From the gap between India's active and discharged cases increasing to almost 10 lakh, to another member of Narendra Modi's cabinet testing positive for infection - here are the top news updates on the Covid-19 pandemic. Shripad Yesso Naik is the fifth Union minister to test positive. Home minister Amit Shah was the first member of the Union cabinet to be infected. Naik who is the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Ministry of Ayurved, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha & Homoeopathy (AYUSH), and Minister of State in the Ministry of Defence, is in home isolation. In Maharashtra, over 11,300 police personnel have so far been infected. While the death toll among Maharashtra cops has crossed 120, over 9,100 have recovered, and there are 2,000-plus active cases. In West Bengal, the state government withdrew the order regarding complete lockdown on August 28. However, lockdown orders remain in operation for August 20, 21, 27 and 31. India's total case tally has crossed 23.29 lakh, while the death toll has crossed 46,000. Over 16.39 lakh patients have been discharged so far. In international news, the discovery of a new case after 102 days in New Zealand has led the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to say that postponement of the upcoming general elections is a possibility. Meanwhile, the Russian government said that the first batch of its Covid vaccine is likely to be released within two weeks. Russia has become the first country to declare a vaccine ready for use. Watch the full video for more updates regarding the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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India's Union Home minister Amit Shah tested positive for Covid-19 infection on August 2. He tweeted about the positive diagnosis, saying that he got tested after showing initial symptoms of the disease. The minister said that he was getting hospitalised on the advice of doctors, although he was feeling fine. Shah also appealed to people who met him recently to get tested. A day earlier, Shah had attended an event in honour of freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak's 100th death anniversary. He was seen wearing a mask at the event in which he also gave a virtual address. Shah's ministry has been at the centre of managing the Covid pandemic in India, along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The Ministry of Home Affairs has been coordinating the implementation of first the lockdown, and now Unlock, with the various states and Union territories. India's Covid tally has reached 17.5 lakh with over 37,300 deaths so far. The country has over 5.67 lakh active cases of Covid infection.
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Career politician and Member of Parliament, Amar Singh, passed away on August 1, 2020. He had been hospitalised in Singapore. Singh was an active commentator of domestic issues till the very end, even tweeting tributes to Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Eid-al-Adha wishes. He had been battling health issues for a long time. On March 22, he had tweeted a video from his hospital bed, supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for social distancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 3 weeks earlier, he had debunked rumours of his death with a message titled 'Tiger Zinda Hai'. A month earlier, he had posted a rapprochement message for actor Amitabh Bachchan. The two had been close friends till a falling out around a decade ago. In the political world, Singh had been considered close to Samajwadi Party founder-patron Mulayam Singh Yadav, until he quit the party in 2010. A year later, he floated the Rashtriya Lok Manch which didn't perform well in the subsequent elections. In 2014, he had joined Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal.
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Union Home Minister Amit Shah on August 01 attended a special event on the 100th death anniversary of freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak. He addressed a webinar 'Lokmanya Tilak: Swaraj to Atmanirbhar Bharat', organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in the national capital.