Lightning strikes kill 76 people in India; some victims were taking selfies

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lightning-india-76-deaths-victims-taking-selfies/

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UPDATED ON: JULY 12, 2021 / 2:36 PM / CBS/AFP

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Several people reportedly taking selfies near a historical fort in northern India were among 76 killed by lightning strikes during the early stages of the annual monsoon season, officials said Monday.https://c9eeafc521df5242a622da0a50730e14.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Deadly lightning strikes are common in the vast Asian nation during the June-September deluge, which bring respite from the summer heat across the northern Indian plains.

Of the 76 killed, at least 23 people died in the mostly desert state of Rajasthan, including a dozen who were watching the storm cross Jaipur city from watch towers near the famous 12th-century Amer Fort late Sunday, a state disaster department official told AFP.

India Lightning Deaths
State Disaster Response personnel perform a search operation at a watchtower of the 12th century Amber Fort where 11 people were killed Sunday after being struck by lightning in Jaipur, Rajasthan state, India, July 12, 2021.VISHAL BHATNAGAR / AP

“It was already raining when the people were there. They huddled in the towers as the rainfall intensified,” a senior Jaipur police officer, Saurabh Tiwari, added.https://www.cbsnews.com/newsletters/widget/e879?v=5306ee5319d23ffee798ebb619c437b4&view=compact#tVNNa%2BMwEP0rQqddiBrbTWLHe%2BrShe1lKbR7akrQx7gZIktGUmJC6X9fKVHSUtjTsuCD%2FWbefLx5fqV2CGiNp%2B0rBWkV0JZCUy%2FphO4RxvglbT9wGSIwWI8pOYI33kMg36060LcJDY7LLZqXVAT9D8OFBkXb4HYwodwFlBpudmFj3V2En%2Bh1obhUQrIFbzgrS6jYUpUVK4qy6aDhRSEK%2BvyJ%2Bov3kMhSeAOjJ182qBQYIg4aDXz9kJ%2BaULHoRNnUgolFDWym%2BIwt503Byo5f83m15NVyRi%2BU%2B5245SEtXxVVyYqalRUpi3a%2BbMvyPe0Rg05JGl82wcSNiQ8Ot%2BDJFrUm9YIMYAcNBE18FPJvxNseyB5lwN6TERyQwLdHJugOwX8ofhjgqLcJYMI6ozGuIPLPYQV%2BG%2BwQYfS3sE8Tp9Pwl3NCEmeNAfoIx3vBTwSXdBut0yqplMAHkPmSJ%2FiE5goO%2FBAtgXuIA4sYi%2F1QHlVdFPW8mxUNq%2BeN%2BtvlMuF0sEuDnQeXG3ATW0%2Biij0G2s4uCjzYnZNHDYRfTXmXthSOG3Wveeis648zZAOs08Trdzl8tK9R3B0eU%2FNo6Kfnz%2BCdOsORmsfL1dLQwDXu%2BmTiwdkO9YdwIsQUMEnwGFXJ9jLtgZLr305HeBPC4NvVdDUdx%2FEqE6%2Fi77OaprfV9OIadvQGqxdMAQ8bz7I%2F2MkaLFtjNc2X%2Fd%2F1sxT%2FUOft7Q8%3D

He said up to 30 people were on the towers when the lightning struck. Emergency teams were checking if any victims had fallen into a deep moat on one side of the towers.

“Some of the injured were left unconscious by the strikes. Others ran out in panic and extreme pain,” he added.

Officials told local media some of those killed were taking selfies during the storm.

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Every year, tens of thousands of tourists visit the Amer Fort, a medieval complex on a hilltop outside Jaipur also known as the Amber Fort.

Lightning Strike In Jaipur
Commuters crosses a road as it rains during a lightning strike in the sky in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, July 11,2021.VISHAL BHATNAGAR/NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES

People had been flocking to the fort, which gives a panoramic view of the tourist city of Jaipur, after several weeks of intense heat in the state.

BBC News reports the chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced compensation for the victims’ families.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3R3ZWV0X2VtYmVkX2NsaWNrYWJpbGl0eV8xMjEwMiI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJjb250cm9sIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1414460620640964612&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2Fnews%2Flightning-india-76-deaths-victims-taking-selfies%2F&sessionId=492bcbe3dc5024637c5e0a64f7d073786ba7741e&siteScreenName=CBSNews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=82e1070%3A1619632193066&width=550px

In the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh, at least 42 people were killed in lightning strikes on Saturday and Sunday, officials said. They did not give further details about where they had been killed.ATCH MORE

Another 11 people died in the central state of Madhya Pradesh over the weekend, an official at the state’s disaster control room told AFP.

