Top news of the day: Step up surveillance, wear masks, says Health Minister amid COVID-19 concerns; The Gambia panel blames Maiden Pharma for death of children, and more

The major news headlines of the day and more. 

December 22, 2022 07:14 pm | Updated 07:14 pm IST

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya speaks in the Lok Sabha on December 22, 2022. Photo: Sansad TV via PTI

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya speaks in the Lok Sabha on December 22, 2022. Photo: Sansad TV via PTI

COVID-19 | Step up surveillance, wear masks, says Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya amid concerns

Amid a spurt in Covid cases in some parts of the world, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on December 22 asked States to remain alert and create awareness about wearing face masks and using hand sanitisers, especially in view of upcoming festivals and New Year celebrations. Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, Mr. Mandaviya said the continuously evolving nature of the virus poses threat to global health in a way that impacts virtually every country. India has been reporting 153 new cases on an average every day as against 5.87 lakh on a daily basis across the world.

PM Modi reviews COVID-19 situation at high-level meeting

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has held a high-level meeting to review the situation related to COVID-19 in the country. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya, Home Minister Amit Shah, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and top officials attended the virtual meeting.

Government coming up with excuses to stop Bharat Jodo Yatra, says Rahul Gandhi

“This yatra will go to Kashmir. Now, they have come out with a new idea. They wrote me a letter that Covid was spreading, stop the yatra,” Mr. Gandhi said while addressing a gathering in Ghasera village in Haryana’s Nuh district.

BJP suspends Jan Aakrosh Yatra in view of global rise in COVID cases

Describing the Congress’ Bharat Jodo Yatra as a “morning and evening walk”, party general secretary Arun Singh accused the party of playing with people’s life for politics. “As for Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, it is a flop show. It is nothing but a morning evening walk. The Congress should not play with the health of the people for its petty politics,” he said.

The Gambia panel blames Haryana-based Maiden Pharma for deaths of children

Cough syrup made in India and sold in The Gambia contained “unacceptable levels” of the toxins diethylene glycol (DEG) and ethylene glycol (EG), according to tests conducted by a Swiss laboratory. Samples of the syrup, made by Haryana-based Maiden Pharmaceuticals, were sent for analysis by The Gambian government as part of its investigation into an epidemic of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), suspected to have killed atleast 70 children in The Gambia between July and October 2022.

ED attaches 45-acre land allegedly linked to former Union Minister A. Raja

According to the ED, Mr. Raja — during his tenure as the Minister of Environment & Forests from 2004 to 2007 — had granted environmental clearances to a real-estate company, based out of Gurugram. It is one of the largest real estate companies in the country, also listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange, it said.

Opposition boycotts Rajya Sabha proceedings for day over no discussion on China border issue

In the morning session, the Opposition stood in protest and entered the Well of the House, demanding a discussion on the issue of border conflict with China and Leader of the House Piyush Goyal’s remark which they alleged was an “insult” to Bihar.

India notes with concern Taliban decision to ban women from universities

“We have noted with concern the reports in this regard. India has consistently supported the cause of female education in Afghanistan,” Arindam Bagchi, the spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs, said.

Xi Jinping’s India dilemma to the fore as he begins a new term in power

This month’s clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Yangtse in Arunachal Pradesh, weeks after President Xi Jinping began his unprecedented new five-year term, spells danger of 2023 too ending up as yet another blank year in the bilateral ties which nosedived after the PLA’s misadventures in eastern Ladakh in 2020.

Goyal introduces bill to decriminalise minor offences to promote ease of doing business

Besides the decriminalisation of minor offences, the bill envisages the rationalisation of monetary penalties, depending on the gravity of the offence, bolstering trust-based governance.

Audit finds Tokyo Olympic costs 20% higher than announced

The audit put the cost at 1.7 trillion yen ($12.9 billion). Organizers last year put that figure at 1.42 trillion yen ($10.7 billion at today’s exchange rate but $13 billion at the time).

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