Exit polls project close race in West Bengal, predict victory for DMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; Thursday’s exit polls predict tight competition between the current Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the high-profile West Bengal assembly elections, as the ruling left is expected to retain power in Kerala, along with the saffron in Assam.
- Exit polls also called the DMK-led opposition alliance the winner from Tamil Nadu, while some pollsters saw the Congress-led alliance lose to neighboring Pondicherry.
- When the first exit polls began to air on television shortly after the end of the eight-phase election in West Bengal, the ruling TMC found itself in a close struggle with the BJP in the assembly for the politically important state, while projections for neighboring Assam gave the BJP-led alliance a clear advantage over the congressional-led opposition.
- In West Bengal, the Republic-CNX polls gave the BJP a slight advantage by projecting 138-148 seats for the party in the 294-seat assembly and 128-138 seats for the TMC.
- However, Times Now-C Voter predicted a clear majority for the TMC by projecting 162 seats for the party and 115 for the BJP.
- In Assam, India Today-Axis My India predicted between 75 and 85 seats for the BJP in the 126-member assembly and between 40 and 50 for the Congress-led opposition.
- Today’s Chanakya predicted 70 seats for the Saffron Alliance and 56 for the Congress-led opposition.
- In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the combined ruling left and the DMK-led opposition alliance, respectively, have pitched ahead of their respective rivals.
- The exitpolls for Jan Ki Baat’s, however, predicted a strong majority for the BJP in West Bengal, giving it 162-185 seats, against 104-121 for the ruling TMC.
United States advises citizens to leave India as soon as possible as Covid-19 cases increase
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; The United States has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Advisory, asking its citizens to leave India “as soon as it is safe to do so” in light of the escalating Covid-19 pandemic and limited access to medical care.
- The highest level of advice came against the backdrop of the Joe Biden administration’s announcement of oxygen and healthcare-related support in India.
- The advisory said access to healthcare had become “severely limited in India due to the increase in COVID-19 cases” and urged US citizens to opt for direct flights between India and the United States which currently operate on a daily basis.
- The Level 4 travel advisory urged US citizens to “not travel to India” due to the pandemic.
Delhi and Madras High Courts lift pandemic management center
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; The Madras High Court questioned on Thursday what the Center has been doing for the past 14 months, rather than pushing now, as the second wave of Covid-19 is at its peak.
- The court said there could be no tackle in the face of a pandemic and that the Center should have acted in a planned and informed manner with expert advice.
- Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee made the remarks when Additional Attorney General R. Sankaranarayanan listed the steps the Center is now taking to control the pandemic and said the second wave was unexpected.
- The presentations were made during the hearing of a suo motu public interest litigation petition.
- Delhi High Court also posed tough questions to the Center, asking it to explain why Delhi received less oxygen than it needed, while other states such as Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh received more than it needed.
- Senior lawyer Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, had said that while Delhi’s needs were 700 MT per day, they were allocated 480 and 490 MT (metric tons), and the Center had not increased them.
- The court was informed that Maharashtra, which had requested 1,500 tonnes, had been allocated 1,661 tonnes and that Madhya Pradesh, which had requested 445 tonnes, had been allocated 543 tonnes.
- A bench of judges Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said the Center must show justification for this or “amend” it. He gave the Center a day to respond.
Facebook blocks hashtag calling for PM Modi’s resignation
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; Social media giant Facebook temporarily blocked posts on Wednesday with a hashtag calling for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resignation after the government handled the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The lockdown comes days after the Indian government asked social media platforms to remove around 100 posts that it said were created to create panic over the Covid-19 situation in India by “using unrelated posts and disinformation”.
- As a result, the microblogging site Twitter removed more than 50 posts from its platform. Most of those tweets criticized the Center’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
- According to The Guardian, Facebook’s temporary lockdown has led to the cover-up of around 12,000 posts highlighting the plight of patients and families facing the pandemic amid shortages of beds and medicines.
Center, states did not prepare for predictable second wave, says International Commission of Jurists
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) on Thursday called on the Center and state governments to comply with court orders regarding the supply of oxygen, hospital beds and drugs for Covid-19, adding that governments had not stopped prepare for the second wave of the pandemic.
“The Indian government urgently needs to address the failures that have worsened the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and led to the country’s people suffering record rates of infection and death,”the ICJ said in a press release.
- They urged the Center and state governments to follow court orders regarding medical care and vaccinations.
- ICJ Secretary General Sam Zarifi said: “The federal and state governments of India have not prepared for the foreseeable second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding the terrible impact of the pandemic and the tragedy. avoidable 1,500 to more than 3,000 deaths per day.”
- The ICJ noted that India had reported more than 2,000,000 cases a day from April 15 and 3,60,960 through April 27, the highest number in the world.
“Many hospitals have reportedly turned away patients due to lack of space, and some hospitals have asked admitting ones to sign forms accepting the risk of death caused by depleted oxygen supply. Government failures have led people to go to court, ”said the ICJ.
Bharat Biotech lowers the price of covaxin for states
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; Covaxin maker Bharat Biotech said Thursday it would deliver the vaccine to state governments at ₹ 400 per dose.
- A reduction of ₹ 200 from the ₹ 600 it set last week for state government supplies, the announcement comes a day after the Serum Institute of India announced that it was reducing Covishield’s price for states by ₹ 300 per dosage, compared to previously advertised ₹ 400.
“Recognizing the enormous challenges facing the public health system, we have made Covaxin available to state governments at a price of ₹ 400 per dose.”Bharat Biotech said
- Expressing deep concern over the critical pandemic situations facing India, the company said it wanted to be transparent in “our pricing approach.”
- Pricing, according to a statement, was determined by internally funded product development, multiple intensively operating BSL-3 manufacturing facilities and clinical trials.
Arbitrators Withdraw From IPL Amid Covid-19 Concerns
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; Indian chief referee Nitin Menon and his Australian counterpart Paul Reiffel have withdrawn from the IPL for personal reasons. We learned that Menon, a resident of Indore, left the IPL biobubble after his wife and his mother tested positive for Covid-19.
- Menon is the only Indian on the ICC’s elite referee panel and was recently praised for his work on the local India vs. England series.
- Menon is the second Indian to retire after Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who withdrew from the tournament. Three Australians, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa, have left home due to the unprecedented health crisis in India.
- However, BCCI is continuing with the tournament and Acting CEO Hemang Amin has assured all players and support staff that they will stay safe in the biobubble.
Daily NEWS Summary | 29-04-2021; The number of reported coronavirus cases in India was 1,85,66,669 at the time of this bulletin, with a balance of 2,06,049.
- Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on Thursday discharged from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He was admitted to the facility after testing positive for Covid-19. Sources close to the Congress leader said he was doing fine.
- Dr. Singh was admitted to AIIMS on April 19 after he had fever and tested positive for the novel coronavirus infection.