Two of them, who had taken their camels and sheep for grazing, were sheltering under a tree when they were hit by lightning, the official said.

Last month, 27 people were killed and four passengers on a flight were hospitalized after severe turbulence during monsoon storms the eastern state of West Bengal.

More than 100 people died in two states in June last year in lightning-related incidents, BBC News reported.

Nearly 2,900 people were killed by lightning in India in 2019, according to the National Crime Records Bureau — the most recent figures available.

The monsoon is crucial to replenishing water supplies in South Asia, but also causes widespread death and destruction across the region each year.

Tens of thousands of COVID-19 survivors in India are developing deadly ‘black fungus’ infections that can lead to blindness

https://www.businessinsider.com/india-coronavirus-survivors-black-fungus-infections-more-than-31k-2021-6

Ashley Collman 11 hours ago

India black fungus
A doctor in India checks on a patient after they went through surgery to remove black fungus. 
  • As of June, there were more than 31,000 cases of “black fungus” infections in India. 
  • That was a 150% increase over the prior three weeks. 
  • Those infections have been on the rise among COVID-19 survivors in the country. 
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

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A puzzling epidemic of black fungus in India is spiraling out of control, with tens of thousands of COVID-19 survivors now battling the infection which can lead to blindness and death. 

On June 11, NDTV reported that there were 31,216 cases of mucormycosis in the country and 2,109 deaths due to the infection — a 150% increase over the previous three weeks. 

The government in India has not released official numbers, according to The New York Times. But last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called black fungus a “new challenge” in the COVID-19 outbreak, NDTV reported at the time. 

While it’s unclear what exactly has caused the surge in mucormycosis cases among COVID-19 survivors, doctors have theorized that it is connected to oxygen shortages during India’s most recent surge, The Times reports. https://9f974ac1073bed104263b187bd697951.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

To help patients breathe when bottled oxygen wasn’t available, doctors resorted to steroid injections, which may have weakened patients’ immune systems and made them more vulnerable to fungal spores in the air. 

Patients with diabetes are also already more susceptible to black fungus, and India is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Foundation

Exacerbating the black fungus outbreak is the fact that there’s a shortage of a key anti-fungal medicine — amphotericin-B — to treat it, NDTV reported.The coronavirus pandemic

More people are dying from Covid in India than at any stage of the pandemic

https://www.cnn.com/2021/05/08/india/tamil-nadu-covid-intl-hnk/index.html

By Manveena Suri and Nectar Gan, CNN

Updated 11:13 AM ET, Sat May 8, 2021

Medical staff in India ordered to run from ICU fearing backlash

Medical staff in India ordered to run from ICU fearing backlash 03:09

New Delhi (CNN)India’s daily Covid-19 death toll surpassed 4,000 for the first time on Saturday, with Tamil Nadu becoming the latest state to announce a complete lockdown to curb surging infections.The country’s health ministry reported a record 4,187 fatalities for the previous 24 hours, as well as more than 400,000 new infections for the third day in a row. India has now reported more than 21 million cases and 238,000 related deaths since the pandemic began.The spiraling crisis is stretching India’s health care system beyond breaking point. Beds, oxygen and medical workers are in short supply. Some Covid patients are dying in waiting rooms or outside overwhelmed clinics, before they have even been seen by a doctor.

India is spiraling deeper into Covid-19 crisis. Here's what you need to know

India is spiraling deeper into Covid-19 crisis. Here’s what you need to knowIn Tamil Nadu, officials announced a two-week lockdown — a day after the southern state saw its biggest daily spike in infections, with 26,465 cases reported on Friday.

Starting Monday, all non-essential shops in the state — including state-owned liquor stores — will be closed. Restaurants can only provide takeout, while grocery stores will open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Food delivery services will also be limited.

A number of Indian states have imposed complete lockdowns this week, from the northwestern state of Rajasthan to Karnataka in the south, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s earlier warning the measure should only be considered as a last resort.”In today’s situation, we have to save the country from lockdown. I would request states to use a lockdown as their last option. We have to try hard to avoid lockdowns and focus only on micro containment zones,” Modi said in late April.

