Latest News Highlights: 12,881 New Coronavirus Cases In India

There are 1,37,342 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which accounts for 1.25 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

Latest News Highlights: 12,881 New Coronavirus Cases In India

Latest News Highlights: The recovery rate is 97.32 per cent.

New Delhi:

India's COVID-19 infection tally climbed to 1,09,50,201 with 12,881 new cases in a day, while 1,06,56,845 people have recuperated so far pushing the national recovery rate to 97.32 per cent on Thursday, according to Union Health Ministry data.

There are 1,37,342 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country which accounts for 1.25 per cent of the total caseload, the data stated.

The death count climbed to 1,56,014 with the novel coronavirus virus claiming 101 lives in a span of 24 hours in the country, the data showed.

The COVID-19 case fatality rate stood at 1.42 per cent.

Meanwhile, a fresh set of travel guidelines has been issued as two new, highly more infectious strains of Covid -- the South African and the Brazilian strains -- have been detected in India. The new rules apply to all incoming international passengers except those from the UK, Europe and Middle East, the health ministry has said.

Here are the highlights:

Feb 19, 2021 04:45 (IST)
Brazil passes 10 million coronavirus infections

Brazil, the country with the second-highest coronavirus deaths, passed the 10-million mark for reported infections Thursday, amid a deadly second wave and problems with its vaccination campaign.

The country became the third to reach the grim mark -- after the United States and India -- with more than 51,900 new infections in 24 hours, according to official data.

Over the same one-day period, 1,367 people died, bringing the total to over 243,400.

Brazil's figure of 10,030,626 came amid mounting criticism of how President Jair Bolsonaro's government has handled the epidemic and a vaccination response.

So far, three percent of the population of 212 million have received one of two required vaccine doses.

Feb 19, 2021 04:26 (IST)
Bhandara hospital fire: Case registered against two nurses

A case of criminal negligence has been registered against two staff nurses in connection with the fire at a government hospital in Maharashtra's Bhandara in which 10 infants had died, police said on Thursday. 

A case under IPC section 304(2) (causing death by negligence) was registered against Shubhangi Sathavane and Smita Ambildukhe, both nurses, said director general of police Hemant Nagrale. Further probe is on, he said.
Feb 19, 2021 03:42 (IST)
BJP to form govt in Assam with more seats: Narendra Singh Tomar

Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said the BJP-led Assam government will come back to power in the assembly polls on the back of a "pro-incumbency wave" with better performance than last time.

He said the government led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has fulfilled all expectations of the people and the party workers are enthused about the poll prospects.

"There is a pro-incumbency wave in Assam as BJP fulfilled all expectations. Our party workers are very enthused and we will win more seats this time," Mr Tomar said at a press conference here in his first visit after assuming charge of the party's observer for Assam during the polls.
Feb 19, 2021 03:22 (IST)
Rajasthan Chief Minister offers chadar for Ajmer Sharif on behalf of Cong president Sonia Gandhi

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday offered a ''chadar'' on behalf of Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the dargah of sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer.

The ''chadar'' was offered on the occasion of the 809th Urs of the sufi saint. 

Mr Gehot also read out a message sent by Gandhi.

"The country is going through a difficult situation. During the Corona era, people had to face a tough time. Those in power in the country have left no stone unturned to weaken its fabric and centuries-old unity, and are spreading hatred among people," the Congress president said in her message.
Feb 19, 2021 03:12 (IST)
Offices, colleges, cinema halls, parks to reopen in Jharkhand on March 1

Government offices, colleges, coaching centres, cinema halls and parks across Jharkhand will reopen on March 1 after being closed for almost a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said on Thursday.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Mr Soren during the day. He said hundred per cent attendance will be mandatory for government employees.

Schools will reopen on that date for students of Class 8 and above. Colleges are also set to reopen, the Chief Minister told newsmen after a meeting of the Jharkhand State Disaster Manangement Authority.
Feb 19, 2021 02:32 (IST)
Israel extends coronavirus border closure to March 6

Israel said Thursday it will extend the closure of its airports and land borders for 14 more days in a bid to stem the coronavirus pandemic.

A joint statement from the prime minister's office and the health minister said the country's borders will remain closed until March 6, except for urgent reasons.

