January 28, 2023

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Coronavirus News Updates: 77 countries have now reported cases of Omicron, says WHO Director-General

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Wrap Up: All you need to know

  • 8 new cases of Omicron found in Maharashtra; none had history of overseas travel
  • Schools for classes 1 to 7 to reopen in Mumbai on Dec 15, in Pune on Dec 16
  • Kolkata book fair from Jan 31 amid strict COVID measures
  • Assam reports 141 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths
  • 20 fresh COVID-19 cases, one more death in Punjab
  • Gujarat reports 55 COVID-19 cases, 1 death
  • 13 Pakistani migrants granted Indian citizenship in Jaipur
  • Nashik sees 52 COVID-19 cases, 1 death, 28 recoveries

Enforcement Directorate, probing alleged 100-crore extortion case against former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, has now summoned IPS officer G Shreedhar in connection to the case on Dec 17. Shreedhar is presently posted as superintendent of police, Akola

– ED

Kerala reports 3,377 new COVID19 cases, 4073 recoveries and 28 deaths in the last 24 hours

We need to remember that strength we have today (of vaccine development & production) won’t fulfill our needs just for today. If some other pandemic, zoonotic disease, infection comes next, I’ve appealed to them that we need all these platforms strong & resilient..

– Dr VK Paul

The current strategy and effective strategy is to ensure that the adult population of India is covered with the two vaccines that are in our program-Covishield & Covaxin, & now a DNA vaccine may also be added to an extent

– Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, in Bhubaneswar(Odisha)

Congress issues whip to its Rajya Sabha members to be present in the House tomorrow

We won 11 seats, we’ve asked for recounting in Mysuru. We had expected to win 13-14 seats. We’ll discuss the results in our party meet. We’re happy with results. We had 6 seats last time, compared to that, we got 5 more seats this time

– Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on MLC results

Evidence suggests small decline in vaccine efficacy – WHO

Haryana logs 23 COVID-19 cases, 2 more deaths

WHO is concerned that such programmes will repeat the COVID19 vaccine hoarding we saw this year, & exacerbate inequity. It’s clear that as we move forward, boosters could play an important role, esp for those at highest risk of severe disease death

– Tedros A Ghebreyesus, DG, WHO

77 countries have now reported cases of Omicron & the reality is that Omicron is probably in most countries, even if it hasn’t been detected yet. Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant

– Tedros A Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO

Farmer organisations had sought an appointment for a meeting. So, 20th December has been fixed for this purpose. We will have a meeting with the farmer organisations on the 20th, regarding farm loans and other issues. A decision will be taken

– Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi

Punjab Government has taken a major decision. A General Caste Commission is being set up in the state. The decision will be passed by the State Cabinet day after tomorrow

– Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi

JPMorgan tells unvaccinated Manhattan staff to work from home

JPMorgan Chase & Co on Tuesday instructed unvaccinated staff in Manhattan to work from home, a further sign that banks and other financial firms are tightening protocols as COVID-19 infections rise and the Omicron coronavirus variant spreads. The U.S. bank, one of the most aggressive in bringing employees back to the office, had previously allowed unvaccinated staff to work in its Manhattan offices provided they were tested twice a week.

Limited Iran access giving ‘blurred image,’ says UN nuclear chief

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview to The Associated Press, Rafael Mariano Grossi said he wanted to tell Iran that there was “no way around” his inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency if the Islamic Republic wanted to be “a respected country in the community of nations.”

PM asks BJP CMs to carve a niche for their govts in some or other sector of governance, seeks top priority for ‘ease of living’: Statement

At meeting of BJP CMs, PM Narendra Modi calls for governance to be data driven to ensure last mile delivery, speed and transparency

Tamil Nadu reports 649 new COVID19 cases, 695 recoveries and 09 deaths in the last 24 hours

Delhi reports 45 fresh coronavirus cases, zero deaths

Delhi | The Omicron patient discharged today came from Zimbabwe on Dec 2 & had a slight throat discomfort & weakness initially, but returned completely healthy after 10 days

Omicron patients have mild symptoms, stable oxygen rates, & no need for ICU: LNJP-MD, Dr. Suresh Kumar

Amazon tells India antitrust body revoking 2019 Future Group deal would send negative message to foreign investors

Amazon tells India regulator — Future deal with Reliance “will further restrict competition in the Indian retail market”

Reports Reuters

State Cabinet has decided to provide 25,000 newly constructed houses in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Mohali, to Economically Weaker Section (EWS)

– Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi, in Chandigarh

Three fresh COVID-19 cases in Nagaland, 1 more fatality

Punjab Lok Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh today warned Punjab Police officials against intimidating his party workers at behest of some local Congress leaders, saying he’d take all necessary measures to come down heavily on such hooligans in uniforms

– Amarinder Singh’s office

Rajasthan Government announces an ex-gratia of Rs 1 crore for the family of Squadron Leader Kuldeep Singh

He lost his life in the Tamil Nadu Chopper Crash on December 8th.