Relatives carry the body of a Covid-19 victim during a funeral procession in Srinagar on May 7.Relatives carry the body of a Covid-19 victim during a funeral procession in Srinagar on May 7.mIndia imposed one of the world’s largest and harshest lockdowns in March last year, when the country of 1.36 billion people had reported little more than 500 coronavirus cases and 10 related deaths.The nationwide measure was announced with less than four hours’ notice and little planning, triggering a migrant crisis. It also brought the country’s economic activity to a virtual standstill, and with businesses, factories and construction sites ground to a halt, its economy contracted by 24% from April to June — India’s worst slump since records began in 1996.The EU plans to provide additional support to India, the European Council President Charles Michel tweeted on Saturday.

EU 🇪🇺 and India 🇮🇳 stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against #COVID19.

We are delivering equipment to the people of India and working to boost vaccine production.

We are also committed to do our part to tackle climate change and meet the Paris goals. #EUIndia 3/3— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) May 8, 2021

The statement came as part of an announcement made by Michel on an alliance with Modi, which will start “a new chapter in the European Union and India strategic partnership.”Additional oxygen cylinders, ventilators, and vials of the antiviral drug Remdesivir arrived in India from around the globe on Saturday, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

Bagchi praised the “international cooperation” after Austria sent 1,900 oxygen cannulas and 396 oxygen cylinders and the Czech Republic sent 500 oxygen cylinders.Canada also sent a shipment of 50 ventilators and 25,000 vials of Remdesivir. Additionally, Japan sent 100 oxygen concentrators.

CNN’s Swati Gupta and Duarte Mendonça contributed to this report

Twitter Is Blocking Tweets That Criticize How The Indian Government Has Handled The Pandemic

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/twitter-blocking-tweets-india

More than 50 tweets are now blocked in India.Pranav DixitBuzzFeed News Reporter

Posted on April 24, 2021, at 2:42 p.m. ET

As India’s coronavirus pandemic burns out of control, the country’s government is cracking down — on social media. On Thursday, India’s government ordered Twitter to block more than 50 tweets that criticized how it has handled the pandemic. Twitter complied, preventing people in the country from viewing the posts from people who include a state minister, an opposition member of the Indian Parliament, filmmakers, an actor, two journalists, and several ordinary people.

On Saturday, Twitter published details about the order to the Lumen database, a Harvard University project that keeps track of government takedown notices around the world. The news was first reported by Indian technology policy website Medianama.

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“When we receive a valid legal request, we review it under both the Twitter Rules and local law. If the content violates Twitter’s Rules, the content will be removed from the service,” a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “If it is determined to be illegal in a particular jurisdiction, but not in violation of the Twitter Rules, we may withhold access to the content in India only.” The company said that it notified the people whose tweets it restricted in India ahead of time, telling them the company was responding to an order from the Indian government.

India’s IT ministry did not respond to a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

One of the restricted tweets belongs to Moloy Ghatak, an All India Trinamool Congress party minister from the state of West Bengal, where Hindu nationalist prime minister Narendra Modi recently held massive election rallies even as hundreds of thousands of Indians tested positive for COVID-19 daily.

Ghatak’s tweet criticized Modi for mismanaging the pandemic.https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?creatorScreenName=PranavDixit&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfX0%3D&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=true&id=1384385821956923393&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.buzzfeednews.com%2Farticle%2Fpranavdixit%2Ftwitter-blocking-tweets-india&sessionId=744522db2bf3b93d7981c3757340962002c5aa3e&siteScreenName=BuzzFeedNews&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ff2e7cf%3A1618526400629&width=550pxTwitter

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The government also restricted dozens of tweets that criticized Modi or shared pictures of India’s overflowing crematoriums and hospitals, in addition to a tweet from the Indian American Muslim Council, a Washington D.C-based advocacy organization of Indian American Muslims. That group shared a Vice story about the Kumbh Mela, a Hindu pilgrimage attended by hundreds of thousands of Indians earlier this month, and which turned into a super spreader event.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Ghatak and the Indian American Muslim Council for comment.