Israel had suspended international flights on January 24, before also closing the border crossings with Jordan and Egypt.

However, the immigration ministry said Thursday that six special flights were still authorised to land, carrying some 900 immigrants from Ethiopia, France, Russia, Ukraine and South America.

The new arrivals will be subject to quarantine upon arrival, the ministry said in a statement.
Feb 19, 2021 02:18 (IST)
AstraZeneca Vaccine Faces Resistance In Europe After Health Workers Suffer Side-Effects

Health authorities in some European countries are facing resistance to AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after side-effects led hospital staff and other front-line workers to call in sick, putting extra strain on already-stretched services.

Such symptoms, as reported in clinical trials for the AstraZeneca shot, can include a high temperature or headache and are a normal sign that the body is generating an immune response. They usually fade within a day or so.

The other shots approved in Europe, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, have been linked to similar temporary side-effects, including fever and fatigue.

Feb 19, 2021 01:49 (IST)
French President Emmanuel Macron suggests West sets aside 3-5% of vaccines for Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed that rich Western countries transfer 3-5 percent of their stock of Covid-19 vaccines to Africa, in an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday.

With developing countries struggling in the race to vaccinate their populations against the coronavirus, Macron argued that failure to share the vaccine would exacerbate global inequality.

Tranferring "3-5 per cent of the vaccines we have in stock to Africa... won't delay it by a single day given the way we use our doses," he told the paper.

Feb 19, 2021 01:28 (IST)
African Covid deaths top 1,00,000

Africa on Thursday recorded more than 100,000 deaths from Covid-19, a grim milestone likely to understate the real toll, as the continent of 1.2 billion people battles a second wave of infections.

The 54 countries in the region have a death toll of 100,000 from 3,793,660 reported cases, according to an AFP tally.

The continent, relatively spared by the pandemic, is the last except Oceania to reach the threshold of 100,000 deaths, which Europe crossed in April 2020.

South Africa -- the worst hit African country -- rolled out a mass testing campaign at the start of the pandemic.

To date, the country has recorded nearly 1.5 million cases and more than 48,000 deaths.
Feb 19, 2021 00:55 (IST)
Technological innovations, digitisation became mainstay of judicial proceedings in lockdown: Law Secretary

Union Law Secretary Anoop Mendiratta on Thursday said digitisation and technological innovations became the mainstay of judicial proceedings in India during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.

Representing India in Commonwealth High Level Law Ministers Meeting on the legal aspects of COVID-19, he said that in April last year, the Supreme Court gave legal sanctity and validity to court hearings held through video conferencing, which came as a big boost for timely disposal of litigations.

He was addressing the meet on behalf of Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, an official statement said.

Feb 19, 2021 00:38 (IST)
Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Maharashtra health minister Rajesh Tope said on Thursday that he has tested positive for coronavirus infection. Read Here
Feb 19, 2021 00:28 (IST)
Rajnath Singh to inaugurate ''Hunar Haat'' in Delhi on February 21

The 26th ''Hunar Haat'' of indigenous artisans and craftsmen from across the country at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi will be formally inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on February 21.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi will be the chief guest and Minister of Shipping Mansukh L Mandaviya and MP Meenakshi Lekhi will be the guest of honour at the event organised by Ministry of Minority Affairs.

The theme for the 26th ''Hunar Haat'' is ''Vocal for Local'' and will continue to March 1 where more than 600 artisans and craftsmen, including participation from a large number of women artisans, from more than 31 States and Union Territories.
Feb 18, 2021 23:44 (IST)
New Restrictions In Maharashtra As Daily Cases Cross 5,000 After 75 Days
Maharashtra declared fresh restrictions in two districts as coronavirus figures started a slow climb in the state after being at a for two months. Lockdown in Amravati will begin at 8 pm on Saturday and stay in place till Monday morning. Another district, Yavatmal, was also placed under restriction due to rising Covid cases. Today, the state reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases, a new high after a gap of 75 days.

Schools and colleges to remain closed till February 28 in Yavatmal. Restaurants and function halls will operate and wedding ceremonies will be held with less than 50 per cent capacity. Assembly of five or more people will not be allowed, the district collector said.

