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Army Chief General Naravane warns Pakistan & China

Agencies

New delhi, Jan 12: In a direct attack on Pakistan and China, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday (January 12) said that both these countries form a “potent” threat, and the “threat of collusivity” is always there.


Addressing his annual press conference, General Naravane said, “Pakistan and China together form a potent threat and the threat of collusivity cannot be wished away,” adding “Pakistan continues to embrace terrorism. We have zero-tolerance for terror. We reserve our right to respond at a time and place of our own choosing and with precision. This is a clear message we have sent across.”


The Army Chief added, “We did so and came out on the top.


The main challenge was COVID-19 and the situation at the northern borders… We have maintained a high state of alertness all along the northern borders. We are hoping for a peaceful solution but are ready to meet any eventuality. All logistics are taken care of. A broad roadmap has been prepared to bring in all the new technologies to develop a technology-enabled army to meet challenges of future.”


Referring to the issue of security challenges at the Line of Actual Control, Naravane said a need was felt about “rebalancing” of troops along the northern borders, adding “that is what we have put in place now.”


General Naravane expressed hope that India and China will be able to reach an agreement for disengagement along LAC in Eastern Ladakh, adding “I am confident of finding a solution to the issue on the basis of mutual and equal security.”


Meanwhile, General Naravane ruled out any plans of sending troops on the ground in Afghanistan, reaffirming New Delhi’s long-standing policy of “no boots on the ground”. “As far as Afghanistan is concerned, there are no plans whatsoever to commit boots on the ground and neither do we envisage such a scenario developing in the near future,” he said.


It may be recalled that in 2017, the then Indian Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had ruled out presence of Indian troops on the ground. At that time, US President Donald Trump wanted India to send its forces to Afghanistan.

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Coronavirus: 15-day lockdown must to break deadly chain of transmission; Experts

(Asian News Hub) – As India witnesses an unprecedented surge in Covid caseloads, voices for a short-duration national lockdown or in severely-hit states/UTs grew louder on Wednesday and experts urged the Centre to immediately plan and execute a 15-day lockdown to break the chain of infection and manage the second wave of the pandemic.

The fact is that when India went into a 21-day national lockdown in March last year, the total number of active Covid cases was a mere over 500.

The lockdown then failed to stop the surge as the first wave happened after that period and devastated businesses and normal life.

This time, as India reported 1,84,372 new Covid-19 cases, setting another grim one-day record and taking the overall tally to 13,87,825 on Wednesday, a short-duration lockdown is what is the need of the hour to stop the menace, experts told IANS.

“As the hospital services are up to the brim and more and more people are dying, vaccination has also been halted because of lack of access at many centres.

This is an emergency situation for a shorter national lockdown,” Dr Rahul Bhargava, Director, Department of Clinical Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplant, Fortis Hospital, stressed.

“This way, we will be able to break the virus chain and get a breather to vaccinate more and more people as hospitals services will be back on track,” Bhargava said.

Experts also cited the example of Amaravati lockdown model for breaking the deadly chain of transmission.

Amaravati in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region saw a rapid surge in February the state government first imposed a week-end lockdown on February 18 to break the chain of virus transmission. But this effort failed as cases were still going north.

It was followed by a stricter lockdown for seven days, from February 22 to March 1, and was extended for another one week from March 1 to March 8.

The lockdown successfully broke the chain of transmission and active caseload decreased.

According to Neha Gupta, Infectious Diseases Specialist at Medanta – The Medicity, Gurgaon, strict social distancing norms are very important at this juncture, which will help in stabilising the overburdened healthcare services as hospitals are facing bed crunch and shortage of anti-viral drugs.

Bhargava added that if a short-duration lockdown is not planned, hospitals services will be choked, Covid patients will not get beds and receive necessary supplies on time.

“We need an urgent lockdown for at least 15 days. It may not be as harsh as the last one but there is a dire need for implementing this right away,” he told IANS.

The demand for a lockdown came as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Tuesday that lockdown, not the country’s vaccine rollout, is the main reason for the decline of Covid-19 infections in Britain.

“The numbers are down — of infections and hospitalizations and deaths. But it is very, very important for everybody to understand that the reduction in these numbers… has not been achieved by the vaccination programme,” he told Sky News.

“People don’t, I think, appreciate that it’s the lockdown that has been overwhelmingly important in delivering this improvement in the pandemic and in the figures that we’re seeing,” he added.

The prime minister said the vaccination programme has helped, but the bulk of the work in reducing the disease has been done by the lockdown.

India, too, needs a quick lockdown to break the chain of transmission, rising at a rapid rate with no respite in sight.

IANS

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UP CM Yogi Adityanath isolates self after his official test positive for COVID-19

(Asian News Hub) – Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday went into self-isolation after coming into contact with a few officials who tested positive for COVID-19. Adityanath informed this on his Twitter handle.

“A few officials in my office have contracted COVID-19. I had come into their contact. That is why, as a precautionary measure, I am self-isolating myself and will work virtually,” the UP CM tweeted in Hindi.

This has come in the midst of West Bengal assembly polls, where Adityanath was one of the star campaigners for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The Uttar Pradesh government has already announced restrictions on gatherings of five or more people in religious places for effective control of the Covid-19 pandemic during Navratri and Ramzan.

ANI

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COVID-19: Maharashtra CM announces 15-day ‘janta curfew’ from Wednesday

(Asian News Hub) – Maharashtra Chief Minister on Tuesday announced strict lockdown-like measures aimed to break the infection’s chain, highlighting that COVID-19 cases in the state are exploding at a dangerous rate.

There will be 15-day ‘corona curfew’ with only essential services being allowed in the state.

As Maharashtra reported 60,212 fresh COVID-19 cases Tuesday, CM Uddhav Thackeray, in his virtual address to the state, said that public transport would be available only for those involved in essential services during the 15-day ‘janta curfew’ starting Wednesday.

Section 144 will also be imposed across Maharashtra from tomorrow which means no one will be allowed to venture out without valid reason.

All public places will also remain shut for a fortnight.Describing the coronavirus situation in the state, CM Thackeray said he has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow procurement of oxygen from other states. He said that Maharashtra’s healthcare system was under great pressure.


Uddhav Thackeray said he would also request the PM for taking Air Force, Army’s help for tackling shortage of oxygen and medicines in the state.

“There is a scarcity of oxygen in the state. Would request the Centre to allow us to procure oxygen from other states. Air Force can be allowed to ferry oxygen cylinders from other states,” he said, adding,” We have to intensify vaccination to decrease the speed of this wave”.

Earlier, addressing an all-party meeting, CM Uddhav Thackeray had hinted at the imposition of an extended lockdown in the state to curb the surge in cases. On Sunday, he held a meeting with members of the state COVID-19 task force and said a standard operating procedure (SoP) will be prepared after holding consultations.


“Hospitals across the state are under tremendous pressure. The healthcare system is overburdened. The current situation is scary,” Uddav Thackeray said.

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