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Coronavirus remains active in dead bodies for 9 days: Centre | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that as coronavirus remains active in a dead infected person for up to nine days, its standard operating procedure (SOP) provided only for cremation and burial of the dead infected persons, which excluded Parsi ritual of leaving the dead in Tower of Silence to get decayed by natural elements and birds.
Caught between exigencies of public health, an exclusive domain of the Executive, and the personal rights of a community, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Surya Kant requested solicitor general Tushar Mehta and senior advocate Fali S Nariman, appearing for Surat Parsi Panchayat, to hold deliberations along with concerned health ministry officials to find a middle path, in which the concerns of the Union government to prevent the spread of infection and the Parsi Zoroastrian ritual for disposal of bodies could be balanced.
The ministry in its affidavit through advocate Rajat Nair said the basic elements of the SOP is that the body should be fully covered and not exposed so that people who are handling the bodies of the persons who died of Covid, which may or may not include family members, must not come in contact with bodily fluids or secretions.
“Coronavirus, according to scientific evidence that has emerged so far, can survive on a dead body, in bodily fluids, secretions and moist cells of the dead body for up to nine days. A dead body will be considered as an inanimate surface and secretions from orifices will carry infected cells and will remain smeared on the body surfaces after death. An increased risk of Covid infection from a dead body to health workers or family members is unlikely when they follow standard precautions and SOPs while handling a dead body,” the Centre said.
It said the bodies of such infectious patients are likely to get exposed to the environment and animals, if not buried or cremated properly. “The OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) has also observed that the people who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with the Covid-19 virus should minimize close direct contact with animals, including wildlife. It has also been observed that several animal species have demonstrated susceptibility to the virus through experimental infection, and in natural settings when in contact with infected humans, although these infections are not the driver of the current Covid-19 pandemic which is human-to-human transmission,” it said.
“There is also evidence that infected animals can transmit the virus to other animals in natural settings through contact, such as mink to mink transmission, and mink to cat transmission, However, not all species appear to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2,” it said.
“The OIE has also noted that there are valid concerns about the establishment of SARS-CoV-2 reservoirs in wild or domestic animals, which could pose a continued public health risk and lead to future spillover events to humans. The virus introduction to a new animal species from a dead body might accelerate its evolution, which could potentially impact surveillance and control strategies. In view of the aforesaid concerns, keeping the dead body exposed (without cover) without burial or cremation will not be a permissible way of disposal of dead bodies of Covid positive patients,” the Centre said.
On January 10, the petitioner’s counsel Nariman had submitted a written note indicating the manner in which the funeral rites of Parsi Zoroastrians who have died due to Covid-19 would be carried out at the Towers of Silence. He had said the proposed guidelines meet the concerns of the Union Government over public health and safety while preserving the sanctity of the Zoroastrian faith. The guidelines which have been issued by the Union ministry of health and family Welfare do not take into account the concerns of the Zoroastrian community in regard to the modalities ordained for funeral rites, he had complained.





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ICC U-19 World Cup 2022: Dunith Wellalage’s all-round show helps Sri Lanka stun Australia | Cricket News – Times of India

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BASSETERRE [Saint Kitts]: Dunith Wellalage was again the star for Sri Lanka as he took a five-fer and scored 52 to guide his side to a four-wicket victory over Australia in the ICC Under 19 Men’s World Cup.
The Lions came out on top in the tussle between the two unbeaten teams in Group D, with no Australian able to match Wellalage in Basseterre.
During the match, Australia struggled to build partnerships having been put in to bat by Sri Lanka, their highest stand coming between Campbell Kellaway and Nivethan Radhakrishnan as they put on 46 for the fourth wicket.
Kellaway was Australia’s top scorer with 54 runs from 77 balls as the three-time champions slumped to 175 all out off the final ball of their innings.
The last three wickets fell for eight runs as Wellalage produced his second double-wicket over of the match, as he also claimed his second five-fer of the World Cup.
This time the slow left-armer went for one more run than against Scotland to return figures of five for 28, which sees him five clear in the early race to top the wicket standings.
In reply, Sri Lanka kept above the required run rate but were consistently pegged back by the Australian quicks.
Tom Whitney and William Salzmann took Sri Lanka’s second and third wickets in the space of three balls to reduce them to 41 for three in their chase of 176.
Wellalage again helped to steady the ship, this time with bat in hand, putting on a 70-run partnership with Anjala Bandara, before Bandara was dismissed sending an outside edge into the hands of wicketkeeper Tobias Snell.
Sri Lanka’s captain continued on to his half-century, coming off 69 balls and featuring four fours and one six.
With the Lions requiring just five runs, it seemed that Wellalage would steer the team home but he was dismissed caught and bowled by Whitney and it was left to Raveen De Silva to hit the winning runs as Sri Lanka emerged the only unbeaten team in Group D.