Amravati collector Shailesh Naval today appealed to the people to follow Covid protocols. Read

Feb 18, 2021 20:46 (IST)
Be Ready To Sacrifice Your Standing Crop: Rakesh Tikait At Haryana Mahapanchayat
Asserting that they won't return home till the farm laws are repealed, Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday said farmers should be ready to sacrifice their standing crop for it.

Mr Tikait said the government should not be under the impression that the movement against the laws will end as farmers will go to their villages to harvest their crop.

"Even if you have to set your standing crop on fire, you should be prepared for it. The government should not harbour this impression that farmers will return home. We will harvest crops and continue our agitation at the same time," he said addressing a "mahapanchayat" at Hisar's Kharak Poonia village in Haryana. "There will be no "ghar wapsi" till then," he said.

Feb 18, 2021 19:14 (IST)
Covid Figures Moving Up, Maharashtra Declares A Day's Lockdown In Amravati
Maharashtra has declared a weekend lockdown in one district, Amravati, as coronavirus figures started a slow climb in the state after lying low for two months. Lockdown in the district will begin at 8 pm on Saturday and stay in place till Monday morning.

Amravati collector Shailesh Naval today appealed to the people to follow Covid protocols.

Announcing the lockdown in the district, he said: "Due to increase in COVID-19 cases, we are imposing a one-day lockdown in Amravati district from Saturday evening 8 pm till Monday morning 7am".

Feb 18, 2021 18:06 (IST)
We Will Take Our Tractors To Bengal, Warns Farmer Leader Rakesh Tikait
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait on Thursday said the protesting farmers will take the agitation to the poll-bound West Bengal if the Centre does not concur with their demands against the new farm laws.

Addressing a maha panchayat at Kharak Punia in Hisar, Mr Tikait said, "Crops prices are not increased, but fuel prices have gone up. If Centre ruins the situation, we will take our tractors to West Bengal as well. Farmers have not been getting minimum support price (MSP) there also."

"The Centre should not be under any misconception that farmers will go back for crop harvesting. If they insisted (cracking down the protest), then we will burn our crops. They should not think that protest will end in two months. We will harvest as well as protest," added Mr Tikait.

Feb 18, 2021 17:16 (IST)
"Kisan Panchayat" By Priyanka Gandhi In Mathura Postponed To February 23
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's Kisan panchayat' scheduled in Uttar Pradesh's Mathura district on February 19 has been postponed to February 23, due to the demise of former Union Minister Captain Satish Sharma.

"Kisan Panchayat to be held in Mathura on 19 February 2021 has been postponed to 23 February due to the untimely demise of Captain Satish Sharma ji. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be attending his funeral tomorrow to be held at Dayanand Mukti Dham, Lodhi Road," read an official statement from the office of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

"Captain Satish Sharma was a dear friend who stood by the family through thick and thin. People of Amethi and Raebareli will always remember him as a people's person who stood by them during difficult times. While expressing her sorrow, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that she and her family have lost a true friend," the statement added.


Feb 18, 2021 16:49 (IST)
Collaboration Shown In Fighting Covid Valuable Takeaway: PM At 10 Nations Meet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday called for greater integration among South Asian and Indian Ocean island countries, saying the spirit of regional solidarity shown during the COVID-19 pandemic has proven such integration is possible.

Addressing a workshop on "COVID-19 Management: Experience, Good Practices and Way Forward" with 10 neighbouring countries, including the extended neighbourhood, PM Modi said the spirit of collaboration is a valuable takeaway from this pandemic.

The prime minister said that if 21st century is to be the Asian century, then it cannot be without greater integration among South Asian and Indian Ocean island countries.
Feb 18, 2021 16:18 (IST)
Trains Stopped As Farmers Squat On Tracks In Parts Of Haryana, UP
Farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws have gathered near rail tracks in parts of Punjab, Haryana Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka for the ''rail roko'' protest. The agitation, which started at noon, will continue till 4 pm and will be peaceful, the farmers have said.  Train services have been stopped in several areas as part of precautionary measure. Security has been tightened in Punjab and Haryana, with the deployment of the government railway police and the state police.

