CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 17 FEBRUARY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR PELOSI PROPOSES 9/11-TYPE PANEL TO PROBE US RIOT SUU KYI FACES NEW CHARGE; CRACKDOWN INTENSIFIES P10 WEATHER Fog/mist in the morning, partly cloudy sky later. Maximum and minimum temperatures to be around 31 °C and 20 °C respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 98 % TEMPERATURE Min. 38 % Max: 31.2 °C (+1) Min: 18.8 °C (0) SUN RISES SUN SETS 06:08 hrs 17:34 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 09:00 hrs 21:35 hrs Next moon quarter on 20 February THUMBNAILS Children perform during Saraswati puja at Garia in Kolkata on Tuesday. ANAGHA BANIK Kiran Bedi removed as Puducherry LG: Kiran Bedi has been removed as Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, Rashtrapati Bhavan said in a statement released late Tuesday night. The statement from President Ram Nath Kovind's office said that Tamilisai Soundararajan, the Governor of Telangana, was directed to discharge functions of the Lieutenant-Governor of Puducherry, in addition to her own duties, until a new appointment is made. P9 P4 India reports four cases of SA variant One Brazil strain detected; UK variant cases climb to 187 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 16 FEBRUARY our people were detected with the South Africa variant of SARS-CoV2 in India in January, while one tested positive for the Brazil variant in the first week of February, the Centre said on Tuesday. In India, the South Africa strain has been detected in four returnees ~ one from Angola, one from Tanzania and two from South Africa in January, ICMR Director General Balram Bhargava said. All travellers and contacts have been tested and quarantined. “The ICMR-NIV is attempting to isolate and culture the SA variant strain from the samples of these four individual returnees”. “The Brazil strain has been successfully isolated and cultured at ICMRNIV, Pune,” he said. Meanwhile, the number of people who have tested positive for the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the country has climbed to 187. There has been no mortality. F “We have been able to culture and isolate this strain and test the efficacy of the vaccine,” he said. A very close watch is being kept on these variants, he stressed. Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said as of February 16 till 1 p.m., 87,40,595 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country out of which a total of 62,82,646 healthcare workers have been vaccinated. First dose has been given to 61,11,968 (60.5 per cent healthcare workers) and second dose have been given to 1,70,678 healthcare workers which is 37.5 per cent of eligible vaccinations, he said. He further said a total of 24,57,949 frontline workers have been vaccinated. Bhushan said 14 states and UTs have administered the first dose to more than 70 per cent of registered healthcare workers which is higher than the national average of 60 per cent. These states include Rajasthan, Sikkim, Jharkhand, Kerala, UP Madhya , Pradesh and Bihar. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 16 FEBRUARY CMYK 1,09,25,710 1,36,872 9,121 11,805 1,55,813 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. TUESDAY 16 FEB 2021 cases and 2 deaths due to infection. The total Covid case count is 5,72,879 and death toll is 10,235 in the state till now while there are 3,854 active cases. P11 Police deny lapses in Disha’s arrest, seek info from Zoom STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 FEBRUARY New cases fall below 10,000 for fourth time The daily new infections fell below 10,000 for the fourth time this month taking India's tally of Covid-19 cases to 1,09,25,710, while fresh fatalities remained below 100 for the tenth time this month, according to Union health ministry data updated on Tuesday. The death toll increased to 1,55,813 with 81 new fatalities, the data updated at 8 a.m. showed. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,06,33, 025 which translates to a national recovery rate of 97.32 per cent. The active caseload remained below 1.5 lakh. Bengal logs 151 cases: West Bengal today registered 151 fresh Covid WHY DE KOCK REQUIRES A RESPITE RAHUL GANDHI A MIGRANT LEADER: PRALHAD JOSHI Refuting allegations that there were lapses in the arrest of climate activist Disha Ravi, Delhi Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava on Tuesday said her arrest was made in accordance with law, which doesn’t differentiate between a 22-year-old and a 50-yearold. “I can not divulge the details of the case as the investigation is underway. Everyone will be notified as and when things become more clear,” Srivastava said. Several political leaders have criticised Delhi police regarding the arrest of Disha, alleging that her arrest is ‘unwarranted harassment’ and that proper procedure was not followed. Delhi Police has written a letter to video conferencing platform Zoom over the meeting between jailed climate activist Disha Ravi and others in which they discussed the contentious toolkit, and sought details of other participants of the meeting, sources said. The police have also sought answers from Google on the toolkit, though no response was received as yet. Police said that apart from Disha and two other activists, around 70 people had attended the meeting through Zoom app. Non-bailable warrants have been issued against Mumbai lawyer Nikita Jacob and Shantanu Muluk besides Disha Ravi, a 21-year-old climate activist based in Bengaluru. Few days before the Republic Day violence in Delhi, Nikita and Shantanu had allegedly attended a Zoom meeting organised by pro-Khalistani group Poetic Justice Foundation, sources said. Joint Commissioner of Police (Cyber) Prem Nath also said that the meeting decided the modalities to create the toolkit titled "Global Farmer Strike" and "Global Day of Action, 26 January". Police said the three allegedly created and circulated the toolkit with others, which was later shared by global climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter. This led to the Delhi Police filing an FIR. Disha Ravi has been charged with sedition and has been remanded in custody for five days. Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for Women sent a notice to the city police on the arrest of Disha Ravi and sought a report by Friday. MORE REPORTS ON PG 5 45 killed as bus falls off bridge in MP, search on BHOPAL, 16 FEBRUARY At least 45 people, including young railway job aspirants and players of a local cricket team, were killed on Tuesday morning when the bus they were travelling in fell into a canal in Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh. The deceased include 24 men, 20 women and one child. Rescuers saved seven persons who were trapped inside the vehicle that was completely submerged. The canal is brimming with water these days as water from the Ban Sagar dam is being supplied through it to Uttar Pradesh. Sources said the bus, which had left Sidhi and was heading towards Satna, was carrying nearly 55 passengers. It is said that the bus fell into the canal from Patna Bridge located near the Sarda Patan village in Sidhi, after the driver lost control. Rescuers managed to retrieve 45 bodies while a search was on for the remaining passengers. Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced an ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased and an additional Rs 2 lakh each from the PM Relief Fund. SNS
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