City Buzz: 32 Omicron cases | Farmers to return home finally | Zika in Delhi

India's Omicron count stands at 32, while Delhi has a confirmed case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. This and other important news from our cities this week

Omicron: India’s tally rises to 32

As Maharashtra confirms seven new cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the country’s total count reached 32, with 17 of those in Maharashtra. No fatalities have been reported so far.

A Parliamentary panel has recommended that the health ministry reevaluate the requirement of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, citing the unpredictability of the virus as reason. The panel recommended that COVID-19 infrastructure be developed further, keeping children at the forefront of all medical decisions.

Source: The Times of India

Farmers to finally return home

On December 9th, protesting farmers at Delhi’s border announced the end of their year-long resistance against the farm laws introduced by the Centre early last year. Leaders of the Samayukta Kisan Morcha confirmed that besides repeat of the contentious laws, the government has met their other demands too.

“We have decided to suspend our agitation,” said farmer leader Gurnam Singh Charuni. “We will hold a review meeting on January 15th. If govt doesn’t fulfill its promises, we could resume our agitation”.

Source: The Times of India

Converting farm stubble to biofuel

To deal with pollution caused by stubble burningEnvironment Minister Bhupender Yadav told the Lok Sabha on December 11th that the Union government was working on a plan to use farm stubble as biofuel.

The Minister said the National Thermal Power Corporation had procured 3,000 tonnes of stubble and study its efficacy as bio-fuel for producing power. Other solutions like converting farm stubble into manure and compost are also being experimented with.

Earlier, the Central government had completely decriminalised stubble burning in the Air Quality Commission Act.

Source: The Hindu

a woman tends to crops in a paddy field in India. paddy fields have been impacted by restrictions from Delhi government to improve air quality
Representative Image | Photo: Navaneeth Kishor, Flickr (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

SC directs Delhi to relax curbs as air quality improves

As air quality in Delhi slowly improves, the Supreme Court asked the government’s Air Quality Commission to reevaluate restrictions introduced to regulate pollution in the city. Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, representing rice manufacturers, submitted that the restrictions have impacted the community and should be eased since Paddy season is on.

While the restrictions have improved Delhi’s air quality, workers in various industry segments are struggling. The Court has asked Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to pay wages to construction workers who were rendered jobless due to ban on all construction and demolition.

As of the time of writing, no decision on relaxation of restrictions had been made yet.

Source: The Hindu

Read more: Can the ban on construction really improve Delhi’s air quality?

First Zika virus confirmed in Delhi

After Kerala, Maharashtra and UP, Delhi is next to report a case of the mosquito-borne Zika virus raising concerns of a Zika epidemic. A 61-year-old man in Northeast Delhi was admitted with fever and muscle pain in November. Samples collected from him were found with the Zika virus RNA.

Ram Manohar Lohia (RML), where he was admitted, has warned people to watch for symptoms like fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain. Zika infection during pregnancy can alter the health of a newborn child, the hospital added.

The virus is usually spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (aegypti and albopictus). The Rajya Sabha had confirmed 231 of the virus in India, but no deaths have been reported.

Source: The Times of India

(Compiled by Saachi D’Souza)

Also read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

City Buzz: Delhi ranks 350th in global index | Heat wave grips north… and more

In other news: Heat-related illnesses claim lives; Urban women in salaried jobs at 6-yr low and Delhi issues first bus aggregator licence.

Delhi ranks 350 in global index; no Indian city in top 300 Oxford Economics’ new ‘Global Cities Index’ report ranks Delhi at 350, the highest among 91 Indian cities. This was the first edition of the index, released on 21st May by the global advisory firm, Oxford Economics, which is assessing metropolitan cities across 163 countries on five parameters - economics, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance. The top three cities in the list are New York, London and San Jose. In the category of human capital, which “encompasses the collective knowledge and skills of a city’s population,” measured…

Similar Story

Bengaluru citizens’ solutions to combat civic activism fatigue

Citizens cite diversity, recognition, a sense of ownership, and ward committees as vital to keep the flame of civic activism alive.

(In part 1 of the series Srinivas Alavilli and Vikram Rai wrote about their experience of moderating the masterclass, 'Is there burnout in civic activism?’, at the India Civic Summit, organised by Oorvani Foundation. Part 2 covers the discussions and insights by the participants)  The 35 plus participants in the masterclass-'Is there burnout in civic activism?', at the India Civic Summit, organised by Oorvani Foundation, were divided into six groups, who shared their observations and solutions to civic activism apathy. While nine questions were put to vote, the following six got the maximum votes in the following order:  Is there…