Now, only 100 guests allowed at wedding functions in Karnataka; outdoor 200

News Network
April 16, 2021

Bengaluru, Apr 16: As part of its restrictions to contain the second wave of covid-19, the government of Karnataka has decided to reduce the number of people allowed for marriage gatherings.

While the current limit of guests for indoor and outdoor marriages is 200 and 500 respectively, it will be reduced to 100 and 200, Sudhakar said, following a meeting with Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa and other officials.

He also tried to allay fears on the severity of infections in the second wave of Covid-19. "As many as 95% of the people testing positive for the infection do not require treatment," he said, requesting only those with complications to get admitted to the hospital.

There is no need to rush to the hospital when the results come out positive, he said, urging media to refrain from creating 'unnecessary panic'.

Sudhakar said that there was no shortage medicine and the state was well-equipped to deal with the cases. "We have 30,000 vials of Remdesvir in stock. We have invited tenders for 80,000 vials, which will be finalised in a day or two. The government will supply the medicine to private hospitals," he said.

While government medical colleges of the state have oxygen units to treat patients, it will be set up in district government hospitals too. Tenders are being invited, he said. 

State government has requested the Centre to supply 5,000 oxygen cylinders. Industries Department will also assist in procuring jumbo oxygen cylinders, like last year, Sudhakar said.

In order to tide over the crisis of frontline workers at hospitals, direct recruitment will be done for the personnel with a six months contract, he said. 

The number of helplines to assist those testing positive will also be scaled up. Those with medical backgrounds will be hired for efficient counselling of patients, he added.


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News Network
May 6,2021


After nearly three decades in London, Christophe Reech was fed up with the city's pandemic lockdowns. This spring, he sold his luxury townhouse and jetted off to the desert sheikhdom of Dubai to start a new life with his family.

There was no turning back, he said. The French business magnate's super wealthy foreign friends were doing the same, driving an unprecedented surge in sales of Dubai's most-exclusive properties.

“Here in Dubai, there's only one strategy: Business as usual,” said Reech, the chairman of an eponymous group that owns real estate and financial technology companies. The philosophy is simple: “Let's make sure everyone's vaccinated and keep everything open."

“Of course that attracts people like me," he said.

As vaccines roll out unevenly worldwide and waves of infections force countries to extend restrictions, foreign buyers flush with cash have flooded Dubai's high-end property market, one of the few places in the world where they can dine, shop and do business in person.

They're snapping up record numbers of luxury villas and penthouses, sending prices rocketing in this boom-and-bust market.

Sales of Dubai's upscale properties, once slow, soared 230 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year.

Prices in some top-end areas rose as much as 40 per cent, according to Property Finder, the country's largest real-estate website.

A record-breaking 90 properties worth 10 million dirhams each (USD 2.7 million) changed hands last month, on top of 84 in March, surpassing heights hit eight years ago, according to real estate consultancy Property Monitor. For comparison, there were 54 such transactions in all of 2020.

"Tons of people are coming in and buying multimillion dollar properties on the spot, with no due diligence time whatsoever,” said Matthew Cooke, a partner at consultancy Knight Frank, who manages penthouse sales on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelago.

As with previous cycles, cash buyers started snatching up homes at bargain prices and flipping them for profits. Analysts say that will continue until prices rise too high and returns diminish.

How long the craze lasts and what awaits the skyscraper-studded city then remains unclear. Home prices are still falling in the middle tiers of the city's saturated property market, which has seen values drop sharply since peaks reached seven years ago due to overbuilding.

Average residence sale prices in the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, collapsed to USD 400 per square foot this month from USD 1,300 in 2013.

“The market is going through a boom time ... but people are very aware that Dubai can run too quickly and it all falls apart," said Jackie Johns, partner at Premier Estates, an affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate, referring to the debt-driven crisis that brought the city to its knees in 2008.

The hot streak in the luxury market isn't unique to Dubai, as ultra-low interest rates and families' desire for more space has seen the wealthy in cities like New York and Paris decamp to suburban mansions. But there are other factors at play in the glitzy emirate, home to the long-haul carrier Emirates and tallest tower on Earth.

