News Breakfast @6

01. Mizoram, Nagaland To Start Vaccination For 18-44 On May 17

The Mizoram and Nagaland governments on Friday announced the launch of the vaccination drive against the fatal coronavirus in the age group of 18-44 years from May 17. In a release, the State Directorate of Health and Family Welfare in Nagaland said that 36,580 vaccine doses arrived on May 12 and the vaccination drive will be held in 24 session sites on May 17 and 28 sites on May 18. The vaccination drive in the state for this age group will be conducted every Monday and Tuesday at the designated Covid-19 vaccination centre (CVC). The registration and booking for this age group commenced on Friday morning as per the slot available for each CVC. A total of 7,450 doses are scheduled to be administrated during the first cycle of the vaccination for this age group. Meanwhile, according to the health secretary of Mizoram, a consignment of 1,6340 doses of Covishield had arrived in the state on Thursday. The number of beneficiaries in the age group of 18-44 years is estimated to be about 5.1 lakh and more than 10.2 lakh doses are required for full vaccination. Moreover, the government had already placed an order for procurement of more than 10.2 lakh of which 1,642 doses have been received.

02. SAKP Secretary Mrinal Das Succumbs To COVID-19

Sadou Asom Karmachari Parishad Secretary Mrinal Das Succumbed to COVID-19 on Saturday at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH). Mrinal Das has been admitted to GMCH since May 9 under oxygen support and was in critical care after being detected with COVID-19. Earlier Das was admitted to a city-based private hospital but after his health deteriorated he was shifted to GMCH. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also condoled the death of Das and expressed grief towards the bereaved family. The Chief Minister in a tweet in Assamese said, “সদৌ অসম কৰ্মচাৰী পৰিষদৰ সম্পাদক প্ৰধান মৃণাল দাসৰ বিয়োগত মাননীয় মুখ্যমন্ত্ৰী @himantabiswa ই গভীৰ শোক প্ৰকাশ কৰিছে। মুখ্যমন্ত্ৰীয়ে প্ৰয়াত দাসৰ বিদেহ আত্মাৰ সদগতি কামনা কৰাৰ লগতে শোকসন্তপ্ত পৰিয়ালবৰ্গলৈ গভীৰ সমবেদনা জ্ঞাপন কৰিছে।” Notably, Assam on Friday reported 4,078 new cases of COVID-19, taking the active caseload to 41,978. The positivity rate was 9. 26 per cent.

03. West Bengal Govt Extends Lockdown Till May 30

The West Bengal government on Saturday extended the lockdown in the state till May 30 amid the spike in cases of COVID-19. This came after it registered its highest single-day spike of 20,846 fresh cases of the infection on Friday, taking the state’s tally to 10,94,802. The death toll in West Bengal rose to 12,993 after 136 more people, including five eminent doctors, succumbed to the infection, the health department had said in its bulletin.

04. Delhi |Oxygen Concentrator Banks Set Up In Every District: Arvind Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that oxygen concentrator banks have been set up in every district in the national capital to give a boost to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus patients in home isolation can ask for home delivery of these oxygen concentrators at the doorstep, the chief minister said. Arvind Kejriwal said in a televised briefing said, “From today, we are starting a very important service – we’re setting up oxygen concentrator banks. In every district, there will be a bank with 200 oxygen concentrators. It has been seen that Covid patients often need to get admitted to ICUs when they’re not given medical oxygen when needed. Many patients sometimes die. We have set up these banks to fulfill these gaps.” 

05. Cyclone Tauktae To Intensify Into Cyclonic Storm Today

In a latest breakthrough, Cyclone Tauktae is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm near Kochi, the Indian Navy informed. In a tweet by the Spokesperson of the Indian Navy, it informed, “#CycloneTauktae-Update 1-Deep depression 240 Nm NW off Kochi on 14th evening very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm Tauktae by 15th morning.” “#IndianNavy ships, aircraft, helicopters, diving and disaster relief teams standby for rendering full support to State administrations as Cyclonic Storm #Tauktae approaches Western Coast of India “, informed the Indian Navy in a tweet. The Ministry of Earth Science on Friday evening informed, “The Deep Depression over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast and east-central Arabian Sea moved north-north-eastwards with a speed of 11 kmph during past 6 hours, and lay centred at 1730 hours IST on 14th May, 2021 over Lakshadweep area and adjoining southeast and east central Arabian Sea near latitude 11.6degN and longitude 72.6degE, about 55 km north-northwest of Amini Divi, 290 km west-southwest of Kannur (Kerala), 1060 km south-southeast of Veraval (Gujarat).”

