India's Home Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's closest political ally-bar-none, ex-president of the BJP Amit Shah tested positive for COVID-19, he himself confirmed through a tweet on Sunday.
He appealed to all those who came into his contact to test themselves for COVID-19.
"Experiencing some symptoms I got myself tested for COVID-19 and have been found positive. I am feeling healthy but on the advice of doctors I am admitting myself to a hospital," tweeted Shah.
He advised those who came into his contact in the past few days to immediately isolate themselves and get tested.
Earlier in the day, a lady minister in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh had died of COVID-19 infection.
India’s coronavirus caseload crossed 1.75 million with another spike of 54,735 in the past 24 hours.
The new cases are down from 57,118 on Saturday.
The Health Ministry on Sunday also reported 853 deaths for a total of 37,364.
Randeep Guleria, a top government expert, said that New Delhi and Mumbai may have crossed their peak levels with declining trends.
The month of July alone has accounted for more than 1.1 million cases in India.
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the case fatality rate was progressively reducing and currently stands at 2.18%, one of the lowest globally. Out of the total active cases, only 0.28% are on ventilators, 1.61% need intensive care support and 2.32% oxygen support.
At least ten people have died after consuming sanitizer as an alternative to liquor in Praksasam district of India’s Andhra Pradesh.
The incident took place at Kurichedu village of the district. With all the liquor shops closed amid coronavirus pandemic, the ten sipped hand sanitizer freely available in medical shops, The Hindu reports quoting police sources.
Two of them died on Thursday night while the rest died this morning.
On information, police went to the spot and seized some empty sanitizer bottles.
When asked, a survivor disclosed that they had been consuming hand sanitizer for the last few days being failed to get liquor.
The Hong Kong government will postpone highly anticipated legislative elections by one year, citing a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the semi-autonomous Chinese city.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced the decision on Friday. Lam said the government has the support of the Chinese government in making the decision.
The Hong Kong government is invoking an emergency ordinance in delaying the elections.
“The announcement I have to make today is the most difficult decision I’ve had to make in the past seven months,” Lam said at a news conference.
“We want to ensure fairness and public safety and health, and need to make sure the election is held in an open, fair and impartial manner. This decision is therefore essential,” she said.
The postponement is a setback for the pro-democracy opposition, which was hoping to capitalize on disenchantment with the current pro-Beijing majority to make gains. A group of 22 lawmakers issued a statement ahead of the announcement accusing the government of using the outbreak as an excuse to delay the vote.
“Incumbent pro-democracy legislators, who represent 60% of the public’s opinion, collectively oppose the postponement and emphasize the responsibility of the SAR government to make every effort to arrange adequate anti-epidemic measures to hold elections in September as scheduled,” the statement said, referring to the territory's official name, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
“Otherwise, it is tantamount to uprooting the foundation of the establishment of the SAR.”
The city of 7.5 million people has had a surge in coronavirus infections since the beginning of July. Hong Kong has recorded 3,273 infections as of Friday, more than double the tally on July 1.
The government has tightened social distancing restrictions, limiting public gatherings to two people, and banned dining-in at restaurants after 6 p.m.
The lead-up to the elections has been closely watched, after a national security law that took effect in late June stipulated that candidates who violated the law would be barred from running.
The new law is seen as Beijing’s attempt to curb dissent in the city, after months of pro-democracy and anti-government protests in Hong Kong last year.
On Thursday, 12 pro-democracy candidates including prominent pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong were disqualified from running for not complying with the city's mini-constitution or pledging allegiance to the local and national governments.
Fortify Rights on Friday said Myanmar authorities should immediately release Myat Hein Tun and Kyaw Lin, two student leaders of the Rakhine Students’ Union imprisoned for protesting internet restrictions in Rakhine and Chin states.
On July 23, the Kamayut Township Court sentenced the pair to one-month in prison for failing to inform the authorities in advance of the protest.
“Myanmar’s crackdown on freedom of expression must end,” said Matthew Smith, CEO of Fortify Rights.
“The government’s imprisoning of critics and human rights defenders is part of a much wider tapestry of abuse.”
Myat Hein Tun, 18, and Kyaw Lin, 22, are currently imprisoned in Yangon Insein Prison.
On February 23, members of Yangon University’s Rakhine Students’ Union, the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), and Yangon University of Economics Students’ Union held a protest at the Hledan Junction in Yangon.
The protesters demanded that the government lift the internet shutdown in Rakhine and Chin states without delay, hold accountable those responsible for an alleged artillery attack on a primary school in Buthidaung Township that injured 21 students on February 13, and provide international media with access to conflict-affected areas of Rakhine State.
Kamayut Township chief police officer Thein Han filed complaints against nine student protesters, including Myat Hein Tun and Kyaw Lin, on February 23.
The other seven student protesters included two women— Hnin Nu, 21, and Aye Myat Mon Kyaw, 20,—and Naung Htet Aung, 23, Aung Pyae Sone Phyo, 20, Zaw Htet Naing, 22, Thu Ta Soe, 21, and Thet Tin Aung, 23.
The authorities charged all nine student protesters for holding a protest without notifying the government in advance in violation of Section 4 of the Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful Procession Law (the “peaceful assembly law”).
On March 25, the Kamayut Township Court sentenced the other seven protesters to one-month imprisonment with hard labor.
The Government of Myanmar should provide reparations—financial and otherwise—to all nine students and other current and former political prisoners, Fortify Rights said.
Under the peaceful assembly law, failure to provide advanced notice of an assembly carries penalties of up to three months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 30,000 Myanmar Kyat (US$19.50).
Myat Hein Tun is the general secretary of the Rakhine Students’ Union at Yangon University and Kyaw Lin is the former spokesperson for the Rakhine Students’ Union.
Maung Saungkha, a co-founder and executive director of the human rights organization Athan as well as a poet, is similarly facing criminal charges for protesting internet restrictions in Rakhine State.
The Kyauktada Township Court is set to continue hearings in his case on August 6.
“The government is threatening to imprison human rights defenders and activists if they protest on the Rakhine issue in Yangon, which violates the right to freedom of expression,” said Maung Saungkha.
The Government of Myanmar has claimed the internet restrictions are “temporary” and in place to prevent the Arakan Army (AA) from detonating remote-controlled explosive devices.
An estimated one million civilians reside in areas targeted by the internet blackout, which is now the world’s longest ongoing blackout.
On January 23, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ordered Myanmar to comply with several “provisional measures” to protect the rights of the Rohingya ethnic monority and preserve evidence relating to an ongoing case against Myanmar for genocide.
On February 3, the AA published a statement online declaring that it would release evidence of mass graves of Muslims killed and buried by Myanmar armed forces in Rakhine State.
The same day, the government cut internet access in portions of Rakhine State.
“Myanmar evidently has a lot to hide” said Matthew Smith. “These arrests and detentions, just like the internet ban, are unjustifiable.”