Since first reopening to tourists last summer, Dubai has pitched itself as the world's pandemic-friendly vacation spot.

With no mandatory dayslong quarantines, foreign visitors now party in Dubai's bustling bars and on its beaches, their selfies at hotel-resorts and helicopter pads stirring resentment back home.

The tourist influx helped drive the country's dramatic surge in coronavirus cases in January, prompting the UK to suspend flights.

But the United Arab Emirates, with its young population and low mortality rates, has fared relatively well during the pandemic.

The country of over 9 million, which relied heavily on the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccine for its inoculation campaign, has administered 10.6 million vaccine doses.

A global financial center known as an oasis in the volatile Middle East, Dubai long has benefitted from capital flight. Homeowners on the Palm Jumeirah — which saw 43 per cent of all April transactions — include Afghan warlords and the political elite from countries like Nigeria, Syria and Lebanon, all searching for a safe place to park their savings.


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April 25,2021


Mangaluru, Apr 25: Activities in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts remained suspended for the second consecutive day today with the enforcement of weekend curfew to prevent spread of covid.

Even though a few marriages were held in different parts of the coastal districts, no major case of breach of law was reported in the region. 

All main roads of Mangaluru wore a deserted look as the residents preferred to stay home and private buses too remained off the road for the second day.

Though shops selling vegetables, fruits, fish, groceries remained open till 10 am, only a few customers were seen in the markets and shops. The street vendors selling vegetables outside Central Market were eagerly waiting for the customers to arrive, to sell all the vegetables they had in store.

Even fish markets wore a deserted look with few fisherwomen arriving to sell the fish. A majority of the hotels remained closed, too. The busy Nanthoor, Ambedkar Circle roads too were deserted with only a few vehicles moving around.

All the post offices coming under Mangaluru Postal division were shut, said Senior Superintendent of Posts Sriharsha N.

The railway authorities were seen entering the names of the passengers and allowing into the platform after checking their temperature and ensuring that they properly wear face masks.

The Mangaluru city police set up checkposts at 54 places in the city, including at major junction like Clock Tower junction where about 12 personnel were posted to stop unnecessary movement of vehicles.

A total of 1,000 police personnel have been used for bandobast duties. As many as 35 mobile squads, with about three squads for each police station, have also been deployed. The police will seize vehicles that are seen unnecessarily moving on the roads, said Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar. 

Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane said 28 checkposts have been set up to across Dakshina Kannada. Sector mobile squads were also patrolling in the district. Apart from cases booked for not wearing masks, six FIRs have been registered for major violation of COVID-19 protocol since April 21, he said.

In Udupi district too, the second day of weekend curfew was total with police barricading some major points in Udupi town and other areas. Motorists who were seen unnecessarily moving on the road were sent back home. Shops selling essential items were closed by 10 a.m. Most of the hotels did not operate and as there were fewer customers. 


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April 27,2021


Dubai, Apr 27: Saudi forces intercepted and destroyed a remote-controlled booby-trapped boat in the Red Sea near the port of Yanbu, Al Arabiya reported on Tuesday.

Saudi naval units spotted the booby-trapped boat this morning and destroyed it, the report said.

Security firm Dryad Global had earlier said it received “unconfirmed reports” that a vessel, possibly the oil tanker NCC Dammam owned by a unit of Saudi firm Bahri, had been attacked off Yanbu.

Chief executive Abdullah Aldubaikhi told Reuters that no vessels owned by National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) had been attacked.

Vessels have previously come under attack in Red Sea waters.

In December, Saudi Arabia said a tanker anchored at the Jeddah port was hit by an explosive-laden boat. This followed a separate incident at another Saudi terminal on the Red Sea where a tanker was damaged by an explosion.

A Saudi Arabian-led military coalition engaged in Yemen has in the past foiled attempted assaults using explosive-laden boats it says are launched by Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

The Saudi defense ministry said it was investigating who was behind Tuesday’s “hostile attempt.”

Saudi Arabia said it will take strict measures against any hostile attempts to target national capabilities. 


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