Here are the top 5 news updates of May 13, 2021:
1. COVID-19 vaccination: Govt panel suggests increasing gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks
A government panel has recommended increasing the gap between two doses of Covishield to 12-16 weeks, official sources told news agency PTI today. No change has been suggested for dosage interval of Covaxin by the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI). It has also suggested that pregnant women may be offered the choice to take any COVID-19 vaccine and that lactating women can be inoculated any time after delivery. The NTAGI has also stated that those having laboratory test proven COVID-19 illness should defer COVID-19 vaccination for six months after recovery, the sources said.
After opposition BJP hit out at the Maharashtra government for its decision to allocate nearly Rs six crore for appointing a private agency to handle the social media accounts of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar amid the raging COVID-19 crisis, Pawar has directed to it. Under fire over the order, Ajit Pawar said there was no need to appoint any external agency to handle the social media of his office and issued instructions to cancel the government order in this regard. The General Administration Department of the state government had issued an order on Wednesday for the appointment of an external agency. The government had pegged the expenses at Rs 5.98 crore for 2021-22.
3. Maharashtra govt extends lockdown up to June 1; negative RTPCR test report mandatory to enter state
State-wide restrictions that were put in place by the Maharashtra government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 infection will continue till June 1. As per the order, any person entering the state will have to carry a negative RT-PCR report issued up to 48 hours prior to their entry. Milk collection, transport and processing may be allowed without restrictions though its retail sale will only be allowed subject to restrictions imposed on shops dealing with essential items or through home delivery. The order further stated that personnel engaged in airport and port services and needed for the movement of cargo-related to medicines or equipment needed for COVID-19 management will be allowed to travel in local and metro services.
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra today demanded a judicial probe headed by a high court judge into bodies floating in the Ganga in Uttar Pradesh and said what is happening is inhuman and criminal. "What is happening in UP is inhuman and criminal. The government is busy image building while people are suffering unimaginably. There must be an immediate judicial enquiry headed by a High Court Judge into these events," she wrote on Twitter. Her remarks came amid reports of bodies floating in the Ganga in Ballia and other places of Uttar Pradesh as well as in Bihar.
5. Israel-Palestine conflict: Death toll from air strikes on Gaza rises to 83 including children; hundreds wounded
The list of casualties continue to grow as Hamas and Israel stand poised on the brink of an all-out war. As of today morning, the death toll appears to be near 100 - with Israeli airstrikes killing 83 people in Gaza. Reports indicate that at least seven Israelis have also been killed as the conflict rages on. On Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets struck a 14-floor high-rise building in western Gaza city after the Israeli Army asked its inhabitants to evacuate. The Israeli police have also announced that a night curfew will be imposed in the central city of Lod, where clashes between Arabs and Jews have been spiralling for days.