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India reports 2.38 lakh new Covid-19 cases, 310 deaths; Omicron tally at 8,891 | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday reported 2.38 lakh new Covid-19 cases, while the active cases rose to 17,36,628 according to the Union health ministry data.

8,891 cases of Omicron variant have been reported across 28 states and union territories.
The death toll climbed to 4,86,761 with 310 fresh fatalities according to the data updated at 9am.

The active cases now comprise 4.62 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate has decreased to 94.09 per cent.

The daily positivity rate is 14.43 per cent while the weekly positivity rate stands at 14.92 per cent.
Meanwhile, more than 158.04 crore vaccine doses have been administered in the country so far.





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‘Rohit Sharma or Ravichandran Ashwin must be stop-gap Test captain’ | Cricket News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Indian cricket is in the midst of a massive debate: Who should be the next Test captain of India post Virat Kohli vacating the post? At the moment, sources point towards Rohit Sharma — who is already India’s white-ball captain in Kohli’s place — being the top favourite for the position. Rohit was appointed as the vice-captain of India’s Test side before the tour of South Africa, before a hamstring injury ruled him out.
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar and India’s 2011 World Cup hero Yuvraj Singh are batting for star wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who slammed a hundred in the final Test, to take over as the new Test captain.
Former India skipper Dilip Vengsarkar, though, recommends that, for now, anyone amongst Rohit Sharma or Ravichandran Ashwin should be the new skipper of India’s Test team, as Pant and opener KL Rahul aren’t yet ready for the job.

“I would appoint Rohit or Ashwin as a stop-gap captain and groom the future captain. Right now, you need somebody with captaincy experience and an assured place in the Test side. Rohit and Ashwin have established themselves in Test cricket,” Vengsarkar told TOI.
“Pant, Rahul, or Shreyas (Iyer) need another year before they’ll be ready for the job. Pant has proved his mettle, but needs to work on his shot-selection. Till then, either of them can be asked to captain India in the white-ball format, and be the vice-captain in Tests. That ways, they’ll get to observe and learn how to lead the Indian team,” he added.
Back in 2007, Vengsarkar, who was then the chairman of the selection committee, and his panel had appointed then veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble as the Test captain for the series against Pakistan, when everyone thought MS Dhoni would be appointed for the job.

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“We wanted to give some more time to Dhoni before he took the Test captaincy. He was already the white-ball captain, and we wanted him to learn a few things by following Kumble closely. Kumble led India superbly in that period,” he recalled.
The 116-Test veteran blamed the previous selection committees over the years for the leadership crisis in Indian cricket following Virat Kohli’s exit as captain.
“It has been caused over the years by the selectors’ lack of vision in grooming a captain for the future. Like we groomed Dhoni, they just haven’t identified the right man to replace Kohli as a captain. I just couldn’t understand why Shikhar Dhawan was named as the captain of India’s tour of Sri Lanka last year,” Vengsarkar opined.

“Rohit is my choice. He’s still got a lot of cricket in him. By virtue of being the best batsman in the team today, he’s a certainty in the side. He’s got the tactical skills for captaincy. He’s a good man-manager. He’s an experienced, cool, responsible guy. All this talk about giving captaincy to someone for a decade is nonsense,” said former Mumbai captain and chief selector Milind Rege.
Rege too was critical of KL Rahul’s captaincy during the second Test against South Africa at Wanderers, which India lost.

“Captaining India is not easy. Rahul, I thought, was found wanting as a captain. His inexperience of captaining a team — leading an IPL team is completely different to captaining a side in a Test match — cost us dear. You could’ve waited before asking him to lead the team in a Test. A vice-captain doesn’t need to automatically become the captain,” Rege explained.
Pant, though, has his backers.
“This is the perfect time to make him Test captain. He’s 24, and in fine form and could be a long-term option. Captaincy might also bring out the best in him,” said ex selector Sarandeep Singh.





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Robert Lewandowski, Alexia Putellas take top FIFA ‘Best’ awards | Football News – Times of India

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PARIS: Bayern Munich’s record-setting striker Robert Lewandowski retained FIFA‘s top men’s player title Monday at “The Best” of 2021 ceremony as Barcelona captain Alexia Putellas collected the award for best women’s player.
The 33-year-old Lewandowski, who set a Bundesliga goal record last season, won the trophy for the second time, edging Argentine Lionel Messi of Paris Saint-Germain and Egyptian Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.
“I’m happy and honoured to win this award, and I feel very proud,” said Lewandowski

It was some consolation for the Polish striker who lost out to Messi for the Ballon d’Or in November.
For Putellas, it marked an awards double as the Spaniard triumphed over Barcelona team-mate Jennifer Hermoso and Chelsea’s Australian striker Sam Kerr, just as she did for the Ballon d’Or.
The 27-year-old midfielder enjoyed an exceptional 2020-2021 season with Barcelona when she led the Catalans to the Spanish league and cup double as well as the Champions League.
“This trophy is for everyone in the team,” Putellas said. “The trophy will be an inspiration for us all.”

