People from India, 5 other countries can enter Saudi Arabia directly from Dec 1

News Network
November 25, 2021

Riyadh, Nov 25: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has finally given green signal to people from six countries including India to directly enter the country without having to spend 14-day in quarantine in third country.

The other five countries are Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Brazil and Vietnam.

The Saudi Press Agency reported quoting an official source at the Ministry of Interior that the new directive will come into effect from December 1, 2021.

All those who come from these countries are required to spend five days in institutional quarantine, regardless of their immunization status outside the Kingdom, the report said.

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News Network
January 13,2022

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Lucknow, Jan 13: The resignation of three ministers in three days and the subsequent photos being uploaded with Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav has changed the dynamics of Uttar Pradesh politics.

Till a few days back the BJP was confident of winning back the state but the resignations have sent jitters down the spines in the BJP camp. The question is, whether there is an undercurrent in favour of the Samajwadi Party which is perceived to be the biggest gainer from these exits from the saffron party.

The SP is having the last laugh in terms of defections as all roads lead to the party office on Vikramaditya Marg in Lucknow. The rebels from the BJP BSP and the Congress are lining up at Akhilesh Yadav's door, which analysts believe is in favour of the SP, as leaders like Maurya have a strong ground presence and feedback.

Delhi based independent analyst Shakil Akhtar says, "there is a feeling in the defectors that they can't return to their constituency on a BJP symbol so they went to the party which has social justice in it roots while the BJP was dependent on social engineering."

The experts believe that the real issues are inflation, Covid deaths, stray animals, unemployment and the BJP has not been able to gauge the minds of its own MLAs and ministers.

Dharam Singh Saini on Thursday became the third minister after Swami Prasad Maurya and Dara Singh Chauhan quit the Yogi Adityanath led BJP government. Saini was Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ayush, Food Security and Drug Administration.

After sending his resignation to the Governor, he went to meet Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav. Interestingly, in his resignation letter, Saini levelled the same allegation that other legislators had levelled against the Yogi government.

Saini, who represents the Nakud Assembly seat which is in western UP, has returned the security cover and residence allotted to him by the state government. He said he was resigning due to "gross neglect" of Dalits, backwards, farmers, unemployed youth and small traders.

After legislators belonging to the OBC category left the BJP, it is now a Brahmin MLA Bala Prasad Awasthi who has also walked into the Samajwadi Party fold.

Awasthi is a four-term MLA from Lakhimpur Kheri and a known Brahmin face in the Terai region. He also met Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier, Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan (both ministers) Roshan Lal Varma, Brijendra Prajapati, Bhagwati Sharan Sagar, Vinay Shakya and Avatar Singh Bhadana left the party in the past two days.

On Thursday, Mukesh Varma from Firozabad sent in his resignation. Then Dharam Singh Saini followed suit.

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News Network
January 13,2022

With Covid-19 cases surging in India, clouds have formed over the likelihood of India being the venue for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL).

The Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI)  is mulling holding the league outside of India amid the ongoing scenario. However, unlike the past two years where the IPL has been partially or fully held in UAE because of the pandemic, the BCCI is now keen to look at other options for the flagship event.

Cricket board officials are considering South Africa and Sri Lanka as their backup options for IPL 2022, according to a report in The Indian Express.

“We can’t be dependent on UAE all the time so we decided to explore more options, South Africa’s time difference also works out well for the players,” a BCCI official told the publication.

South Africa, so far, has hosted two cricket series and has impressed BCCI officials for the way the country handled the Indian players.

“The place where the team was staying for the second Test is spread over several acres. There were walking tracks and even a pond on the property and that has made things easier for the players who for the last couple of years or so have been confined to their rooms on several overseas tours,” an official said.

A BCCI official, recently said that the board is prioritising holding the tournament in India but the decision will be dependent on what the state governments decide.

BCCI had to postpone the upcoming edition of the Ranji Trophy indefinitely due to the rise in Covid cases in the camps. The domestic U19 Behar Trophy was also halted midway for the same reason.

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News Network
January 25,2022

New Delhi, Jan 25: India's daily Covid-19 cases dipped below the 3-lakh mark on Tuesday as the nation logged 2,55,874 new infections, according to the Union Health Ministry data. The country recorded 614 fatalities over the past 24 hours.

The ministry said that active cases have decreased to 22,36,842 and comprise 5.62 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has decreased to 93.15 per cent.

Meanwhile, the head of the World Health Organization on Monday urged countries to work together to bring the acute phase of the pandemic to an end, saying that they now have all the tools available to do so.

A reduction of 12,493 cases has been recorded in active cases in a span of 24 hours.

The daily positivity rate was recorded at 15.52 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was 17.17 per cent, according to the health ministry.

 The number of people who have recovered from the disease increased to 3,70,71, 898, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.23 per cent, it said.

The cumulative Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the country so far is over 162.92 crore.

India's Covid-19 tally had crossed 20 lakh on August 7, 2020, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.

It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19, 2020.

India crossed two crore cases on May 4 and three crore cases on June 23 last year.

The 614 new fatalities include 171 from Kerala, 46 from Tamil Nadu and 45 from Punjab, the data stated.

A total of 4,90,462 deaths have been reported so far in the country, including 1,42,151 from Maharashtra, 51,987 from Kerala, 38,614 from Karnataka, 37,264 from Tamil Nadu, 25,650 from Delhi, 23,073 from Uttar Pradesh and 20,375 from West Bengal.

The health ministry said that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to comorbidities.

"Our figures are being reconciled with the Indian Council of Medical Research," the ministry said on its website, adding that state-wise distribution of figures is subject to further verification and reconciliation. 

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