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Migrant workers from Bihar state, wearing masks as a precaution against the coronavirus, wait for buses to catch a homebound train in Kochi, southern Kerala state, India, June 12, 2020. VOA

India reported its largest surge in new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period Saturday. The 11,458 new infections surpassed the previous record of 10,956 cases reported Friday as per COVID-19 Information & Resources.

The surge comes as India has reopened stores, shopping malls, manufacturing plants and places of worship. The country’s two-month lockdown that began in March has been eased, with restrictions remaining largely intact in high-risk areas.


India’s record surge of new cases propels the massive South Asian nation to fourth place worldwide, surpassed only by the U.S., Brazil and Russia.

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China’s National Health Commission reported 11 new cases Saturday. The agency said five of the new infections were detected in people who had traveled overseas, while the remaining six were locally transmitted in Beijing. The coronavirus emerged in China late last year.

U.S. President Donald Trump is delivering the commencement address at the West Point Military Academy Saturday. The graduation ceremonies will be held on the academy’s parade grounds instead of the football stadium so the cadets can be seated 2 meters apart, in the school’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Family and friends will not be allowed to attend.


Paramilitary police stand guard near the Xinfadi wholesale food market district in Beijing, June 13, 2020. Beijing closed the market after the discovery of at least six more coronavirus cases. VOA

The cadets can remove their masks, if they want, once they are seated. The president does not like to wear a mask.

Norway said Friday it would maintain travel restrictions for visitors from Sweden. Unlike other European countries, Sweden did not impose lockdown measures, opting only to advise social distancing and banning gatherings of more than 50 people.

While new infections are slowing in most of Europe, the European Union’s health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said Friday that countries should be prepared to reimpose restrictions if they see a rise in infections.

A major study forecasts millions sinking into extreme poverty because of the coronavirus pandemic.

A report by the United Nations University says the economic fallout could plunge 395 million people into conditions in which they are forced to live on $1.90 a day or less – the definition of extreme poverty.


Millions have been reportedly sinking into extreme poverty because of the coronavirus pandemic. Pixabay

A separate World Bank report this week put that number between 70 million and 100 million people.

Also Read: Developing Countries Account for 3-Quarters of Daily Covid Cases

“The outlook for the world’s poorest looks grim unless governments do more and do it quickly and make up the daily loss of income the poor face,” one of the U.N. report’s authors, Andy Sumner, said. “The result is progress on poverty reduction could be set back 20-30 years and making the UN goal of ending poverty look like a pipe dream.”

The U.N. report says South Asia – India in particular – will see the largest number of people sinking into extreme poverty, followed by sub-Saharan Africa.

Experts are appealing to economically powerful nations, such as the United States, to forgive the debts of developing countries that would take a strong hit from the pandemic. (VOA)


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Surgeons attached a pig kidney to a pair of large blood vessels outside the body of a deceased recipient so they could observe it for two days, and the kidney did what it was supposed to do.

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for lifesaving transplants.

Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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