A total of 1,701 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the Haridwar Kumbh Mela area from April 10 to 14 confirming fears that one of the world's largest religious gatherings may contribute further to the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.
The numbers include both RT-PCR and Rapid Antigen Test reports of devotees and seers of different akharas (ascetic groups) over the five-day period in the entire Mela Kshetra extending from Haridwar to Devprayag, Haridwar Chief Medical Officer Shambhu Kumar Jha said on Thursday.
More RT-PCR test reports are awaited and the trend shows that the number of infected persons in the Kumbh Mela Kshetra is likely to climb to 2,000, he said.
The Kumbh Mela area is spread over 670 hectares covering parts of Haridwar, Tehri and Dehradun districts, including Rishikesh.
A majority of the 48.51 lakh people who took part in the last two royal baths (Shahi Snan) held on the occasion of Somwati Amavasya on April 12 and Mesh Sankranti on April 14 were seen openly violating COVID norms like wearing of face masks and social distancing.
Despite their best efforts, the police could not impose the standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the seers of akharas and the ash-smeared ascetics thronging Har Ki Pairi ghat on the two major bathing days due to severe time constraints.
As the 13 akharas had to take their holy dip at Har ki Pairi in accordance with their allotted time slots before sunset, the police and paramilitary personnel were hard-pressed to ensure each of them vacated the ghat before the arrival of the next akhara in line to prevent chaos.
As seers were averse to undergoing RT-PCR tests till the Mesh Sankranti Shahi Snan of April 14, both testing and inoculation in the Kumbh Kshetra including the areas allocated to the akharas are likely to be stepped up in the coming days, Jha said.
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Predictions that the Taliban will quickly overrun Afghan government forces and conquer Kabul once U.S. and coalition forces have fully withdrawn are unduly pessimistic, Washington's special envoy to Afghanistan said Tuesday. “I personally believe that the statements that their forces will disintegrate and the Talibs will take over in short order are mistaken,” Zalmay Khalilzad told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, whose members expressed deep worry that President Joe Biden's decision to fully withdraw by September will lead to chaos and intensified civil war. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican and withdrawal critic, asserted that there is “zero chance” the Taliban will abide by the commitments their leaders made in a February 2020 agreement with the Trump administration, which included engaging in sustained peace negotiations and severing all forms of cooperation with and support for al-Qaida.
Immediate Release – May 18th, 2021 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, May 18th, 2021 - In accordance with article 8:4 of the Royal Decree of 29 April 2019 executing the Belgian Code on Companies and Associations, Ion Beam Applications SA (“IBA”) hereby discloses information in relation to its share buyback program announced on January 12th, 2021. Under this program, IBA has requested a financial intermediary to repurchase up to 357.000 IBA ordinary shares on its behalf under the terms of a discretionary mandate agreement with validity until May 31st, 2021, effective as from January 13th, 2021, to cover the company’s obligations under a long term incentive plan for certain members of its personnel. In the framework of this share buyback program, IBA repurchased 17.290 IBA shares on Euronext Brussels in the period from May 7th, 2021 up to and including May 13th, 2021, as follows: The total number of shares purchased under this program therefore amounts to 334.616. As a result, IBA SA currently holds 808.837 treasury shares (directly and indirectly through its subsidiary IBA Investments SCRL), representing 2,68% of its share capital. About IBAIBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) is a global medical technology company focused on bringing integrated and innovative solutions for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The company is the worldwide technology leader in the field of proton therapy, considered to be the most advanced form of radiation therapy available today. IBA’s proton therapy solutions are flexible and adaptable, allowing customers to choose from universal full-scale proton therapy centers as well as compact, single room solutions. In addition, IBA has a radiation dosimetry business and develops particle accelerators for the medical world and industry. Headquartered in Belgium and employing about 1,500 people worldwide, IBA has installed systems across the world. IBA is listed on the pan-European stock exchange NYSE EURONEXT (IBA: Reuters IBAB.BR and Bloomberg IBAB.BB). More information can be found at www.iba-worldwide.com Contact personIBA Christian Matton,Chief Legal Officershareholderrelations@iba-group.com Attachment 20210518_iba_share_buy_back_en
In the “pre-show to the big show,” the Walt Disney Company put on a full-fledged production for its press briefing ahead of its upfront presentation later Tuesday, highlighting its full array of networks, from ESPN to ABC to NatGeo. While the presentation was a little light on details, FX boss John Landgraf did reveal that […]
Here's why Hexo stock investors witnessed the rising pot powerhouse majestically surpass Aurora Cannabis on quarterly recreational marijuana sales recently. The post Hexo Grows Past Aurora Cannabis in a Key Revenue Segment appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.
