DailyOh! Subdued Eid celebrations today, to why Biden took off his mask

Fully vaccinated people need not wear masks, says CDC. But that is for the USA, and not India. Jabbed or not, mask up in India.

 |  7-minute read |   14-05-2021
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Eid Mubarak! And a Happy Akshaya Tritiya! Whatever festival you choose to celebrate today, we wish you all happiness, health and prosperity.

Eid in India saw subdued festivities this year. It has been the case for every festival since the pandemic struck. One of the largest mosques in India — Jama Masjid in Delhi — wore a deserted look as people chose to stay at home and offer their prayers. In the pre-pandemic Eids, Jama Masjid used to see a crowd of 15,000-18,000 people, gathered to offer the namaz. This time, when Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Jama Masjid's Shahi Imam, delivered his customary Khutbah (sermon), only the mosque staff was present to hear it. The Jama Masjid was shut to avoid crowding and the Imam had urged the people to stay home and not crowd mosques or markets. A muted Eid, indeed. 

main_eid-jama-masjid_051421053244.jpgJama Masjid wore a forlorn look today as Eid celebrations were muted worldwide amidst the raging pandemic. (Photo: PTI)

But then, what makes Eid today so special? Today is Eid ul-Fitr, the festival of the breaking of the fast, the end of Ramzan when Muslims observe Roza. There is another Eid — Eid ul-Adha — that is the 'feast of the sacrifice', when many Muslims perform the Hajj. That will be in two months from today — in mid-July. The names of both the festivals get shortened and it is simply Eid.

But, what does the word ‘Eid’ actually mean? Our Word Of The Day comes from the Armanic word ʿīd that translates to ‘feast’ or ‘festival’. Eid is the festival of feasting after a month of fasting.

The hallmark of any good feast is signified by ending it with a good dessert. To that tune, we recommend you try the unmissable Eid pudding — Sheer Khurma — today. As ever, the recipe is on us and the efforts are on you. And believe us that the efforts are totally worth it.

Now, to the efforts of the Delhi government. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said today that the efforts in imposing the strict lockdown in the national capital, supported by Delhiites, has paid off as Delhi recorded less than 10,000 cases in the past 24 hours — the first time since last month. About 8,500 cases (positivity rate of 12 per cent) have been reported in the 24 hours ending this morning as compared to about 28,000 daily cases in April (positivity rate of 36 per cent). Delhiites might let out a sigh of relief today.

The same cannot be said of the rest of the country though. 3,43,144 new cases and 4,000 deaths (for the third day in a row) have been registered in the 24 hours since Thursday morning. Maharashtra continues to lead the tally with 42,582 cases, followed by Kerala (39,955 cases), Karnataka (35,297 cases), Tamil Nadu (30,621 cases) and Andhra Pradesh (22,399 cases).

main_covid-deaths-gf_051421053417.jpg(Credit: Rahul Gupta/ India Today)

The oxygen crisis has now shifted from Delhi to Goa, which has seen 74 deaths in Goa Medical College and Hospital in the past four days. On Friday, in a matter of four hours — between 2 am and 6 am — 13 deaths were reported as oxygen supply pressure dipped. As the death toll continues to pile, the state authorities continue to blame “logistical issues” for the fatalities. The blame game and apathy is disgusting, to say the least.

Woes for Goa, Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat (that is witnessing a spate of black fungus deaths along with the Covid toll), don’t seem to be ending, at least over the weekend. As Cyclone Tauktae forms over the Arabian Sea, IMD has warned of heavy rains over the weekend in the western coastal states, marking some districts on red alert. Heavy rains have already set in, with water gushing into the residential areas, in Kottayam — a district in Kerala on orange alert.

main1_kottayam-rains_051421053643.jpgHeavy rain lashed Kottayam on Friday. (Photo: ANI)

Now coming back to Covid. As the virus continues its death dance, the sluggishness of the vaccine drive is shooting the worry meter through the roof. The vaccination report card shows that only five per cent of Delhi’s population and just six per cent of Mumbai’s population have been fully vaccinated, that is, received both doses, so far.

main_vax-report-card_051421053834.jpg

While that is the saga of India’s most populous cities, the populous state — Uttar Pradesh — will spend up to Rs 100 billion to buy vaccines. The state government has already held talks with vaccine manufactures and partners. Good for the state if it is able to vaccinate its people in time. Given the sheer population (more than that of Brazil) and contagiousness of the virus, pandemonium will reign if not controlled in good time.

While the local vaccines — Covaxin and Covishield — are struggling to ramp up production, the first dose of the Russian respite, Sputnik V, has been administered in Hyderabad. The vaccine comes at a heavy cost, and here we mean on the pockets, priced at Rs 995.40 per dose in India. There is a chance of a lower price point when local supply by the Indian partner, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, begins. Sputnik V will be administered in two doses and is claimed to be 91.6 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19.

Even if you are fully vaccinated, please don’t be tempted to throw away the mask, like POTUS Biden. US President Joe Biden, along with his cabinet members, ditched the mask during a special event at the White House. 

main1_biden-unmasked_051421054336.jpgUS President Joe Biden takes his mask off after he got his jabs. (Photo: Reuters)

The White House has tweeted, “Big news from the CDC: If you're fully vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask - indoors or outdoors, in most settings." However, remember that you are in India and not the USA, and the presence of the mutant variants like B.1.617 calls for better sense to prevail. As we already explained to you, fully vaccinated people in India could very well be asymptomatic carriers. So for the sake of your loved ones and the country, please mask up.

But what is the CDC and why is it taken so seriously? The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading health agency in the world. Many countries and people across the world have looked up to the CDC, and this is especially the case since the Covid-19 pandemic struck last year. CDC’s science briefs on the Coronavirus and its updates on Covid-19 protocols are seen as the gospel by many.

As CDC verifies the facts, it is just right that it be verified first. We are talking about that precious blue check next to your name on Twitter, and if you are an avid Twitter user, you would know its value in the micro-blogging world. For those who don’t, the blue tick means that Twitter has verified your identity and that blue tick is seen as a status symbol on the platform. Now coming to the connect with CDC — the health body’s Twitter handle was the first-ever one to be ‘verified’ and receive the exalted blue check.

main_twitter-verifie_051421054657.jpgTwitter will make a new self-served Verification Request form available from next week. (Photo: Reuters)

Why are we telling you all this now? Because reports coming in today have hinted that Twitter will make a new self-served Verification Request form available from next week. The micro-blogging site had stopped verifying accounts on November 16, 2017, following the outrage over the verification of a white supremacist’s profile. So if you have been chasing the blue tick, this is your moment to seize.

Before we say bye, no Eid is complete without Bhai’s movie release. He hasn’t disappointed this time either. This weekend, keep logic aside and watch Salman Khan as and with Radhe, for two hours of mindless fun. That’s Bhai’s Eidi for the fans.

Wrapping up with this news, we promise to meet you on Monday.

Till then, mask up, stay healthy and stay happy.

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Also Read: Why Whatsapp is desperate to update its privacy policy

Writer

Rajeshwari Ganesan Rajeshwari Ganesan @rajeshwaridotg

Assistant Editor, DailyO

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