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Here are the latest updates:
Impasse in Visva-Bharati over students' demands to reopen hostels, conduct online exams
Stalemate continued in Visva-Bharati University as students demanding the reopening of hostels and conducting of online examinations refused to withdraw their sit-in demonstration outside the registrar's office till their demands were met, while the official also refused to leave his chamber till the pupils lifted their stir.
However, heads of departments held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing situation even as Vice-chancellor Bidyut Chakraborty issued a notice announcing that doors of the central office and library and other departments will be closed for "visitors".
The agitation by more than 200 students crossed 48 hours on Wednesday morning, with Registrar Ashis Agarwal inside his office even as students claimed they haven't gheraoed him and he may leave if he wishes to. The official, however, said he will leave his chamber only when the protestors withdraw their stir. - PTI
Hong Kong reports record cases; movements may be restricted
Hong Kong's leader on Wednesday said people's movements may be restricted during mandatory testing this month of the entire population for the coronavirus, as health officials reported a record 55,353 daily infections and over a hundred deaths.
Chief executive Carrie Lam said authorities are still refining the plan, but that there would be no “complete” lockdown that would prevent entry and exit from the city.
“The extent of it must take into account Hong Kong's circumstances and people's needs,” she told reporters.
Hong Kong is planning to test its more than 7 million residents as it grapples with soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases in its worst outbreak of the pandemic, linked largely to the omicron variant.
Officials on Wednesday reported 117 deaths, taking the total number above 1,000. About 80% of the deaths have occurred since late December. Most involved elderly patients who were not fully vaccinated. - AP
Schools reopen across Kashmir
Srinagar city and rest of Kashmir sprung to life on Wednesday as children made their way to schools after remaining closed for most part of the past three years due to lockdowns imposed to combat COVID-19 pandemic and for maintaining law and order post abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.
The authorities in the second week of February decided to reopen schools across Jammu and Kashmir as the number of Covid cases dropped significantly. - PTI
Fully vaccinated people exempted from carrying RT-PCR test report to enter Andaman & Nicobar Islands
In view of the significant decline in number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Andaman and Nicobar administration on Wednesday decided that fully vaccinated people are exempted from the requirement of carrying RT-PCR negative test report to enter the union territory, an official said on Wednesday.
Such fully vaccinated individuals shall produce the final vaccination certificate at the origin airport/seaport in the mainland and Port Blair airport/ seaport, an order issued by the principal secretary, health, Dr V Candavelou said.
The order further said that all asymptomatic children below 5 years of age are exempted from carrying RT-PCR negative test report and further RT-PCR testing at Port Blair Airport. - PTI
COVID caution abounds as delayed Women’s Cricket World Cup begins
The Women’s Cricket World Cup begins in New Zealand on Friday, with organisers keen to capitalise on growing interest in the women’s game after overcoming a string of pandemic-related hurdles.
The eight-nation tournament was originally scheduled for early 2021 but had to be postponed until March this year after coronavirus-related travel restrictions made it impossible to get the teams into New Zealand.
Even now, overseas players have been required to undergo 10 days of isolation and must abide by strict “bubble” health protocols.
Crowds are also restricted as the host nation attempts to contain an outbreak of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, meaning spectators must congregate in “pods” of 100 dotted around venues. - AFP
Australian Prime Minister tests positive for COVID-19
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday said he has tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever.
“I am continuing to follow health guidelines and am isolating at home in Sydney,” Mr. Morrison said in a statement issued late Tuesday night.
Mr. Morrison said he would continue to discharge his duties as Prime Minister while in isolation and co-ordinate his government’s response to the war in Ukraine and emergency support for the unprecedented floods in the country’s east.
After developing a fever on Tuesday evening, Mr. Morrison said he took a test that showed he had contracted the virus. He said he had been taking COVID-19 tests since Sunday, including on Tuesday morning, which gave negative results.
Mr. Morrison did not attend an event at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday evening that lit up the building’s sails in yellow and blue showing Australia’s support for Ukraine. - Reuters