Punjab extends weekend lockdown till August 31amid rising COVID cases; Nearly 70,000 infections recorded in 24 hours
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered a series of emergency measures, including the extension of weekend lockdown and imposition of daily night curfew from 7 pm to 5 am, starting Friday, in all the 167 cities and towns of the state. The state government has also ordered a total ban on all gatherings except weddings and funerals till August 31.
COVID count: India's COVID-19 caseload went past 28 lakh with a record single-day spike of 69,652 infections, while the recoveries increased to 20,96,664 pushing the recovery rate to 73.91 per cent. The total cases of coronavirus infections mounted to 28,36,925, while the death toll climbed to 53,866 with 977 new fatalities being reported in a day.
In Other News
Prashant Bhushan case: Doing a hundred good things can't give a person the license to commit ten crimes, said the Supreme Court even as advocate Prashant Bhushan said he would "cheerfully submit to any penalty" in the criminal contempt case. Bhushan refused to apologise and said the two contentious tweets comprise his bonafide belief, and was a part of his duty as a citizen and as an officer of the court.
Facebook summoned: The parliamentary standing committee on Information Technology has summoned Facebook on September 2 to discuss the issue of alleged misuse of social media platforms in the wake of claims that the US firm did not apply hate-speech rules to certain BJP politicians.
Year in orbit: India's second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 completed one year in orbit around the moon and all instruments are currently performing well and there is adequate onboard fuel to keep it operational for about seven more years, space agency ISRO said. Chandrayaan-2 was launched on July 22, 2019 and inserted into the lunar orbit on August 20, exactly one year ago.
Unity at stake? In a setback to the opposition unity in Bihar, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) quit the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan), but chose to maintain silence on its future moves. The decision to walk out of the five-party opposition coalition in Bihar was taken at the party's "core committee" meeting convened at Manjhi's residence.
Climate change: Greenland lost a record amount of ice during an extra warm 2019, with the melt massive enough to cover California in more than four feet (1.25 meters) of water. After two years when summer ice melt had been minimal, last summer shattered all records with 586 billion tons (532 billion metric tons) of ice melting.
On Our Specials
Herd immunity? About 29.1% of Delhi’s population or 60 lakh people are estimated to have been exposed to the coronavirus, the second round of sero-survey study found out. The sero-prevalence arrived at in this round was five percentage points more than the 23.48% sero-prevalance estimated after the first round of survey, which was carried out in the end of June and early July, Nikhil Ghanekar writes.
Battle over facebook: An all-out battle has broken out between Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology chairperson Shashi Tharoor and the BJP after the former suggested summoning a panel meeting to discuss the alleged "misconduct" of Facebook India. BJP's Nishikant Dubey wrote a letter requesting Birla to remove the Congress leader from the post, Payal Mehta writes.