Bhakts throng Varanasi, flout covid safety rules despite warnings

News Network
August 2, 2021

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Varanasi, Aug 2: Large crowds of Hindus were seen in Varanasi as they took a dip in the Ganga river and offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath Temple on Monday despite warnings from the authorities to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.

People were seen flouting Covid-19 safety protocols; barely a few people were seen wearing masks and practising social distancing.

On the second day of the month of Shravan, special rituals were done with devotees.
Shravan, the fifth month in the Hindu calendar, is considered to be the most auspicious month of the year.

It is a traditional practice to observe a special fast and visit Shiva temples on 'sawan ke somwar' (Mondays falling in the month of Shravan).

This year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the annual Kanwar Yatra, which is usually undertaken in the month of Shravan, has also been cancelled.

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News Network
September 13,2021

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 13: An Air India Express flight which took off from Kerala for Sharjah, in the UAE, on Monday morning with 170 passengers was forced to turn back shortly after taking off due to a technical glitch.

The plane, which also had a crew of six, landed safely at Thiruvananthapuram airport and another flight was arranged for the passengers, including five infants, to travel to Sharjah, an Air India Express (AIE) spokesperson said.

According to an official of the airport, the incident occurred at around 7 am.

The AIE spokesperson said the pilots noticed the technical glitch around half an hour after take-off and immediately decided to turn back to Thiruvananthapuram.

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News Network
September 15,2021

New Delhi, Sept 15: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the BJP and RSS, alleging that they were "fake Hindus" who use religion for their benefit.

Addressing the foundation day of the All India Mahila Congress here, Gandhi said that the ideology of the Congress was completely opposite of the BJP and RSS and only one of the two ideologies can rule the country.

Asserting that Goddess Lakshmi stands for the power that helps one attain one's goals and Goddess Durga stands for the power that protects, the former Congress chief said while his party had strengthened these powers when in government, the ruling BJP dispensation has diminished these powers.

"Ye kis prakar ke Hindu hain. Ye jhoote Hindu hain. Ye Hindu dharm ka prayog karte hain, ye dharm ki dalali karte hain, magar ye Hindu nahin hain (What kind of Hindus are they? They are fake Hindus. They use Hindu religion, they are brokers of religion, but they are not Hindus," Gandhi said, attacking the BJP and RSS. 

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News Network
September 6,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 6: If the third wave of covid-19 strikes the country, seven times more children may be affected compared to the second wave, according to the scientists.

The scientists estimated that a third wave could be averted if the rate of vaccination is doubled along with strict compliance to the behavioural norms such as mobility restriction, masking and physical distancing mandates, and crowd control measures.

Under certain special circumstances, the daily confirmed cases of children (age 0-11 and 12-17 years) at peak could be on an average seven times more than the corresponding daily confirmed cases at the peak of the second wave, they reported in a new study, noting that such findings could help shape public health strategies in the coming months.

For instance, the state can set up registries to track the kids who may develop MISC (multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children) due to Covid-19 or make arrangements for adequate paediatric ICU beds.

"The study is not to scare but to prepare. Even if they develop Covid-19 infection, most of the kids would not require a hospital stay. The seven times more estimate is on average, and it could range between three and ten,” Giridhara Babu, an epidemiologist at the Indian Institute of Public Health and one of the co-authors said.

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and IIPH conducted the modelling exercise following an ensemble-forecast approach using 972 models and Karnataka specific data to find that a new wave would be inevitable if compliance to the Covid-appropriate behaviour was partial.

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