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Sunday,16-May-2021

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Narendra Modi appeals for symbolic ‘Kumbh Mela’ to strengthen fight against Covid

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With reports of huge number of Covid positive cases from ‘Kumbh Mela’ area in Haridwar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday appealed to observe the event “symbolic” to strengthen fight against the deadly virus.

The Prime Minister’s appeal comes as the annual event has sparked nationwide concern amid alarming second wave of Covid-19 pandemic as tens of thousands of devotees have gathered along the banks of the Ganga in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar.

Taking to Twitter, the Prime Minister said that he spoke to top seer– Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha president Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj– over phone and made an appeal about the event.

“I spoke to Acharya Mahamandaleshwar Swami Awadheshanand Giri on the phone on Saturday morning and get details about the health of all saints. I have prayed that two royal baths have taken place and that the Kumbh should be kept symbolic due to the crisis in Corona. This will give the fight strength from this crisis,” the Prime Minister said.

Modi thanked all the saints for giving all kinds of support to the administration.

Following this, Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha president tweeted: “We respect Prime Minister’s appeal. I request the people to not come for snan in large numbers, in the wake of Covid-19 situation, and follow all rules.”

The Prime Minister’s appeal came after a Hindu seer is reportedly lost his life after Covid-19 infection and nearly 100 other holy men have tested positive after attending a vast Indian religious festival where millions of pilgrims have been ignoring Covid-19 advice despite a national surge in infections.

India reported 2,34,692 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the biggest single-day spike ever, taking the overall tally to 14,526,609 cases on Saturday, according to the Health Ministry data.

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Amit Shah talks to 4 CMs about preparedness on cyclone Tauktae

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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday chaired a review meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Union Territory of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli to assess preparedness to deal with the cyclonic storm “Tauktae”.

He took stock of the measures and the plans by the states and UTs, as well as Central Ministries along with agencies concerned to deal with the cyclone, and the situation arising out of it.

National Weather Forecasting Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that “Tauktae” (pronounced as Tau’Te) over east central Arabian Sea is likely to intensify further in the next 24 hours.

The cyclone is very likely to move north-northwestwards and reach Gujarat coast in the evening hours of May 17 and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva (Bhavnagar district) around May 18 early morning.

“Tauktae” moved nearly northwards with a speed of about 11 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centered at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday over east central Arabian Sea near latitude 15.0 degree North and longitude 72.7 degree East, about 130 km west-southwest of Panjim-Goa, 450 km south of Mumbai, 700 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat) and 840 km southeast of Karachi (Pakistan),” the IMD said.

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Harsh Vardhan to hold video meet with 4 CMs on Covid

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan will be holding a meeting with Health Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat on Covid-19 situation and progress on vaccination drive in these states later on Saturday.

Harsh Vardhan will hold a meet with the Health Ministers of these four states through video conference at 3 p.m.

The Union Minister will review current Covid situation and progress of vaccination drive being run in their respective states to mitigate the spread of the deadly virus which so far has infected 2,43,72,907 people across the country, including 36,73,802 active cases and 2,66,207 deaths.

In a tweet, the Minister informed about his meeting on Covid-19 situation and vaccination drive in these states.

Uttar Pradesh is on top with 13,85,855 Covid cases reported so far in the state followed by Andhra Pradesh (11,75,843), Gujarat (6,09,031) and Madhya Pradesh (6,05,423).

The Health Minister will hold the meeting hours after attending a high-level virtual meeting on Covid-19 situation in the country chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the past 23 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for 17 days.

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Six-time Congress MP R.L. Bhatia passes away at 100

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Six-time Congress MP and two-time Governor R.L. Bhatia passed away in Amritsar on Saturday, his family members said.

Former Minister of State for External Affairs, Bhatia was 100 years old. He represented the Amritsar parliamentary constituency six times from 1972, and was the Governor of Kerala from 2004 to 2008 and of Bihar from 2008 to 2009.

He was admitted to Fortis Hospital a day earlier after he complained of uneasiness.

Known for his impeccable image, Bhatia would have turned 101 on July 3.

MP Manish Tewari paid a visit to Bhatia at his residence in December last year to enquire about his well being along with Amritsar MP Gurjeet Aujla.

In a tweet after the meeting, Tewari wrote, “Spent some wonderful time in his company, marvelling at his memory and recollection of events, even at this age!”

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