Saud Arabia becomes more vigilant amid drastic rise in covid cases 

News Network
April 5, 2021

Jeddah, Apr 5: Saudi Arabia’s critical COVID-19 cases have risen in the past few weeks, prompting calls from relevant authorities for the public to adhere to measures designed to limit the spread of the virus.

At a press conference on Sunday, Interior Ministry spokesman Lt. Col. Talal Al-Shalhoub said the “unfortunate rise in daily cases” is due to “individuals who have been lax in following precautionary measures.” He added: “Each violation adds to the frightening rise in numbers.”

Al-Shalhoub warned that field inspectors in coordination with relevant authorities will remain vigilant, and will issue fines and closures when necessary.

He issued a reminder that infected individuals could be fined up to SR200,000 (Rs 40 lakh), jailed for up to two years, or both, if they violate quarantine measures.

Those spreading misinformation about COVID-19 on social media face fines from SR100,000 to SR1 million, jail time of no less than a year and no more than five, or both.

Last week, 27,083 violations were reported, 32 percent of them in the Riyadh region.

At the press conference, Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said there are nearly 800 cases in intensive care units (ICUs) across the Kingdom.

“Authorities noted a drastic increase in daily cases in the past two days, most of which were reported in … Riyadh, Jeddah and the Eastern Province. The numbers we’re recording today are the same that were reported last year,” he added.

“We all remember, painfully, the various leaps in numbers that led to stricter measures. Will we repeat last year’s scenario and reach last year’s peak?”

Al-Abd Al-Aly reminded the public of the importance of adhering to the rules. “Many sacrifices and painful moments were seen and felt in this journey, strict measures and procedures to control the spread — there’s more left to do,” he said. “We surely don’t want to repeat the sacrifices again.”

Regarding the newest update on the Health Ministry’s Tawakkalna app, he said three new icons will show users’ immunization status: Immune (user received both vaccine doses), immune recovered (user recovered from COVID-19 but has not received the vaccine), and immunized with first dose.

Almost 5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the Kingdom, at a rate of 124,158 doses per day as of Sunday. More than 14.3 percent of the population has been inoculated so far.

On Sunday, 673 new cases were reported, raising the total number of those infected to 392,682.

There are 6,169 active cases, 782 of which are in ICUs. The number of recoveries has risen to 379,816, with 504 new ones reported in the past 24 hours, leading to a slight rise in the Kingdom’s recovery rate to 96.7 percent. Seven new deaths were reported, raising the tally to 6,697. In the past 24 hours, 51,414 polymerase chain reaction tests were conducted, raising the total number to 15.3 million.

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News Network
April 7,2021

Mumbai, Apr 7: The Indian Premier League is not only one of the world's most lucrative annual sporting properties but also among the most durable, with not even the lengthening shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic apparently able to stop the Twenty20 juggernaut.

Last year's delayed tournament was shifted to the United Arab Emirates but the 14th edition returns to India, where the coronavirus situation has worsened significantly in recent weeks.

The surge in new cases could yet scupper plans to host the tournament in bio-secure bubbles at six venues across the country, starting on Friday in Chennai and climaxing at the world's largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on May 30.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI), however, is bullish about the chances of pulling it off.

"We did it successfully in Dubai last year. We are confident we are going to do it again this time," BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly told the press.

Champions Mumbai Indians, captained by Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore get the eight-team tournament going at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.

Both teams have already been hit by Covid-19 cases in their camps, however, raising questions over the effectiveness of the health protections afforded to the cricketers by the bubble.

Players will be well compensated for their stint in India as, even without ticket sales, the IPL was still worth $6.19 billion last year, according to financial consultancy firm Duff & Phelps. That was down from $6.78 billion in 2019.

The BCCI would have been left with a $542 million hole in its coffers if it had cancelled its flagship event last year but ended up with record TV and digital viewership.

With curfews currently in force in many Indian states, the IPL can be expected to surpass last year's viewership numbers with cricket fans in the world's second most populous nation set to be glued to TV sets and electronic devices.

Bhairav Shanth, the managing director of global sport consulting firm ITW, said interest among advertisers has been high this year and predicted a windfall for broadcasters because of the "tremendous" pull of the IPL.

"For a tournament that is having another edition barely six months removed from the last one, the appetite has been fantastic," Shanth told Reuters. "In 2020, there was a slight dip in deal volume and sizes.