Early this year, India’s coronavirus cases plummeted and most parts of the country resumed normal life. At the beginning of March, India’s health minister said that the country was in the “end game” of the pandemic. But the country is now in the throes of a second wave sparked by a new virus variant, religious gatherings, and election rallies. India currently has the highest number of daily infections in the world, and its healthcare system has collapsed. Medical oxygen is in short supply, ventilators are hard to find, and vaccines are running low. According to John Hopkins data, India had 346,786 new cases on Friday and 2,624 deaths.

Despite the numbers, Modi has continued holding massive election rallies.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has complied with the Indian government’s orders to censor tweets. In February, the company blocked more than 250 accounts in India that criticized the government’s handling of protests by hundreds of thousands of farmers against new agricultural laws. The company subsequently struck a defiant note, unblocking accounts belonging to journalists, activists, and politicians, despite jail threats from the Indian government.

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US envoy John Kerry discusses climate challenges in Bangladesh

https://komonews.com/news/nation-world/us-envoy-kerry-discusses-climate-challenges-in-bangladesh


by JULHAS ALAM | Associated PressFriday, April 9th 2021AA

John Kerry, the special U.S. envoy on climate, speaks with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen standing beside him in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Al-emrun Garjon)

John Kerry, the special U.S. envoy on climate, speaks with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen standing beside him in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Al-emrun Garjon)

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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — John Kerry, the special U.S. envoy on climate, said Friday that President Joe Biden is eager to work with Bangladesh in dealing with the impact of climate change after the United States’ return to the Paris accord.

Kerry arrived in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, to hear what the low-lying South Asia delta nation has done to cope with weather extremes and rising sea levels ahead of a virtual summit on climate change that Biden is hosting this month.

“No one country can solve the problems of climate crisis,” he told reporters after visiting other vulnerable countries, including the United Arab Emirates and India. Biden returned the U.S. to the Paris agreement on climate change after Donald Trump announced a withdrawal in 2017.

“We’ve the ability to work together now in order to bring technology, research, development and finance to the table to do what we know we must do,” Kerry said.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen, who appeared with Kerry, took the opportunity to ask for U.S. help in repatriating about 1.1 million Myanmar Rohingya refugees from crowded camps in the border district of Cox’s Bazar, saying they were destroying vast areas of forests.

“We hope that (the) U.S.’s proactive initiative can help them for a safe and dignified return, back to their country for a decent living,” he said.

The refugees are victims of widespread persecution in Myanmar, where the military toppled a civilian government in a Feb. 1 coup, and most say it’s unsafe to return.

Kerry also called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who discussed Bangladesh’s interest in producing more hydroelectric power, press secretary Ihsanul Karim said.

Karim said Hasina added that the country’s farmers need solar energy for irrigation to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Momen said earlier that Bangladesh has not sufficiently adapted for climate change and needs support from others. “It should be Kerry’s special target,” he was quoted as saying by the United News of Bangladesh news agency.

He said the countries that are most responsible for greenhouse gas emission should share responsibility for protecting the people vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

In the UAE, the government says the impact of warmer weather, less rain, droughts, higher seas and more storms is taking its toll on infrastructure, human health and the natural habitat. Kerry heard of similar challenges in talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Thursday, the State Department said.

Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million people, shares the same predicament.

Some experts warn that rising sea levels could devour much of its vast coastal region, and cyclones and tidal surges destroy agriculture and livelihoods for millions. The world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, which straddles the border of Bangladesh and India, is especially vulnerable and its famous Bengal tigers are at risk.

The State Department said Kerry and Modi focused on mobilizing funds to support expansion of clean energy, cooperation in emerging technologies such as for energy storage, clean industrial processes and sustainable urbanization and agriculture.

Biden has invited 40 world leaders for the April 22-23 summit, including Prime Minister Hasina.

Disha Ravi: The jailed Indian activist linked to Greta Thunberg

By Soutik Biswas
India correspondentPublished8 hours agoShareRelated Topics

Disha Ravi and her dog
image captionMs Ravi shared a document first posted by climate activist Greta Thunberg

In India’s southern city of Bangalore, Disha Ravi was a cheerful, familiar figure among local climate activists.

The sprightly 22-year-old helped clean up lakes, plant trees and campaigned against plastic. She attended workshops, walked the streets demanding climate action, loved animals and spoke out against sexism and capital punishment. A vegan and the sole-earning member in her family, she worked with a local company that makes plant-based food.

