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
January 13,2022

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Lucknow, Jan 13: Uttar Pradesh minister Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday resigned from the BJP, becoming the ninth MLA to break off ties with the saffron party just days ahead of the state assembly polls.

Earlier in the day, Dharam Singh Saini returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government, which set off speculation that he was going to quit the BJP.

Dharam Singh Saini is the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration.

The BJP’s Uttar Pradesh unit has witnessed a string of defections over the last few days, starting with cabinet minister Swami Prasad Maurya. At the time, Maurya had said that many more legislators would follow suit.

He said he was resigning due to "gross neglect" towards Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders. Over the following days, several other BJP MLAs Brajesh Prajapati, Roshan Lal Varma, Bhagwati Sagar, Mukesh Verma, Vinay Shakya among others, quit the party.

OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan resigned on Wednesday from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and appeared to be headed towards the Samajwadi Party. Chauhan said he had worked with dedication for the past five year but Dalits, the OBCs and the unemployed did not get justice from the BJP government.

Dharam Singh Saini is said to be a close aide of Maurya.

Earlier, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar claimed that one to two ministers would quit the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet daily and this figure would go up to 18 by January 20. Rajbhar has struck an alliance with the Samajwadi Party for the 2022 assembly elections.

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be held in seven phases. Polling will be held from February 10 and the counting of votes will take place on March 10. 

Earlier, Shikohabad MLA and backward caste leader Dr Mukesh Verma has resigned from the party. "Swami Prasad Maurya is our leader. We will support whatever decision he takes. Many other leaders will join us in the coming days," Verma said.

In his letter addressed to the state BJP president, Varma alleged that the Yogi Adityanath government, in the past five years, has failed to address the problems of weaker sections, youth, farmers, Dalits and OBCs.

He said small traders and businessmen had suffered in the regime.

OBC leader Dara Singh Chauhan resigned Wednesday from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and appeared to be headed towards the Samajwadi Party.

A day earlier, as BJP leaders brainstormed in Delhi on the UP assembly polls, Swami Prasad Maurya, also a prominent Other Backward Class leader, had quit the state cabinet.

Three other BJP MLAs announced their resignation from the party, seemingly in Maurya's support.

Yet another BJP MLA, Avtar Singh Bhadana, quit the party on Wednesday and is joining the Rashtriya Lok Dal, an SP ally.

But two Uttar Pradesh MLAs – Naresh Saini from the Congress and Hari Om Yadav from the SP – joined the BJP on Wednesday, a welcome development for the ruling party as it deals with the sudden defections from its ranks.

Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan, (both ministers), Roshan Lal Varma, Brijendra Prajapati, Bhagwati Sharan Sagar, Vinay Shakya and Avatar Singh Bhadana resigned in past two days.

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News Network
January 9,2022

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Google is celebrating the 191st birth anniversary of Indian educator and feminist icon Fatima Sheikh, who is widely considered to be India’s first Muslim woman teacher, by featuring a doodle for her. Alongside fellow pioneers and social reformers Jyotirao and Savitribai Phule, Sheikh co-founded the Indigenous Library in 1848, one of India’s first schools for girls.

Fatima was born on this day in 1831 in Pune. She lived with her brother Usman, and the siblings opened their home to the Phules after the couple was evicted for attempting to educate people in lower castes. The Indigenous Library opened under the Sheikhs’ roof.

Here, Savitribai Phule and Fatima Sheikh taught communities of marginalized Dalit and Muslim women and children who were denied education based on class, religion, or gender.

The Phules’ efforts to provide educational opportunities to those born into lower castes became known as the Satyashodhak Samaj (Truthseekers’ Society) movement. As a lifelong champion of this movement for equality, Sheikh went door-to-door to invite the downtrodden in her community to learn at the Indigenous Library and escape the rigidity of the caste system.

She met great resistance from the dominant classes who attempted to humiliate those involved in the Satyashodhak movement, but Sheikh and her allies persisted.

Although Sheikh’s story has been historically overlooked, the Indian government shone new light on her achievements in 2014 by featuring her profile in Urdu textbooks alongside other trailblazing Indian educators.

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News Network
January 11,2022

Bengaluru, Jan 11: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who tested positive for Covid-19, was shifted to a private hospital on Tuesday. The doctors have stated that the CM was showing mild symptoms and there was no problem as such.

CM Bommai was shifted to hospital on the suggestion of doctors and a few tests will be conducted on him. He turned positive for Covid on Monday and was kept in home isolation.

Bommai has called for a high-level virtual meeting of senior officers and technical committee members on Tuesday to analyse the Covid-19 situation in the state.

Bommai's son and daughter-in-law also tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. However, CM Bommai's wife and daughter have tested negative. Bharath Bommai, the son of CM took to social media said, "I have tested positive for Covid with very mild symptoms. I have isolated myself at home. I would like the people who have come in contact with me to kindly get themselves tested."

His family members were tested following the development. CM Bommai was working from his R T Nagar residence, Race Course Road Government Office and Home Office Krishna. All the staff of these offcies have been tested and their reports are awaited.

Health Minister K Sudhakar stated that he is voluntarily undergoing self-isolation for the next two days since he happened to be a primary contact of CM Bommai. "The Abbott ID Now' test done and it is negative. I will undergo RT-PCR test again after two days," he said.

"Although I am completely asymptomatic and doing absolutely fine, as a responsible citizen, I will undergo self-isolation for two days considering the health and safety of others. All my official programmes stand cancelled and I will continue to work through virtual platforms," he maintained.

"I will undergo RT-PCR test after two days and if the report comes negative I will resume work from Wednesday," Sudhakar said.

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