CNN: Robots are joining the fight against coronavirus in India. “In India, the country with the world’s second-highest number of Covid-19 cases, a handful of hospitals has started to use robots to connect patients with their loved ones, and assist healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic.”
The Hindu: Thanjavur art plates: More than just curios. “In 2018, a team of researchers went from Chennai to Thanjavur to learn more about the art plates of the temple city. Soon they realised that not many residents knew about this unique heritage, even though as a popular gift item, it had kept its few surviving makers busy in cottage-industry units. The craft blending two cultures — Dravidian and Maratha — seemed very much on the wane. From 200 artisan families, there were now only 50 left. The researchers’ study tour metamorphosed into a grassroots project aimed at reviving the indigenous industry, with the Chennai-based Rajalakshmi Group of Institutions offering support.”
Voice of America: Global TB Fight Set Back 12 Years by COVID Pandemic, Doctors Warn. “In nine countries with a high prevalence of TB — including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Tajikistan and Ukraine — diagnosis and treatment fell by an average of 23%, according to analysis by the Stop TB Partnership, a non-profit hosted by the United Nations in Geneva.”
Neowin: Facebook completes first phase of its Indiana fiber network. “Facebook has announced the successful completion of the first phase of its latest fiber network in Indiana. The firm said that new fiber routes will help it support its 3 billion users around the world as the connections between its data centers become faster. The network route, which spans 80 miles, runs along Interstate 70 between Indiana and Ohio.”
Reuters: Exclusive: India delays big exports of AstraZeneca shot as infections surge, sources say. “India has put a temporary hold on all major exports of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shot made by the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s biggest vaccine-maker, to meet domestic demand as infections rise, two sources told Reuters.”
BBC: India: Delhi orders Covid tests at airports as cases surge. “India’s capital, Delhi, will begin randomised Covid tests at airports, bus stops and train stations amid what some experts say is a second wave. Mumbai, a financial hub and virus hotspot, ordered mandatory testing in busy areas earlier this week. Cases have surged in recent weeks – on Wednesday, India reported more than 47,000 new cases and 275 deaths, it’s highest this year.”
Reuters: India detects novel coronavirus variant. “India’s health ministry said on Wednesday that a novel variant of the coronavirus had been detected in the country in addition to many other variants of concern (VOCs) also found abroad.”
TechCrunch: India asks court to block WhatsApp’s policy update, says new change violates laws. “As WhatsApp spends months to address users’ concerns and confusion about its planned policy update, there is evidently one entity it hasn’t had much luck making inroads with: The government of India. The Indian government alleged on Friday that WhatsApp’s planned privacy update, which goes into effect in two months, violates local laws on several counts.”
PTI: Over 40k coronavirus cases recorded in India, highest in 111 days. “India saw 40,953 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day, the highest single-day rise recorded in 111 days, taking the nationwide COVID-19 tally to 1,15,55,284, according to Union Health Ministry data updated on Saturday.” India uses commas differently from the US when writing out numerals.
The Hindu: A portal for film archives. “To this day, there is a gap in documenting and archiving the history of Kannada cinema in an accessible way, which a new online portal… aims to fill. The portal, designed with fonts from yesteryear film posters, is drenched in nostalgia for old films, songs, their history, trivia, and rare-to-find photographs. Kannada is a language spoken in India. You can learn more about it here.
BBC: Covid-19: Mumbai to roll out compulsory testing in crowded places. “The Indian city of Mumbai is to roll out mandatory coronavirus tests in crowded places as the country grapples with a rise in infections. The local government said rapid tests would be done randomly in areas such as shopping centres and train stations. A refusal to be tested will ‘amount to an offence’, it said.”
BBC: India coronavirus: Can its vaccine producers meet demand?. “India, one of the world’s largest producers of coronavirus vaccines, is struggling to meet its export commitments. Its largest manufacturer says doses intended for the UK could be held up, and a big order to supply Nepal has also been put on hold.”