TOKYO — Stocks moved between small gains and losses Tuesday as investors focused on the possibility of more inflation later this year and economic recovery as the coronavirus pandemic eases. The S&P 500 was down less than 0.1% as of 12:59 p.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 66 points, or 0.2% to 34,261 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.5%. The Russell 2000 index of small company stocks rose 0.5%. Gains by technology and healthcare stocks were offset by a drop in banks and energy companies. Retailers are among the last companies to report first-quarter results. Walmart rose 2.3% after the giant retailer's results beat estimates as online shopping saw significant growth from a year ago, driven in part by Americans buying online in the pandemic. The broader market made solid gains early in the year as investors bet on an economic recovery fueled by widespread vaccinations. Expectations were high for corporate earnings and the latest round of results has been surprisingly good. Wall Street is now digesting that growth and shifting to a more cautious view. “Some sort of pause was always inevitable," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategist at Baird. “Eventually markets see a more challenging landscape ahead and general uncertainty.” Investors have been worried about whether rising inflation will prove to be either temporary or whether it will endure. Prices are rising for everything from gasoline to food as the economy recovers from its more than year-long malaise. The fear is that the Federal Reserve will have to dial back the extensive support if inflation persists. That includes record-low interest rates and the monthly purchase of $120 billion in bonds meant to goose the job market and economy. For all the worries about inflation, many professional investors are echoing the Federal Reserve in saying that they expect rising prices to be “transitory.” “I don’t think we’re entering a new period of structurally higher inflation, but at the same time its impossible to say it's not one of the main risks investors face,” Mayfield said. Higher interest rates drag on most of the stock market, but they are particularly painful for stocks considered the most expensive and those bid up for profits expected far into the future. This mostly involves technology stocks, which rose sharply last year and are valued highly on the future profits those companies could bring in. AT&T fell 5.7% and continued a two-day slide after the company announced it would spin off its Warner media assets into a new company with Discovery Communications. AT&T only finished acquiring Warner, which includes HBO, CNN, DC Comics and other iconic properties, in 2018 and its new CEO is pulling an about-face on his predecessor's decisions. Damian J. Troise, The Associated Press
HALIFAX — A court injunction that bans protests against public health orders in Nova Scotia should be modified or set aside, says the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Cara Zwibel, the association's director of fundamental freedoms, said Tuesday that the injunction is an indefinite ban on freedom of assembly and expression that is "unjustifiable." Zwibel said her organization's concern is that the court order issued Friday prohibits any and all protest activity during the province's state of emergency — something that she says runs counter to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "That (protest) right is a very fundamental one in a democratic society," she said in an interview, adding that the injunction goes too far. "We think it should be set aside or significantly narrowed," she said. Zwibel said the association would prefer to work with the province to modify the "exceptionally broad terms" of the injunction, but it is willing to challenge it in court if necessary. She wrote Monday to Premier Iain Rankin and Justice Minister Randy Delorey asking for a discussion. The letter calls the injunction "a two-handed axe where a scalpel would have sufficed." It says that if the province is unwilling to amend the court order, "we will be seeking to set aside or vary the court’s order to ensure that fundamental charter rights are not unduly and indefinitely restricted." The injunction was aimed at preventing illegal gatherings in defiance of public health orders introduced to slow the spread of COVID-19. It was primarily aimed at two anti-mask protests including one planned for Citadel Hill in Halifax last Saturday by a group called "Freedom Nova Scotia.'' However, its reach extends to similar groups and also bans the promotion of similar gatherings on social media. The court hearing that yielded