Karnataka eases covid rules at airports, to reopen swimming pools

News Network
October 18, 2021

Bengaluru, Oct 18: The government of Karnataka has decided to ease some Covid-19 requirements at airports. 

In an order issued by Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar, it is stated that SPO2 routine checks (except in cases of fever, cough, cold, difficulty in breathing and so on) would be discontinued.

The government has also decided to “discontinue RT-PCR test report checking on arrival, except for those from selected countries notified by the Government of India, to be conducted at the airport”.

“Instead, there will be mandatory uploading of the RT-PCR report in the Air Suvidha portal by the passenger and checking of the same by the concerned airlines before the boarding of the passenger,” the order states, adding that automated thermal cameras should be used to reorganise the monitoring of passengers. 

The relaxations have been ordered based on recommendations of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) “after considering consistent decline in the number of daily Covid-19 cases, test positivity rate and overall decline in active cases,” the order states. 

Swimming pools

The government also permitted swimming pools to reopen at 50 per cent capacity in each batch for only asymptomatic people. 

Swimming pools have been closed for everyone except for athletes to train. 

The government stated that swimming pools can open at 50 per cent capacity of each batch “with a display of the number allowable at entrance”. Only fully vaccinated persons will be allowed.

All persons should be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms and “only asymptomatics shall be allowed”, the order states. 

“After every batch, the restrooms, walkways and other common areas used by the swimmers shall be disinfected using 1 per cent sodium hypochlorite solution,” the government said. 

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News Network
November 30,2021

Riyadh, Nov 30: Saudi Arabia’s General Directorate of Passports (Jawazat) has announced that expatriates from 17 countries including India can benefit from the recent government decision to extend the validity of residency permit (iqama), exit and re-entry visas and visit visas without any fee.

The 17 countries are India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Brazil, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, and Eswatini (Swaziland).

The Jawazat has started automatically extending the validity of iqama and exit and re-entry visa until Jan. 31, 2022 without charging expatriate levy or any other fees. This is in line with implementation of the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

The extension will not be applicable to expatriates who are fully vaccinated in the Kingdom before their departure abroad on exit and re-entry visa.

The King’s directive also includes extending the validity of visit visas issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for visitors who are outside the Kingdom and who are from countries facing travel ban as a result of the outbreak of coronavirus. The period of extension will be until Jan. 31.

This extension falls within the government’s continuing efforts to mitigate the financial and economic repercussions of COVID-19, and as part of precautionary measures and preventive protocols that ensure the safety of citizens and expatriates.

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Agencies
November 20,2021

modishame.jpg

New Delhi, Nov 20: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have caved in to farmers' demands that he scraps laws they say threaten their livelihoods.

But the reaction to the shock U-turn in the northern states, where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) faces key elections next year, has been less than positive, a worrying sign for a leader seeking to maintain his grip on national politics.

In Uttar Pradesh's Mohraniya, farmer Guru Sevak Singh said that he and others like him lost faith in Modi and his party.

"Today Prime Minister Modi realised that he was committing blunder, but it took him a year to recognise this and only because he now knows farmers will not vote for his party ever again," said Singh.

For the young farmer, the matter is deeply personal.

Singh's 19-year-old brother Guruvinder was killed in October when a car ploughed into a crowd protesting against the farm legislation, one of eight people who died in a spate of violence related to the farmers' uprising.

Thousands of agricultural workers have protested outside New Delhi and beyond for more than a year, shrugging off the pandemic to disrupt traffic and pile pressure on Modi and the BJP who say the new laws were key to modernising the sector.

"Today I can announce that my brother is a martyr," Singh told Reuters, weeping as he held a picture of his dead brother.

"My brother is among those brave farmers who sacrificed their lives to prove that the government was implementing laws to destroy the agrarian economy," he added.

Around him were several police officers, who Singh said were provided after his brother and three others were killed by the car. Ashish Mishra, son of MoS Ajay, is in police custody in relation to the incident.

Ajay Mishra Teni said at the time that his son was not at the site and that a car driven by "our driver" had lost control and hit the farmers after "miscreants" pelted it with stones and attacked it with sticks and swords.

'How can we forget?'

In 2020, the Modi government passed three farm laws in a bid to overhaul the agriculture sector that employs about 60 per cent of India's workforce but is deeply inefficient, in debt and prone to pricing wars.

Angry farmers took to the streets, saying the reforms put their jobs at risk and handed control over crops and prices to private corporations.

The resulting protest movement became one of the country's biggest and most protracted.

Leaders of six farmer unions who spearheaded the movement in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab states said they would not forgive a government that labelled protesting farmers as terrorists and anti-nationals.

"Farmers were beaten with sticks, rods and detained for demanding legitimate rights ... farmers were mowed down by a speeding car belonging to a minister's family ... tell me how can we forget it all?" said Sudhakar Rai, a senior member of a farmers' union in Uttar Pradesh.

Rai said at least 170 farmers were killed during anti-farm law protests across the country. There are no official data to verify his claims.

A senior BJP member who declined to be named said the decision to repeal the laws was taken by Modi after he consulted a top farmers' association affiliated to his party.

The politician, who was at the meeting when the party agreed to back down, said those present conceded the BJP had failed to communicate the benefits of the new laws clearly enough.

Leaders of the opposition and some analysts said Modi's move was linked to state elections next year in Uttar Pradesh - which accounts for more parliamentary seats than any other state - and Punjab.

"What cannot be achieved by democratic protests can be achieved by the fear of impending elections!" wrote P. Chidambaram, a senior figure in the opposition Congress party, on Twitter.

But farmers like Singh warned that the government could pay a price for its treatment of farmers.

"We are the backbone of the country and Modi has today accepted that his policies were against farmers," said Singh. "I lost my brother in this mess and no one can bring him back."

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News Network
November 29,2021

Hubballi, Nov 29: Sri Ram Sena President Pramod Muthalik claimed that neither BJP nor Sangh Parivar is extending any kind of support to their fight for a Hindu Rashtra.

“On the contrary, they are creating hurdles in our efforts to establish Hindu Rashtra,” he said during a programme organised by Hubballi-Dharwad Sri Ram Sena district Unit here on Sunday.

Muthalik claimed that only ‘Rama’ is with them and not any political party or Sangh Parivar. “Just because we are fighting for Hindutva, the governments have slapped 107 legal cases against me. Even our office bearers have been facing cases,” he said and added that irrespective of the number of cases filed against them Sri Ram Sena will continue to fight for protecting Hindutva.

He said the government is treating them as criminals as they are asked to visit police stations during every festival of Muslims and Christians. "The governments have been treating cow protectors and warriors of Hindutva as criminals. The police are also filing cases against our workers when they prevent Love Jihad cases," he said.

He said there is no question of compromising with issues related to Muslims and Christians. Sri Ram Sena had opposed Iftar Meet at Srikrishna Mutt, Udupi and staged a protest. "We have the support of a few Seers and pontiffs for making India a Hindu Rashtra," he said.

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