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Covid-19: With 1,45,384 fresh infections, India logs highest daily spike since outbreak of pandemic

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that as many as 1,45,384 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the span of 24 hours, the highest-ever single day surge, taking the cumulative tally to 1,32,05,926. With 794 deaths, the total fatalities have reached 1,68,436, the government said.

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Covid-19 cases

The Union Health Ministry on Saturday said that as many as 1,45,384 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the span of 24 hours, the highest-ever single day surge, taking the cumulative tally to 1,32,05,926. With 794 deaths, the total fatalities have reached 1,68,436, the government said.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, it is the biggest jump that India has witnessed in the last 24 hours. This is the fifth consecutive day that the country has recorded more than 1 lakh cases in a single day. The Covid graph is continuing to see a steep rise with over 6.16 lakh infections reported in the last five days.

The daily fatalities have also been recording high jump as the second wave of coronavirus rages across the country. Also, with 77,567 more people recuperated from the disease, the total number of recoveries now stands at 1,19,90,859, while the number of active cases has reached 10,46,631.

However, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has said that no new cases have been reported in 149 districts in a week, while eight districts have not registered any new infection in a fortnight. 

How do different states fare?

Over 83 percent of the fresh cases have been recorded from ten worst-hit states including  Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. These states have shown a steep hike in daily Covid-19 cases. 

Among those, Maharashtra is reporting the highest number of cases across the country. On Friday, the state recorded nearly 59,000 new cases and 301 related deaths, taking the total cases to 32,88,540. The state has contributed to maximum overall morbidity and mortality in the country, every fourth Covid-19 infected person is from Maharashtra.

Other most affected states by total cases are Kerala with 1,154 594, Karnataka with 1,033,560, Tamil Nadu with  911,110, and Andhra Pradesh with 913,274 cases.

What are the measures taken so far?

The surge in Covid-19 cases has triggered fresh curbs in the number of states across the country.  Maharashtra, the worst hit, is headed towards a lockdown if the Covid cases continue to rise in the state said Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope. The weekend lockdown has already begun to contain the ongoing surge in the Covid-19 cases in the state.

Several other states have initiated precautionary measures like night curfews, travel restrictions, banning social gatherings, ramping up of vaccinations to minimise the spread of the coronavirus. So far, night curfews have been imposed in parts of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, West Bengal, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra, among several others.

Amid the Covid surge, the Delhi government has announced closing of all schools and colleges till further notice. Meanwhile,  the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is facing criticism for going ahead with the board exams despite the spike. 

How is the vaccination drive going?

In the ongoing Covid-19 vaccine drive, more than 9.43 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country till Friday morning, the health minister said during a virtual 24th meeting of the High-level Group of Ministers. 

Several states, however, are grappling with vaccine shortage vaccines, with several running vaccination centres below capacity and demanding that the Centre give them stocks to last at least seven days.

Pointing out the vaccine shortage, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sought an immediate supply of 30 lakh Covid-19 vaccines to the State. He said the inoculation drive will have to be halted due to insufficient stock. The Centre’s claim of no shortage of Covid-19 vaccines in the country is wrong and demanded that a status report on the availability of doses be made public. 

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said the State would require at least 40 lakh doses per week. The state had only around 12 lakh doses left as of Thursday afternoon, he said.

For the past three days, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and Cabinet ministers have been sending SOS to the Centre to replenish vaccines as the states were running out of stocks. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister,  Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had asked for an immediate moratorium on exports as he claimed that the country is facing vaccine starvation. He asked the government to open up vaccination to everyone who needs it and increase the capacity of allocation to ₹35,000 crores for the vaccination program. 

However, the Centre has maintained that there is no shortage of shots in India. All the claims of states are baseless and the Centre is supplying vaccines to all states equitably irrespective of the ruling party, said Harsh Vardhan. 

The central government is working very hard in controlling the pandemic and pacing the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination program and states should support it instead of playing politics. Whichever states are reporting to us about shortage we are supplying the adequate vaccines without delay, he added.

Read Also: West Bengal Election: PM Modi, CM Banerjee appeal to eligible voters to step out in large numbers and vote

India began its vaccination drive on January 16 with health workers and frontline workers getting inoculated in the first phase of the rollout. The second phase of the vaccination commenced on March 1 for those who are above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 and above with specified comorbid conditions. The vaccination drive extended to include everybody aged 45 from April 1.

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Sankalp Saptaah: PM Modi today launches week-long initiative for aspirational blocks at Bharat Mandapam

The country’s Sankalp Saptah programme, which is being implemented in 500 aspirational blocks throughout 329 districts, seeks to increase block-level government while also improving civilian quality of life.