Ms Ravi is also one of the founders of the local wing of Fridays For Future, a global movement begun by climate change activist Greta Thunberg. Here, she participated in campaigns to preserve the lion-tailed macaque in an Indian bio-diversity spot, and stall a hydro power plant, among other causes.

Living in a low-lying neighbourhood in a city which would get easily flooded during rains, she worried about climate change. Bangalore, she said, was experiencing severe rainfall and flooding these days. She had lived in the family home for 13 years, and found that the city had never experienced such heavy rains as it had in recent years.

Ms Ravi did not mince her words. “People of colour are suffering from the climate crisis first-hand – a lot of people don’t give us attention that we need. The fact that you would choose to listen to a white person on the same issue rather than a person of colour, to me, is environmental racism,” she told Vogue magazine last year.

Disha Ravi
image captionThe 21-year-old has helped clean up lakes, plant trees and campaigned against plastic

Friends and fellow campaigners say she is a law-abiding activist. During a recent campaign to save trees in her city, Ms Ravi went to the police and sought permission. “We have interacted during many campaigns to protect the environment. I always noticed she never transgressed the law,” said Tara Krishnaswamy, a veteran activist.

At the weekend, Ms Ravi was arrested after sharing a document intended to help farmers protest against new agriculture reform laws. The police say she was a “key conspirator” in the formulation and dissemination” of the document. The so-called “toolkit”, which suggested ways of helping the farmers, was tweeted by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. “The call was to wage economic, social, cultural and regional war against India,” the police said.

They say Ms Ravi “collaborated” with separatist groups to “spread disaffection against the Indian state”.

In court, Ms Ravi, accused of sedition and conspiracy, broke down and told the judge she had merely edited two lines of the document. But police believe she shared the document with Ms Thunberg, and then asked her to remove it after it was “accidentally” leaked. The court remanded her to police custody.

Ms Ravi’s arrest has sparked a firestorm of protest and shocked many Indians. The chief minister of Delhi, run by an opposition party, has called the arrest “an unprecedented attack on democracy”. A journalist wondered how “editing publicly available documents that help people coordinate views disagreeing with those of the government can be an act of sedition”. Yet another journalist tweeted: “The message is clear: lock up your children, stop them protesting, or we will”.

Climate change activist Disha Ravi is escorted by police officials as she walks out of the court in New Delhi, India February 14, 2021 in this still image taken from video.
image captionMs Ravi is escorted by police officials as she walks out of the court in Delhi

Last July, the Delhi police temporarily blocked the website of Fridays For Future India, describing its content as “objectionable” and depicting an “unlawful or terrorist act”. Members said all that it had done was swamp the environment ministry with thousands of emails in protest against an environmental law.

“In India, people continue to suffer because of laws that are anti-people. We live in a country where dissent is suppressed. We in Fridays For Future India were labelled terrorists for objecting to the law]. Only a government that puts profit over people would consider asking for clean air, clean water and a liveable planet, an act of terrorism,” Ms Ravi told an interviewer at the time.

In September, she told The Guardian: “Countries like India are already experiencing a climate crisis. We are just not fighting for our future, we are fighting for our present. We, the people from the most affected [regions], are going to change the conversation in climate negotiations and lead a just recovery plan that benefits people and not the pockets of our government”.

In a video interview, the feisty and outspoken young campaigner made it clear that she is no fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Read more by Soutik Biswas:

“Mr Modi has convinced everybody that everything he is doing is good. There are so many questionable things about his governance. Not just in terms of equal rights but environmental rights or human rights.”

“My parents support him, I know.”

Her friends describe Ms Ravi as a bright student, who won debates in college, where she graduated in business administration with a specialisation in finance. Like many young people of her generation, she loves Bollywood songs, binge-watches Netflix shows, loves cooking and pampers her dog. She plans on doing a masters in conservation: her role model is the world-famous conservation activist, Jane Goodall.

Ms Ravi’s friends and co-workers say she is a “funny, goofy girl” who is often late to events. “We get irritated but we never say anything to her because she is so passionate about what she does,” a friend said.

The website of the Bangalore-based food company where she works mentions her as the “youngest member” who joined as an intern and then came on “full time to work her magic on our customers by leading the company’s direct-to-consumer efforts”.

