Indonesia becomes Asia’s new COVID hotspot, overtakes India
• Indonesia has overtaken India as Asia’s new hotspot for COVID-19 with daily COVID-19 cases exceeding 40,000 for two straight days. The Delta variant has been spreading outside the most populous island of Java, as per officials.
• While Indonesia’s population of 270 million population is just a fifth of India’s, in the past week, the nation’s deaths and cases per million people are 4-5 times that of India’s.
• The Japanese government has announced that it will put on special planes for Japanese nationals who want to return home from Indonesia.
PM Modi chairs first in-person Union Cabinet meeting after a year
• The Prime Minister chaired the first in-person meeting of the Union Cabinet at his official residence on July 14, 2021. The meeting comes just ahead of the Monsoon session of the Parliament.
• The cabinet meeting held its first physical meeting in over a year today. Before that, PM Modi had held the first meeting with the Council of Ministers virtually after the Union Cabinet reshuffle on July 7.
• During the meeting, the Prime Minister had reportedly cautioned Ministers against any complacency in the fight against COVID-19. He spoke about the pictures and videos circulating of crowded places and people roaming about without masks or social distancing and said that “it should instill a sense of fear in us”.
• The Prime Minister noted that people not following COVID-19 protocols was not a “pleasant sight”.
Roger Federer withdraws from Tokyo Olympics
• Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer withdrew himself from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on July 13, 2021 after a knee setback. The tennis maestro said in a statement that “During the grass-court season, I, unfortunately, experienced a setback with my knee, and have accepted that I must withdraw from the Tokyo Olympic Games.”
• Federer said that he is greatly disappointed and that it has been an honour and highlight of my career each time I have represented Switzerland.
• He said that he has already begun rehabilitation in the hopes of returning to the tour later this summer. He wished the entire Swiss team the best of luck.
Two Wimbledon matches under investigation over betting concerns
• At least two Wimbledon 2021 matches are being investigated for potential match-fixing following irregular betting patterns. The authorities have obtained information of ‘possible manipulations’ that may have occurred at the Grand Slam involving one singles match and one doubles match.
• Several betting firms have reported those matches due to a series of abnormal bets that were made. The exact details of the bets are not clear.
• One of the suspicious matches is a men’s doubles match in the first round and the second is a first-round singles match involving a German player.
• In the doubles match, several betting providers sounded the alarm that the favored duo will be defeated during the game due to noticeably high live bets. The pair won the first set but lost the remaining sets. The timing of the bets and the number of sums placed indicate irregularities.
• In the singles match, the opponent of the german player raised suspicions as a ‘five-digit sum was placed at the end of the second set on the exact result. There were also special bets on the number of service games in the match and those bets were also won.
Single-dose Sputnik Light COVID vaccine to be launched in India soon
• Russian envoy Nikolay Kudashev informed on July 14, 2021 that the single-dose Sputnik Light COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be launched in India soon.
• The Russian envoy said that they are committed to continuing the discussion on mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.
• The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is expected to release the results of the Sputnik V and Astrazeneca ‘mix and match’ vaccine by the end of July.
• RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev informed that high efficacy is expected from the trials.