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PM Modi Holds Covid Review Meet As Infections Spike – dot newz

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a meeting to review the Covid situation as the number of fresh infections threaten to spiral out of control, driven by the highly infectious strain Omicron.  

Sources said Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, and senior government officials are present at the meeting. The chief of the railway board and the secretary of the Civil Aviation ministry are also present at the meet.

This is PM Modi’s first Covid review meet since December 24, when the Omicron variant had just made an appearance in the country. Compared to then, the Covid numbers have skyrocketed, with hundreds of doctors and healthcare workers contracting the virus.  

Tomorrow, the country is taking the crucial step of starting the third “precautionary” vaccine doses for healthcare workers and vulnerable senior citizens. Vaccination for 15 to 18 year-olds had started last week.  

On the other hand, the approaching elections in five states — including the most populated state of Uttar Pradesh — has added another challenge for the frontline workers trying to control the pandemic. Only 52 per cent people have received both doses of vaccine in Uttar Pradesh.

Similar figures have been reported from a few other states — making the need to double vaccinate a critical mass of 90 per cent people within a month a race against time.  

Health ministry data showed this morning that the country saw 1,59,632 fresh coronavirus cases over the previous 24 hours, raising the tally to 3,55,28,004 crore, which included 3,623 cases of Omicron.

While the official Omicron figure appear low due to the paucity of adequate genome sequencing labs, the country’s R naught value — which indicates the spread of the infection — was recorded at 4 this week, a figure higher than the 1.69 logged at the height of second wave.  

With it, the Omicron variant has been officially declared the predominant circulating strain by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the nodal body in the fight against Covid.

The maximum fresh cases are being logged in Delhi and Maharashtra.  

Today, Delhi is expecting over 22,000 fresh Covid cases — slightly lower than the 26,169 case of April 23 at the peak of the second wave driven by the Delta variant.  

The positivity rate has already spiked to 19.60 per cent, close to numbers that can warrant further restrictions.  

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said there will be no lockdown if people follow protocol — wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

“We don’t want to enforce a lockdown right now… we want to keep curbs as limited as possible, so the common man is not affected. Tomorrow there is a DDMA (Delhi Disaster Management Agency) meeting, and we will review the situation again,” he said.

Maharashtra has already announced a series of fresh restrictions as it logged 41,434 new Covid cases on Saturday. Thirteen people died in the last 24 hours – five of them in Mumbai. The country’s financial capital reported 20,318 cases.

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Shiv Sena, NCP To Contest Goa Assembly Elections Together – dot newz

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Mumbai:

Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have decided to contest the upcoming Goa Assembly elections together in alliance, Shiv Sena leader and MP Sanjay Raut said on Sunday.

Speaking to ANI, Raut said, “Shiv Sena and NCP will contest together in Goa assembly elections. There will be a discussion on seat sharing on January 18. NCP’s senior leader Praful Patel will discuss seat-sharing formula in Goa on January 18. Only after that, it will be clear who will contest on how many seats.”

“Political dynamics are different in Maharashtra and Goa. NCP, Shiv Sena, Congress are in alliance in Maharashtra. However, at the moment Congress has decided to contest alone without forming an alliance with any other party in the state,” he said.

Goa elections are set to be held in a single phase on February 14. The counting of votes will be held on March 10.

In view of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Shiv Sena leader did not comment much on Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s decision to contest from Gorakhpur.

“I will not make any comment on Yogi ji’s decision to contest from Gorakhpur. He has been fielded from his native constituency. So, it is a good thing. I have heard that Aparna Yadav is going to join BJP. It’s good to know,” he said.

Yadav is the daughter in law of Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Meanwhile, elections for the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10, the Election Commission said. The polling in Uttar Pradesh will be held on February 10, 14, 20, 23, 27 and March 3 and 7 in seven phases.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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“India Feels Proud”: PM Modi On 1 Year Of Vaccination Drive – dot newz

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the vaccination drive added great strength to fight against Covid.

New Delhi:

Lauding India’s COVID-19 vaccination drive as it completes a year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it has added great strength to the fight against the pandemic and has resulted in saving lives and protecting livelihoods.

When the pandemic first struck, not much was known about the virus. However, our scientists and innovators immersed themselves in developing vaccines, he said. India feels proud that our nation has been able to contribute to fighting the pandemic through vaccines, PM Modi tweeted.

“I salute each and every individual who is associated with the vaccination drive,” he said, adding that the role of our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers is exceptional.

“When we see glimpses of people being vaccinated in remote areas, or our healthcare workers taking the vaccines there, our hearts and minds are filled with pride,” he said.

The prime minister asserted that India’s approach to fighting the pandemic will always remain science based. Health infrastructure is also being augmented to ensure that fellow citizens get proper care, he said, asking people to keep following all COVID-19 related protocols.

The countrywide vaccination drive against COVID-19 on Sunday completed one year, during which over 156.76 crore vaccine doses were administered.

According to Health Ministry officials, over 92 per cent of the adult population have received at least one dose while over 68 per cent have been fully vaccinated. The Centre will issue a postal stamp this afternoon to mark the completion of one year of the inoculation drive.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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“We Invite You”: Maharashtra’s Red Carpet For Elon Musk After Telangana – dot newz

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Elon Musk had said Tesla is “working through” a lot of challenges with the Indian government. (File)

New Delhi:

Another state has now invited US billionaire Elon Musk to invest after he said that electric car pioneer Tesla was “working through” a lot of challenges with the Indian government ahead of long-awaited plans to launch in the country.

After Telangana’s invitation earlier this week, a Maharashtra minister today offered Mr Musk a place to set up Tesla’s manufacturing plant in his state.

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil, in a reply to Mr Musk’s tweet, said, “Maharashtra is one of the most progressive states in India. We will provide you all the necessary help from Maharashtra for you to get established in India.”

“We invite you to establish your manufacturing plant in Maharashtra,” the Nationalist Congress Party leader added.

Earlier, Telangana minister KT Rama Rao had invited the Tesla Inc’s chief executive to set shop in his state and said that his government will be “happy to partner Tesla in working through the challenges”.

Mr Musk, in response to a tweet asking him about a potential India launch date, had not identified the “challenges” being worked on with the government.

Tesla had plans to begin selling imported cars in India last year and has been lobbying the government to lower import duties, which can be as high as 100 percent, on electric vehicles before it enters the market.

Elon Musk had tweeted last July that Tesla wanted to enter India “but import duties are the highest in the world by far of any large country”.

Even as Tesla is holding out for a cut in import duties, luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz will start assembling the electric version of its flagship S-Class sedan, the EQS, in India later this year.



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