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June shocker: Maharashtra adds 1.04L Covid cases, outstrips France!



Maharashtra added a whopping 104,748 new coronavirus cases in June to touch a total of 174,761 — o higher than France’s current tally of around 164,801 cases, according to official data.

During June, the number of deaths in the state increased from 2,362 to almost triple to a staggering 7,855, confounding health authorities as the state clamped a further lockdown till July 31.

The death rate in Maharashtra shot up from 3.37 per cent on June 1 to a worrisome 4.49 per cent on June 30.

By June 9, the state had overtaken the United Kingdom’s daily rate of coronavirus infections and on June 12, the state even outstripped Canada in terms of total cases recorded here.

However, for several days in early April, the state had notched a mortality rate that was higher than the global average, and the recent spike prompted Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Tuesday to again appeal for reducing the death rate.

June was a major concern for the country’s commercial capital Mumbai also, with cases shooting up from 22,789 to 77,658 and deaths zooming up from 1,319 to 4,556 now.

The scenario was equally alarming for the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) comprising Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, and Raigad districts, collectively referred to as Thane division.

From 53,259 cases and 1,609 deaths, the MMR has recorded 125,400 patients and 5,722 fatalities in June – the highest ever since Coronavirus sneaked into Maharashtra on March 9 and claimed its first victim on March 17.

With the spiralling cases, like the state, even the congested MMR (125,400 cases) has whizzed past Canada’s current patient tally of 104,204, standing 19th, while the state’s fatalities (5,722) are higher than Chile’s 5,688 deaths, but lower than 6,113 fatalities notched by The Netherlands, according to the Worldometer.

The upward trend continued when on June 15, the state recorded 110,744 patients and 4,128 fatalities, which peaked on June 16 when a stupendous 1,409 deaths were declared.

During most days in June, the state notched 3-digit death figures and daily cases crossing the 5K mark for four days in the final week, with Mumbai, MMR and Pune Metropolitan Region grabbing the lion’s share.

Incidentally, on June 1, the state death rate stood at 3.37 per cent, compared with India’s 2.82 per cent, and on June 30 the state mortality rate increased to 4.49 per cent vis-a-vis India’s 2.97 per cent.

During the same period the global mortality rate has dropped sharply from 6.13 per cent to 4.95 per cent – with Maharashtra (4.49 per cent) separated by just 0.46 per cent, portending grim days ahead.


Mumbai Customs, DRI seizes heroin camouflaged as ‘ayurvedic’ medicine



In one of the biggest narcotics haul in Mumbai, the Mumbai Customs and Department of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have seized 191 kg of heroin worth around Rs 1,000 crore from a cargo container at Nhava Sheva Port Trust, officials said here on Monday.

The seizure of the drugs, being declared as ‘ayurvedic medicine’ — believed to have originated from Afghanistan — was made late on Saturday.

Two customs clearing house agents who attempted to get it cleared through the customs have been arrested and sent to police custody for 14 days.

The narcotic, stated to be of high-grade quality, was concealed in plastic pipes painted in bamboo colour and sought to be passed off as a traditional common medicine, said the officials.

Further probe is underway into the source of the supply, the modus operandi and whether the same has been tried before to evade the various enforcement agencies.

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Global COVID-19 cases top 19.7mn: Johns Hopkins University



The overall number of global coronavirus cases has topped 19.7 million, while the deaths have increased to over 729,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Monday morning, the total number of cases stood at 19,778,566 and the fatalities rose to 729,692, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

The US accounted for the world’s highest number of infections and fatalities at 5,044,435 and 162,919, respectively, according to the CSSE.

Brazil came in the second place with 3,035,422 infections and 101,049 deaths.

In terms of cases, India ranks third (2,153,010), and is followed by Russia (885,718), South Africa (559,859), Mexico (480,278), Peru (471,012), Colombia (376,870), Chile (373,056), Iran (326,712), Spain (314,362), the UK (312,555), Saudi Arabia (288,690), Pakistan (284,121), Bangladesh (257,600), Italy (250,566), Argentina (246,499), Turkey (240,804), France (235,237), Germany (217,288), Iraq (150,115), Philippines (129,913), Indonesia (125,396), Canada (121,362) and Qatar (112,947), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the Mexico (52,298), UK (46,659), India (43,379), Italy (35,205), France (30,327), Spain (28,503), Peru (20,844), Iran (18,427), Russia (14,903), Colombia (12,540), South Africa (10,408) and Chile (10,077).

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Abducted UP boy found abandoned in bus



A five-year-old boy, who was kidnapped from Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad district, was found abandoned in a bus in Ghaziabad.

Uttar Pradesh State Roadways Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) driver Vikal and conductor Deepak found the abandoned boy crying in the bus, which was on its way to Moradabad via Ghaziabad from the Greater Noida depot.

The boy, when questioned by the driver and conductor, could not tell the address but gave them a phone number of his family member.

Vikal and Deepak called the boy’s family who then informed the two that the boy had been kidnapped from Moradabad.

The kidnappers had reportedly demanded a ransom of Rs 30 lakh, but seemed to have changed their plan and abandoned the child in the bus.

After speaking to the boy’s relative, Vikal and Deepak informed Moradabad police about the incident.

Moradabad SP (rural area) Vidya Sagar Mishra asked them to bring the boy to the police station and hand him over to the police.

State Transport Minister Ashok Kataria has praised Vikal and Deepak and has decided to felicitate the two.

Transport Corporation Managing director, Raj Shekhar also appreciated the efforts of the bus driver and conductor in rescuing the child.

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