The Assam Government has cancelled its earlier notification of increase in the daily wage of tea garden workers in the State by Rs. 50, which was yet to be implemented due to a stay order by the Gauhati High Court on March 17. The Labour Welfare Department, through a notification on May 26 has cancelled its earlier notification of February 23 this year, which had enhanced the daily wage of tea garden workers in Assam by an amount of Rs. 50. The Department has also formed a committee while cancelling the earlier notification under provisions of Section 5 (1) (a) of the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, with its Assam amendment vide the Assam Act, 1964, Section 2 effective from August 11, 1964, for 'fixing and revisiting minimum wages' for the tea garden workers. The previous notification was yet to be implemented as it was challenged by tea associations in the Gauhati High Court the same day, with the Court staying the notification.
Congress leader Gaurav Gogoi demanded to increase the security cover for MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi as he was fired upon on Thursday by alleged encroachers of Nagaland. In a letter addressed to Assam Director General of Police (DGP), Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Gogoi has sought additional security for Kurmi saying that it was essential for not only his well-being but also to enable him to carry out his duties as an elected representative more efficiently. A day after Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi was fired upon by alleged land encroachers of Nagaland, Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi today demanded increased security cover for the senior party legislator. In a letter to Assam director general of police, Gogoi has sought additional security for Kurmi, pointing that it was essential for not only his well-being, but also to enable him to carry out his duties as an elected representative more efficiently.
Assam Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday took stock of the upcoming ICUs in the Covid-19 care centre at Sarusajai Stadium in Guwahati. The Chief Minister informed that ongoing works were underway to set up 300 Covid ICU beds in the stadium at Bhetapara. The Covid Care Centre will be most likely to operational from June 4, Dr. Sarma added. DRDO, the research and development wing of the Union Ministry of Defence is setting up these ICU beds, Dr. Sarma said while expressing his gratitude to the agency. Taking to his Twitter CM Sarma wrote, "We are grateful to @DRDO_India for 300-bed #COVID ICU at Sarusajai Stadium that the agency is setting up. I had an opportunity to visit the site today to review ongoing work. This shall massively augment our infra & capabilities."
Assam health minister Keshab Mahanta on Friday announced that 80 beds for Covid-19 patients will be set up within two days at the Sivasagar Civil Hospital. Moreover, a decision has also been taken to increase 24 ICU beds within 20 days. The health minister discussed an action plan in an attempt to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and take immediate measures in the district of Sivasagar with the district deputy commissioner, MP Topon Kumar Gogoi, Nazira MLA Debabrat Saikia, and other members of the Health Department, Lok Nirman Bibhag, and health workers. The minister also instructed the officials concerned that Covid patients should be admitted to hospitals or care centres.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Friday over five lakh people in Guwahati have been inoculated against Covid-19. The Assam government has vaccinated nearly 40 lakh people across the state. 31,60,734 of first doses were given, while, 8,19,104 second doses have been administered till Thursday. Taking to his Twitter, CM Sarma wrote, "Glad to share that we've vaccinated over 5 lakh people in Guwahati already, which is over 40% of total population of 12,53,938 of Kamrup Metro District. Our teams are working overtime to ensure vaccination for the rest. @nhm_assam".
The state of Assam on Friday registered 5,436 new cases of COVID-19, taking the active caseload in the state to 53,317. Today's positivity rate is 4.42 per cent. The new cases were reported out of 1,22,977 tests conducted in the last 24 hours. The state also registered 5,760 discharges and 80 deaths today. Of the new cases, Kamrup metro recorded the highest cases of 595 cases, 418 in Dibrugarh, 436 in Cachar, 386 in Tinsukia, and 386 in Nagaon. The district wise deaths are: Kamrup Metro-9, Cachar-7, Karimganj-6, Dibrugarh-5, Golaghat-5, Jorhat-5, Tinsukia-5, Goalpara-3, Darrang-4, Lakhimpur-4, Sivasagar-4, Barpeta-3, Hojai-3, Sonitpur-3, Bongaigaon, Kamrup Rural, Karbi Anglong, Morigaon, Nagaon and Nalbaro reported two deaths each, while Kokrajhar and South Salamara reported a case each.
The Meghalaya government has announced that the state health insurance benefits for those undergoing treatment in hospitals due to COVID-19 will be increased. The state government announced ex-gratia to families of those who succumbed to the disease. The insurance benefits will be covered under the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS) and COVID-19 patients being treated in hospitals will get an insurance cover of Rs 60,000 from the present Rs 4,900. Moreover, families of deceased patients will get an ex gratia of Rs 50,000, the government announced. This payment will be made with retrospective effect to families which have lost their members since April 1 this year. "The benefits will be released immediately to the beneficiaries," Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters in Shillong on Friday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has directed the states and Union Territories to ensure compliance to containment measures for COVID-19 till June 30. The MHA issued an order on Thursday to the Secretaries of Ministries and Departments of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries and Administrators of all state and Union Territories and asked them to ensure compliance of the containment measures for COVID-I9, as conveyed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on April 25. "In exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(I) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that Ministry of Home Affairs' Order of even number dated April 29, to ensure compliance to the containment measures for COVID-I9, as conveyed vide Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) DO No. Z.28015/85/2021-DM Cell dated April 25, will remain in force up to June 30," the order said.