Over 6 crore people inoculated with both doses of COVID-19 vaccine in UP

Reports PTI

Our main agenda was Opposition unity in a state-wise manner. This was the first meeting, we’ll meet again tomorrow, Sharad Pawar will be there

– Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, after meeting Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi

Maharashtra reports eight new Omicron cases

Pfizer says that clinical trials confirmed its anti-Covid pill reduced hospitalisations and deaths among at-risk people by almost 90% when it was taken in the first few days after symptoms appear

In the context of emerging pandemics, our platforms have to be resilient and quick to be able to respond to new types of requirements of vaccines

– Dr VK Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, at CII Partnership Summit

Lok Sabha adjourned till tomorrow, 15th December

November trade deficit at $22.91 bn

China detects 2nd case of omicron variant

International travel is completely dependent on the spread of the Omicron variant. Prior to covid, our highest capacity was close to 4.2 lakh passengers daily, now we are ranging between 3.7 lakh to 3.95 lakh

– Jyotiraditya Scindia, Civil Aviation Minister

Nov exports up 27.64% on yr, imports rise 57.17%

During the visit, the President will also hold a delegation-level meeting with Bangladesh President. PM Sheikh Hasina will call on President Kovind. Bangladesh Foreign Min Dr AK Abdul Momen will also call on the President

– Foreign Secy HV Shringla on President’s Bangladesh visit

Beginning tomorrow, President Kovind will be paying a state visit to Bangladesh. Visit will be from 15-17 Dec. This visit is in context of 50th Victory Day celebrations in Dhaka at which Bangladesh Pres has invited Pres Kovind to represent India as guest of honour

– Foreign Secy

Axis Bank names Ashish Kotecha Additional Non-Executive Director

Reports ET Now

No matter how much BJP tries, they are going to get a big zero in the Punjab elections. Congress is going to fail in Punjab, he (Charanjit Singh Channi) is more of a ‘drama minister’ than the Chief Minister

– Harshimrar Kaur Badal, MP Shiromani Akali Dal

COVID-19 pandemic combined with short-sighted policy decisions of this govt has ushered in period of uncertainty for economic revival of country

– Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha

Serum Institute working to develop COVID vaccine booster shot which is more effective against Omicron

– Adar Poonawala

UK PM Johnson warns ministers of ‘huge spike’ in Omicron COVID cases

4th EU-India Competition Week

4th EU-India Competition Week took place online on 13-14 Dec. This annual discussion showcased the commitment of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition & Competition Commission of India to step up their cooperation and technical exchanges on competition policy and law: EU

Tamil Nadu Chopper Crash : Group Captain Varun Singh’s medical condition continues to be critical but he is stable

He is on life support system in Bengaluru Command Hospital: IAF officials

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao meets Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at the latter’s residence in Chennai.

CBI apprehends Deputy Chief Electrical Engineer of Northeast Frontier Rly Ranjeet Kumar Borah in Rs 15-lakh alleged bribery case: Officials

Compulsory pre-booking of RT-PCR

Starting Dec 20th, all international travelers from ‘at-risk’ countries, arriving at airports in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad will have to compulsorily prebook an RT-PCR test.

Zero budget natural farming should become mass movement and people should be made aware of its benefits: PM Narendra Modi

There has been an 83% surge in new cases on the continent this week compared to the previous week. This is the fastest surge recorded since May last year.

– Dr Moeti Tshidi

Fourth Wave in Africa

National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested an Afghan National from Delhi in connection with the seizure of 3,000 kg of heroin from Gujarat’s Mundra Port. The Afghan National was arrested on December 12: NIA

Parliament passes bill to extend up to five years tenure of Enforcement Directorate chief

Everyone knows that Congress & BJP have an internal understanding to finish the JDS party. They’ve somewhat succeeded in coordinating with each other in all of the 6 constituencies we had contested in.

– Former Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy, on Karnataka MLC election results

PM will address farmers during valedictory session of National Summit on Agro & Food Processing on De 16 in Anand, Gujarat via video conferencing. Summit brings in focus on natural farming. Farmers will be provided all requisite info detailing the benefits of natural farming methods

Fake news reports allegedly quoting an audio message in the name of Controller of Exam, CBSE are being circulated claiming that due to an error in class 12 Accountancy Term 1 paper, “upto 6 grace marks” will be given. Contents in news reports published are baseless & false: CBSE

Number of tourists to Varanasi in 2019-20 doubled compared to 2014-15: PM Narendra Modi as he highlights development works in the city

The search action has resulted in seizure of unaccounted cash of more than Rs 4 crores. Further investigations are in progress: CBDT

UK High Court begins hearing fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi’s appeal against extradition to India

Kashi’s energy is intact and it also keeps expanding. Yesterday, Kashi dedicated the grand Vishwanath Dham to Mahadev.

– PM Narendra Modi addresses the 98th anniversary celebrations of Sadguru Sadafaldeo Vihangam Yog Sansthan, in Umraha