Joe Biden to deliver forward-looking inaugural speech built around the theme of unity

Agencies
January 20, 2021

Biden to deliver forward-looking inaugural speech built around the theme of  unity

Washington, 

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Agencies
March 1,2021

New Delhi, Mar 1: The second phase of the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first ones to receive the Covid-19 vaccine on Monday as vaccination opened for the general population, beginning with people above 60 and those with co-morbidities above 45.

Citizens will be able to register and book an appointment for vaccination, anytime and anywhere, using the COWIN 2.0 portal or through other IT (information technology) applications such as Arogya Setu, etc.

The Central government released a new framework for Co-WIN2.0 on Sunday.
According to the new framework, the schedule of vaccination of eligible beneficiaries will be closely linked with the availability of vaccine doses. The states and Union Territories will determine the target number of doses to be administered in a vaccination cycle.

"The target number of doses is to be determined considering the available stocks and the requirement of further vaccine stocks for the second dose since, when a beneficiary is being vaccinated with the first dose, Co-WIN will automatically confirm the appointment of the beneficiary for the second dose at the same vaccination centre," the government said.

To avoid confusion and problems in physical queue management at COVID-19 Vaccination Centre (CVC), the central government has recommended that one particular CVC may be either fully reserved or their full capacity is opened for online self-appointment.
On the other hand, if a CVC has both reserved and open slots, session timings for open slots must be carefully selected to avoid overlap of beneficiaries.

On Saturday, the government informed that from March 1, the nationwide vaccination program is now to be exponentially expanded to all citizens above 60 years of age, and those within the age bracket of 45 to 59 years with specified co-morbidities.

"Health Departments of State governments have already initiated dialogue with these private hospitals so that they can be encouraged to participate in this drive as CVCs. A list of all these private hospitals has been uploaded on the website of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Health Authority," the government said in a release.

In addition, there would be government health facilities that will be used as CVCs such as medical college hospitals, district hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals, CHCs, PHCs, Health Sub Centres and Health and Wellness Centres. Geo reference maps with GPS coordinates of all these health facilities have been prepared that will serve as CVCs and these Geo referenced maps are being shared with the states, the release said.

The Central government also said that states were informed about the three methods of registration, i.e., advance self-registration, onsite registration and facilitated cohort registration.

States have been informed that private hospitals functioning as CVCs can charge subject to a ceiling of Rs 250 per person per dose along with the electronic and financial management mechanism in this regard. User names and passwords to be provided to the private facilities to facilitate effective use of Co-WIN 2.0, were also discussed during the meeting.

In addition, mapping of private facilities with the nearest cold chain points to ensure a seamless flow of vaccines to them was explained to the states.

The simplified system of certifying people with 20 co-morbidities within the 45-59 years age group was also explained to the states. The simplified one-page certificate is to be signed by any registered medical practitioner. The certificate can either be uploaded on Co-WIN2.0 by the beneficiary while self-registering or a hard copy can be carried by the beneficiary to the CVC.

The countrywide vaccination drive was rolled out on January 16, 2021. The vaccination of the frontline workers started on February 2.

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Agencies
February 23,2021

Petrol price down by ₹12 in 2 months. Today's petrol, diesel price in top  cities

New Delhi, Feb 23: The petrol and diesel prices across the country continued their northward march after two days break taking its retail rates to unprecedented levels while burning bigger holes in the consumers pockets.

The oil marketing companies raised the pump price of both petrol and diesel by 35 paisa per litre on Tuesday.

With this, petrol is now priced at Rs 90.93 a litre and diesel Rs 81.32 a litre in the capital.

Across the country as well the petrol and diesel price increased between 32-40 paisa per litre depending on the level of local duty at the state level.

Sources in OMCs said that price rise on Tuesday followed movement in product price in global markets. The crude oil is also on fire with benchmark Brent crude gaining over 2 per cent on Tuesday to reach closer to $67 a barrel now. It was less than $60 a barrel just a few days back.

Petrol and diesel prices have been rising continuously since February 9. During this phase of price rise (In the last 12 days since February 9), the price has gone up by Rs 3.63 per litre for petrol while diesel rate has risen by Rs 3.84 a litre in Delhi.

The increase in the previous weeks has taken petrol price across historic high levels of Rs 100 a litre in several cities across the country.

In Mumbai, petrol prices is just Rs 3 per litre short (Rs 97.34 a litre) of touching the three digit mark for the very first time ever. Diesel prices in the city is closing in on Rs 90 a litre (Rs 88.44/ litre).

In all other metros, petrol is over Rs 90 a litre while diesel is well over Rs 80 a litre. Premium petrol crossed Rs 100 per litre mark in several cities of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra a few days back.

Since fuel prices are benchmarked to a 15-day rolling average of global refined products' prices and dollar exchange rate, pump prices can be expected to remain northbound over the next few days even if crude price stabilises.

The petrol and diesel prices have increased 25 times in 2021 with the two auto fuels increasing by Rs 7.22 and Rs 7.45 per litre, respectively so far this year.

Oil companies executives said that petrol and diesel prices may increase further in coming days as retail prices may have to be balanced in line with global developments to prevent OMCs from making loss on sale of auto fuels.

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Agencies
February 22,2021

Image result for Air force plane crash kills 6 in Mexico Veracruz state

Veracruz, Feb 22: Six members of Mexico's military were killed when the plane they were in crashed in the southeastern state of Veracruz.

A statement from Mexico's Secretary of Defence on Sunday said the accident took place in the morning when the air force's Learjet 45 was taking off from the airport in the city of Xalapa.

The statement did not say what caused the crashed or how many people were on board the plane. But it said that six members of the military were killed and an investigation was underway.

Local media reported that the plane left and runway and burst into flames.

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