Ghaziabad near Delhi -- where protesting farmers have been blocking the highway since November -- has also been put under a security blanket.

In Haryana, the train stations at Sonipat, Ambala and Jind were completely blocked.  Protesters, many of them women, squatted on the railway Ambala, Kurukshetra, Panipat, Panchkula and Fatehabad (Bhattu Kalan) districts.

Feb 18, 2021 15:56 (IST)
How To Register For Covid Vaccine Once Co-WIN Is Launched For Public
The government today dismissed rumours that the Co-WIN app for self-registration of coronavirus vaccine beneficiaries will be made available this month for citizens above 50. The 50-plus category is the third population priority group after healthcare workers and frontline workers who are being administered the vaccines at present. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Monday had said that the centre will be in a situation to administer vaccines against coronavirus to those above 50 years of age in March.

"A #WhatsApp message claims that the inoculation registration on the #CowinApp will open in February for citizens aged above 50. #PIBFactCheck: This claim is #Fake. No such decision has been taken by the Government. Conclusion: FAKE," the Press Information Bureau's fact-checking account tweeted. Read


Feb 18, 2021 15:31 (IST)
Foreign envoys who are on a visit to Jammu and Kashmir meet the civil administration in Jammu.

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Feb 18, 2021 13:44 (IST)
Trains Stopped As Farmers Squat On Tracks In Parts Of Haryana, UP
Farmers protesting against the Centre's new farm laws have gathered near rail tracks in parts of Punjab, Haryana Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka for the ''rail roko'' protest. Train services have been stopped in several areas as part of precautionary measure. Security has been tightened in Punjab and Haryana, with the deployment of the government railway police and the state police. Read more

Trains Stopped As Farmers Squat On Tracks In Parts Of Haryana, UP

Feb 18, 2021 13:43 (IST)
JustIn| PM Modi launches Inland Water Terminal, jetties, North East Data Centre and e-portals PANI and CAR-D for ease of doing business
Feb 18, 2021 12:46 (IST)
 The delegation of foreign envoys, visiting the union territory, meets the Chief Justice of J&K High Court, Pankaj Mittal in Jammu.

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Feb 18, 2021 12:45 (IST)
JustIn| 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan to join BJP, will likely contest in Kerala election
Feb 18, 2021 12:19 (IST)
Exclusive: Government Develops Its Own WhatsApp, It's Being Tested Now
Amid the raging controversy over privacy on WhatsApp, the government is planning a whole new approach - its own version of the messaging app. Read more

Exclusive: Government Develops Its Own WhatsApp, It's Being Tested Now
Feb 18, 2021 11:36 (IST)
JustIn| Supreme Court says conspiracy can't be ruled out against former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, closes case

Feb 18, 2021 11:12 (IST)
PM Modi's ''Pariksha Pe Charcha'' to be held online due to COVID-19: Education Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's annual interaction with students ''Pariksha Pe Charcha'' will be held online in this year in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said on Thursday.

The interaction with students from classes 9 to 12 ahead of their exams will be held in March, the minister said.

"I feel happy to share that the interaction every student was waiting for is back! Get ready to smile your way through exams with PM @narendramodi in #ParikshaPeCharcha2021," he said in a tweet.

"In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the interaction will be conducted online," he said in another tweet.

The registration for the programme will begin from Thursday and conclude on March 14.

Feb 18, 2021 10:24 (IST)
Feb 18, 2021 10:23 (IST)
Coronavirus News Updates: 369 new COVID-19 cases in Thane, 6 more deaths

Thane has added 369 new cases of coronavirus, taking the infection count in the Maharashtra district to 2,58,694,an official said on Thursday.

Six deaths due to COVID-19 were also reported on Wednesday, raising the toll in the district to 6,214, he said.

The COVID-19 fatality rate in the district is 2.40 per cent, he said.

So far, 2,49,115patients have recovered from the infection in the district, reflecting a recovery rate of 96.30 per cent.

There are 3,365 active COVID-19 cases in the district at present, the official said.

Feb 18, 2021 09:56 (IST)
Coronavirus News Updates: Three new cases take Mizoram's COVID-19 tally to 4,399

Three more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, taking the tally in the state to 4,399, an official said on Thursday.

