Connect with us

Latest News

India records almost 30,000 new cases in a single day

Ariana News

Published

 on

(Last Updated On: July 15, 2020)

India on Wednesday reported a new record-high number of 29,429 COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours taking the country’s total to over 935,000. 

In their morning briefing, the health ministry also said that another 582 people had died from the virus in the same period of time.

This comes after the Indian Institute of Technology on Wednesday launched its low-cost testing kit commercially, Anadolu Agency reported.

The new kit, COROSURE, will be available for 500 Indian rupees (US$6.6), compared to the existing testing kits that cost around US$60.

“This technology should change the paradigm of COVID testing in the country, both in terms of scale and cost … Two million tests [per month] at an unbeatable price,” V Ramgopal Rao, director of the institute, said on Twitter prior to an online launch event.

Anadolu reported that Rao hoped the new testing kit would help India to fight the virus as the nation, with a population of nearly 1.3 billion, has almost one million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 24,309 deaths.

India’s health ministry on Tuesday confirmed that 86 percent of the total cases are from ten states. Of these, 50 percent are from the western state of Maharashtra (267,665 cases, 10,695 deaths), and the southern state of Tamil Nadu (147,324 cases, 2,099 deaths).

India lifted nationwide lockdown in early June despite the steady upward trend in new cases and deaths and moved instead to locality-based lockdowns in badly-hit areas.

COVID-19

World Bank approves COVID-19 aid package of $380m for Afghanistan

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

The World Bank has approved a financial package of $380 million to help Afghanistan cushion the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Afghan families. 

The money will go towards helping households, support critical food supply chains, and provide emergency support to farmers.

The aid package, from dozens of donors, is made up of two grants that will go towards specific projects. 

“The living conditions of millions of Afghan families have severely worsened due to the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Henry Kerali, World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan. 

“These grants will help the Government of Afghanistan address the urgent needs of most households and ensure that Afghan farmers can continue to produce food at a time when imports and exports are severely disrupted. This will extend economic opportunities and create jobs for the wider rural population,” he said.

A $280 million grant will fund the COVID-19 Relief Effort for Afghan Communities and Households (REACH) Project. 

This project will benefit some 2.9 million households across Afghanistan. 

The second grant, of $100 million, will fund the Emergency Agriculture and Food Supply Project (EATS). 

The project aims to improve food security by increasing local food production and strengthening critical commercial food supply chains, especially wheat as the staple crop for over 70 percent of the Afghan population. 

The project will also provide short-term employment in rural areas in the development of productive assets such as irrigation schemes. 

In rural areas, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted farming, leaving Afghan farmers unable to sow their crops on time, while in urban areas food prices are rising with shortages of food supply becoming more urgent. 

According to the World Bank,  the COVID-19 Relief Effort for Afghan Communities and Households Project will be implemented through the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), the Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), and the Kabul Municipality. 

 

Continue Reading

Featured

Indian doctor suspected of having been Jalalabad prison car bomber

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

An Indian doctor was among three Indian nationals suspected of having been involved in Sunday’s prison attack in Jalalabad that killed at least 30 people, Indian officials have confirmed. 

The Times of India reported that intelligence officials confirmed the doctor was killed when he rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gates of the prison at the start of Sunday’s attack.

Dr Ijas Kallukettiya Purayil, was a Daesh member and was on India’s National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) “most wanted” list, according to the Hindustan Times.

Purayil was identified as one of 11 Daesh attackers after the terrorist organization released information and images of the attackers following the siege. 

According to the Hindustan Times, Purayil was the only Indian attacker whose face was visible in photos released by Daesh. The other two Indian nationals wore masks. 

According to the NIA’s website, Purayil’s status is listed as “absconding”.

A charge sheet filed by NIA in 2016 states he was wanted in connection with a case registered in 2016 on charges of criminal conspiracy, commission of unlawful activities, and membership and support of Daesh. 

His wife Reffeala and their minor child left India via Hyderabad airport in June 2016 to join Daesh in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, the Hindustan Times reported.

