matrix Cellular Services Ltd in connection with its probe into the seizure of over 500 oxygen concentrators in the last two days from popular restaurants in the national capital.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) South Delhi Atul Kumar Thakur said that Khanna, a resident of Haryana’s Gurugram was arrested on Friday night.

He said that on Friday, police carried out searches at two popular restaurants in South Delhi’s upscale Khan Market and recovered 105 concentrators, which are used for treatment of Covid patients.

“During searches at Khan Chacha restraueant in Khan Market, 96 oxygen concentrators were recovered, while nine concentrators were recovered from Town Hall restaurant,” Thakur said.

Khan Chacha restaurant is known for its melt-in-the mouth kebabs, while Town Hall restaurant specialises in pan Asian cuisine. The official said that these concentrators were being sold in the black market.

Both outlets are linked to Navneet Kalra, the alleged black marketer of oxygen concentrators in Delhi, the official said.

On Thursday, the police recovered 19 oxygen concentrators after conducting a search at Nega Ju Restaurant and Bar in Central Market of Lodhi Colony. The police arrested four men including the manager of the restaurant.

Thakur said that Friday’s searches were based on the inputs shared by arrested accused Hitesh during questioning.

He said that the efforts are on to arrest more people associated with the racket.

Thakur further added that the staff involved in good work is being suitably rewarded.

The official said that it has also recovered WhatsApp messages of the accused for selling the oxygen concentrators at higher prices.

The police is also in touch with the custom department officials to track the import of concentrators from China.

According to police sources, the oxygen concentrators were being imported for Rs 16,000 to Rs 20,000 and were being sold for Rs 70,000.

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