India in 2 minutes: Modi backtracks on vaccine drive after intense criticism

Modi backtracks on vaccine drive after intense criticism

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced free vaccinations for all adults in a move prompted by criticism of his administration's handling of India's deadly second virus wave and a botched immunisation roll-out.

In a half-hour address on national television on Monday, he said all Indians above 18 will be vaccinated for free from June 21, vowing to speed up the inoculation drive.

His administration will also procure the shots for the states, reversing an earlier policy of asking them to compete for supplies for certain age categories.

Agra hospital in oxygen shortage controversy closed

The Paras hospital in Agra was closed by authorities on Tuesday following the death of 22 patients reportedly due to a shortage of oxygen.

Its owner was allegedly caught on audio bragging about how the hospital shut off oxygen supply on April 27 for five minutes in a "mock drill" amid what he claimed was an acute shortage of oxygen in the Uttar Pradesh town.

Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N. Singh said there was no death due to lack of oxygen on that day when the video was recorded. "We have filed a case against the hospital under the Epidemic Diseases Act," he added. "The police will conduct an investigation."

Andhra High Court allows distribution of 'Covid medicine'

Ayurvedic practitioner Bonigi Anandaiah on Sunday began distributing his herbal formulation among Covid-19 patients in Andhra Pradesh's Nellore district, after the Andhra Pradesh High Court permitted it.

The court also asked the state government to submit within two weeks an expert committee report on whether the eye drops developed by Mr Anandaiah - which he claims can increase oxygen levels - can be administered. Mr Anandaiah had earlier filed a petition urging the High Court to issue orders to the government to allow him to supply his herbal concoctions which he said can cure Covid patients.

Malabar Gold provides 100,000 free Covid vaccines

Malabar Gold & Diamonds, the jewellery retailer with a network of more than 260 outlets in 10 countries including Singapore, has contributed 100,000 free vaccines to India's fight against Covid-19.

This will be used to inoculate people who are most vulnerable to the disease, including jewellery artisans, employees, investors and their dependants.

Delhi hospital revokes ban on Malayalam

After coming under heavy criticism for asking its nursing staff not to use Malayalam at work as "maximum patients and colleagues do not know this language", Delhi's Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER) has withdrawn the circular.

The circular had asked its nurses to use only Hindi and English for communication or face "strict action".

The hospital administration claimed that the circular was issued without its knowledge.

Bombay High Court cancels MP's caste certificate

The Bombay High Court's Nagpur Bench on Tuesday cancelled the "Mochi caste" certificate issued to Amravati MP and former film star Navneet Kaur Rana on the grounds that it was obtained fraudulently using fabricated documents.

The division bench ordered her to surrender it within six weeks and imposed a fine of Rs200,000 to be paid to the Maharashtra State Legal Services Authority within a fortnight.

Ms Rana is the wife of independent Maharashtra legislator from Badnera, Mr Ravi Rana, the founder of the Yuva Swabhiman Party, and is an ardent supporter of yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

Missing inmate found injured in jail compound

A prisoner who reportedly escaped from the high-security Banda district jail in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday was finally found injured in the jail's compound itself.

Vijay Arakh tried to escape but was badly injured after jumping from the jail's inner wall. Fearing that he would be beaten by officials, he hid in the thick bushes in the jail's compound.

Surprisingly, it took about 24 hours to track him down despite the jail being equipped with CCTV.

Bride refuses to marry groom after he turns up drunk

A 22-year-old bride in a Uttar Pradesh village refused to marry the groom after he and his friends turned up drunk for the ceremony.

The wedding was scheduled to take place in Tikri in Pratapgarh district on Saturday but as soon as the bride saw the groom, his friends and many of the guests in an inebriated state, she refused to marry him. She made the decision after the drunk groom tried to force her to dance with him before the ceremonies began.

Video of elephant bidding farewell to dead mahout goes viral

An elephant paid its final respects to its trainer with a salute of its trunk after walking about 20km to see his body for the last time in Kottayam, Kerala.

Mr Kunnakkad Damodaran Nair, known as Omanachetan, 74, died from cancer last Friday after caring for the animal, Pallaattu Brahmadathan, since 1996. Brahmadathan was brought to the funeral by its owners, paid tribute and then walked away - with the mahout's family members bursting out in tears.

India dumps Chinese apparel sponsor for Olympic team

India on Tuesday dropped Chinese sportswear manufacturer Li-Ning as its official kit sponsor for July's Tokyo Olympics with the country's athletes set to wear unbranded apparel.

The decision came after the Indian Olympic Association was criticised for unveiling Indian jerseys with Chinese branding last week amid strained relations between the neighbours.

11 dead in Mumbai building collapse

At least 11 people, including eight children, were killed when heavy monsoon rains caused a residential building to collapse in a Mumbai slum on Wednesday.

Seven other residents were injured in the incident even as search and rescue operations continue for several others missing.

Local television showed pictures of rescue workers pulling out debris in a narrow lane, as relatives and onlookers milled about. Residents have been evacuated from nearby structures considered dangerous.

Mumbai gets all-terrain vehicles for beach patrolling

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday dedicated all-terrain vehicles for patrolling at Mumbai beaches to safeguard tourists and citizens.

The state-of-the-art ATVs can operate on land, sand, swamps and other terrain to render immediate help in case of emergencies.


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