06. PM Modi Reviews COVID-19 Situation, Vaccination Drive

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday held a review meeting on the COVID-19 situation and vaccination drive in the country. Government sources said top officials from different ministries attended the meeting. Modi has been holding regular review meetings on the pandemic situation and taking measures as he spearheads the drive to curb the second wave of a surge in infections. India recorded 3,26,098 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours that took the tally to 2,43,72,907, while 3,890 new fatalities pushed the death toll to 2,66,207, according to Union health ministry data updated on Saturday. Shortage of medical oxygen, which has been linked to deaths of patients in several parts of the country, has emerged as one of the biggest challenge. Desperate pleas for hospital beds and medicines have been flooding social media. While experts have said the country has to focus on stepping up vaccination drive, many states have been a red-flagging shortage of doses. On Thursday, the government said about 200 crore Covid shots are expected to be available by end of this year.

07. Mamata Banerjee’s Brother Dies Of COVID-19 Complications

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s brother, Ashim Banerjee, has passed away due to COVID-19 complications. He was 62. Ashim tested for COVID-19 a month ago and was undergoing treatment at a local hospital in Kolkata. He succumbed to the infection today afternoon. According to doctors, he had certain commodities such s hypertension. As per a report, the last rites will be conducted on Saturday following COVID safety protocols. It may be mentioned that Ashim stayed in the same house where Mamata Banerjee, 66, lives. On Friday, West Bengal recorded 20,846 new COVID-19 cases and 136 deaths. The active caseload in the state stood at 1,31,792. Due to the worsening COVID situation, a lockdown has also been announced for a fortnight from 6 am on Sunday (May 16) to 6pm on May 30. It has imposed a night curfew too from 9 pm to 5 am beginning Sunday night. “To ensure health of the people and control the Covid-19 situation, we are forced to impose this. There is now an unprecedent situation in the state where the scarcity of oxygen and other medicines is increasing. To control this situation, we are imposing strict conditions on the movement of transport and other sectors for two weeks,” Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay said.

08. Tornadoes Kill 12, Injures Over 250 In China

Two tornadoes ripped through China‘s central city of Wuhan and a town in the eastern province of Jiangsu, killing 12 people and injuring hundreds while destroying homes and property, the official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday. Eight people were reported dead in Wuhan, in Hubei province, with 280 injured after Friday’s tornado ripped through the district of Caidian at 8:39 p.m., the agency said. The tornado toppled 27 houses and damaged 130 more, as well as two tower cranes and 8,000 sq. m. (86,111 sq. ft) of sheds at construction sites, it added. “I’ve grown up in Wuhan and I’ve never seen anything like it,” one resident of the city posted on China’s Weibo app. “There’s been so much extreme weather recently.” Another tornado struck the town of Shengze, in the Suzhou area of tornado-prone Jiangsu province, killing four people and injuring 149, Xinhua said.

09. Assam: Shops To Be Closed By 11 AM, Curfew From 12 PM

In yet another major update,  Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) on Saturday ordered the closure of all shops and commercial establishments by 11 AM on all days. The decision was taken due to worsening COVID-19 situation in the state. This will come into effect from 5 am of May 16 (tomorrow), the order stated. It also said that all vehicles will be allowed to operate with an odd-even formula between 5 AM to 12 PM. Government vehicles and essential service vehicles however will be allowed to function during the curfew period as well. Further, movement of individuals between 12 PM to 5 AM has been barred. Earlier, the curfew time period was 1 pm to 5 am.

