With spike of 52,050 cases, India's COVID-19 tally reaches 18,55,746

Agencies
August 4, 2020

New Delhi, Aug 4: India witnessed a single-day spike of 52,050 COVID-19 cases as the total cases in the country reached 18,55,746, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday.

803 COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. The total cases include 5,86,298 active cases, 12,30,510 cured/discharged/migrated and 38,938 deaths, the Health Ministry added.

Maharashtra continues to be the worst-affected state as it has a total of 1,47,324 active cases and 15,842 deaths. A total of 4,50,196 coronavirus cases have been recorded in the state up to Monday, according to Union Ministry of Health.

Tamil Nadu reported 5,609 new COVID-19 cases and 109 deaths on Monday, taking total cases to 2,63,222 including 2,02,283 discharges and 4,241 deaths, the state Health Department said.

The total cases in Delhi have risen to 1,38,482 including 1,24,254 recovered/discharged/migrated cases and 4,021 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, India recorded the highest single-day testing by conducting over 6.6 lakh tests to diagnose COVID-19 in the last 24 hours.
"In its fight against COVID-19, India scales a new high of 6,61,715 tests in the last 24 hours," said the Health Ministry in a tweet.

A total of 2,08,64,206 samples for COVID-19 have been tested across the country so far, said the Health Ministry.

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Agencies
September 27,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 27: Former union cabinet minister Jaswant Singh passed away on Sunday after a prolonged illness. He had cardiac arrest this morning.

He was 82.

Mr Singh was admitted to Army Hospital Research and Referral on June 25.

He was admitted on 25 Jun 2020 and being treated for Sepsis with Multiorgan Dysfunction Syndrome and effects of Severe Head Injury old (Optd) had a Cardiac arrest this morning.

“It is with profound grief that we inform about the sad demise of Hon’ble Major Jaswant Singh (Retd), former Cabinet Minister of Government of India at 0655 hours on 27 September 2020,” the Army Hospital Research and Referral said in a statement.

Despite the best efforts of the attending team of specialists to resuscitate him, he could not be revived and passed away today, it said.

His COVID status was negative.

Hailing from Rajasthan, Mr Singh had served as India's foreign minister, defence minister and finance minister.

He was an officer in the Army in the 1950s and 60s but he resigned to pursue politics.

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Agencies
September 19,2020

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 19: Under attack over the gold smuggling case, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday slammed theCongress-led UDF for dragging the Holy Quran into a controversy and alleged the Opposition was towing the BJP-RSS line on the issue and they need to introspect.

It was the RSS and the BJP which had first made the allegation that gold had been smuggled in the guise of importing Quran from the UAE.

This was later picked up by the UDF's Congress and Muslim League leaders, Vijayan told reporters here.

Vijayan was asked how protests against minister K T Jaleel, who had been questioned by the Enforcement Directorate and NIA recently over the import of Quran by the UAE consulate here and his telephone conversation with Swapna Suresh, a key accused in the smuggling case, could be described as being against the Holy Book as was described by the ruling CPI(M).

After the Holy book was brought to the UAE consulate, the consulate general had sought help from Jaleel for distributing it as sakkath (charity) during Ramzan and the minister had obliged, Vijayan said.

"When the BJP-RSS makes such an allegation, it is understandable.But later Congress and IUML leaders spoke in the same vein and gave publicity to it.

UDF convener had even shot off a letter to the Prime Minister and league leaders openly made the allegation, we all saw.On what basis were the allegations made? Why did they make the allegations and for whom?

But Congress and IUML also joined the chorus and gave publicity.Now, it seems they have understood that it has backfired.It is good they realised their blunder," Vijayan said.

There was no need to drag the Holy book into a controversy and there was no need to attack the state government and the minister, he said.

"They should reply to that," the chief minister said when asked about the opposition allegation that gold was smuggled on the pretext of importing Quran.

A day after CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan in an article in "Deshabhimani", the party organ, attacked IUML for dragging the Quran into the gold smuggling controversy, Vijayan took on the League, a prominent ally of the opposition front, saying they should not have insulted the sacred text.

"Congress and IUML need to introspect.RSS have their own agenda.Why did UDF toe the RSS stand?" the chief minister asked.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said the marxist party should not be under the impression that people are fools.

They are aware that Balakrishnan is playing the communal card to give space to BJP and help the saffron party in the state, Chennithala alleged.

"We all respect religious texts-- Bible, Quran, Gita.In the name of a religious text, CPI(M) is trying to unleash communal propaganda to prevent the UDF from speaking about the gold smuggling case," he said.

He claimed the LDF ministry was a "sinking ship" and asserted that the opposition will not back out from its demand for Jaleel's resignation.

Protests by various opposition youth organisation continued for the eighth day today demanding Jaleel's resignation.

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Agencies
September 23,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 23: Junior Railways Minister Suresh Angadi has died nearly two weeks after he tested positive for coronavirus infection. He was admitted to AIIMS in Delhi after his condition worsened. He was the first Union Minister and the fourth MP to die due to COVID-19 infection.

Born in 1955, the BJP leader from Belgaum district in Karnataka has held several positions in the party in his long political career. He started as BJP vice president in Belgaum in 1996, and worked his way up.

He was elected MP in the Lok Sabha election in 2004, and again in 2009. He was elected for a third term in 2014, when the BJP came to power in the centre, and for a fourth term in the general election last year, after which he was made Union Minister of State for Railways.

President Ram Nath Kovind tweeted, "Shocked to know the passing away of Shri Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State of Railways. An amiable leader Shri Angadi worked tirelessly for the people of his constituency, Belagavi and Karnataka."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted his condolences.

"Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional Karyakarta, who worked hard to make the Party strong in Karnataka. He was a dedicated MP and effective Minister, admired across the spectrum. His demise is saddening. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti," PM Modi tweeted.

Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) chief HD Deve Gowda tweeted, "I am shocked and deeply saddened by the demise of Union Minister of State for Railways and four-term MP from Belagavi Shri. Suresh Angadi. He was like a younger brother to me. I feel terrible losing him. This is an unbearable loss to our nation."

Mr Angadi was a law graduate. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

India has been reporting coronavirus cases upwards of 70,000 daily for the past few weeks. Other MPs who have died due to coronavirus infection are H Vasanthkumar, Ashok Gasti and Balli Durga Prasad Rao.

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