15 lakh Indians vaccinated against covid-19 on March 5; highest in a day

News Network
March 6, 2021

New Delhi, Mar 6: Nearly 15 lakh people were inoculated against coronavirus on March 5, the highest in a day so far, taking the total number of vaccine doses administered in the country to over 1.94 crore, official sources said on Saturday.

The countrywide Covid-19 vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16 with healthcare workers (HCWs) getting inoculated. The vaccination of frontline workers (FLWs) had started from February 2.

Administering of second dose of Covid-19 vaccine started on February 13 for those beneficiaries who had completed 28 days after receipt of the first dose.

The next phase of Covid-19 vaccination drive commenced from March 1 for those above 60 years of age and for people aged 45 years and above with specified co-morbid conditions.

As on Day 49 (March 5) of the vaccination drive, a total of 14,92,201 Covid-19 vaccine doses were given. Out of which, 11,99,848 beneficiaries were vaccinated across 18,333 sessions for the first dose (HCWs and FLWs), and 2,92,353 HCWs and FLWs received the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine, health ministry said.

These beneficiaries (11,99,848) include 1,10,857 individuals, aged between 45-60 years, having specified comorbidities, and 7,61,355 people aged above 60 years.

More than 1.94 crore (1,94,97,704) vaccine doses have been administered through 3,57,478 sessions, as per the provisional report till Saturday 7 am.

These include 69,15,661 HCWs (first dose), 33,56,830 HCWs (second dose), 63,55,989 FLWs (first dose) and 1,44,191 FLWs (second dose), 3,46,758 beneficiaries aged more than 45 years with specific co-morbidities (first dose) and 23,78,275 beneficiaries aged more than 60 years, it said.

Meanwhile, the ministry said, Maharashtra, Kerala, Punjab, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have reported a high number of COVID-19 daily new cases, cumulatively accounting for 82 per cent of the new cases reported in a span of 24 hours.

A total of 18,327 new cases were registered in a span of 24 hours, it said.

Maharashtra has reported the highest daily new cases at 10,216 followed by Kerala with 2,776 cases, while Punjab reported 808 new cases.

Eight states are displaying an upward trajectory in daily new coronavirus cases, the ministry highlighted.

India's total Covid-19 active cases have reached 1,80,304, comprising 1.61 per cent of the country’s total number of infections.

On the other hand, 21 states and Union territories (UTs) have less than 1,000 active cases, the ministry said.

Arunachal Pradesh has reported only three active cases.

Showing the change in active cases for states/UTs in 24 hours, the ministry said Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu have shown a reduction in the active cases in a span of 24 hours.

On the other hand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Haryana have displayed a rise in the active cases during the same time period, it noted.

Besides, 108 deaths due to the disease were reported in a day, it said.

Six states account for 85.2 per cent of the new deaths. Maharashtra saw the maximum casualties (53). Kerala follows with 16 daily deaths and Punjab reported 11 deaths in a span of 24 hours.

Eighteen states/UTs have not reported any Covid-19 deaths in a span of 24 hours. These are Gujarat, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Assam, Sikkim, Manipur, Ladakh, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Mizoram, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. 

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Agencies
April 3,2021

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Back in October, Harold Hamm predicted a win by Joe Biden in the US election would “strange and starve oil and gas.” Instead, he’s made a killing.

With shares of his Continental Resources Inc. more than doubling in the past six months, Hamm’s personal fortune has jumped this year by $3.3 billion to $8.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Sure, Biden won in November and is now promoting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But crude prices have surged in recent months amid supply cuts and increased demand for natural gas to renewables as economies emerge from the Covid-19 crisis. Hamm, 75, who supported Donald Trump in the election, is one of the biggest gainers among energy billionaires.

Energy tycoons from the US to Russia and India have also boosted their fortunes. Their combined net worth climbed about $51 billion in the first quarter — or roughly 10 per cent — the fastest rate of any group in the Bloomberg index.