10. Curfew Advanced To 12 Noon In Dibrugarh & Tinsukia From Monday

In a major breakthrough, Assam chief minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday advised to extend the ongoing curfew in the district of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia by two hours from Monday. The curfew will now be clamped from 12 noon instead of 2 pm. Speculations are rife if the curfew timings will also advance in Guwahati. The chief minister on Saturday visited Tinuskia and Dibrugarh district. While taking stock of the Covid situation at the deputy commissioner’s office in Tinsukia along with Union Minister Rameshwar Teli and Minister Sanjoy Kishan, Dr. Sarma directed the district administration to conduct at least 500 RTCPR tests, two thousand screening, strict containment protocols and advancement of curfew by two hours. In a series of tweets, Dr.Sarma wrote, “Directed to extend curfew hrs starting from 12 noon in consultation with business community & leading citizens; increase containment zones, extend livelihood help to the needy. Advised them to be careful in allowing home quarantine to people above 50 yrs”.

11. Nagaon |18 Elephants Killed By Lightning: Reports

A preliminary investigation has indicated that the death of 18 elephants at Bamuni Hills in Nagaon has been caused by lightning, said an official press release. The release said that after thorough examination of the carcasses by experts and circumstantial evidence, it has been suggested that strike of lightning led to the deaths. Metrological data has also corroborated the initial findings, the release added. However, samples have been sent for toxicological and micro-biological testing. The final report shall be made public, when completed, the release said. The team of experts included veterinarians from the College of Veterinary, Khanapara, State Zoo and WWF-India. It may be recalled that 18 elephants were killed due to electrocution by lightning strikes atop Bamuni Hills in Nagaon on Wednesday night.

12. Karbi Anglong: Diphu Trader Shot Dead

In a shocking incident, a trader was shot dead at Diphu in Karbi Anglong district in Assam on Saturday morning. As per preliminary investigation, a militant attack has been suspected. Reports have even mentioned that the attack was carried out by DNLA extremists – Dimasa National Liberation Army armed with AK-47 rifles and 9 mm pistols. According to police information, the deceased has been identified as one Debajit Sinha from Sitalabari in Diphu. Sinha was a mobile phone trader. As per reports, the police revealed that the unidentified gunmen were armed with 9mm pistols and shot Sinha while he was on his way to Dhansiri. According to witnesses, there was also a verbal riff among the gunmen and Sinha before they shot him and fled the scene. Sinha while riding his two-wheeler had a lady pillion. The culprits also took away Sinha’s motorbike.

13. Digboi Blast: CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Orders Investigation

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday visited Tingrai market in Digboi to inspect the site of the blast that took place on Friday. Two people have been killed in the blast while two others were severely injured. Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said, “This morning I visited Tingrai Market in Digboi to inspect the site of the blast on Friday (May 14). Have instructed @assampolice to ensure expeditious investigations and arrest of perpetrators.” The Chief Minister also visited the family members of the deceased Surajit Talukdar and Sanjiv Singh and announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 5 lakh one time financial assistance to the next of the kin of the deceased. “Today visited & met family members of late Surajit Talukdar who was killed in a dastardly grenade blast at Tingrai market in Digboi on Friday. Announced Rs 5 lakh one time financial assistant to next of kin of victims Talukdar and Sanjiv Singh. Asked for best treatment to injured,” the chief minister tweeted.

14. 6 Held For Disrespecting Tricolour In Bongaigaon

A total of six persons were arrested by Bongaigaon police on Saturday for disrespecting the Indian national flag. According to the police, the accused persons used the tricolour as a table cloth on a dining table. Taking to twitter, Bongaingaon police wrote, “The persons who dishonoured the Indian national flag by using on dining table on 14/5/2021 in the house of Miss Rejina Parvin Sultana of Tengnamari village of Abhayapuri along with 5 others have been apprehended and a Case has been registered for necessary legal action.” The incident came to light when a photograph shared on Facebook showed around eight people having a dinner party where the tricolour was used as a table cloth on the dining table. They dinner party had taken in the house of one Rejina Parvin Sultana at Tengnamari village in Abhayapuri on Friday, police said.

15. COVID Assam: 5,347 New Cases, 63 Deaths

Assam on Friday reported 5,347 new cases of COVID-19, taking the active caseload to 44,008. The positivity rate today is 8.26 per cent. The state also recorded 3,254 discharges and 63 COVID-related deaths. A total of 64,701 tests were detected today, of which, 1,012 new cases were recorded in Kamrup Metro, 424 in Kamrup Rural, 343 in Nagaon and 291 in Sonitpur. Meanwhile, with a recovery rate of 85.39 per cent, the recoveries have touched 2,77,501.

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