Poll 2020: COVID-19 was the biggest news of the year

The COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a stand-still in 2020. The outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, a city in China’s Hubei province, in December 2019, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11.

As the year came to a close, the Coronavirus pandemic had already claimed more than 1.79 million lives across the globe. Worldwide efforts are now on to produce an effective and safe COVID-19 vaccine. Three major vaccines have already been developed and have more success rate.

The Zee News conducted the Zee Readers Poll 2020 to know your views on the key news events of the year. Here are the top News stories of 2020 shortlisted for the Zee readers.

COVID-19

1. COVID 19, 2. COVID Vaccine, 3. Lockdown, 4. India China Border Dispute, 5. Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise, 6. Sudden demise of Irrfan Khan & Rishi Kapoor, 7. Bollywood Drug Case, 8. US Presidential Election, 9. Bank Loan Moratorium, 10. Farmers Protest and Farm Laws, 11. Bihar Assembly Elections 2020, 12. TRP Scam

The coronavirus or the COVID-19, is largely believed to have originated from a wet market in China’s Wuhan province. This turned into a pandemic within weeks as rapid virus transmission occurred across the world.

A year after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, several pharmaceutical companies across the world have produced vaccines to counter the virus. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine uses bits of genetic code to cause an immune response, and is called an mRNA vaccine.

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The government announced a nationwide lockdown for 21 days to contain the highly contagious virus on March 24. Since then, the curve has not flattened and India is now among the top three-worst affected nations across the world. The coronavirus-induced lockdown led to displacement of millions of migrants, job losses, and economy hitting the rock-bottom level. The lockdown was announced in 4 phases after which Unlock period started.

Since May 5, 2020, the Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in aggressive face-offs and skirmishes at locations along the Sino-Indian border, including the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region and near the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region.

In a piece of tragic news, earlier this year on June 14, 2020, late actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead in his Bandra Apartment. The actor’s death case which was earlier being probed by the Mumbai Police was said to be a case of death by suicide.

Legendary and prolific actors Irrfan Khan and Rishi Kapoor breathe their last on April 29 and April 30 respectively. The sudden news of the two most loved and talented actors of the film industry leaving for their heavenly abode in less than 48 hours earlier this year left their fans across the globe in shock, leading to a massive outpouring of grief on social media.

After the tragic death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, while the Central Bureau of Investigation was probing the death case of the star, there were instances of drug abuse that had come to light when Rhea Chakraborty‘s phones and other evidence were scrutinised. Both Rhea and her brother Showik Chakraborty’s name had come under the NCB radar for procuring and alleged consumption of drugs.

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The United States of America’s race to elect its 59th President was one of the most controversial and long-drawn process in recent history. Democrat candidate Joe Biden upset incumbent US President Donald Trump to secure his entry into the White House on January 20, 2021.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on March 27 issued the circular which allowed lending institutions to grant a moratorium on payment of instalments of term loans falling due between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020, due to the pandemic.

Farmers are protesting against the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. These laws were passed in Parliament in September following which there have been widespread protests.

Bihar Assembly Election was the first major election to be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NDA won the state election with a wafer-thin majority and got 125 of Bihar’s 243 assembly seats, three above the halfway mark.

The Mumbai Police on October 8 busted a “TRP scam”, whereby Television Rating Points (TRPs) were allegedly being manipulated. Republic TV, owned by Arnab Goswami, has been named in the scam. Fakt Marathi and Box Cinema were also among those allegedly indulging in the fraudulent activities.

Karnataka Lockdown: State govt issues ‘Unlock 3’ guidelines

A day after Centre’s order regarding phase 3 of unlock, the Karnataka government on Thursday issued guidelines regarding restriction on various activities outside the containment zones.

The state government has allowed more activities outside containment zones during Unlock 3. Strict lockdown in containment zones will continue to be enforced till August 31.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31. However, online/distance learning will continue.
Karnataka Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to function from August 5 for which, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and state government’s health ministry.

According to the guidelines, all activities, except a few that have been specified, are permitted outside containment zones.

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Activities not permitted during Unlock 3 period in Karnataka:

1. Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31st August 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.

2. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

3. International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

4. Metro Rail.

5. Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations.

Regarding Independence Day, functions at state, districts, sub-divisions, taluks, municipal and panchayat levels and ‘At Home’ functions, wherever held, will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols such as wearing of masks.

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Lockdown in Karnataka Containment Zones: Lockdown will continue to remain in force in the Containment Zones till August 31, 2020.

1. Containment Zones will be demarcated by the BBMP/District authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Those Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective Deputy Commissioners and by the Concerned Departments and information will be shared with MoHFW.

2. In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services. In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Guidelines of MoHFW and Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnatak4 shall be effectively implemented for the above purpose.

3. Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the BBMP/District authorities, and the guidelines related to containment measures in these zones shall be strictly implemented.

BBMP/Districts may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions, as considered necessary, may be put in place by the BBMP/District authorities.

4. BBMP/Districts based on their assessment of the Situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment Zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

5. There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approvals-permit will be required for such movement. However, people coming to Karnataka State from other State shall strictly adhere to the prevailing Guidelines/SOPs issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and Revenue Department (DM).

6. Movement of persons with SOPs: Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; the movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued by Ministry of Home Affairs and other concerned Ministries.

7. Protection of vulnerable persons: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of l0 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

Karnataka reported 83 deaths and 6,128 new cases in the state on Thursday. With this, the total number of cases in the state stood at 1,18,632, the state health ministry said. Currently, there are 69,700 active cases, while a total of 2,230 people have lost their lives due to the pandemic till now.

Coronavirus: 42,836 confirmed, 1,389 deaths in India

The death toll due to COVID-19 crossed 1300 on Monday with the number of infected cases rising above 42,000 in the country, according to the Union Health Ministry.

deaths

As per the latest update provided by the ministry, the number of active COVID-19 cases in India stands at 29,685 as 11,761 people were cured and discharged, and one patient migrated.

A total of 42,836 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in India so far with 1,389 deaths. This included 111 foreign nationals who have been infected with the virus.

In the last 24 hours, 2573 new cases and 83 deaths have been recorded across the country.

Maharashtra remains the worst-affected state with 12,974 cases and 548 deaths. 2115 people have been cured and discharged in the state, the data provided by the Centre said.

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Gujarat is just behind Maharashtra in terms of both the number of cases and fatalities. As per the data provided by the Union Health Ministry, 5,428 people are confirmed to have contracted the virus while 290 have succumbed to the disease.

elhi has reported 4,549 cases of coronavirus with 64 deaths and 1362 people have been discharged after the treatment, the data on the MoHFW website showed.

Madhya Pradesh has a total of 2942 positive cases including 798 patients recovered/discharged and 165 fatalities.

The Centre last week announced the extension of nationwide lockdown for two weeks. The third phase of lockdown started on Monday and will continue till May 17. The nationwide started on March 25, a day after the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The Centre has eased restrictions in this period, based on the risk profiling of the districts of the country into red (hotspot), green and orange zones.

The guidelines have permitted considerable relaxations in the districts falling in the green and orange zones.

While some states have decided to abide by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs‘ guidelines to regulate different activities in the red, green, and orange hotspot zones based on risk profiling, some of the other states have decided to modify the pre-existing regulations to allow considerable relaxation. Many states have announced the opening of shops selling non-essential items like clothes, shoes, stationery, paan, cigarettes, and liquor.