India’s Covid-19 caseload nears 7,50,000-mark, Bengal to undergo lockdown from today
With 22,752 people testing positive for coronavirus in a day, India's COVID-19 caseload increased to 7,42,417 Wednesday, while the death toll climbed to 20,642 with 482 people succumbing to the disease- Union Health Ministry data. The number of positive patients in Maharashtra rose to 2,23,724 with the addition of 6,603 cases, the state health department said. The COVID-19 fatality count grew by 198, which pushed the overall tally of victims in the state to 9,448, it said.
Lockdown: As West Bengal is all set to embrace "rigorous" lockdown in containment zones from July 9 due to the rising number of Covid cases, worried office-goers, panicked family members of critical patients, a devastated traders' community and panic buying have all made a return. People queued up before local shops, wholesale grocery chains and hypermarkets like Spencer's, More, METRO Cash & Carry, etc, to stock daily essentials.
In Other News
Sholay actor passes away: Veteran Bollywood actor Jagdeep has passed away in Mumbai. He was 81. Jagdeep, whose original name was Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed Jafri, started as a child artist and went on to work in more films like Ab Dilli Door Nahin, Munna, Aar Paar and Do Bigha Zamin as the child actor.
Violence in valley: A BJP leader and two members of his family were killed after militants opened fire at them in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district. All 10 Personal Security Officers (PSOs) guarding the BJP leader were arrested after the attack for dereliction of duty.
Kulbhushan Jadhav case: India described as "farce" Pakistan's claim that Kulbhushan Jadhav, on death row in an alleged espionage case in Islamabad, has refused to file an appeal against his sentence. MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Jadhav has clearly been coerced to refuse to file a review in his case, terming it as a ‘brazen attempt’ to scuttle even the inadequate remedy available to him.
Made in India: Multinational pharmaceutical company Cipla will launch its version of Covid-19 drug Remdesivir in the next 1-2 days, and begin supplying it to the market. The major biotech firm said that Daman-based Sovereign Pharma had released the first batch of the drug, which Cipla will be selling under the brand name 'Cipremi'.
Healthcare outsourced: In a first in the country, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will now outsource critical ICU services to private bidders. Amid staff crunch, the civic body has allowed private entities to take over ICU beds at the jumbo facilities where they will have to provide their own doctors and staff members while BMC will provide the health care infrastructure including beds, medication, oxygen supply and ventilators.
Leakages plugged: The Indian Army has reportedly asked its personnel to delete 89 apps from their smartphones, including Facebook, TikTok, Truecaller and Instagram, to plug leakage of information, sources in the Army said. "Army personnel have also been asked to delete dating apps such as Tinder, Couch Surfing along with news apps like Daily Hunt in the instructions issued recently," ANI reported.
On Our Specials
Hanging with thread: Harvard University and MIT have sued the Trump administration over new guidelines barring foreign students from remaining in the United States if their universities switched to online-only classes in the autumn. In a case filed in a federal court in Massachusetts, the universities have asked for injunctive relief to prevent ICE and DHS from enforcing the new guidance and to declare it unlawful, Fazil Khan & Marya Shakil write.
Optimised: In an attempt to reduce the syllabus load for Classes 9 to 12 by 30 per cent amid pandemic, CBSE has scrapped the ‘Understanding Partition’ chapter from Class 12 syllabus for 2020-21 batch. Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal announced the decision to ‘rationalize’ the syllabus by reducing some chapters and retaining core concepts. Similarly, for Class 11 chapters on Citizenship, Secularism and Nationalism have been omitted, Eram Agha writes.