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With rapid surge in COVID-19 cases, West Bengal extends lockdown till July 31; Army roped in for help at Delhi COVID centre
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has extended the lockdown with the necessary relaxations till 31 July in order to contain novel coronavirus cases in the state. In an earlier announcement, the state government extended the closure of all educational institutions in the state till 31 July. Meanwhile, India recorded the highest single-day jump of nearly 16,000 COVID-19 cases, taking the total count to 4,56,183, and the death toll stood at 14,476.
Force to rescue: Indo-Tibetan Border Police took over a 10,000-bed capacity COVID-19 care centre in Delhi following a surge in the number of positive cases. A team of officials from the border guarding force visited the Radha Soami Beas facility and held discussions with the Delhi government and other stakeholders who will be partners in running the centre.
In Other News
Wider approach: With Delhi’s tally of Covid-19 cases crossing the 70,000-mark
Arvind Kejriwal government has come up with a new strategy to contain the spread of infection. By June 30 all houses in the containment zones will be screened and by July 6, every house in the national capital will be screened for Covid-19.
Historic low: The IMF Wednesday projected a sharp contraction of 4.5 per cent for the Indian economy in 2020, a “historic low,” citing the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic that has nearly stalled all economic activities. The country is expected to bounce back in 2021 with a robust six per cent growth rate, it said. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected the global growth at 4.9 per cent in 2020.
Political upheaval: Two visits in three days to Manipur’s capital Imphal by NEDA chairman Himanta Biswa Sarma and a subsequent meeting in Delhi with Union Home Minister Amit Shah seems to have sorted the problems for now for the BJP government with N Biren Singh as chief minister that appeared to be in troubled waters. Sources say the meeting with Sarma lasted for more than 90 minutes, Payal Mehta reports.
Troops disengaged: India and China agreed that expeditious implementation of the previously agreed understanding on disengagement of troops from standoff points in eastern Ladakh would help ensure peace and tranquillity in the border areas, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. The two sides held diplomatic talks through video conference to explore ways to ease tension along the LAC in the eastern Ladakh region.
‘Grey list’: The global terror financing watchdog FATF decided to keep Pakistan in the “Grey List” as it has failed to check the flow of money to terror groups like the LeT and the JeM, officials said. The decision was taken at the Financial Action Task Force’s third and final plenary held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plenary was held under the Chinese Presidency of Xiangmin Liu.
On Our Specials
‘Won’t be easy’: The scarcity of information around the present Sino-Indian border standoff and its associated skirmishes along the LAC, has made it exceedingly difficult to understand and predict the development of the existing situation. Notwithstanding this lack of information, a comparison between the circumstances around the de-escalation of the Sino-Indian military standoff at Doklam, the current standoff could perhaps provide some clarity on the dilemma, Anant Singh Mann writes de-escalation this time around will not be as easy as in Doklam.
Masood Azhar is ‘Missing’: The US State Department Country Reports on Terrorism 2019 has punched holes in a claim that Pakistan made to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) earlier this year — that terrorist Masood Azhar is “missing”. The US report says that Pakistan “did not take action against other known terrorists such as JeM founder and UN-designated terrorist Masood Azhar and 2008 Mumbai attack ‘project manager’ Sajid Mir, both of whom are believed to remain free in Pakistan”, Maha Siddqui writes.