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Delhi court grants bail to Shaheen Bagh shooter Kapil Gujjar

After firing the shots he had told media that no one but Hindus will get what they want in this nation.

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Kapil Gujjar Shaheen Bagh Firing

Delhi: A Delhi Court grants bail to Kapil Gujjan ‘Baisala’ who opened fire in Shaheen Bagh area on February 1, 2020.

Delhi Police opposed the bail plea, reports ANI

Kapil Gujjar, who belongs to East Delhi’s Dallu Pura area, had on February 1 fired three bullets in the air after warning anti-CAA protesters to disperse.

He had also shouted communal slogans.

On February 1, Kapil Gujjar, a 25-year-old resident of a village in the outskirts of Delhi bordering Noida, had shot twice in the air near the Shaheen Bagh protest site.

After firing the shots he had told media that no one but Hindus will get what they want in this nation.

In his initial statement, Kapil Gujjar had said that he was annoyed at protesters because the road closed by them caused long traffic jams.

Kapil Gujjar said that he had to endure these jams frequently while going to Lajpat Nagar for shopping for an upcoming family wedding.

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SC asks pvt labs to conduct corona test for free

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Supreme Court

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered all coronavirus infection patients to be tested free of cost.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Ravindra Bhat said, “The tests relating to COVID-19, whether in approved government laboratories or approved private laboratories, shall be free of cost. The respondents (Union of India) shall issue necessary direction in this regard immediately.”

The apex court order came on a petition filed by advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi challenging the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) advisory to fix maximum Rs 4,500 for corona test by private entities.

The petition also sought direction that all such tests be conducted by accredited pathological laboratories, and to strike down the ICMR advisory for allegedly being violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

“Private hospitals, including laboratories, have an important role to play in containing the scale of the pandemic by extending philanthropic services in the hour of national crisis. We thus are satisfied that the petitioner has made out a case for issuing a direction to the respondents to issue necessary direction to accredited private labs to conduct free of cost COVID-19 test”, said the court in an interim order.

Suggesting free tests, the petitioner also claimed that capping test charges at private labs violates the ideals and values of the Constitution. The top court observed whether the private laboratories carrying free of cost COVID-19 tests are entitled for any reimbursement of expenses incurred, would be looked into later.

“We further are of the view that tests relating to COVID-19 must be carried out in NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories) accredited labs or any agencies approved by ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research)”, observed the top court.

The court observed that it finds prima facie substance in the submission of petitioner that at this time of national calamity, permitting private labs to charge Rs 4,500 for screening and confirmation test of COVID-19 may not be within the means of a large part of population of this country and no person can be deprived to undergo the COVID-19 test due to nonpayment of capped amount of Rs 4,500. The court noted that government laboratories are already conducting COVID-19 tests for free.

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No decision yet on extending curfew: Punjab CM

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Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh, April 8 (IANS) Hours after issuing an advisory that also talked on extending the statewide curfew to tackle the coronavirus pandemic till April 30, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday clarified that there was no decision to extend it.

Terming media reports as purely speculative and unfounded, he categorically stated that the state government was yet to take a decision in the matter.

A decision in this regard would be taken after the Cabinet meeting scheduled for April 10, he added.

The Chief Minister clarified that the speculation on curfew extension had been triggered by an advisory to employees from the General Administration Department on a series of matters relating to the current situation.

The said advisory had subsequently been withdrawn by the Chief Secretary on his directives, Amarinder Singh added.

The state government was continuously assessing and reviewing the evolving situation, which was changing day to day, and any decision would be taken in the context of the conditions prevailing around mid-April, keeping in mind the overall interest of the state and its people, he said.

Though the pandemic was currently in control in Punjab, nothing could be predicted at the moment, given the ever-changing dynamics of the situation, said the Chief Minister, adding all the factors would be taken into account before coming to a final decision on extending or lifting the curfew, either fully or partially.

“We are keeping a close arch on the situation, not just in Punjab but across the country. We are also taking into account the way the pandemic is behaving in other countries so that we can imbue their learning and act accordingly,” he said.

The early clampdown in India had helped and while the situation was somewhat better than the more advanced nations, one could not get complacent, and the next few days would be critical to any decision on the way forward, he added.

Amarinder Singh reiterated that saving lives was the top priority of his government at the moment and whatever decision is taken will be centred around that, seeing how the pandemic shapes up in the state in the coming days.

The Punjab government had imposed a statewide lockdown on March 23, even a day before the Prime Minister announced the 21-day national lockdown.

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India records 773 new corona cases, 32 deaths: Ministry

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Coronavirus

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) India recorded 773 coronavirus positive cases and 32 deaths in the past twenty-four hours, according to the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

India’s total count of corona positive cases stands at 5,194 with total deaths at 149. As many as 1.21 lakh tests have been conducted so far, the Ministry said, adding the country has sufficient stock of ‘hydroxychloroquine’ (a key salt said to be effective against coronavirus), said the Union Health Ministry on Wednesday.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Union Health Ministry, said that 773 coronavirus cases and 32 deaths have been recorded since Tuesday. As many as 402 people have recovered.

Agarwal said in the backdrop of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the response and preparedness of the government is intensifying.

He said the Ministry of Human Resources has launched a field-level orientation program — COVID management training module — to build capacity of the frontline workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus. This includes doctors, paramedics, nurses, ANMs, volunteers and Red Cross.

A Ministry of Home Affairs official said effective lockdown measures have been placed in areas identified as hotspots, and community leaders have been engaged to build awareness campaigns on the infection.

An Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) official said 121,271 cases have been tested so far and 13,345 tests are done in a day through 139 labs under ICMR and 65 private labs.

The Health ministry said even stadiums can be converted into facilities for treatment of the COVID-19 patients, especially for patients having mild and very mild symptoms.

He said that to break the chain of transmission, action plans have been made for each district in the country.

He cited door-to-door surveys conducted in Pune to identify people having symptoms, and people with hypertension and diabetes were also included in the survey.

In hospitals, focus is on infection prevention. Control measures are followed so that health workers don’t contract the infection, he said.

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