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Biz EOD: Inside the COVID-19 mutant; new electricity rules; air pollution wipes out Rs 2.7 lakh crore

BusinessToday.In     December 22, 2020

Despite the new COVID-19 mutant triggering fresh global panic with nations re-imposing travel bans, scientists say it is too early to predict if the virus is going to cause a 'second wave' or make recently-developed vaccines useless. Indian consumers will now have rights to access to a continuous and uninterrupted power supply as well as compensation from electricity distribution companies, as per the Centre's newly notified Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules. Air pollution deaths constituted 18 per cent of total deaths in the country, a report released by interdisciplinary journal Lancet Planetary Health claimed.

1. Inside the COVID-19 mutant: The 'drift' of a virus

The UK has identified a fast-spreading new variant of coronavirus that is 70% more transmissible than existing strains. A similar mutation was also reported from South Africa and countries like Netherlands and Denmark.

2. New electricity rules: Discoms to pay for poor services, power cuts, ensure 24X7 supply

The new electricity rules also mandate discoms to provide new connections within seven days in metros, 15 days in small towns, and 30 days in rural areas.

3. Delhi likely to receive first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine next week

Delhi government has identified more than 600 cold chain storage points, beyond training thousands of healthcare staff on technical details to vaccinate people against coronavirus.

4. Air pollution killed 16.7 lakh Indians; wiped out Rs 2.7 lakh crore in 2019

The Lancet report claimed that the indoor or household air pollution led to 64% fewer deaths in the last two decades (1990-2019) in the country, but outdoor or ambient air pollution, is not only increasing but also killing more people.

5. CBSE Board to be held after Feb, to have 30% reduction in syllabus: Education Minister

Not indicating any specific dates for the said exams, Pokhriyal mentioned that the exams will be held offline after February 2021


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