"But now as we see this edition occupy the prime summer slot with nothing else significant on TV to compete against, we have already seen new partners come on board in the league at a premium of 30-40 per cent from what it was last year."

Even the recent spike in the number of Covid-19 cases has not deterred the cream of world cricket from heading to India, where the T20 World Cup will also be held later this year.

Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Ben Stokes has been delighted to see so many of his England colleagues plying their trade in recent editions of the IPL.

"Being constantly exposed to that is a huge benefit to us as a team, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up at the end of the year in India," he told Sky Sports.

"It's a great chance for the English guys to get more experience in these conditions." 

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News Network
April 14,2021

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The Kolkata Knight Riders managed to lose their bearings in an astonishing fashion as the Mumbai Indians spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya fashioned an improbable 10-run victory in an IPL encounter on Tuesday.

Chasing a target of 153, KKR were on course reaching 122 for 4 in the 15th over, before the last five fetched only 20 runs as they stunningly fell short giving defending champions their first win.  

Bollywood superstar and co-owner of the KKR franchise, Shah Rukh Khan was disappointed by the bewildering defeat and tweeted an apology to the fans. He said, "Disappointing performance. to say the least @KKRiders apologies to all the fans!" 

Krunal Pandya (1/13 in 4 overs) and Rahul Chahar (4/27 in 4 overs) were brilliant in checking the run-flow after a 72 run opening stand between Nitish Rana (57 off 47 balls) and Shubman Gill (33 off 24 balls).

But it was Jasprit Bumrah (0/28) and Trent Boult (2/27), who were magnificent at the death keeping Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik under check in a game that will be talked about for years to come especially how KKR capitulated.

Required to show some sensible approach, the KKR batting unit adopted a strange approach as they were restricted to 142/7 to continue their miserable record with MI. They now have 22 losses against six wins over MI.

Krunal bowled an exceptional 18th over giving away just three runs, as the duo of Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell struggled to get going before Bumrah applied more pressure in the penultimate over.

Needing 15 from the last over, it was a tough ask for KKR and Trent Boult dismissed Russell and Pat Cummins in successive balls to seal the issue.

KKR off-spinner Harbhajan Singh also tweeted "Gutted" after the loss. He walked in to bat when KKR needed 13 runs to win from two deliveries.

KKR is currently placed in the fifth position on the IPL points table.

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coastaldigest.com web desk
April 13,2021

ugadi.jpg

Natives of Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh celebrate Ugadi on the Pratipada Tithi of Chaitra, Shukla Paksha. It marks the beginning of their New Year. This festival concurs with Sindhi people's Cheti Chand, Maharashtrians and Konkani's Gudi Padwa and Samvatsara. Read on to know the Ugadi 2021 date and significance.

Significance

Ugadi is traditionally referred to as Yugadi. It consists of two Sanskrit words- Yug meaning era and Adi meaning beginning). On this day, people rise early, take an oil bath and wear new clothes to symbolise a new beginning. 

The festivities begin with the decoration of the courtyard and the house with rangoli, flowers and torans made of mango leaves and most importantly, neem. 

Ugadi and Spring Season

Ugadi marks the beginning of spring or the Vasant Ritu. Farmers wait for the first showers after the New Year to plough and begin the next cycle of farming. The festival celebrates nature's regeneration. All trees begin to sprout tender leaves. The markets are flooded with different types of fruits. And most importantly Neem trees begin to blossom.

New Ventures on Ugadi

Ugadi is also considered to be the ideal time to start new ventures. Housewarming, starting of construction of new houses, important documents are signed, purchases are made on the day. The day symbolises hope. A day to start afresh. To forget all the bad of the previous year.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi which is distributed on the day is a unique dish with a mixture of six tastes ranging from sweet to bitter. It comprises of jaggery, raw mango, tamarind, neem flowers, salt and green chilli. This is the first dish that people have on Ugadi day.

Ugadi Pachadi has an important symbolic meaning that life brings different experiences ranging from sweet to bitter. Therefore, each individual should learn to take the different experiences in one's stride and move ahead.

Instead of the Ugadi Pachadi, in some places people serve jaggery mixed with neem leaves. The bitter taste of neem leaves and the sweet of jaggery symbolise joy and sorrow in life. This is more popular with Kannadigas.

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