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Sankalp Saptaah

At Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a week-long project named Sankalp Saptaah for the country’s aspirational groups.

He also conversed with attendees, including members from the panchayat and the block level.

The week-long programme, which is described in an official news release, is closely correlated with the national Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP), which Modi introduced in January of this year.

The country’s Sankalp Saptah programme, which is being implemented in 500 aspirational blocks throughout 329 districts, seeks to increase block-level government while also improving civilian quality of life.

Chintan Shivirs were held nationwide at the village and block levels to help with the effective execution of the ABP and to create strong block development strategies. The result of these careful considerations, which will be seen in each of the 500 aspirational blocks, is Sankalp Saptaah.

On October 9, the final day of the seven-day event, a celebration of the week’s worth of effort will take place under the banner of Sankalp Saptaah – Samavesh Samaroh.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the prime minister claimed that more than 25 crore people’s lives in 112 districts throughout the nation had been improved by the aspirational districts plan. He asserted that the quality of living had changed. Now, the aspirational blocks programme will be built on the success of the aspirational districts programme, he said.

According to the statement, about 3,000 panchayat and block level functionaries and representatives of the people are expected to attend the inaugural event at Bharat Mandapam, in addition to about two lakh farmers, block and panchayat level functionaries, and people from other walks of life who will participate virtually.

Starting on October 3 and running through October 9, each day of Sankalp Saptaah is devoted to a distinct development subject on which all aspirational blocks will focus. Sampoorna Swasthya, Suposhit Pariwaar, Swachhta, Krishi, Shiksha, and Samridhi Diwas are some of the themes for the first six days, according to the statement.

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Madhya Pradesh elections: Congress to release first list of candidates after October 5

According to the source, the party has received more than 3,500 inquiries from potential candidates who wish to run for office on the Congress ticket in the Assembly elections.

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Madhya Pradesh elections

As the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections draw nearer, sources stated on Friday that the Congress is expected to reveal its first list of candidates after October 5 as part of its strategy. A Congress source told IANS that the party will announce the names of the candidates at the ideal moment and that the campaigning for the Assembly elections is already underway.

The source stated that the party would issue its initial list of candidates after October 5, when it is anticipated that the Election Commission will have released its polling schedule.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the party’s general secretary, will be in the state on October 5 to speak at a large public gathering, the source added, and her input will be sought before the release of the final list.

To narrow down the field of candidates for the elections, the party organised two sessions of the Screening Committee in the national capital.

According to the source, the party has received more than 3,500 inquiries from potential candidates who wish to run for office on the Congress ticket in the Assembly elections.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, will speak at a public meeting on Saturday in the Kala Pipla Assembly seat.

Two lists of candidates from the BJP have already been made public for the upcoming elections. Along with four other current MPs, the ruling party has included three Union Ministers in its second list. On Monday, a few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at a public gathering in Bhopal, the second list of 39 candidates was made public.

The list also included Kailash Vijayvargiya, the national general secretary of the BJP.

The list includes the names of three Union Ministers: Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti from Narsinghpur; Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture and Chairman of the Party’s State Election Management Committee from Dimni-Morena; and Fagan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State for Rural Development and Steel from Niwas.

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President Droupadi Murmu gives assent to Women’s Reservation Bill

The new law provides 33% reservation of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

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President Droupadi Murmu gives assent to Women’s Reservation Bill

The Women’s Reservation Bill became law in India after President Droupadi Murmu gave her assent, days after the historic vote in the Parliament. The new law provides 33% reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. However, the law will be imposed after the new census and delimitation. 

The Women’s Reservation Bill which is officially known as Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam was passed in both the houses during the special session of the Parliament. The historic bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on September 20, with 454 MPs voting in its favour and 2 voting against it. In the Rajya Sabha, the bill was passed unanimously on September 21 with 214 MPs voting in favour of the bill.  

Issuing a gazette notification, the Government of India stated that the Bill has become an Act after the approval granted by the President. The notification read that the act will come into force on such date as the central government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint. 

While supporting the historic bill in the Parliament, the Opposition condemned the government for not bringing the quota for women into immediate effect. Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Parliament during the bill’s discussion that it could only come into effect after 2029 due to the pending census and delimitation.

A day after the bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that with the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam in Parliament, the nation usher in an era of stronger representation and empowerment for the women of India. He added that this is not merely legislation but a tribute to the countless women who have made the nation. He exclaimed that India has been enriched by their resilience and contributions. 

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