On social media, Ms Ravi has posted about Olive Ridley turtles, doing away with plastic and posed for pictures with her kitten and her dog. A Harry Potter fan, she has also shared pictures of Evanna Lynch. On Facebook, she calls herself a “carrot enthusiast”. On Instagram, she describes herself as “climate worried.”

Her profile says: “People united will never be defeated.”

With additional reporting by Imran Qureshi in Bangalorehttps://emp.bbc.com/emp/SMPj/2.39.18/iframe.htmlmedia captionMillions of people join the environmental strike led by schoolchildren across the world on Friday

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Delhi zoo samples positive for bird flu

Authorities had collected seven samples from four different locations in the zoo, which were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) on February 3, Pandey said.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | February 10, 2021 4:40:42 amavian influenza, Delhi Zoo, Bird flu, Delhi news, Indian express newshttps://creatives.contextads.live/2020/India/Dec20/CT_Impulse_Dec20/Web/index.html?impTrk=bm90QWxsb3dlZA%3D%3D&isTp=dHJ1ZQ%3D%3D&clkSt=aHR0cHM6Ly9jdXJseXRhbGVzLmNvbS8%2FdXRtX3NvdXJjZT1JRSZ1dG1fbWVkaXVtPUltcHVsc2UmdXRtX2NhbXBhaWduPUJyYW5kaW5n&clkEx=aHR0cHM6Ly9jdXJseXRhbGVzLmNvbS8%2FdXRtX3NvdXJjZT1JRSZ1dG1fbWVkaXVtPUltcHVsc2UmdXRtX2NhbXBhaWduPUJyYW5kaW5n&zoneid=919&bannerid=930&type=NAE&CN=CT_Impulse_Dec20&clickTrack=true“The samples have been found positive for avian influenza virus… All safety measures and protocols are strictly being adhered to and constant monitoring is being done by field staff and a team of veterinarians,” he added.

Samples taken of bird droppings in the Delhi Zoo have been found positive for avian influenza virus, director of the zoo Ramesh Pandey said Tuesday.

Authorities had collected seven samples from four different locations in the zoo, which were sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) on February 3, Pandey said.

“The samples have been found positive for avian influenza virus… All safety measures and protocols are strictly being adhered to and constant monitoring is being done by field staff and a team of veterinarians,” he added.

Himalayan glacier breaks in India, around 125 missing in floods

Reuters

People walk past a destroyed dam after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into the dam at Raini Chak Lata
A view shows damage after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into a dam at Raini Chak Lata
A view of damaged dam after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into the dam at Raini Chak Lata
A view of damaged dam after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into the dam at Raini Chak Lata
Himalayan glacier bursts in India

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Himalayan glacier breaks in India, around 125 missing in floods

People walk past a destroyed dam after a Himalayan glacier broke and crashed into the dam at Raini Chak LataDevjyot Ghoshal and Manoj KumarSat, February 6, 2021, 11:42 PM

By Devjyot Ghoshal and Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Around 125 people were missing in northern India after a Himalayan glacier broke and swept away a small hydroelectric dam on Sunday, with floods forcing the evacuation of villages downstream.

A wall of dust, rock and water hit as an avalanche roared down the Rishiganga valley deep in the mountains of Uttarakhand, a witness said.- ADVERTISEMENT -https://s.yimg.com/rq/darla/4-6-0/html/r-sf-flx.html

“It came very fast, there was no time to alert anyone,” Sanjay Singh Rana, who lives on the upper reaches of the river in Raini village, told Reuters by phone. “I felt that even we would be swept away.”

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said 125 people were missing but the number could rise. So far, the bodies of seven people had been recovered.

The disaster took place around 500 km (310 miles) north of New Delhi.

Uttarakhand is prone to flash floods and landslides and the disaster prompted calls by environment groups for a review of power projects in the ecologically sensitive mountains.

Earlier state chief secretary Om Prakash said 100 to 150 people were feared dead. A large number of the missing were workers at the 13.2 MW Rishiganga Hydroelectric Project which was destroyed by the bursting of the glacier.

Footage shared by locals showed the water washing away parts of the Rishiganga dam and everything else in its path. At least 180 sheep were washed away.

Videos on social media, which Reuters could not immediately verify, showed water surging through a small dam site, washing away construction equipment.

Twelve people who had been trapped in a tunnel had been rescued and efforts were under way to save others caught in another tunnel, the federal home ministry said after a meeting of the National Crisis Committee, comprising top officials.

