Morning digest: One in five Indians exposed to coronavirus, finds ICMR survey; India-England 1st Test begins at Chepauk today, and more


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Nearly one in five Indians had been infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus until December 2020, the third round of the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) serological survey has found. This is roughly a three-fold increase since August 2020 and a 30-fold increase since May 2020, when previous rounds of the survey were conducted.

India on Thursday struck a cautious note on the developments in Myanmar saying it continues to monitor the situation. Spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava during the weekly press briefing highlighted regional developments including Sri Lanka’s cancellation of the East Container Terminal (ECT) pact with Japan and India and reminded Colombo to adhere to international commitments for “mutually beneficial proposition”.

“But we are ready to work with Beijing when it is in America’s interest to do so. We will compete from a position of strength by building back better at home, working with our allies and partners, renewing our role in international institutions, and reclaiming our credibility and moral authority, much of which has been lost,” he said, giving the glimpse of his administration’s policies on China.

Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit has refrained from taking a call on a plea for the early release of Rajiv Gandhi assassination case convict A.G. Perarivalan. The Governor said the President of India was the “appropriate competent authority” to deal with Perarivalan’s request for freedom.

Farmers take part in a candlelight vigil, in memory of a person who died during a tractor rally, at Singhu border near New Delhi on February 4, 2021.
 
| Photo Credit:
Reuters

 

The Lok Sabha witnessed repeated disruptions on Thursday as a united Opposition insisted on having a separate discussion on the farm laws instead of clubbing it with the motion thanking the President’s Address to a joint sitting of Parliament.

Over 1.23 lakh high net worth individuals (HNIs) deposited over ₹62,500 crore into their employees’ provident fund (EPF) accounts in 2018-19 alone, and the largest EPF account has a staggering ₹103 crore balance, sources in the Department of Revenue said on Thursday, defending the Budget move to tax the income on employees’ PF contributions over ₹2.5 lakh a year.

There was no action at Melbourne Park, hosting six men’s and women’s tournaments simultaneously across the 18 courts. But, Divij Sharan had no complaints. He did not have to take a COVID-19 test and could go out and train for two hours.

Farmer unions spearheading the agitation on the three farm laws on Thursday claimed that 21 protesters were still missing since the Republic Day tractor rally violence, and cases had been registered against 125 farmers so far.

Ahead of what promises to be an exciting Test series between India and England, Sachin Tendulkar spelt out what he is looking forward to, in a chat with The Hindu.

On the eve of his 100th Test, skipper Joe Root knows a lot is riding on his shoulders as England’s main batsman.

India provided 56 lakh doses of coronavirus vaccines under grants assistance to a number of countries while 100 lakh doses were sent under commercial supplies, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

 

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