the injunction was an ex parte application brought by the province, meaning the protest organizers weren't notified ahead of time and they did not attend. The injunction ultimately led to police ticketing protesters on the weekend, including people who participated in a car rally in Halifax to support the Palestinian cause. Halifax police issued a news release Monday, in which it referred to the 500-person car rally to protest Israel's treatment of Palestinians as "illegal". It used the same term to describe the Citadel Hill protest, where about 50 people turned up to oppose some public health restrictions. But Zwibel doesn't see the two protests as necessarily the same, saying it depends on how they respected public health orders already in force. She pointed out that the car rally protest was to occur in family bubbles and inside cars. "What is the benefit to public health of allowing these people to be arrested or ticketed?" she asked. "To deter that kind of thing, or to punish it, is really problematic." However, Halifax police have cited outdoor gathering limits, which are set at "no more than your household ... without social distancing" as their justification for clamping down. The force also pointed out that there is no exemption for demonstrations on the provincial government website. Zwibel said there should be room for the province to vary the court order to apply it more narrowly to specific groups and protests, as was done recently with a similar court injunction in Alberta. "We need to find a way to reconcile these things," she said. "We can't make Canada a protest-free zone because of COVID." The Nova Scotia Justice Department was not immediately available for comment Tuesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
NEW DELHI (AP) — The Serum Institute of India said Tuesday that it hopes to start delivering coronavirus vaccine doses to the U.N-backed effort known as COVAX and to other countries by the end of the year, a delay that will significantly set back global efforts to immunize people against COVID-19. India’s Serum Institute, the world’s biggest vaccine-maker and the main supplier of COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX, said in March that it was postponing all exports of coronavirus vaccines to deal with the explosive surge of cases on the subcontinent. At the time, the World Health Organization and Gavi, one of the partners in COVAX, said they expected COVID-19 vaccine deliveries from India to resume by June and the interruption would affect about 90 million doses. “SII has delivered more than 200 million doses,” the Serum Institute said Tuesday in a statement posted to its Twitter account. The company said that in the past few days, there had been “intense discussion” on the decision of the Indian government and vaccine manufacturers about the possible export of vaccines. “We continue to scale up and prioritize India,” the company said. “We also hope to start delivering to COVAX and other countries by the end of the year.” In April, as many as 60 countries had their immunization plans stalled because postponed supplies from COVAX meant most had no other source of COVID-19 vaccines. Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla previously warned that if the coronavirus crisis in India did not subside, “I am scared of what...we will have to do, and what will happen.” Zain Rizvi, a law and policy researcher at the advocacy group, Public Citizen, called the new delay announced by the Serum Institute “a nightmare” for global vaccine access. “COVAX has no plausible path to meeting its modest goals unless rich countries share doses and technology immediately,” he said. The U.N. effort to share COVID-19 vaccines is depending on nearly 1 billion doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine being made by the Serum Institute. It has small amounts of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and deals with other producers including Johnson & Johnson and Moderna Inc., but most of those doses will only be delivered late this year or next. The Associated Press
We all know the Florida legend that suggests a Waffle House Index is an unofficial metric typically used by FEMA to determine the effect of a major storm and the amount of assistance needed for disaster recovery.
New chapters of the American Horror Story and American Crime Story franchises are on the horizon with the latest iterations set to premiere in the summer and early fall. Ahead of the Disney upfront presentation FX chairman John Landgraf shared approximate premiere months and production updates for titles including AHS10, Impeachment: American Crime Story, Reservation […]