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Thursday
January 2021
5:09 AM IST
News Headlines
Unlucky Kerala shares spoil with Jamshedpur        England team lands in Chennai, Indians arrive in batches for first two tests        Israel military revising operational plans against Iran        France's Sanofi to boost Pfizer vaccine supply amid EU shortages        Hero MotoCorp to commence its operations in Mexico soon        GHIAL to raise US $300 Mn through bond issue for Hyderabad airport expansion        Cabinet approves MSP of Copra for 2021 season        Rajnath speaks to his US counterpart, the two NSAs also talk, Indo-US ties to deepen further        RJD should cancel it's proposed human chain in view of Republic Day violence: Sushil        Two farmer unions withdraw from protest against farm laws        One million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in India in just 6 days: Health ministry        England near Sri Lanka's 1st innings total after Root's 186        Srikanth resumes training after BAI gets mandatory quarantine time reduced        Melbourne century very special as it was crucial for series victory, says Rahane        FinMin allocates Rs 660 cr additional funds to MP for capex        Markets may remain volatile in holiday-shortened week: Analysts        US condemns Russia's use of harsh tactics against protesters, journalists        Egypt says it has launched vaccination against coronavirus        Qureshi says Pakistan ready to work with new US administration        MP government trying to crush farmers' voice: Kamal Nath        
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National News
Kerjriwal seeks to shut down markets emerging as Covid hotspots; Centre to increase ICU beds to 6K, double testing
 
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday sought the Centre''s nod for shutting down markets which could be COVID-19 hotspots, as authorities spelled out a fortified strategy including increasing ICU beds, doubling the testing capacity to 1 to 1.2 lakh and deploying around 8000 surveillance teams in the wake of an alarming spike in cases. Addressing an online media briefing, Kejriwal also said that the Delhi government has sent a proposal to Lt Governor Anil Baijal to allow only 50 people to attend wedding ceremonies against the earlier limit of 200. As the national capital has witnessed a spurt in coronavirus cases, people coming from Delhi to Noida will be randomly tested for COVID-19 from Wednesday.

However, there will be no restriction on the free movement of people between Noida and Delhi, District Magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar Suhas L Y Suhas told PTI. On Tuesday, Delhi recorded 6,396 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the infection tally in the national capital to over 4.95 lakh, while 99 more fatalities pushed the toll to 7,812, authorities said. These fresh cases came out of the 49,031 tests conducted the previous day, while the positivity rate stood at 13.04 percent. During the media briefing, Kejriwal said that according to directions and guidelines of the Centre, 200 participants were earlier allowed in wedding ceremonies due to the decreasing number of coronavirus cases.

"Now, a proposal has been sent to LG Baijal for his approval to withdraw the previous order and bring the number of guests for wedding ceremonies back to 50 from 200," he said. The chief minister said the Centre and all agencies are making "double efforts" to control the COVID-19 situation in the national capital. "We are sending a proposal to the Centre to give power to the Delhi government to impose lockdown in market areas which may emerge as COVID-19 hotspots," the chief minister said. Earlier in the day, the Delhi government had used the term of local "lockdown" in its press release, but later it revised it to "shut down". The Congress, meanwhile, said that the proposal would have a disastrous result and the government should impose a total shutdown of markets, public transport and offices to save precious lives.

Kejriwal said that during Diwali, it was seen that many people were not wearing masks and were violating social distancing norms due to which the coronavirus spread. "I hope the crowd in the markets will thin out and there will be no need to lock them down. "However, if violations of mask-wearing and social distancing are witnessed and there is a chance of these markets becoming local coronavirus hotspots, these could be shut down as a preventive measure for some days," said Kejriwal. Delhi witnessed a sudden spike in novel coronavirus cases since October 28 when the daily rise breached the 5,000-mark for the first time and it crossed the 8,000-mark on Wednesday.

According to official data, the city recorded over one lakh new coronavirus cases and around 1,200 deaths between November 1-16 while nearly 94,000 COVID-19 patients recovered during the same period. Meanwhile, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan, during a press conference, said Delhi was testing very less in June at around 5,776 tests per day and that number rose to over 50,000 in September which then plateaued out. The recent spike of COVID cases could be because many positive cases escaped the net, he said. "In the last two days, the decision of urgent actions taken by the government included an increase in overall beds, including ICU beds, doubling testing to 1-1.2 lakh per day, right mix of RT-PCR and antigen tests, strengthening and augmenting home care support, mobilising doctors and nurses, enforcing quarantine of contacts, containment zone SOPs and COVID appropriate behaviour," he said.