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Special Award for setting a record of most international goals scored for his country, beating Ali Daei’s mark of 109 with Iran.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo now has 115 goals from 184 games with Portugal.
“I never expected to beat this record, and I thank my teammates from these past 20 years,” said Ronaldo, who also holds the record for 140 Champions League goals.

Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy and Christiane Endler of Lyon won the goalkeeping awards.
Chelsea picked up both coaching awards through Thomas Tuchel and Emma Hayes.
Erik Lamela, now of Sevilla, won the best goal award for his trick rabona shot for Spurs in the North London derby.
The medical staff and players of Denmark, who had to deal with Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the field at the Euro won the “fair-play” award.





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deb: PM Modi united North East into common string of development, progress: Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb | India News – Times of India

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AGARTALA : Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi united all the chief ministers of North East India into a common string of development and progress, Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Monday said that North East India is now politically significant and united.
“Today, we have a significant number of MPs, all summed up together unlike the previous times. We have a sizable number of Union Ministers. PM Modi took the lead and united all the chief ministers of North East India into a common string of development and progress,” said Deb.
Slamming the previous Congress government, he said, “We have seen a PM who represented Assam in the upper house but what development Assam saw during his tenure is known to all”.
Deb was addressing the concluding ceremony of the Puthiba Lai Haraoba Festival organized at Puthiba temple, Agartala.
According to Deb, the people of the North-East suffered due to a lack of coordination among the chief ministers of North Eastern states.
“Whenever there is a problem, I speak to Assam chief minister, Manipur chief minister or Meghalaya chief minister directly. They are all just a call away now. And, before 2014 when multiple parties were ruling the NE states, ego clash between Chief Ministers stalled development activities. For instance, Assam-Agartala road was in decrepit condition. Had both the Chief Ministers been in good terms, things would have been settled long ago,” said Deb.
Deb also hailed his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh for the efforts being undertaken to bridge the gap between Tripura and Manipur.
“Close relations between Tripura and Manipur dates back to the times when both the states were princely states. People of Manipur are respected for their rich cultural heritage and unity. The Modi government envisions development and a modern way of thinking but at the same time, it believes in protecting the cultural roots. Tripura is a house of diverse cultures. Here you can find tribal communities left with only five families. The government is making all-out efforts to protect them because cultural diversity defines India,” added Deb.
Deb also hoped that N Biren Singh would once again return to power with a thumping majority in Manipur.
“I hope N Biren Singh who loves me as a younger brother makes a comeback with a majority and serves the people of Manipur. Under his regime, the Jiribam-Agartala railway link was established. And, works are going on in war footing to complete the Agartala-Imphal railway link. This is not a mere railway connection but a bridge that plugs off the gap between two strong states of North East India,” said Deb.
Puthiba festival is an annual function of the Manipuri community observed with grandeur. Artists from different parts of the state and Manipur perform their traditional dances on the concluding function that started five days back. This is the 12th year the festival is being organized here in Tripura.





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11 Big budget Mollywood movies to look out for in 2022

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11 Big budget Mollywood movies to look out for in 2022



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army: Army’s new combat uniform triggers manufacturing contract battle | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Soon after a new combat uniform was unveiled by the 13-lakh strong Army, a major battle has erupted over who will manufacture them. Employees of the state-owned ordnance clothing factories (OCFs) contend they should get the mega contract, while the Army wants an open tender with private companies also in the fray to ensure soldiers get the best possible camouflage fatigues at the cheapest rates.
The new combat uniform with a “digital disruptive pattern”, ergonomically-designed in consultation with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), was showcased for the first time during the Army Day parade on January 15.
OCF employees, especially the ones at the Avadi factory, allege the Union government and the Army are favouring the private sector over the public entities once again.
“For the ordnance factories to survive, they need orders. The OCFs have the wherewithal to design and manufacture combat uniforms,” an employee said. As it is, they are unhappy with the “corporatisation” of the mammoth Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), which was split into seven entities last year.
Defence establishment sources, however, contend the aim is to select the best available facility in the country to manufacture the all-terrain combat uniforms to ensure “uninterrupted supplies with the right price and quality” for the soldiers.
“Under the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, all private players and the OCFs (now under the Troop Comforts Ltd) would be eligible to respond to an open tender and a transparent procurement process,” a source said.
The existing stocks of the current combat uniforms will last for around two years. The supply order for the new lighter, stronger and more climate-friendly combat uniforms, in turn, will be placed later this year, with the supplies slated to begin from early-2023.
“The whole process for the induction of the new combat uniform should stabilize by 2023. The OCFs, in any case, have their hands full with pending orders in a number of areas, including general stores and clothing items,” the source said.
“The product improvement in the new combat uniform involved changes in the fabric, camouflage pattern and garment design in collaboration with the NIFT. It was only after rigorous trials with feedback on the shortlisted patterns, designs and fabrics, the final prototype of the uniform was conceived,” he added.





