Covid-recovered people 3-5 times more prone to Omicron than Delta: WHO

News Network
January 8, 2022

Individuals who have recovered from Covid-19 are three to five times more likely to be reinfected with the Omicron variant compared to Delta, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Hans Henri P Kluge, the WHO's Regional Director for Europe, Omicron variant can evade previous immunity in people.

"So it can still infect those who have had Covid-19 in the past, those who are unvaccinated, and those who were vaccinated many months ago," Kluge said in a recent note.

"There are three things that we need to do urgently: protect ourselves through vaccination, prevent further infections, and prepare health systems for a surge in cases".

Kluge said that health authorities must strengthen capacity, increase testing and trace capacities, engage primary health care in case management, prepare hospitals for a surge, and support health and frontline workers.

"Two years in, our health workers are being severely tested once again. It is deeply worrying that one in 5 is suffering from anxiety and depression from the pandemic. Their concerns must be addressed and their need for manageable working conditions supported," the WHO executive had stressed.

Europe witnessed Covid cases cross 1 million for the first time this week. Europe has recorded over 100 million Covid cases, more than a third of all infections worldwide, since the start of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, India witnessed a 21 per cent surge in 24 hours, as it recorded more than 1.4 lakh fresh Covid infections on Friday.

With the addition of 285 new deaths, the total deaths toll has climbed to 4,83,463.

The Omicron infection tally reached 3,071 across the nation, according to the Health Ministry.

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News Network
July 6,2022

New Delhi: Fact-checking website Alt News on Tuesday alleged that payment gateway Razorpay had shared its donor data with the police without informing it.

In a statement, Razorpay, without referring to the specific allegation of Alt News, said that it was mandated to comply with the written order from legal authorities under the provisions of the law.

Razorpay had deactivated the account of Alt News on its donation platform following a request from the police and re-enabled it later.

Alt News said the donation platform had conveyed to them that their account was reactivated "after getting some clarity".

"It has not been specified by them as to what this clarity is," the fact-checking website said.

It alleged that Razorpay had handed over Alt News donor data to the police.

"This was done without informing us, or without even a preliminary investigation of any violation on the part of Alt News," it said.

Delhi Police is probing the donations received by Alt News and has arrested its co-founder Mohammed Zubair.

Razorpay did not refer to the charges levelled by Alt News and said it was mandated to comply with the requirements of the law.

"We had received a written order from the legal authorities under Section 91 of the CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) and we are mandated to comply with the same as per the regulation under the provisions of Indian law," the fintech platform said.

"We will continue to hold the highest standard of data security, defend our customers at all times and also continue to abide by the laws and regulations of India," Razorpay said.

Alt News reiterated that only Indian bank accounts can make donations to it and foreign credit cards were never enabled in the Razorpay back-end.

"Therefore, the allegations of Alt News having received funds from foreign sources from whom we cannot receive donations are false," it said.

"While we look for alternatives, we will continue with Razorpay as the donation platform for now," Alt News said.

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News Network
June 27,2022

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Mumbai, June 27: Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on Monday termed the Enforcement Directorate's summons issued to him as a "conspiracy" to stop him from fighting against their political opponents, and said he will not be able to appear before the agency on Tuesday as he has to attend a meeting in Alibaug.

Raut, who is the Shiv Sena's chief spokesperson, also said that even if he is killed, he will not resort to the "Guwahati route" taken by rebel MLAs from Maharashtra. The ED has summoned Rajya Sabha member Raut on Tuesday for questioning in a money laundering probe linked to the re-development of a Mumbai 'chawl' and other related financial transactions involving his wife and friends, officials said.

The development comes as the Shiv Sena battles rebellion from a group of its MLAs, putting a question mark on the future of Maharashtra's Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. Rebel Shiv Sena legislators, who were first taken to Surat, are now camping in Guwahati.

Raut in a tweet said, "I just came to know that the ED has summoned me. Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb's Shivsainiks are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won't take the Guwahati route."

"Arrest me ! Jai Hind!" he added. In his tweet in Marathi, he also tagged BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis. Later, talking to reporters, Raut said, "I cannot go tomorrow as I have to attend a public meeting in Alibaug, and I will attend it."

The parliamentarian said he is a "Shiv Sena tiger" and the executive editor of a fierce newspaper like the (Sena mouthpiece) 'Saamana'. He asserted that such actions cannot weaken him mentally.

Raut said if there are orders from the BJP leaders, they (the probe agency sleuths) can arrest him. Sanjay Raut's brother MLA Sunil Raut claimed the ED summons were to scare the parliamentarian as he has been opposing the BJP.

In April, the ED provisionally attached assets worth more than Rs 11.15 crore of Sanjay Raut's wife Varsha Raut and two of his associates as part of this investigation. 

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News Network
June 22,2022

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Kabul, June 22: A powerful earthquake has killed at least 250 people and left scores injured in Afghanistan, a local official said.

Pictures shared on social media showed people on stretchers, rubble and ruined homes in Paktika province.

A local government official told the BBC the death toll of more than 250 was likely to rise, and that more than 150 others had been injured.

The quake struck about 44km (27 miles) from the south-eastern city of Khost.

Tremors were felt across more than 500km of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre, quoted by Reuters.

The centre said that witnesses had reported feeling the quake in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, as well as Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
"Unfortunately, last night there was a severe earthquake in four districts of Paktika province, which killed and injured hundreds of our countrymen and destroyed dozens of houses," government spokesman Bilal Karimi tweeted.

"We urge all aid agencies to send teams to the area immediately to prevent further catastrophe."

The earthquake - which hit during the early hours as many people slept - was a magnitude 6.1 quake at a depth of some 51 km, according to the US Geological Survey. 

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