Reffeala is currently believed to be in a Kabul prison along with her five-year-old son who they took with them in 2016 and an infant born in Afghanistan. 

She was caught along with 24 other Indians in November last year, the Hindustan Times reported. 

In a message to the media after the deadly attack, Daesh said the attack had been carried out by 11 Daesh members – four Tajiks, three Indians, three Afghans and a Pakistani. 

The attack started on Sunday evening and lasted for over 18 hours. During this time hundreds of the 1,700 prisoners in the Jalalabad facility escaped. 

On Tuesday, an Afghan MP confirmed as many as 800 Daesh prisoners were still on the run. 

Abdul Karim Karimi, a Member of Parliament, said: “1,700 prisoners were inside the jail during the attack, they all attempted to escape. Out of which, 500 of them failed to escape, whereas 800 more prisoners including Daesh, Taliban, and criminals fled.”

According to officials, prisoners being held in that particular jail were political prisoners and criminals. Among them were Taliban and Daesh militants.

Continue Reading

Featured

Toll expected to rise in blast that shook Beirut, killing 78 and injuring thousands

Ariana News

Published

on

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2020)

Lebanese rescue workers dug through the rubble looking for survivors of a powerful warehouse explosion that shook the capital Beirut, killing 78 people and injuring nearly 4,000 in a toll that officials expected to rise, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Tuesday’s blast at port warehouses storing highly explosive material was the most powerful in years in Beirut, already reeling from an economic crisis and a surge in coronavirus infections.

President Michel Aoun said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, and he said that was “unacceptable”.

He called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Officials did not say what caused the blaze that set off the blast. A security source and local media said it was started by welding work being carried out on a hole in the warehouse.

“What we are witnessing is a huge catastrophe,” the head of Lebanon’s Red Cross George Kettani told broadcaster Mayadeen. “There are victims and casualties everywhere.”

Hours after the blast, which struck shortly after 6 pm, a fire still blazed in the port district, casting an orange glow across the night sky as helicopters hovered and ambulance sirens sounded across the capital.

The blast revived memories of a 1975-90 civil war and its aftermath, when Lebanese endured heavy shelling, car bombings and Israeli air raids. Some residents thought an earthquake had struck.

Dazed, weeping and injured people walked through streets searching for relatives.

“The blast blew me off meters away. I was in a daze and was all covered in blood. It brought back the vision of another explosion I witnessed against the US embassy in 1983,” said Huda Baroudi, a Beirut designer.

Prime Minister Hassan Diab promised there would be accountability for the deadly blast at the “dangerous warehouse”, adding “those responsible will pay the price.”

The US embassy in Beirut warned residents about reports of toxic gases released by the blast, urging people to stay indoors and wear masks if available.

Many Missing

“There are many people missing. People are asking the emergency department about their loved ones and it is difficult to search at night because there is no electricity,” Health Minister Hamad Hasan told Reuters.

Hasan said 78 people were killed and nearly 4,000 injured.

Footage of the explosion shared by residents on social media showed a column of smoke rising from the port, followed by an enormous blast, sending a white cloud and a fireball into the sky. 

Those filming the incident from high buildings 2 km from the port were thrown backwards by the shock.

Bleeding people were seen running and shouting for help in clouds of smoke and dust in streets littered with damaged buildings, flying debris, and wrecked cars and furniture.

The explosion occurred three days before a U.N.-backed court is due to deliver a verdict in the trial of four suspects from the Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah over a 2005 bombing which killed former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri and 21 others.

Hariri was killed by a huge truck bomb on the same waterfront, about 2 km (about one mile) from the port.

Israeli officials said Israel, which has fought several wars with Lebanon, had nothing to do with Tuesday’s blast and said their country was ready to give humanitarian and medical assistance. 

Shi’ite Iran, the main backer of Hezbollah, also offered support, as did Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, a leading Sunni power.

At a White House briefing, US President Donald Trump indicated that the explosion was a possible attack, but two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said initial information contradicted Trump’s view.

Continue Reading

Trending