A decision has also been taken to increase house-to-house surveillance of active cases in containment zones and other vulnerable pockets in the national capital and 7,000-8,000 teams will be engaged for this exercise, an increase from the existing 3,000 teams that are currently involved. Elaborating further, NITI Aayog member V K Paul who heads COVID national taskforce said the ICU bed capacity will be increased from 3,523 to over 6,000 in the next few days in hospitals across Delhi. "The capacity, which was 3,523, we will increase it to over 6,000 ICU beds in the next few days. Arrangement of over 537 new ICU beds have been made at the 1000-bed Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel COVID facility operated by DRDO," he said.

The Delhi government is making arrangements for 2,680 ICU beds. In big hospitals under the Centre like Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge also beds will be increased. "We have a plan to increase ICU bed strength by 80 percent," he said. On increasing the testing capacity, Paul said that arrangements would be put in place to enable ICMR and central government laboratories to do 10,000 more tests a day. Besides that, 10 mobile laboratories will be deployed in the national capital. "We will utilise the capacity of science and technology research institutes for testing too," he said. "If cases go up higher, we plan to ramp up the capacity to monitor 35,000 to 40,000 active cases in home isolation at any given time.

We have a plan along with the Delhi government on that," he said. During the media briefing, Kejriwal thanked the central government for helping the people of Delhi in "such difficult times" and appealed to Delhiites with folded hands to wear masks and follow social distancing norms. Meanwhile, the North MCD said it has kept 20 ICU beds for COVID-19 patients at its Hindu Rao Hospital, the biggest municipal hospital in the national capital.


Cabinet approves MSP of Copra for 2021 season
Rajnath speaks to his US counterpart, the two NSAs also talk, Indo-US ties to deepen further
RJD should cancel it's proposed human chain in view of Republic Day violence: Sushil
MP government trying to crush farmers' voice: Kamal Nath
Parliament session will be stormy if farmers' demands not met: Cong's chief whip
North India, parts of central India to experience fresh spell of chill in next 3-4 days: IMD
Delhi Police has given nod to farmers' tractor parade on Jan 26, claim protesting unions
Govt to continue ban on Chinese apps including Tiktok
Rahul Gandhi assures revisiting GST when Cong is voted to power at Centre
SC notice to Centre, others on plea against web series Mirzapur'
Army jawan killed in Pakistani firing along LoC in J&K's Poonch
Will not allow forcible eviction of refugees from central govt-owned land: Mamata
Congress workers stage demo against farm laws in Bengaluru
Will not participate in meetings of court-appointed committee: Farmers unions to SC
Amartya Sen asks Visva-Bharati to withdraw allegation that he is illegally holding land
Don't join WhatsApp if not accepting new policy: HC
Rahul Gandhi attacks PM on reports of Chinese village in Arunachal
Tandav controversy: FIR against director, Amazon India head of content
Smiles, sanitizers welcome students as schools reopen in Delhi
COVID-19: India records lowest fatalities in eight months
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'
 Los Angeles: Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by  
'Mean Girls' won't be returning to Broadway
Ian McKellan is 'happy' Elliot Page came out as transgender
A R Rahman thanks fans for support during 'difficult times'
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Israel military revising operational plans against Iran
 Tel Aviv: A senior general of the Israel Army on Wednesday warned that the attack plans against Iran
France's Sanofi to boost Pfizer vaccine supply amid EU shortages
US condemns Russia's use of harsh tactics against protesters, journalists
Egypt says it has launched vaccination against coronavirus
KERALA NEWS
Fire in luggage van of running train doused in time in Kerala
 Thiruvananthapuram: A fire broke out in a luggage van of a running train in Kerala on Sunday and was
Kerala logs 5,005 new COVID-19 cases, 4,408 recoveries
5,960 new COVID-19 cases, 27 deaths in Kerala
Kerala transport corporation MD alleges Rs 100-crore scam
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