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    a group of people standing in front of a crowd: The Mumbai locals were open for the general public in restricted timing since February 1 while cases began to spike from mid-February. (Representative Image) (HT File)

    © Provided by Hindustan Times The Mumbai locals were open for the general public in restricted timing since February 1 while cases began to spike from mid-February. (Representative Image) (HT File)

    Here are today’s top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.

    Maharashtra Covid spike: Crowded public transport, polls to blame, says Centre

    The recent surge of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra is due to many reasons including crowding at public transport, recent gram panchayat elections, the Centre has said in its report probing the sudden spike in fresh infections in the state, which started from February. Read more

    Kya yeh shabd uchit hain?: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar responds to Giriraj Singh’s ‘beat up govt officials’ remark

    Union fisheries minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Giriraj Singh, who is known for making contentious remarks, has embroiled himself into another controversy again. While addressing a function in his constituency of Begusarai in Bihar on Saturday, Singh told people that they should beat up government officials who don’t listen to them. Read more

    ‘From a blind lane of Jorabagan to here’: Mithun says ‘dada has never left you’

    Actor Mithun Chakraborty in his first address after joining the BJP on Sunday took a journey down memory lane and said it is a dream come true moment for him, for a person whose journey began at a blind lane in Kolkata’s Jorabagan area. Read more

    IPL 2021 to begin from April 9, defending champions Mumbai Indians to face Royal Challengers Bangalore in season-opener

    The IPL Governing Council on Sunday announced the schedule for VIVO Indian Premier League 2021 to be held in India. The 2021 season will kick off from April 9, 2021 with defending champions Mumbai Indians facing off against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener. Read more

    Vidya Balan recalls parents’ first reaction to The Dirty Picture: ‘Dad clapped, mom cried’

    Actor Vidya Balan recalled feeling nervous to see how her family would react to her racy role in The Dirty Picture. Vidya played yesteryear adult entertainer Silk Smitha in the film, directed by Milan Luthria. Read more

    Inside Meghan Markle’s old $1.7m marital home before she married Prince Harry

    Former member of the British Royal Family and Suits star Meghan Markle was used to living in palatial mansions long before she moved in (and out) of Kensington Palace. Read more

    Watch: Amit Shah’s roadshow, door-to-door campaign in Tamil Nadu ahead of polls

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday launched his party’s campaign for the April 6 Lok Sabha bypoll here and exuded confidence that the party would not only win here, but the NDA in Tamil Nadu would emerge victorious in the Assembly elections also next month. Launching his “Vetri Kodi Eandhi” (Carrying the flag of victory) campaign from Suseendiram in this district, he said he was confident that a coalition government of the NDA will come to power in the state after the April 6 assembly polls. Watch here

    Sign on to read the HT ePaper epaper.hindustantimes.com

    a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Mumbai locals were open for the general public in restricted timing since February 1. Cases started to rise from mid-February (HT_PRINT)

    © Provided by Hindustan Times Mumbai locals were open for the general public in restricted timing since February 1. Cases started to rise from mid-February (HT_PRINT)

    The recent surge of Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra is due to many reasons including crowding at public transport, recent gram panchayat elections, the Centre has said in its report probing the sudden spike in fresh infections in the state, which started from February. The rise is not specific to any region, though it started with the Vidarbha region. The Centre had sent a team to Maharashtra and in other states which are seeing the abnormal spike after the situation hit a plateau in the state.

    Mutation of Covid-19 was initially thought to be a reason in case a particular mutation is more contagious, but the Centre earlier said that there is no scientific link between the two as some of these mutations have been present in the country since 2020 and mutations are only natural.

    A team of experts comprising joint secretary of health ministry Nipun Vinayak, National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) deputy director Sanket Kulkarni and National Institute of TB and Respiratory Diseases professor Ashish Ranjan, visited the state on March 1 and 2 and have zeroed in on a few reasons.

    “While the exact causes of surge are not known — since laxity in COVID-19 behaviour is not specific to the state — the possible factors are COVID-inappropriate behaviour due to lack of fear of disease, pandemic fatigue; miss outs and super spreaders; and enhanced aggregations due to recent gram panchayat elections, marriage season and opening of schools, crowded public transport, etc.,” according to a report shared by the government.

    It advised the state to continue contact tracing, surveillance and testing and ensure strict compliance of protocols.

    “Don’t let the guard down. Stay to basics of surveillance, contact tracing and testing. Micro plan and ensure strict compliance of protocols. Strengthen teams to ensure meticulous home quarantine, do focused testing of 100 per cent population in hotspot areas repeated at five days, and isolate positives to check spread,” it said.

    (With PTI Inputs)

    Sign on to read the HT ePaper epaper.hindustantimes.com

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