Third wave could hit India in October: experts
Daily NEWS Summary | 18-06-2021; A third wave of coronavirus infections is expected to hit India in October, and while better controlled than the latest outbreak, the pandemic will remain a public health threat for at least a year, according to a Reuters survey of medical experts.
- June 3-17 snapshot survey of 40 health specialists, physicians, scientists, virologists, epidemiologists, and teachers from around the world showed that a significant resumption of vaccines will likely provide some coverage for a new epidemic.
- Of those who dared to make a prediction, more than 85% of those surveyed, or 21 out of 24, said the next wave would hit in October, with three predicting it as early as August and September 12. The other three said between November and February.
- But more than 70% of experts, or 24 out of 34, said any new outbreak would be better controlled than the current one, which has been far more devastating, with shortages of vaccines, drugs, oxygen and hospital beds, than the first smaller wave in infections last year.
“It will be more controlled as the cases will be much less as more vaccines would have been implemented and there would be some degree of natural second wave immunity,”said Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of All India. Institute Of Medical. Sciences (AIIMS).
- So far, India has only fully vaccinated about 5% of its estimated eligible population of 950 million, leaving several million people vulnerable to infection and death.
- While most health experts predicted that the vaccination campaign would resume significantly this year, they cautioned against early removal of the restrictions, as some states have done.
- When asked if children and those under 18 would be most at risk in a possible third wave, nearly two-thirds of experts, or 26 out of 40, said yes.
- The reason is that this is a completely virgin population in terms of vaccination, as there is currently no vaccine available for them, said Dr. Pradeep Banandur, head of the epidemiology department at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS).
- Experts warn that the situation could get worse, If children are infected in large numbers and we are not prepared, there is nothing you can do at the last minute, said Dr. Devi Shetty, a cardiologist at Narayana Health and advisor to the Karnataka state government on response planning a pandemic.
- It will be a completely different problem because the country has very, very few pediatric intensive care unit beds, and it will be a disaster, he said.
- But 14 experts said the children were not at risk. Earlier this week, a senior official at the Union Ministry of Health said that children were vulnerable and susceptible to infections, but this analysis showed a less severe impact on health.
- While 25 of 38 respondents said that future variants of the coronavirus would not render existing vaccines ineffective, in response to a separate question, 30 of 41 experts said that the coronavirus would remain a threat to public health in India for at least less than a year.
- Eleven experts said the threat would last less than a year, 15 said less than two years, while 13 said more than two years, and two said the risks would never go away.
Supreme Court refuses to suspend bail for student activists in Delhi riots
Daily NEWS Summary | 18-06-2021; Supreme Court did not intervene in the Delhi High Court decision to grant bail to student activists Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal and Asif Iqbal Tanha on Friday, but said the High Court order of June 15 had not been granted or have the confidence of the parties.
- It is specified that the release on bail of the accused [student activists] is not hindered at this stage. The contested sentence should not be considered as a precedent and cannot in any case be invoked by one or the other parties. of the process , recorded a Court of Justice Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian.
- The High Court granted bail to the three students after one year of incarceration in Tihar prison.
- They were charged with crimes under the draconian unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in connection with the riots in northeast Delhi, which erupted after protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) came back violent last year.
- The High Court had accused the police of blurring the line between UAPA’s “terrorist act” and the right of students to demonstrate against a law. The stakes are high. It has ramifications all over India.
- There are many questions at stake here. We want to decide for the good of the whole country, ”Judge Gupta observed orally, issuing a formal notice to the three students on appeal.
- Attorney General Tushar Mehta defended the state that 53 people were killed and 700 injured in the riots.
- The right to protest does not mean the right to kill and to throw bombs, he said.
- If the protests were carried out on the “perceived belief” that the CAA was against a particular community, then “the lady who murdered a former prime minister” also did so with the belief that an injustice had been done against a particular community, he said.
- Calling for a stay of sentence from the Superior Court, he said the three students “can stay out,” but other UAPA cases can use the Superior Court’s decision to secure bail.
- High Court used a limited bail hearing for the three students to discuss an entire law. Judge Gupta said: “We understand that the way the law has been interpreted [by the High Court] requires careful consideration.” The court released the government’s appeal for a detailed hearing in the week starting July 19.
The “government rule” is supreme, said Twitter by the Standing Committee on Informatics.
Daily NEWS Summary | 18-06-2021; Amid a dispute between the Union government and Twitter over the new IT rules, members of a parliamentary panel on Friday strongly opposed comments by Twitter India officials that they are abiding by their policies and told them categorically that the law of the land is supreme.
- According to the sources, members of the Information Technology Parliamentary Panel also asked Twitter why it should not be fined because it was found to be “violating” the country’s rules.
- Earlier this month, the Center sent a notice to Twitter, giving it one last chance to “immediately” comply with the new IT rules and warning that non-compliance with the standards would result in the loss of the company’s liability waiver of Data Protection Act.
- The permanent parliamentary information and technology committee, chaired by the head of Congress, Shashi Tharoor, convened Twitter last week to address issues related to the abuse of the platform and the protection of citizens’ rights.
