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International Travel guidelines revised: From no mandatory isolation facility for international travelers to home quarantine, know latest rules

According to the revised guidelines, people who travel to India from any country, and test positive, are not mandated to the airport isolation facility.

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International Travel guidelines

Amid the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, international travel has been under a risky title. The government released certain guidelines for international travel ever since December, 2021, when Covid-19 cases began to surge for the third time.

According to the revised guidelines, people who travel to India from any country, and test positive, are not mandated to the airport isolation facility. However, such individuals will have to be kept under home quarantine for a duration of seven days, even if they test negative. After the seven-day quarantine, they will have to undertake RT PCR test on the eighth day of their arrival in India.

These new guidelines were released on Thursday, January 20, 2022, and will be bought into effect from Saturday, January 22, 2022.

According to the previous guidelines, those who travelled in India from any country were considered to be at-risk to be infected with Covid-19. These individuals were to stay in an isolation facility, and be treated in accordance with standard Covid-19 protocols. These guidelines are released and revised by the government.

However, if one goes through the revised guidelines, changes in relation to isolation facility can be noted. The clause that mentioned that travelers will have to stay in the isolation facility for seven days, has now been removed.

The government has said that the travelers who will show any symptoms during screening, even mild ones, will have to be put under isolation immediately. These individuals will be taken to a medical facility at the earliest. According to the norms, in case anyone is found Covid-19 positive, their family or knowns will be contacted.

It is advisable for travelers who will be arriving in India, to pre-book their RT PCR online through Air Suvidha Portal. All travelers are also supposed to submit full and factual information in the self-declaration form. They also have to upload a negative Covid-19 RT PCR report. The test should be taken within 72 hours prior to the flight.

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

36.73% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in 5th phase of the Lok Sabha elections

36.73% voter turnout recorded till 1 pm in 8 states and UTs; Maharashtra continues to put up a poor show

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Voter turnout at 1 pm was recorded at 36.73% for the 5th phase of the Lok Sabha elections. As this unfolds, significant political showdowns are set to take place across eight states and union territories. Bihar: 34.62%, Jharkhand: 41.89%, Jammu and Kashmir: 34.79%, Maharashtra 27.78%, Ladakh: 52.01%, Uttar Pradesh 39.55%, Odisha 35.31%, West Bengal: 48.41%

Voters in 49 Lok Sabha seats will decide the fate of 695 candidates, with many high-stakes contests featuring political dynasties and senior leaders striving to retain their influence. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Raebareli, a seat held by his mother, Sonia Gandhi, since 2004. He is also contesting the election from Wayanad in Kerala. After losing Amethi to Union Minister Smriti Irani in 2019, the Congress has fielded dedicated worker KL Sharma to challenge Irani this time.

Rohini Acharya, daughter of former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, makes her political debut from Saran Lok Sabha seat. Chirag Paswan of the LJP (Ram Vilas) aims to retain the legacy of his late father, Ram Vilas Paswan from Hajipur Lok Sabha seat.

13 out of 48 parliamentary seats in Maharashtra are undergoing elections including high-profile candidates: Dindori: Union Minister Bharati Pravin Pawar (BJP) vs. Bhaskar Bhagare (NCP). Dhule: BJP’s Subhash Ramrao Bhamre vs. Congress’s Shobha Dinesh Bachhav.

Palghar: Hemant Vishnu Savara (BJP) vs. Bharti Kamadi (Shiv Sena UBT). Nashik: Rajabhau Waje (Shiv Sena UBT) vs. Godse Hemant Tukaram (Shiv Sena). This election phase will also serve as a crucial battleground for the factions of Shiv Sena to measure their support among voters.

In Ladakh, an independent candidate is posing a significant challenge to both BJP and Congress contenders. Simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha polls are taking place in Odisha with the fifth phase, covering 5 Lok Sabha seats and 35 assembly constituencies. Voters in 3 parliamentary Lok Sabha seats — Chatra, Koderma, and Hazaribagh—will cast their votes in this phase.

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India News

IMD issues red alert for heavy rainfall in Kerala

The IMD issued a red alert for the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, and Alappuzha, warning residents and authorities about the potential for further heavy rains.

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for four districts in Kerala till May 21, after heavy pre-monsoon rainfall swept across the southern state on Sunday. The intense downpours affected numerous regions, including the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram. 

Considering the severe weather conditions, the IMD issued a red alert for the districts of Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Idukki, and Alappuzha, warning residents and authorities about the potential for further heavy rains.

The weather department has also issued an orange alert in the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, and Malappuram until May 22, forecasting isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall .

A bulletin issued by the IMD on Sunday stated that strong westerly and south-westerly winds are expected to dominate the lower levels of the state from May 19 to 23. This weather pattern is likely to result in widespread rainfall across isolated areas of Kerala from May 19 to 22. Additionally, heavy to very heavy rainfall is anticipated in isolated regions on May 23.

Given the potential hazards posed by heavy rains, the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA) has urged residents to remain vigilant. The forecasted heavy rainfall over a short period raises concerns about flash floods and urban waterlogging, especially in low-lying areas. It is reported that prolonged rainfall may also lead to landslides. Consequently, authorities advised residents, particularly those in hilly and coastal regions, to exercise caution and stay alert.

Reportedly, stringent directives have been issued to the District Superintendent of Police, Sub Divisional Magistrates, Regional Transport Officers, and Tehsildars to enforce a ban on tourist movements.

Meanwhile, after the Sunday rains visuals across social media showed houses and shops in some areas were inundated. Additionally, canals traversing the capital city and its suburbs have overflowed. Affected residents claimed that the waterlogging in the capital and surrounding areas resulted from the failure to conduct pre-monsoon cleaning of canals and drainage systems.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

PM Modi visits Jagannath Temple, leads roadshow in Odisha

Ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha election, PM Modi today visited Odisha and offered prayer at Jagannath temple

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Jagannath temple in Puri, Odissa, on Monday morning, and offered prayers before leading a significant roadshow to rally support for BJP candidates ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

The roadshow commenced at Marichkote Square and concluded at Medical Square on Grand Road. State BJP president Manmohan Samal, BJP MP candidate Sambit Patra, and MLA nominee Jayanta Sarangi accompanied the Prime Minister.

Thousands of BJP supporters lined the barricaded Grand Road, waving BJP’s banners and posters. The event saw elaborate security arrangements to ensure the safety of the Prime Minister and the public, as confirmed by the local police.

The Prime Minister’s visit to Puri comes at a crucial time as the second phase of polling for five Lok Sabha constituencies and 35 assembly seats in Odisha is underway, with strict security measures in place.

PM Modi’s engagement in Puri included not just the temple visit and the roadshow but also a series of strategic campaign stops. After the roadshow, he was scheduled to depart by helicopter for Angul, where he would address a large public meeting. The Prime Minister’s day was set to continue with another poll rally in Cuttack, reflecting the BJP’s intensive campaign efforts in the state.

The roadshow in Puri had high energy and drew a big crowd. The BJP aims to strengthen its position in Odisha, where regional parties have been strong contenders. Modi’s active campaigning is meant to gather voter support and improve the party’s chances in both the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

The roadshow route, from Marichkote Square to Medical Square, is an important road in Puri and has been packed with supporters since early morning. This event showed how strong the BJP’s campaign is and how Modi personally connects with voters.

With voting already happening, the Prime Minister’s visit is likely to influence how people feel about the election. It could help undecided voters make up their minds and boost the morale of BJP supporters in the state.

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