Two fresh cases were reported from Lawngtlai district and one from Saitual, he said.

One new patient has travel history, while two were detected during contact tracing, the official said, adding they were asymptomatic.

Mizoram now has 20 active cases and 4,369 people have recovered from the disease.

The recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state stands at 99.32 per cent.
Feb 18, 2021 09:56 (IST)
Coronavirus News Updates: Three new cases take Mizoram's COVID-19 tally to 4,399

Three more persons have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mizoram, taking the tally in the state to 4,399, an official said on Thursday.

Two fresh cases were reported from Lawngtlai district and one from Saitual, he said.

One new patient has travel history, while two were detected during contact tracing, the official said, adding they were asymptomatic.

Mizoram now has 20 active cases and 4,369 people have recovered from the disease.

The recovery rate among coronavirus patients in the state stands at 99.32 per cent.
Feb 18, 2021 09:40 (IST)
JustIn| 12,881 fresh COVID-19 cases in India, nearly 11% higher than yesterday; 1.09 crore total cases, 1.56 lakh deaths
Feb 18, 2021 09:08 (IST)
India a critical partner, says Pentagon; Quad foreign ministers to meet virtually on Thursday

India is a critical partner, especially when one considers all the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, the Pentagon said on the eve of the maiden Quad ministerial meeting under the Biden administration.

Quad ministerial is an informal grouping of four countries, namely, Australia, India, Japan and the United States.

"India is a critical partner, especially when you consider all of the challenges in the Indo-Pacific region," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

State Department Spokesperson, Ned Price, told reporters at his daily news conference, "I am pleased to announce that tomorrow (Thursday) morning, Secretary Blinken and his counterparts from Japan, Australia and India will speak together.

"This discussion with the Quad foreign ministers is critical to advancing our shared goals of a free and open Indo-Pacific and rising to the defining challenges of our time, including coordinating our efforts on COVID-19 response as well as climate change," he said.

Feb 18, 2021 08:12 (IST)
Petrol reaches Rs 89.88 per litre, diesel Rs 80.27 per litre

Petrol and diesel prices have gone up again in the national capital and stood at Rs 89.88 per litre and Rs 80.27 per litre, respectively on Thursday morning.

The price of petrol price saw a hike of 34 paise per litre today, while diesel price increased by 32 paise per litre.

Earlier, during her budget speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced the imposition of Agriculture Infrastructure and Development Cess (AIDC) of Rs 2.5 per litre on petrol and Rs 4 per litre on diesel.

Feb 18, 2021 07:07 (IST)
Piyush Goyal flags off goods train on newly electrified Manigram-Nimtita section

Union Minister for Railways Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Wednesday flagged off a goods train on the newly electrified Manigram-Nimtita section in West Bengal through video conference.

In his address Piyush Goyal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stated, "Our efforts will be directed towards making the state of West Bengal a premier state in trading and business activity in the country."

Railways can play an important role in the development of West Bengal by expanding passenger connectivity, by expanding connectivity of freight trains, ensuring the availability of raw materials, and moving the products from West Bengal to all parts of the country.

He said that every single line in West Bengal will be electrified by 2023 thereby reducing pollution, increasing speed, and augmenting passengers'' amenities. In the last six years, Rs 19,811 crore has been invested in West Bengal to improve the railway infrastructure.
Feb 18, 2021 06:50 (IST)
We want to congratulate all Congress workers who are behind this win: Sunil Jakhar after Congress win in Punjab

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday hailed the performance of the party in local body elections and said that people have reposed faith in the Congress government in the state.

"We want to congratulate all Congress workers who are behind this win. I also congratulate people of Punjab who reposed their trust in the government led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. They voted for us. We have given a reply to BJP and opposition parties," Mr Jakhar said at a press conference.

"People of the state exercised their right in a democratic manner. BJP ignored the feeling of people in the state. We will continue to work hard in the future," he added.

Feb 18, 2021 06:40 (IST)
Over 1.22 lakh beneficiaries administered first dose of COVID in single day in Rajasthan

Over 1.22 lakh beneficiaries were administered the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in a single-day in Rajasthan on Wednesday.