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Dhanush and wife Aishwaryaa part ways; fans express shock as they extend support to estranged couple and Rajinikanth – Times of India

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South star Dhanush on Monday sent shockwaves around Tinseltown after announcing his separation from filmmaker wife, Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth after 18 years of marriage.

Dhanush and Aishwarya, daughter of megastar Rajinikanth, tied the knot in 2004 and are parents to two sons, Yatra and Linga.

The two shared a note announcing their separation on their respective social media accounts.

“Eighteen years of togetherness as friends, couple, as parents and well-wishers to each other. The journey has been of growth, understanding, adjusting and adapting. Today we stand at a place where our paths separate. Aishwaryaa and I have decided to part ways as a couple and take time to understand us as individuals for the better.

“Please do respect our decision and give us the needed privacy to deal with this. Om Namashivaaya! Spread love, D,” Dhanush shared in a note on Twitter.

Aishwaryaa also shared the same note on her handles and wrote, “No caption needed…only your understanding n your love necessary!”

News of their divorce came as a shock to many fans who took to Twitter to say, “It’s really shocking! So sad.”

Extending their support to the estranged couple during this trying time, fans shut down trolls and haters saying, “That’s unexpected and shocking! The reasons behind the break-up are none of our business. Media and fans should give them the space they need. We just wish #Dhanush and @ash_r_dhanush sis all the best for the future!”

Fans also sent Superstar Rajinikanth their love and strength. Taking to social media, fans got #Rajinikanth trending by posting notes to love and offering the superstar their support by saying, “Stay strong Thalaivaa”.

A fan wrote, “Heart goes out to Thalaivar @rajinikanth Heard he was emotionally drained during Soundarya’s divorce and now this Stay strong Thalaivaa.”

Aishwaryaa has directed films like the Tamil romantic thriller ‘3’ and black comedy ‘Vai Raja Vai’.

Dhanush, also a producer, was recently seen in the Aanand L Rai directed Hindi romantic drama ‘Atrangi Re’ and will next be seen in the Hollywood film ‘The Gray Man’ co-starring Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas.





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ISL: Players voice concern amid breach of bio-secure bubbles | Football News – Times of India

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PANAJI: The bio-bubbles in the Indian Super League (ISL) are no longer secure. Eight of the 11 clubs have been forced to stay indoors after discovering positive Covid-19 cases inside their camps.
ATK Mohun Bagan, FC Goa and SC East Bengal alone accounted for 37 cases, sources said. The total positive cases and isolations for those who share a room or are close contacts should be approximately 60. Four games have already been postponed, including three in the last three days, and it’s no surprise that players have now lost the hunger to succeed.
“Players are losing interest and the desire to continue to compete,” Goa captain Edu Bedia said in a post on social media, shared by many players. “They continue to play to collect their contracts without any ambition. This is what has been achieved with this year’s rules. Whether you like it or not, all the people inside the bio-bubble just want March to come and the league to end, whatever the outcome.”
The Spanish midfielder was not alone.
“It’s not easy, specially when you are closed in your rooms,” said Kerala Blasters defender Enes Sipovic. “You think only how not to test positive (for Covid-19), specially when your wife, kids and, in my case, I need to be take extra care of my wife because we are expecting a baby.”
Wives and girlfriends of players are among those who have tested positive. The two-year-old daughter of a foreign player is also among the positive cases, sparking fears across the hotels where teams are based.
“No one can understand how hard it is in a bubble without being inside,” said Chennaiyin’s Polish striker Lukasz Gikiewicz. “We don’t feel normal life… we have to bring it together to finish the season to the end.”
In a meeting on Sunday, some clubs pushed for the league to take a break and reconvene after the rise in cases has been arrested. The organisers, though, remained non-committal, telling the gathering CEOs they will revert with new SOPs that will allow them to train, rather than get locked inside their rooms.
Till Sunday when the meeting happened, seven clubs –- ATK Mohun Bagan, Kerala Blasters, East Bengal, NorthEast, Jamshedpur, Odisha and Bengaluru – were barred from training. Goa were also locked but allowed to step out only for training.





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