News Breakfast @6


01. Assam Gets 5 Lakh Doses Of Vaccines Against COVID-19

Assam has received a total of five lakh doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in the last two days. Taking to Twitter on Friday evening, Assam health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said: I wish to reassure citizens of Assam that as of now we have adequate stock of Remdesivir Injections. In fact few days ago, we helped Govts of Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand with some supply. I am continuously monitoring supply of oxygen and Remdesivir so that we face no shortage The minister also told the media in Guwahati, that there is an available stock of vaccines comprising 3.25 lakh doses of Covishield and 2 lakh doses of Covaxin.

02. #COVIDAlert: Night Curfew Clamped In Manipur

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Keeping in view of the rising cases of coronavirus in the state, Manipur government has clamped a night curfew from 8 pm to 4 am daily with immediate effect. In an order issued by Chief Secretary Rajesh Kumar stated that in order to “to reduce unnecessary movement and intermingling of people” even as “the number of infections has increased exponentially in the last fortnight,” the decision to impose the curfew was taken. However, essential services, including, pharmaceuticals, fire, hospitals and officials on COVID-19 related management will be allowed free movement.

03. Mizoram Bypoll To Single Seat Underway

The by-poll to a single Assembly seat in Sercchip, Mizoram is underway on Saturday. A total of six candidates including an Independent are contesting the seat. The bypoll is being conducted after the disqualification of sitting MLA Lalduhoma of Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) under the anti-defection law in November last year. An electorate comprising 19,433 voters, including 10,278 female voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise. Due to maintenance of COVID-19 protocols and observance of Sabbath by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the Election Commission has extended the voting period by two hours up to 7 pm.

04. LP Schools Till Class 5 To Remain Closed In Districts With 100+ COVID Cases: HBS

Assam Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday held a press conference on the COVID situation in the state and said that  it is more complex than before. The presser was held at Guwahati Medical College and Hospital today. Sarma said that currently in Assam, 4,069 people are receiving treatment for the disease. He informed that as many as 573 people contracted the virus on Friday, adding that most of them are rail and air passengers arriving in Assam. Further, the minister informed that elementary/primary schools till class 5 will remain closed in districts with more than 100 cases. As of today, these disticts include Kamrup Metro, Kamrup Rural, Nagaon, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Sonitpur, Tinsukia and Cachar. However, schools will not be shut down in districts with less number of COVID positive persons, he said.

05. No Shortage Of Oxygen Supply In Assam: HBS

Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while addressing a presser at GMCH on Saturday, said that there is no shortage of oxygen supply for treatment of COVID-10 patients in the state. He said that currently there is 288.19 metric tonnes of oxygen available in the state. He added that oxygen supply units will soon be established in every hospital. Further, the minister said that moderately critical patients will be treated with Rendesivir, adding that there are over 12,000 vials of its doses currently available in Assam. He informed that Rendesivir is available for Rs 4000 per dose at private health centres. In government hospitals, it is available for Rs 1652. It will be free for marginalized sections of the society, he said.

06. TU Asks Students To Leave Campus Amid COVID Surge

With surging COVID-19 cases being reported inside Tezpur University campus, authorities have announced that all PG/UG students shall have to leave the campus on or before April 23 (Friday). According to an official notification, the said students are required to vacate their rooms with bags and luggage on or before the given date. However, it stated that final year PG/UG students can stay in the campus till April 29, after which they will be required to leave the campus as well. Authorities have asked them to complete their research/laboratory works by the given time and vacate their rooms by April 30. As for Ph.D students, a notification will be issued at a later date. The notification also stated that examination schedule has been revised and students will be informed accordingly at an early date.

07. Guwahati: Task Force Deployed To Monitor COVID Appropriate Behavior

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Kamrup Metro is on an unprecedented surge, a Task Force has been deployed that will monitor whether citizens are following COVID-19 safety protocols in public places or not. According to an official notification, the Task Force has been constituted with officials of the District Administration, City Police and Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC). Further, it also stated that a fine of Rs 1000 will be imposed on non-abiding citizens.

08. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju Tests Positive For COVID-19

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, on Saturday informed that he has tested positive for COVID-19. Taking to twitter, the minister said – “”After getting a repeated test for Covid-19, today my report has come out positive. I’m taking the advice of the doctors. I request all those who have come in my contact recently to be observant, exercise self-quarantine, and get themselves tested. I’m physically fit and fine.” On Saturday, India recorded its highest ever daily spike in COVID cases with over 2.34 lakhs and 1,341 deaths being reported in the last 24 hours.

09. PM Modi Holds Meeting To Review COVID-19 Situation

With the second wave of COVID-19 grasping the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with officers of different ministries tonight (Saturday) to review the COVID-19 and vaccination situation in the country. The meeting is currently underway. On Saturday, India reported the highest ever single day spike in COVID cases with over 2.34 lakh fresh cases and more than 1,300 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of cases has surged to 1,45,26,609. The active cases now stood at 16,79,740. Notably, several states have stated that there is a shortage of hospital beds, oxygen supply and COVID-19 vaccines. As for Assam, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that there is no shortage of oxygen and more vaccines from the centre will arrive in the state soon.

