A health worker collects a nasal swab sample from a teacher at a school in Amritsar on Friday. AFP
India’s Ministry of Home Affairs on Friday extended the prevailing restrictions for surveillance, containment and caution against the spread of COVID-19 till the end of March. The restrictions were to have expired at midnight on Feb.28.
"There is need to maintain surveillance, containment and caution so as to fully overcome the pandemic. States and Union Territories have also been advised to speed up the vaccination of the target population so as to break the chain of transmission and overcome the pandemic," the ministry’s guidelines for the coming month said.
Civic authority marshals fine a motorcyclist for not wearing a face mask in public at Dharavi in Mumbai. AFP
Containment zones, which are areas with a high COVID-19 infection rate, must continue to be demarcated carefully and prescribed containment measures are to be strictly followed within these zones.
"COVID-19-appropriate behaviour must be promoted and enforced and the Standard Operating Procedures prescribed in respect of various permitted activities must be followed scrupulously," the ministry warned..
The Health Ministry on Saturday put the total number of cases in India at 173,763 with 4,971 deaths. The total infections included 86,422 active cases and 82,369 recoveries.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah presided over public rallies in northern states with footage from the events showing thousands of people gathered in open grounds to hear their speeches.
Senior health official Vinod Kumar Paul told a news briefing that government experts were studying data on boosters but "our emphatic view...is to (first) cover every adult with (just) the primary two doses." The government has said this target can be achieved by January.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah made a phone call to his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in which they exchanged congratulations and blessings on the occasion of the blessed Month of Ramadan.
In London, for the first time, Ramadan will be celebrated with a light display in central London, in Piccadilly Circus, no less.
A video is going viral on Russian social media claiming Vladimir Putin is conning his people by using multiple body doubles for trips he doesn't want to make, Daily Mail reported.
The session highlighted the enduring diplomatic ties spanning over five decades between the UAE and Türkey whilst also underscoring the momentous 27 accords inked in the last 18 months, which include the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).