Daily Briefing: People, govt all lowered guard, says RSS chief; PM urges states to report numbers transparently

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday said “states should be encouraged to report their numbers transparently without any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts”.

Good morning,

The Second Wave 

Delivering the final lecture of its “Positivity Unlimited” series of talks, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat blamed the government and public for lowering the guard despite the warning signs of a second Covid wave. He also  cautioned against use of Ayurvedic medicines or spreading misinformation without any scientific examination.  

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi encouraged states to report their Covid numbers without “any pressure of high numbers showing adversely on their efforts”.

Days after the Goa government told the Bombay High Court that 15 Covid patients died due to drop in Oxygen supply at the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said “you cannot co-relate a particular death to a particular situation”. Previously, 26 oxgygen related deaths were reported at the same hospital. 

Only in the Express

Cyrus Poonawalla, the father of Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla, rejected suggestions that he and his son had “left” the country. Asserting that he was only in London with his family for a routine “summer vacation”, he said that SII was looking into starting new manufacturing units in Europe. 

In the latest edition of Idea Exchange, Justice Govind Mathur, who retired as Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court last month, speaks about the need for the judiciary to be free, fair, not vulnerable to pressure from the government and more representative of women and minorities.

From the Front Page

Sunil Jain, Managing Editor of The Financial Express, passed away at AIIMS on Saturday due to post Covid-19 complications. He is remembered by his colleagues as a true professional, honest to the core, who combined the journalist’s instinct for news with a researcher’s penchant for verifiable facts. 

British oil company Cairn Energy Plc has sued national carrier Air India and initiated the process to seize Indian assets to enforce the $1.2-billion arbitration award it won against the Indian government in a longstanding tax dispute.

Must Read

In the Gaurela-Pendra-Marwahi district, which was recently carved out of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, villages are now experiencing a devastating second wave of coronavirus cases. Officials and doctors say the challenge is particularly daunting due to gaps in infrastructure in the fledgling district, where key posts including Chief Medical Health Officer are yet to be filled.  

A 19-year-old school dropout, a 30-year-old e-rickshaw driver, a 61-year-old maker of wooden frames — they are among the 25 people arrested by the Delhi Police for allegedly pasting posters that criticised PM Narendra Modi for his Covid vaccination drive. Many of those arrested were daily wage workers or jobless youth who had no idea about the content or politics involved. 

With India’s healthcare infrastructure unable to keep up  with the exploding demand for daily medical oxygen amidst the debilitating second wave, thousands lost their lives across the country. From the mother who passed away a day after her birthday, to the young father whose child would have turned two next week — The Sunday Express profiles some of the lives lost for the lack of oxygen.

And Finally 

In an interview with The Indian Express, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri speaks about the complexities of identity, the nature of fame, the idea of home and why translating one’s own work can be a solitary exercise.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose 

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