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'Honour' killing? Indian police file case against family after they claimed newlywed died of COVID-19

India|: Meerut: Thirteen days after a newlywed woman died, her parents claimed that she had succumbed to Covid. Now, the Meerut police has exhumed her body and pressed murder charges against her family. This was done on Sunday on the basis of a complaint lodged by her husband. Farmaan, 30, has alleged that Saina was killed by her family members because she had married against their wishes. Saina, 27, a resident of Lisadi gate, got married to Farmaan and they got their marriage registered on May 17. Saina died under mysterious circumstances on the night of May 31. Farmaan claims he was told by his in-laws that Saina complained of stomach ache and later succumbed to it. However, recently, he was tipped-off that his wife could have been killed by her parents who were unhappy with the marriage. In his complaint, Farmaan said he is in possession of an audio recording which is ‘testimony to the torture of his wife when the first attempt was made to kill her.’ A case of murder, disappearance of evidence and criminal conspiracy was registered against six named accused, including the father and uncle of Saina at Lisadi Gate police station. Arvind Chaurasia, circle officer of Meerut Kotwali, said, “As evidence, we have also received an audio recording but we are yet to ascertain its authenticity. We will take further action based on the findings of the post-mortem report.”

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COVID-19: Alarm in Indian state of Bihar as 20-day baby becomes youngest victim in state

India|: Patna: A 20-day-old baby has died from COVID-19 in Bihar, setting the alarm bells ringing in the north Indian state. Doctors say he is the youngest COVID-19 victim in the state so far. The death of the newborn from deadly coronavirus comes amid reports that the third wave may impact the children the most. Rahul Kumar, a resident of Peernagar village in Araria district, admitted the newborn to a local government hospital in Purnia district some 10 days ago after the mother noticed the baby had breathing problems and was also suffering from cold and cough. The baby tested positive for COVID-19 during treatment in the hospital. Keeping in view the baby’s health condition, he was referred to a government medical college and hospital in neighbouring Bhagalpur district on June 4. The doctors immediately admitted the baby boy to the neonatal intensive care unit and provided him oxygen support. The baby died on Saturday as the infection had reached his lungs and the oxygen levels had alarmingly plummeted to 65, according to the doctors. “He is the youngest baby to have succumbed to COVID-19 in the state,” hospital’s paediatric department head Dr RK Sinha told the media. “We failed to save the baby despite our best efforts,” he added. Second infant to die He is the second newborn to have succumbed to COVID-19 in Bihar in the past one week. Last week, a three-month-old baby girl died of COVID-19 in Kishanganj district for want of proper medicare at the local government hospital. The baby, daughter of Firoz Alam from Kishnaganj district, had been admitted to the local government hospital after she faced breathing troubles. She tested positive during the treatment and required to be put on ventilator support. As the hospital didn’t have a ventilator facility, it referred the patient to a government medical college in neighbouring Madhepura district. However, the poor parents expressed their inability in taking the baby for treatment more than 200km away and urged the doctors to treat her there itself. The baby died on June 4 after battling for a few days. “We tried hard to save the bay but failed. She died from COVID-19,” hospital superintendent Dr Anwar Alam told the local media then. On May 31, at least four children, three from a single family, died within 24 hours at a government medical college and hospital in Darbhanaga district. The hospital denied the victims suffered from COVID-19 but added they had “severe breathing problems.” All the children hailed from Madhubani district. The second wave of COVID-19 has left a devastating impact in Bihar claiming a total of 9,484 lives so far. Of them, 7,906 people have died in the past two months itself since April 1. The coronavirus has also infected 716,728 persons till date, according to a state health department.

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COVID-19: India gingerly eases rules as new infections dip to two-month low

India|: NEW DELHI: Many Indian states eased coronavirus restrictions on Monday including the capital Delhi, where authorities allowed all shops and malls to open, as the number of new infections dropped to the lowest in more than two months. Experts have cautioned against a full re-opening as India has vaccinated only about 5% of its estimated 950 million adults with the necessary two doses, leaving millions vulnerable. Infections peaked in India in May with about 400,000 new cases a day but that dropped to 70,421 new infections reported on Monday, the lowest daily increase since March 31, health ministry data showed. The number of deaths went up by 3,921, the data showed. India has had the second-highest tally of COVID-19 infections in the world after the United States, with 29.51 million cases and 374,305 deaths, according to ministry data. Authorities in Delhi allowed all shops and malls to re-open although bars, gyms, salons, cinemas and parks remained shut. City chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that markets and restaurants would be carefully watched this week. “If we see coronavirus cases are going up, we will have to reimpose strict restrictions,” Kejriwal said in a televised address on Sunday. Hospitals in Delhi had struggled to provide oxygen cylinders and beds to patients last month as infections surged but earlier this month, the city allowed businesses to bring back 50% of employees and they partially resumed public transport. Southern states In the southern state of Tamil Nadu, known for automobile manufacturing, some businesses were allowed to bring back 50% of employees and salons and liquor shops re-opened. Bus services remained suspended until June 21. In Bengaluru, the capital of neighbouring Karnataka state and a major tech hub, traffic returned to the streets as authorities allowed the partial re-opening of businesses though strict night and weekend curfews remained in place. The pressure to resume some economic activity has grown as millions depend on daily wages to pay for food and rent. “India needs to reopen as the challenge of maintaining a fine balance between lives and livelihoods is very crucial,” said Rajib Dasgupta, head of the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University.