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Exit polls predict clean sweep to TRS

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Telangana CM KC Rao

New Delhi, Dec 7 : Exit polls on Friday predicted that the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) will retain power in Telangana and the gamble by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao to dissolve the Assembly ahead of schedule may have worked in his favour.

According to various surveys, the Congress-led People’s Front will have to sit in the opposition in the state Assembly.

The Congress had stitched an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party, the Telangana Jana Samithi and the Communist Party of India to take on the TRS.

India Today-Axis My India exit poll predicted that TRS may win 79 to 91 seats in the 119 member Assembly while the Congress-led alliance may get 21 to 33 seats. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) may end up with 4-7 seats and the BJP 1-3 seats.

The Times Now-CNX survey predicted that the TRS may win 66 seats and the Congress-led alliance 37.

The survey conducted by Republic-C-Voter claimed that TRS would win 48-60 seats, Congress 47-59, BJP 5 and others 1-13 seats.

TV9 Telugu-AARA predicted that TRS may win 75-85 seats, Congress 25-35, BJP 2-3 and others 7-11 seats.

However, NewsX-Neta predicted that TRS would emerge as the single largest party with 57 seats, three short of the ‘magic figure’ 60. It claimed that Praja Kutami may get 46, BJP 6 and others 10.

Telangana voted on Friday and the results would be declared on December 11.

Health

Covid cases haven’t yet peaked or even plateaued: AIIMS Dir

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days.

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Randeep Guleria AIIMS

New Delhi: All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Randeep Guleria, one of India’s leading medical experts, has asserted that the coronavirus cases in the country have not yet hit their peak or even plateaued.

The remarks come at a time when the infections are racing ahead with the country adding at least a lakh new cases every two days. It has logged more than 23 lakh cases and over 46,000 deaths so far since the first case on January 30.

“These are trying times. It has tested the resilience of the nation. We have not reached the peak or started plateauing as far as cases are concerned,” Guleria, who is also the part of a core team monitoring the pandemic, said.

Shedding light on the vaccine development, he said that India has an advantage because it makes almost 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines.

“We have the capacity to manufacture a large number of vaccines and that is the commitment that the government and manufacturers have given — that we will be able to upscale our manufacturing capacity not only for our own country but for the entire world,” he added.

Three vaccine candidates are in different stages of human clinical trials in India — one developed by University of Oxford by Pune’s Serum Institute of India, the other inactivated virus vaccine by Bharat biotech and the third DNA vaccine by Zydus Cadila.

The country’s top pulmonologist further said that the vaccine development has moved so rapidly because of the collaborative work between various countries. “What the pandemic has shown is the resilience that the world has and the way researchers, manufactures and industries can come together to overcome any hardship we face as a planet.”

Guleria, however, advised caution with regards to the Russian vaccine, being touted as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine. Elaborating on the safety aspect, he said that the issue would be just to make sure that the vaccine is “safe and efficacious”.

“Any vaccine that is tried in a large number of people who are elderly or have comorbidities, safety is the most important thing and should of course be efficacious in terms of what degree of protection does it give and how long the protection lasts,” the AIIMS Director said.

The comments come in the backdrop of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement about the approval of the coronavirus vaccine for public use. It is, however, marred by controversies and is yet to complete the final trials.

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India

Shia board issues Muharram guidelines

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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Muharram Shia

Lucknow, Aug 12 : The All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) has issued its Muharram advisory, asking people to follow all norms of social distancing, wear masks and wherever possible, take part in Muharram rituals online or via TV channels broadcasting them.

The first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram is a mourning period in remembrance of Imam Husain-Prophet Muhammad’s grandson and his family and companions who were martyred by Yazid in Karbala (Iraq) in 680 AD.

The 14-point advisory issued by board president Maulana Syed Saim Mehdi and general secretary Maulana Yasoob Abbas said that all mosques and Imambaras with carpets and floor covers should ensure disinfecting the space before and after every majlis (sermon session).

Clerics said that the advisory was in accordance with the guidelines by ayatullahs from Iraq and Iran, including Grand Ayatullah Ali Al Sistani.

Children, pregnant women and the elderly have been advised to stay at home and use online and other mediums to be part of the sermons.

Water and food distributed among the poor as ‘tabarruk’, should be packed and sealed, and guidelines issued by the administration should be followed. A number of Shia and Sunni clerics have also met the district officials and discussed the guidelines with them.

Muharram, this year, begins on August 20 and ends on September 18.

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India

Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha posts emotional tweet

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Pranab Mukharjee Iftar Party

New Delhi, Aug 12 : As former President Pranab Mukherjee remains in critical condition after a brain surgery, her daughter and Congress leader Sharmistha Mukherjee on Wednesday posted an emotional message on her Twitter handle.

“Last year, August 8 was one of the happiest day for me as my dad received the Bharat Ratna. Exactly a year later, on August 10 he fell critically ill. May God do whatever is best for him and give me strength to accept both joys and sorrows of life with equanimity. I sincerely thank all for their concerns,” she tweeted.

Pranab Mukherjee remains on ventilator support at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital in Delhi. The 84-year-old had earlier tested positive for coronavirus. He had undergone a brain surgery for the removal of a clot.

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