10. ‘From Vaccine Exporter To Importer’: Priyanka Attacks Centre

Amid unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday targetted the Centre for exporting vaccine without having sufficient stock for the people of the country. She said the present dispensation has undone 70 years of efforts. In a tweet, she said: “Shocking that while COVID ravages India, from being a vaccine exporter, it has been compelled to become a vaccine importer undoing 70 years of government effort, @narendramodi: the pilot who had his photo plastered on boarding passes only to press the eject button during an emergency.” Taking a dig at the Centre, she gave credit to the efforts of the Congress rule of 70 years which had been ridiculed by the current regime often.

11. Not Wearing Masks In Railway Premises, Trains Will Fine Up To ₹ 500

Not wearing masks on railway premises and in trains can attract a fine of up to Rs 500, with the national transporter now incorporating it as an offense under the Railway Act, according to an order issued on Saturday. This is the latest in a slew of measures that the railways has taken to ensure compliance of the various COVID-19 protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs to restrict the spread of the virus. “One of the specific guideline is to wear masks in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for movement of trains as brought out by Indian Railways on May 11, 2020, says that it should be advised to all passengers that they shall be wearing face cover/ mask at entry and during travel,” order issued by the railways said. The mandatory use of masks and the fine will now be listed under the Indian Railways (Penalties for ctivities affecting cleanliness at Railway Premises) Rules, 2012, which also has the provision of fines for those found spitting on rail premises, it said.

12. J’khand HC Grants Bail To Lalu Yadav In Dumka Treasury Case

The Jharkhand High Court on Saturday granted bail to RJD president Lalu Prasad in the Dumka treasury case of the multi-crore rupees fodder scam, paving way for his release from jail. The bail was allowed to Prasad by Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh. Lalu Prasad has so far been convicted in four out of five cases related to a multi-crore fodder scam. He has already acquired bail in three other cases of the multi-crore rupees fodder scam. The court directed him neither to leave the country without permission nor change his address and mobile number during the bail period. Prasad had acquired bail in three other cases of the fodder scam and was waiting for judgement in the instant case related to illegal withdrawal of Rs 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury in 90s to come out of the jail. The septuagenarian RJD supremo was airlifted to AIIMS New Delhi in January last in view of his bad health.

13. Voting Underway For Bengal Polls, Turnout At 36.02%

Voting in West Bengal’s fifth phase of Assembly elections to 45 constituencies began on Saturday morning. As of 11 am, the voter turnout is 36.02 per cent. Over a crore eligible voters will seal the fate of 342 candidates who are in fray today. Voting will be held at 15,789 polling stations in the fifth phase of the elections across the 45 constituencies covering the districts of Jalpaiguri, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and a segment of Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Purba Bardhaman. The Election Commission has decided to deploy at least 1,071 companies of central forces and over 15,000 state police personnel to ensure free and fair voting. As many as 118 companies have been deployed for Quick Response Team (QRT), sector office, post-poll situation and strongrooms. The first four phases were held on 27 March, 1 April, 6 April and 10 April, respectively. The sixth phase of the state assembly polls is scheduled for 22 April. 

14. Atleast 4 Indian Sikhs Killed In US Mass Shooting

In the horrific mass shooting at a FedEx facility at Indianapolis in the US state of Indiana, at least four Indian American Sikhs were killed out of the nine reported deaths and five severely wounded, PTI reported. About 90 per cent of the workers at the facility are said to be mostly from the Sikh community, the news agency said. 19-year-old teen Brandon Scott Hole who died by suicide has been identified as the gunman. “This is very heart breaking. The Sikh community is devastated by this tragic incident,” community leader Gurinder Singh Khalsa was quoted saying to PTI. “Post 9/11, the Sikh community has suffered a lot. It is high time that strong measures be taken to bring an end to such mass shootings. Enough is enough,” Khalsa added.

15. Twitter Faces Outage Globally

Microblogging and social networking service Twitter, for the second time went globally down on Saturday with users experiencing multiple issues ranging from search terms and tweets failing to load to logout errors on desktops. Services for reportedly more than 900 users in real-time went down with the most common issues being “the term you entered did not bring up any results. Please try again later” and “cannot retrieve tweets at this time. Please try again later.” The biggest of all issues was witnessing logout errors, which interestingly was limited to the desktop version, and not the Twitter app for Android and iOS, nor for its third-party app Tweetdeck. Earlier also Twitter services were down for a large number of users. According to the outage monitoring website, some 40,000 users reported issues with the social media platform. Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform. The outage could have affected a larger number of users.

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