The single-day rise in COVID-19 cases in India fell below the 2-lakh mark for the second time this month taking the total tally to 2,75,55,457, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday. A total of 1,86,364 new coronavirus infections were reported in a day, the lowest in around 44 days, while the death toll climbed to 3,18,895 with 3,660 daily deaths, the data updated at 8 am showed. Also, 20,70,508 tests were conducted on Thursday taking the total cumulative tests conducted so far for detection of COVID-19 in the country to 33,90,39,861. The daily positivity has declined to 9 percent. It has been less than 10 percent for four consecutive days, the ministry said, adding the weekly positivity rate has further declined to 10.42 percent. The active cases have further reduced to 23,43,152 comprising 8.50 percent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has improved to 90.34 percent. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 2,48,93,410, while the case fatality rate has increased to 1.16 percent, the data stated. India's COVID-19 tally had crossed the 20-lakh mark on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5, and 50 lakh on September 16. It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20, and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19. India crossed the grim milestone of 2 crores on May 4.
India's daily COVID-19 recoveries continued to outnumber the daily new cases for the 15th consecutive day. Over 2.59 Lakh patients recovered from Coronavirus disease within the last 24 hours. The recovery rate further improved to 90.34 percent in the country. So far, over two crore 48 lakh patients have already recovered from this infectious disease. According to Union Health Ministry, the country is registering a significant decline in active caseload, amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It said the country registered a decrease of over 76 thousand active cases in the last 24 hours.
The Union government has pointed out that no vaccine was capable of providing 100 percent protection from COVID-19. Member of NITI Aayog Dr. VK Paul said that the studies were assessing the need for a booster shot to provide enhanced protection from the virus. Dr Paul was responding to a question during a press conference on whether people would require a booster vaccine shot against coronavirus. If there is a requirement, people will be informed, he asserted, as reported by Times Now. The official said the government wishes to immunize everyone as part of the vaccination campaign against a particular disease. "If there is a need for a booster dose it will be told. There are studies that are going on. Covaxin trial is going on whether it (booster dose) should be taken after six months or not," Dr Paul said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting Odisha and West Bengal on Friday to assess the impact of cyclonic storm Yaas which wreaked havoc in the two coastal states. According to the officials, the Prime Minister will first visit Odisha's capital city Bhubaneswar, where he will hold a review meeting. From there, he will then proceed for an aerial survey in the affected areas – Balasore and Bhadrak and also West Bengal's Purba Medinipur PM Modi will also participate in the review meeting in West Bengal. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Friday confirmed that she would be holding a review meeting with the Prime Minister over the cyclone-led devastation, during his visit to the state.
The Calcutta High Court has granted interim bail to all the four accused Bengal politicians, including two ministers on Friday who were arrested in the Narada Case by the CBI on May 17. A five-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court granted interim bail to TMC leaders Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra and former mayor and ex-TMC member Sovan Chatterjee. The four leaders were placed under house arrest on May 19 after a split in the division bench on the question of interim bail, following which the matter was referred to a larger bench. As the court granted relief on Friday, it asked the three TMC leaders and one former Trinamool member not to give press interviews on Narada scam or interfere with the investigation, an India Today report said. The HC also asked the four leaders arrested in the Narada case to be released on a personal bond of Rs 2 lakh.
In a recent development, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested late Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput's former flatmate Siddhart Pithani on Friday afternoon in the alleged drug case linked to the actor's mysterious death. Earlier last year, Pithani was grilled by the NCB, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as well the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the actor's death on June 14. Pithani has been under the scanner since the probe into the actor's death was initiated. The arrest comes after almost two and half months after the NCB filed a 12,000-page charge sheet against 13 people, including actress Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and others in the Bollywood-drugs mafia probe case linked to actor's death.
In surge of cases in Covid-19, the Arunachal Pradesh government has extended the lockdown in Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) for seven more days. The decision was taken to contain the further spread of the Covid-19 from the State Capital on a daily basis during a meeting of the State Disaster Management Authority on Friday. The meeting was held to assess the current situation in the state. Moreover, lockdown will also be imposed in Tawang, Upper Subansiri, Lower Subansiri, Namsai, Lohit and Anjaw would also continue for another seven days. With this extension, the lockdown which was to expire by the end of May, will now remain in force till June 7. At least 444 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in Arunachal in the last 34 hours, pushing the tally in the northeastern state to 25,820, a senior health department official said on Friday.