Morning Digest: COVID-19 vaccine deadline meant to cut red tape, says ICMR; India set for more talks on LAC, and more

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The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) said in a statement on Saturday a letter earlier this week by its Director General Balram Bhargava was meant to “cut unnecessary red tape” and “speed up recruitment of participants”.

In India, 60% of COVID-19 patients had at least one ‘co-morbidity’ and nearly 78% of them were under 50, says data from the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP), a Health Ministry body, that’s tasked with monitoring disease outbreaks across the country.

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to the Union Territory of Ladakh, the government is preparing for the next round of meeting of the ‘Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question,’ as it looks for military and diplomatic measures to ease the tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, according to a senior Home Ministry official.

The “deteriorating” situation on the Line of Control in Kashmir in Kashmir came up for discussion between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday, according to statements from Islamabad and Beijing.

The military hospital visited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Leh on Friday was a part of the crisis expansion capacity of 100 beds due to the COVID pandemic and was very much a part of the general hospital complex, the Army said on Saturday in response to queries on the facility.

Days after the stand-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the Indian Army has begun the process of employing 1,800 porters temporarily in Arunachal Pradesh. Officials said three companies would be raised in coordination with the State’s Labour Department. One of these companies is for Tawang region that has been central to China’s claim over the State since the 1962 aggression

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Chaubeypur PS in Kanpur was suspended on Saturday over his suspect actions during the attack on a police team, leading to the death of eight policemen, during an operation to arrest the wanted criminal Vikas Dubey.

President Donald Trump of the United States sent a message of solidarity with India during the weekend. The remark from the U.S. President was issued on his official social media accounts after Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished him on the 244th independence day of the United States.

The Odisha government on Saturday declared complete shutdown in Cuttack till July 8 amid rising COVID-19 cases. All non-essential shops will be closed and non- essential travel prohibited, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) said in a notification.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and 14 staffers of the CMO tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday, official sources said. According to the sources, one of the 15 staffers in the Chief Minister’s Office who had undergone the test was found positive for the infection.

Banking on her fitness and experience, former World Championships silver medallist boxer Sonia Lather is working on a ‘secret plan’ to beat her younger opponents in the country before seeking a berth for the Tokyo Olympics.

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