Times of India | 2 months ago | 27-09-2022 | 05:39 am
AHMEDABAD: The city on Monday recorded 22 new Covid cases and the death of one patient, taking the total number of active cases to 244. Gujarat registered 85 cases and active cases reduced to 981. After 111 days, the daily case count dropped below 100, and after 102 days, the active case count fell below 1,000. Five out of 33 districts recorded zero active cases.
December 01: Aeronautical Engineer turned Miss India international Ayeesha S Aiman will be seen in Madhur Bhandarkar’s Film “India Lockdown”, which is set to release on ZEE 5 on 2nd Dec.The film is based on the initial days of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic when the government called for a 21-day lockdown across the country. The trailer will send shivers down your spine as it recreated the horrors of the time when it was plain chaotic. The trailer of the film highlights how many people became jobless, the issue of migrant workers going back to their native places, and sex workers being deprived of their source of income.The film, helmed by Madhur Bhandarkar, revolves around the traumatic experiences that transpired during the covid-19 pandemic. In the film, 26 years Old Ayeesha S Aiman will be seen essaying the role of a Sex worker in Kamathipura in Mumbai, who is forced to adapt to the changes brought about by the lockdown.The former Beauty queen said, “I watched films like Mandi and Chandni Bar, which helped me portray the emotions and struggles of S*x workers living on the margins in a realistic way. I also saw Waheeda Rahman’s Pyaasa”. It was necessary to watch these films and understand the struggles of the characters,” She added. “I met few S*x workers to prepare for the role. I am a keen observer. I observed how they would walk, how they live their mundane life and tried to understand their hardships,” the actress added.When I was offered India Lockdown, “I said yes, without hearing about my character, I have chosen to do this film not by the length of the character but heart touching stories of the people during lockdown’. I immediately got interested in this film and role as I had full faith in Madhur Bhandarkar Sir,”Ayeesha Added, “Normally, Miss India has their debut with the Glam role, but I opted for a very strong role where I had almost carried no make-up look and normal clothes. I had really different choice when it was about my debut in Bollywood, I had many offers, though, but I wanted to choose something where I could learn the craft of acting, so there was no better opportunity than India Lockdown. I have not chosen this film because of the length of my character but the story of which touches the lives of everyone,” Added AyeeshaInspired by true events, written by Amit Joshi and Aradhana Shah, ‘India Lockdown’ will depict four parallel stories and the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people of India. The trailer of India Lockdown had its premiere in IIFI Goa, and Ayeesha’s performance has already created a strong buzz among peers in the Industry.’India Lockdown’ is set for a direct-to-digital release on ZEE5 on December 2. The film is produced by Jayantilal Gada of PEN Studios, Bhandarkar Entertainment and Pranav Jain’s PJ Motions Pictures.
AHMEDABAD: After BA.2.75 subvariant of Omicron, a new subvariant is being seen in Covid cases. The XBB variant, considered to be the combination of BA.2.10 and BA.2.7, now accounts for nearly half of the cases, according to the data by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre (GBRC) that carries out the whole genome sequencing of a select number of Covid cases. The shift has been spotted at the time when the state is recording low daily tally - it has not crossed a single digit in the past four days - and the number of active cases is at a six-month low at 198. As of Tuesday evening, 14 districts out of 33 had zero active cases, whereas 14 have less than 10 active cases. The state had no patients on ventilators as of Tuesday evening. Some other variants of Covid recorded in Gujarat in the recent past include BN.1, BM.1.1, BL.1 and BM.4.1.1, etc. Analysis of the last 100 sequences indicates that 45% of the cases were of XBB, followed by 20% of BA.2.10, 19% of BA.2.75 and 16% of other variants. Some reports suggest the onset of XBB sub-variant in India in October as several states have recorded cases even though Covid numbers have been falling owing to factors like widespread vaccination and herd immunity. A city-based physician said that the spike after Diwali festivities - coupled with flu and other illnesses - subsided quickly and there have been a few cases of viral infection. "Hospitalization is also at an at all-time low," said the physician.
