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Friday,17-September-2021

National News

Own up mistakes in tackling Covid: Expert asks Kerala CM

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SS-Lal

Former WHO health expert S.S. Lal on Wednesday asked the Pinarayi Vijayan government to accept the mistakes committed in tackling the Covid pandemic and to take the corrective path now.

The situation of Covid in Kerala, despite observing strict protocols, continues to be grim as it has the highest number of daily cases and active cases and also has a sizeable number of deaths.

Lal, a Congress candidate who lost the April 6 Assembly polls, is also an acclaimed health professional. On Wednesday, he said the Covid pandemic, which has been raging since January last year, has caught many governments napping.

“To make a mistake is natural, but Kerala government behaves that they have not erred and that is the biggest mistake and the need of the hour is to take corrective steps,” said Lal.

“What’s baffling is the advisors to the government with regards to handling the pandemic appear to have gone haywire and one reason why this has happened is the real health experts who should be taken into confidence are not being consulted and advice is taken from those who have no clue. This is landing the government into trouble,” added Lal.

He said initially the government blamed the returning diaspora.

“Every time the government came out with new rules, a section was there which was trying to correct the wrong, but they were admonished and there were those who batted for the government. Later, when it surfaced that the strategy was wrong, the government was trying to defend its wrong,” said Lal.

Lal pointed out that the present strategy to open shops on Monday, Wednesday and Friday has turned out to be a big flop as on these days, there were huge crowds in front of shops and establishments.

“Gone are the days of never ending lockdowns as the economy has to move on and only if there is activity will the people be able to move forward. So immediate corrective steps have to be taken,” said Lal.

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With over 1 cr jabs by afternoon, India sets new record for daily Covid doses

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Mansukh-Mandaviya

 India on Friday set a new record of administering Covid vaccines after administering over a crore jabs by 1.30 p.m., breaking its previous record of 1.33 crore inoculations in a day, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

Mandaviya tweeted in Hindi (loosely translated as): “On the occasion of PM Modi’s birthday, India has made a record of fastest vaccination and has crossed the milestone of 1.33 crore vaccinations … and we are moving ahead continuously.” He added in the same tweet, “I hope we will make a new record of vaccination today and will present it like a gift to the PM.”

The Union health ministry aims to set a Covid-19 vaccination record on Friday to mark the 71st birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP has planned a 20-day event called “Seva and Samarpan Abhiyan” to mark Modi’s 20 years in public service.

On Thursday, Mandaviya called for a major push to the Covid-19 vaccination drive during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday on Friday, saying it would be the perfect gift for him. He also called on people who have not taken the vaccine till now to get inoculated.

Talking about the ongoing mass vaccination drive against Covid-19, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Thursday said that 20 per cent of India’s adult population have received both doses of Covid-19 vaccine, while 62 per cent have got at least one dose of vaccine. He added that total 34 districts in India are still reporting weekly positivity rate of over 10 per cent, while 32 districts are reporting between 5-10 per cent weekly positive rate.

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National News

Congress screening committee for UP polls announced

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Sonia-Gandhi

 Congress President Sonia Gandhi has constituted a screening committee for the upcoming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

The committee has three members and others who are ex-officio members.

The members are Jitendra Singh (chairman) , Deepender Hooda and Vaishali Gaikwad.

The ex-officio members are General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, state Congress President Ajay Kumar Lallu, Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra and all AICC secretaries in charge of Uttar Pradesh.

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Delhi CM bans firecrackers on Diwali to fight pollution

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Arvind-Kejriwal

 In a move to fight pollution, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced a complete ban on the storage, sale and usage of firecrackers for the third year in a row.

“In view of the dangerous level of pollution during Diwali in Delhi witnessed in the last three years, we are again imposing a complete ban on the storage, sale and usage of any kind of firecracker to save people’s lives,” Kejriwal tweeted, appealing traders to avoid buying or keeping stocks of crackers this year.

The decision has been made keeping Delhi traders in mind as last year the same announcement at the eleventh hour had left many sellers in confusion for they had already purchased huge stocks weeks ahead of the festival.

With the onset of winter, the capital starts gasping for fresh air as pollution level due to burning of crop-residue in the neighbouring states of UP, Punjab and Haryana starts during the same time. Bursting of firecrackers adds to the problem, leaving the air highly toxic and its citizens with severe breathing problems for at least a week.

Only recently, the chief minister, citing a WAPCOS report, urged the central government to encourage farmers in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana to use a Pusa-made bio-decomposer which will resolve the issue of stubble-burning by proving a greener and better alternative to get rid of crop residue.

Other than that, the Delhi government is also working on a Winter Action Plan. All the departments from environment to transport to MCDs have been asked to come up with a plan by September 21 so that a conclusion can be reached by this month end.

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