Positive Outlook

Leonid Mikhelson, 65, co-owner of the largest non-state-owned natural-gas provider in Russia, has added $3.8 billion in 2021, threatening to take over the top spot among the nation’s richest. India’s Gautam Adani has gained $23.3 billion this year — the most of anyone in the world.

The outlook for energy companies like Continental Resources -- which struggled last year -- has turned more positive, with Hamm’s shale-oil producer even expected to return to profitability.

At their meeting this week, OPEC+ members expressed confidence about the economic recovery and agreed to gradually increase oil production in the coming months. In February, JPMorgan Chase & Co. talked about a new supercycle for commodities, echoing similar comments from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Oil has climbed 66 per cent in the past six months, and some bulls predict prices could once again top $100 a barrel by the end of next year.

“Higher oil prices translate directly into higher profits and increase these companies’ returns to their shareholders,” said Ryan Dusek, director at Opportune, a commodity risk-advisory group in Houston.

Still, the increasing focus on eco-friendly measures is threatening oil producers in the longer term. Biden wants to make the US electricity grid carbon-free by 2035, while China and the European Union aim to be carbon neutral by 2060 and 2050, respectively.

Green Ambitions

That’s why some companies have been boosting their green ambitions. Adani, who spent two decades building an empire centered around coal, has plans to increase his firm’s renewable-energy capacity almost eightfold by 2025 and has gotten backing from big players including French oil giant Total SE. Mikhelson’s Novatek PJSC, whose Yamal LNG plant in Russia’s Arctic has been operating above capacity, wants to clean up its output even as it more than triples production by the end of the decade.

Even with the recent energy gains, technology remains the main creator of wealth globally, with the wealthiest entrepreneurs in that industry adding $87.6 billion so far this year. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google parent Alphabet Inc., and Su Hua of Chinese video service Kuaishou Technology are among the top gainers after Adani.

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News Network
April 12,2021

New Delhi, Apr 12: Airlines are not permitted to serve meals in flights that have a duration of less than two hours, the Civil Aviation Ministry said on Monday, as coronavirus cases continue to soar in the country.

The ban will come into effect from Thursday, the ministry said in its order.

When scheduled domestic flights were resumed on May 25 after coronavirus lockdown last year, the ministry had allowed the airlines to serve in-flight meals under certain conditions.

Modifying the previous order, the ministry's fresh directive said: "The airlines, operating flights on domestic sectors, may provide meals services on board, where the in-flight duration is two hours or more."

The ministry stated it has decided to review the on-board meal services in domestic flights considering "the increasing threat of Covid-19 and its variants".

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News Network
April 2,2021

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Bengaluru, Apr 2: A massive forest fire has broken out on the campus of Bangalore University located on Mysuru Road in Bengaluru. 

The fire broke out on Friday morning in the shrubbery located near Pariksha Bhavan on the campus, which is 100 metres away from the administrative block. 

Two engines have been sent to the spot to help douse the blaze. An official from the Bengaluru fire department said at 1 pm that fire fighting operations have been going on for two hours. No injuries have been reported so far. Visuals from the spot showed a large patch of dry grass on fire, with officials trying to douse it.

Grass fire and the dry weather and higher temperatures in Bengaluru may have accelerated the fire. Such fires are common in Bengaluru and officials say the fire may have been sparked by a cigarette butt that may have been disposed of at the spot. 

An employee working at the University said that the campus has many eucalyptus trees, which create a lot of dry leaves in the summer, which are susceptible to catching fire. 

The lack of shade also adds to the factors that help the fire spread, the University said, adding that if such incidents need to be stopped, the eucalyptus trees need to be replaced and other trees need to be planted in their place. 

Last year too, a forest fire had broken out at the University's Jnanabharati campus in March 2020, and at that time too, some dried eucalyptus leaves that had piled up at the spot had caught fire.

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