#BEIJINGChina on Monday dismissed concerns over its controversial zero-Covid policy in the face of unprecedented demonstrations, which have spread to Beijing even as it reported close to 40,000 coronavirus cases and authorities scrambled to contain the fresh surge in infections and protests against the Xi Jinping regime.The protests, which come nearly a month after President Xi was elected as the ruling party’s top leader for a third consecutive term, have spread to Shanghai, Beijing and many parts of the country in the last few days against the stringent policy under which cities and localities are kept under prolonged lockdowns and isolations.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also defended the arrest of a BBC journalist covering the demonstrations in Shanghai, maintaining that the scribe did not present his media credentials.“What you mentioned does not reflect what has happened,” Zhao told a media briefing when asked, given the widespread display of anger and frustration on zero-Covid policy across the country.“China has been following the dynamic zero-Covid policy and has been making adjustments based on realities on the ground,” Zhao said.He said so far China issued nine versions of pandemic protocols and recently released 20 measures to contain the outbreak.“We believe that with the leadership of the CPC and the support of the Chinese people, our fight against Covid-19 will be successful,” Zhao said.To another question on protests at home and abroad calling for an end to zero-Covid policy with some calling for Xi to step down, Zhao said, “I just answered your question and I am not aware of what you mentioned.” Under the policy, those who tested positive along with those who came in contact with them were taken away to mass covid treatment centers which have caused public resentment.China’s National Health Commission said 39,452 new cases were reported on Monday, including 36,304 local asymptomatic cases, as authorities scrambled to contain the fresh surge in infections.For the fifth consecutive day, China has reported close to 4,000 cases in Beijing. Agencies
AHMEDABAD: Nikita Wankhade, a photographer based in Ahmedabad travelled to a sprawling heritage resort nestled in mango orchards in Champaner last weekend. “Perhaps, I will be able to enjoy the tranquillity of this place on my next visit. This time, my four-member team and I are on a water-tight schedule shooting the destination wedding of an NRG couple,” said Wankhade, who is booked for wedding shoots over the next three months. With about 33 auspicious muhurat days, about six lakh weddings, big and small, will be held across Gujarat this season. Hospitality, catering, decoration and retail players thus expect their revenues to zoom past pre-Covid levels. “Weddings were muted for two years. In stark contrast, this year, the number of events has increased, and their grandeur has multiplied, with YOLO (you only live once) enthusiasm among people. We have clients who registered their marriages last year but are holding ceremonies and celebrations this year,” Wankhede said. Photographers, wedding planners, decorators, hoteliers and other hospitality businesses are busy even through the Kamurta period i. e. , from December 14 to January 14, which is typically held to be inauspicious. “Hospitality was one of the sectors worst affected by the Covid pandemic with restrictions on travel and gatherings. As the season progresses, hotels, caterers, florists, decorators, photographers, and others are expected to do brisk business. A multiplier effect will be seen on the economy as vendors will also get business,” said Narendra Somani, president of the Hotels and Restaurants Association (HRA) of Gujarat. This year, the peak of the season will begin by November-end and continue until February, according to industry sources. Retail businesses thriving as demand recoversWhile gold and silver prices are high, gems and jewellery retailers have seen strong demand. Rohit Choksi, former president of the Jewellers’ Association Ahmedabad, said, “Lightweight and antique jewellery sets are in demand. With more social occasions, demand has sustained despite high prices. People exchange old gold for new purchases, but demand remains. ” “Diamond and polki jewellery is also sought after, especially among affluent and NRI clients,” said Jay Begani, another jeweller. Even the textile sector, which is grappling with cotton price pressures, has seen good retail demand driven by discretionary spending for weddings. “Demand for finery and designer wear is good. Even though prices are up 15%, sales are good,” said Sambhav Chauhan, a clothing retailer. WEDDING PLANNERS BACK IN BUSINESS: Till last year, the variation in rules for public gatherings from state to state led to deferring of many destination weddings. This time there are no such hiccups with many destination weddings scheduled. Krunal Parekh, a city-based wedding planner, said, “Business has clearly bounced back to pre-Covid levels. Vietnam and Thailand are popular international destinations given flight connectivity while Udaipur, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Goa remain preferred in India for destination weddings. People here have guest lists of 200 to 300. ” Industry players say people spend between Rs 1 crore and Rs 5 crore on destination weddings. Room tariffs and occupancy rates climbCompared to last year, hotels’ are seeing more revenue, with tariffs and occupancy boosted. Average daily rates (ADRs) for branded hotels in Gujarat have risen by at least 45% from pre-Covid levels. “Eased restrictions led people to organizing more elaborate weddings. Our banquet spaces and rooms are in high demand with clients from Ahmedabad and other parts of Gujarat. With the cap on gatherings lifted, hotels command better prices too,” said Jay Sudhakaran, general manager, Novotel Ahmedabad. Hotel occupancy has also grown to an in-dustry average of 75% across Ahmedabad. “Inquiries for weddings are numerous and 70% of available dates are blocked by wedding clients at our hotel. Bookings are plentiful and this is helping F&B businesses and occupancy levels,” said Keenan McKenzie, general manager, ITC Narmada. The average daily rate (ADR) has gone up to Rs 7,500 per room per night for most days at hotels across Ahmedabad. Despite three luxury hotels being launched in the Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar market in the past year and a half, overall ADR has increased. Party plot owners relievedWith guest lists curtailed for a couple of years, party plots saw low demand. Now, as inquiries grow past pre-Covid levels, business is brisk. Manoj Purohit, secretary of the Ahmedabad Catering Association, which has caterers and party plot owners as members, said, “Inquiries have grown by at least 40%, as most people waited for three years to hold events without restrictions. Even small banquet spaces are fully booked. ” Gujarat has about 10,000 party plots, which are rented for between Rs 50,000 and Rs 35 lakh. Even municipal halls are booked, due to the election and weddings.
NETRANG (BHARUCH): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday accused that the Congress of not having respect for the tribal community and said that the party opposed candidature of Droupadi Murmu in the presidential election held earlier this year. He was canvassing for the BJP in Netrang, a tribal area of Bharuch district. Modi also said that the entire world was amazed at how India managed to come out Covid-19 pandemic in such a short span. "Congress has no respect for tribals in the country. When we proposed to make our tribal daughter (Droupadi Murmu) the president of the country, the Congress opposed it. We put all our might and made the tribal daughter win the election," Modi said. "Be it Birsa Munda or Govind Guru, the Congress never gave the due respect to the tribal leaders," he further alleged. The PM said the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in a big country like India was terrifying. "We faced the pandemic and came out of it. The entire world is amazed how we did it," Modi said. During pandemic factories were closed, people had to go back to their villages. "In such circumstances, our first concern was to provide enough food to poor people. We have been providing free ration to 80 crore people for the last three years," Modi said. He said that when many countries are still struggling to vaccinate their entire population, India has provided more than 200 crore doses of anti-coronavirus vaccine to its people. "After two doses, we provided a booster dose also free," Modi said.