Heath Secretary Siddharth Mahajan said that 1,22,030 frontline workers and 337 health workers got the jabs on Wednesday.

He said that the frontline workers who were administered the dose were from the Panchayti Raj institutions.

Mahajan said that this is the largest number of doses to be given to employees of a single department on a single-day under the vaccination programme that started on January 16
Feb 18, 2021 06:22 (IST)
Indonesia kicks off second wave of Covid-19 vaccinations

Market traders were among the first to benefit from Indonesia's second phase of mass vaccinations against the coronavirus on Wednesday, as the government looks to right the country's pandemic-battered economy.

Medical teams are now focusing on workers in close contact with the public and people over 60, authorities announced, after a first phase prioritising health workers, 1.1 million of whom have been vaccinated according to the health ministry.

Indonesia's economy -- Southeast Asia's largest -- has lurched into recession during an outbreak which has infected almost 1.3 million people and killed more than 33,000, according to official data, though low testing rates mean the figures could be much higher.

The new phase was launched with a mass inoculation at Jakarta's Tanah Abang textile market, home to about 55,000 sellers.
Feb 18, 2021 06:09 (IST)
Venezuela to begin Covid immunization program with Sputnik V

Venezuela will begin immunizing health care workers and public sector employees on Thursday with the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, President Nicolas Maduro announced on Wednesday.

Legislators, armed forces personnel and authorities "whose work in the streets justifies ... their special protection for the state to keep functioning" will be amongst the first to receive their vaccines, Maduro said.

A mass immunization campaign for the general public will begin in April, he added.

The first 100,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Caracas on Saturday, however there is no timetable for any further deliveries.

Venezuela has agreed to acquire 10 million doses of Sputnik V as well as reserving 1.4 to 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford jab through the World Health Organization's Covax system.
Feb 18, 2021 05:59 (IST)
Why Amitabh Bachchan, Akshay Kumar quiet on fuel prices now, asks Congress leader

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole on Wednesday asked why Bollywood celebrities, including actors Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar, who had tweeted about high fuel prices during the UPA regime were quiet now.

Stars such as Bachchan and Kumar had tweeted when the price of petrol rose to Rs 70 per litre, Mr Patole said at a press conference. 

"But now the price is nearly Rs 100 per litre. Why are they quiet? Don''t they have the courage to speak against the dictatorial Modi government," Mr Patole, who had had a brief stint with the BJP before returning to the Congress'' fold, said. 

"The UPA government functioned democratically, hence they could criticise it," he further said.
Fuel prices should be reduced to give relief to the common people, he added. Besides high petrol and diesel prices, the price of LPG cylinder too has gone up to Rs 800, Mr Patole noted.
Feb 18, 2021 05:41 (IST)
UN urges global Covid vaccine plan, warns of dangerous inequity
The United Nations on Wednesday led calls for a coordinated global effort to vaccinate against Covid-19, warning that gaping inequities in initial efforts put the whole planet at risk. 

Foreign ministers met virtually for a first-ever UN Security Council session on vaccinations called by current chair Britain, which said the world had a "moral duty" to act together against the pandemic that has killed more than 2.4 million people. 

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres voiced alarm that just 10 nations have administered 75 percent of doses so far -- and 130 countries have had none at all. 

"The world urgently needs a global vaccination plan to bring together all those with the required power, scientific expertise and production and financial capacities," Guterres said.

Feb 18, 2021 05:30 (IST)
As temperatures soar, Kerala government reschedules working hours for labourers

The Kerala government on Wednesday decided to reschedule the working hours for labourers in the state effective immediately till April 30, considering the rising daytime temperatures.

Labour Commissioner S Chitra issued the order to avoid incidences of sunstroke among those workers who are exposed to the hot sun.

The average temperature across the state hovered around 33 degrees Celsius on Wednesday.

The order was issued under section 24 and 25 of the Minimum Wages Act, 1958. The sections deal with the working hours of labourers.

"As per the order, the working hours of the labourers have been rescheduled for the period starting from February 17 to April 30. The eight hours of duty will be from 7 AM to 7 PM with a mandatory break of three hours from 12 noon to 3 PM," a state government statement said.