Covid-19: India at 80k deaths, cases move closer to 5 million
Hindustan Times' National Political Editor, Sunetra Choudhury brings you the top stories you need to know.
Sunetra talks about the number of Covid-19 cases in India so far; 1000 daily deaths; Covid cloud on monsoon session as 29 MPs test positive; Manish Sisodia tests positive; Delhi govt's special assembly ends in scare.
As a controversy rages over Delhi Police's probe into the February 2020 riots, former chief of the force, Neeraj Kumar, has come out in support of the investigation so far. In a conversation with Sunetra Choudhury, National Political Editor of Hindustan Times, Kumar says that the Delhi Police has found some 'unimpeachable' evidence which is technical in nature and not just hearsay. As per Kumar, the investigators have managed to unearth a larger conspiracy behind the violence which rocked the national capital. He also claims that the case against former JNU student leader Umar Khalid is strong in nature, while defending the lack of action against BJP leader Kapil Mishra.
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In the latest episode of On The Record, Hindustan Times’ Sunetra Choudhury speaks to the former chief of Delhi Police, Neeraj Kumar as he comes out in support of the force’s investigation into the February 2020 riots. Kumar spoke on the antagonistic relationship between Delhi Police, student community and the civil society. He acknowledged the trust deficit citing ‘a lack of communication’ as Delhi Police have refrained from sharing information due to compulsions. Watch the full video for more.
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Maldives Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid spoke in Hindi and said that amid COVID-19, India has been supportive friend. "An epidemic (COVID) that forced us to close borders, but our friends proved that it couldn't force them to close doors to their heart. Even in times like these, India remained a great friend," said Maldives Foreign Minister.
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research on September 20 informed that Drugs Controller General of India has approved CSIR's paper-based testing kit called Feluda for COVID-19. CSIR, Director General S Mande said, "Our Delhi CSIR lab's been working on studying CRISPR-Cas immunity. They have experience of working in this particular area before COVID-19 and could repurpose the thing for COVID and developed a paper-based testing kit called Feluda and got formal approval from DCGA. Mande further explained the functioning of the paper based test. "It's different as RTPCR detects RNA and amplifies it using a polymerase chain reaction that is costly. This paper-based test also detects RNA but by a CRISPR guided system. The paper lights up if there is any virus RNA to show a sample is positive, in 45 minutes," he added.
From the CEO of the world's largest vaccine manufacturer commenting on the possible timeline of the final vaccine reaching every person on the planet, to the World Health Organisation warning that the months of October and November 2020 could be 'tougher' - here are the top news updates on the Covid-19 pandemic. Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of Serum Institute of India reportedly said that it might take 4-5 years for the vaccine to reach everyone. He estimated that around 1,500 crore vaccine doses would be required to inoculate everyone if the final vaccine is a 2-dose drug. Meanwhile, the Government of India banned the export of onions after a 30% jump in export of the kitchen staple in the April-July 2020 period. Over a dozen Members of Parliament were found to be Covid positive on the day the central legislative body convened for its monsoon session. In Delhi, the deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia, tested positive on the day that the Chief Minister of neighbouring Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar, finally recovered from the disease. Watch the full video for the other top updates on the spread of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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With continuous rise in COVID-19 cases, India crossed 48 lakh-mark on September 14. Maharashtra reported 17,066 new COVID-19 cases and 257 deaths today. The total number of cases in the state rose to 10,77,374. Karnataka recorded 8,244 new COVID infections taking the toll to 4,67,689. West Bengal reported 3,211 cases taking COVID toll to 2,05,919. Total COVID-19 cases in the national capital stands at 2,18,304. Delhi Health Minister Manish Sisodia tested positive of the virus today.
Ahead of farmers 'road roko' protest against new farm bills, security has been tightened up at Sadopur Border in Ambala. Superintendent of Police, Abhishek Jorwal said, "Road have been diverted ahead of protest call. We have received extra five companies. They (protesters) have planned to go Delhi via tractors."
Criticising Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for opposing central government's farm bills, Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the former's job is to incite outrage among people. He further asked Kejriwal to point out the exact provision of new agriculture bills that give advantage to corporates. Anil Vij informed that all previous restrictions on farmers of having to sell their produce to specific places under set conditions will be removed. "As made clear by the Prime Minister, MSPs and all Mandis will stay. All farmers wishing to sell their produce at such rates to such places can still do so. But others will be able to sell their produce to whomsoever and where ever they'd want," he added.