- Twitter India’s head of public policy, Shagufta Kamran, and legal adviser Ayushi Kapoor, testified before the panel on Friday.
- The panel members posed difficult and insightful questions to Twitter India officials, but the answers lacked clarity and were ambiguous, sources said.
- They strongly objected to Twitter India officials’ observation that their policy is on par with the country’s law, telling them flatly that “the country’s government is supreme, not its policy,” the sources said.
- Twitter representatives have been elusive as to when they will be able to fully comply with the rules. We have also requested a written response to a number of questions,” said one member.
- BJP MPs also questioned Twitter about its “fact-checking” policy, noting that BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra was quickly labeled as “media manipulated” when such a rush has failed, something that has not been demonstrated in the case of Ghaziabad.
- BJP members accused Twitter of being biased against the Saffron Party, claiming that its fact-checkers are more inclined to blame the BJP rather than fight fake news.
- Sources said Twitter informed the panel that the fact-check was done by a third party and not by Twitter itself.
VVIP helicopter deal: special court rejects Christian Michel’s bail requests
Daily NEWS Summary | 18-06-2021; On Friday, a special court dismissed bail requests from British national Christian Michel, a key defendant in the Rs 3.7 billion VVIP scam, in cases that are being pursued by the IWC and the Directorate of Enforcement. He is currently incarcerated in Tihar Prison.
- At the last hearing on June 10, the court reserved its order on the bond requests after the two agencies submitted their responses.
- Michel was extradited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in December 2018 and has been in legal custody ever since. Both agencies have registered his statements.
- Helicopter suppliers allegedly hired him as an intermediary to funnel funds that would be used to bribe Indian officials to close the deal.
- The Dubai police arrested Michel in February 2017 on the basis of an Interpol red notice issued against him.
- The Indian authorities sent the extradition request to the UAE authorities on March 19, 2017. After hearing from both parties, the court authorized his extradition to India.
Supreme Court refuses to postpone PG’s final year medical exams
Daily NEWS Summary | 18-06-2021; The Supreme Court on Friday refused to approve a general order to postpone final exams for medical courses at universities across the country.
- A bench of Judges Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah listened to pleadings from PG medical students, who said preparing for exams in the middle of Covid-19 duty was difficult. They looked for more time to study for the exams.
- Further court said it could not be asked to approve a general order deferral of exams, the dates of which have not yet been announced.
- They added National Medical Commission will take into account the Covid-19 situation and doctors working around the clock during the pandemic.
- The court also noted that the universities had not become parties to the case.
- How do you place a blanket order when hundreds of universities are involved?” Asked the court.
- Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde, who appeared before the students, said his clients would have to choose between their Covid-19 assignment and take time off to study for their exams.
- He said it was something doctors shouldn’t be required to do in these difficult public health times. He said the court should intervene on behalf of doctors to ensure they have “reasonable time” to prepare for exams.
- On June 11, the court rejected a request by these students to waive the exams.
- The bench said the court, however, intervened on behalf of the students to the extent possible. On June 11, the court, in a separate case, ordered the postponement of the entrance test exams for AIIMS graduates, scheduled for June 16, a month after considering community fatigue after fighting a particularly devastating second pandemic wave.
- In this case, a group of doctors had also proposed to the Supreme Court to challenge an opinion of the AIIMS which announced the examination in June in “total disregard” of a guarantee from the Prime Minister’s office to postpone the examinations of the PG in four months.
Rumors about a possible meeting of the Center with the J&K Parties
Daily NEWS Summary | 18-06-2021; J&K is witnessing heightened political activity as the Center plans to invite all Union Territory (UT) political parties to New Delhi during the last week of June to engage in political engagement, which could open the way to the restoration of the state.
- Several members of the Gupkar alliance, an amalgamation of five political parties vying for the J&K post before August 5, 2019, gathered in Srinagar on Friday to “discuss the future direction,” the sources said.
- When J&K Deputy Governor Manoj Sinha and senior police officers met with Union Home Secretary Amit Shah in New Delhi on Friday, sources said the Center would likely invite J&K evenings on June 24 or later. J&K split into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh 22 months ago.
- We have no information on any initiative. We have not yet received a formal invitation. We have never blocked the way forward, said Gupkar alliance spokesperson MY Tarigami.
- Tarigami said J&K needed initiatives because trust is “completely shattered here”.
- Sources said that the National Conference (NC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), key parts of the Gupkar alliance, are weighing their options if the Center announces a political process.
- The PDP is expected to organize a meeting of its leaders to “take stock of the situation and decide whether or not to attend.
- The sources said members of the Gupkar alliance did not have a consensus on the terms for a dialogue with Delhi and how to overcome mistrust, the sources said.
- National Conference President Dr Farooq Abdullah, who was subpoenaed and his property seized by the Enforcement Branch in one case, also dropped big hints to implicate Delhi.
- Sources said Dr Abdullah, also chairman of the Gupkar alliance, would likely call a meeting of the constituents of the amalgam in the coming days.
Covid Updates: The number of reported coronavirus cases in India stood at 2,97,94,992 at the time of publication of this bulletin, with the death toll at 3,84,267.