Guwahati, Jan 9: As we step into a new year, the fatal virus- Covid-19, marked the third year of its existence and another variant emerged known as Omicron. The positivity rate of Covid-19 doubled exponentially when Assam detected its first two cases last week. The Bulli Bai app on the other hand sparked furore across the country following the defamation of Muslim women online, a massive operation was carried out that led to the arrest of the creator of the app from Jorhat.
Here are the top three news that was in the spotlight during the last week:
Assam detects first two cases of Omicron variant on January 5
As the State was witnessing a spike in Covid-19 cases, the Omicron variant made its foothold on January 5.
A teenager who returned from Meghalaya was tested positive for the new variant in Sonapur, while a 35-year-old returnee from Saudi Arabia who hails from Hojai district, was found infected with the same variant.
Health Minister Keshab Mahanta informed that contact tracing had already been done and all necessary measures have been initiated. He further informed that both the patients have later tested negative.
He also pointed out that the State had reported 150 and 156 new COVID-19 cases on January 1 and 2 respectively, and the numbers had shot up to 351 and 475 on the next two consecutive days, with the most infections being reported from Kamrup Metropolitan district.
Assam government issues fresh SOPs
Following the escalation of Covid-19 cases, the Assam Government has revised its Covid-19 Standard Operating Protocols (SOP). The new SOP was imposed on Saturday (January 8) and will remain in force until further orders.
As per the new SOP, night curfew in the State is imposed from 10 pm to 6 am and a fine of up to ₹25,000 for the owner of public places for allowing un-vaccinated persons from January 15. State chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that henceforth every Covid-19 patient will be considered having Omicron variant.
Air and rail passengers who are unvaccinated, single-dose vaccinated, and those below 15 years of age will have to undergo compulsory testing. However, double vaccinated passengers are exempted from the same. Wearing of masks in public places is mandatory and police have been instructed to impose fines on those found violating new restrictions.
Creator of 'Bulli Bai' app arrested from Jorhat, Assam
A 21-year-old engineering student, who happens to be the creator of the controversial web-based application 'Bulli Bai', was arrested by Delhi Police from Assam's Jorhat.
The accused, Neeraj Bishnoi, a second-year B.Tech student from the Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal, is a resident of Assam's Digambar Jorhat. The police have also seized a device from his home on which the app was created.
The app used photos of influential Muslim women who were virtually 'auctioned' without their consent. The case has spread across different parts of the country and the victims of the app were from all over India.
The app was hosted on US-based GitHub platform on December that used doctored photos of at least 100 Muslim women. On January 2, separate FIRs were registered in Delhi and Mumbai, based on complaints by women who were among those targeted.
Following a probe launched by the police the conspirator was arrested, earlier three people were arrested in the case by the Mumbai Police.