“India stands with Uttarakhand and the nation prays for everyone’s safety there,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter.

State utility NTPC said the avalanche had damaged a part of its Tapovan Vishnugad hydropower plant that was under construction further down the river. It gave no details but said the situation is being monitored continuously.

Story continues: https://news.yahoo.com/himalayan-glacier-breaks-india-districts-074229074.html

India crosses 4 million coronavirus cases with record surge

KEY POINTS
  • India added 86,432 cases of the new virus on Saturday, a global daily record, according to data from the federal health ministry.
  • This makes it the third country in the world to surpass that mark, following the United States and Brazil.
Pedestrians wearing protective face masks in front of a mural in New Delhi, India on July 21, 2020.
Pedestrians wearing protective face masks in front of a mural in New Delhi, India on July 21, 2020.
Yawar Nazir | Getty Images

India’s total coronavirus cases surged beyond 4 million with a record rise on Saturday, making it the third country in the world to surpass that mark, following the United States and Brazil.

India added 86,432 cases of the new virus on Saturday, a global daily record, according to data from the federal health ministry.

Infections rose across the country, including in the capital New Delhi and the large states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

The jump to more than 4 million cases comes only 13 days after India reached 3 million cases, accelerating sharply from the more than 100 days it took to increase by the previous 1 million.

India has logged the world’s largest daily coronavirus caseload for almost a month, as its government pushes the opening up of businesses to revive a sharply contracting economy.

The number of deaths in India from the COVID-19 rose by more than 1,000 to 69,561 on Saturday.

Coronavirus: India surpasses US for highest single-day rise in Covid-19 cases

Published1 hour ago
Covid test in GuwahatiIMAGE COPYRIGHTEPA
image captionDoctors say India has to do more to increase its testing
India has set a record for the world’s highest single-day increase in coronavirus cases.
The nation, the world’s third-most infected, on Sunday reported 78,761 new cases in 24 hours, passing the number posted in the US on 17 July.
The rise comes as the government continues to lift restrictions to try to boost an economy that lost millions of jobs when the virus hit in March.
An upsurge of Covid-19 in many rural areas continues to be a major concern.
On Sunday, global infections passed the 25 million mark, with 843,000 deaths. The US remains the most affected nation, closing in on six million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University research.

What’s behind the Indian increase?

India’s single-day tally on Sunday passed the one-day increase of 77,299 reported by the United States on 17 July.
Cardiology doctor, Manoj Kumar, told Reuters: “It is the largest one-day surge in cases worldwide and the reason behind this – because the pandemic is spreading in the rural areas.”
In the initial stages of Covid-19, India appeared to be doing fairly well, imposing a strict lockdown, but the virus then hit megacities like Mumbai and Delhi, before surging in smaller cities and rural areas.
Despite the increase, the government has pressed ahead with easing restrictions.
Gatherings of up to 100 people will be allowed at cultural, entertainment and sports events from next month, with face mask and social distancing measures.
Underground train networks will also start to reopen in big cities.
Coffin of a Covid victim in Mumbai, June 2020IMAGE COPYRIGHTREUTERS
image captionIt is feared India’s reporting of deaths has been far too low
Dr Rajiv Parekh, chairman of the Medanta division of peripheral vascular and endovascular sciences, told Reuters: “People thought that once the numbers started to go down, this was it, they had won the war…. everybody was out there without wearing a mask, without any social distancing.
“That is something that we should not have allowed to have happened.”
Doctors also say under-reporting and limited testing remain major concerns.
The figure of 63,000 deaths in India is roughly on a par with Mexico. But infections in the central American nation are only at 591,000, compared to India’s 3.5 million.
India’s government collates the number of deaths from positive cases but not from suspected infections.
On testing, virologist Shahid Jameel, who heads the Wellcome Trust/DBT India Alliance, told Agence France Presse: “Testing per million in India at 30,000 remains the second lowest in top 10 [virus-infected] countries.”

What has the government said?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his monthly radio address without mentioning the latest milestone.
He called on citizens to observe the rules and remain united to try to defeat coronavirus.
“It is important that every citizen is healthy and happy and we defeat coronavirus completely together,” Mr Modi said.
“Corona can only be defeated when you remain safe, when you fulfil the resolve of keeping a safe distance of two metres and wearing masks.”