New York/Brasilia, May 23 (IANS) South America has become the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With a total of 330,098 COVID-19 cases, Brazil has since surpassed Russia as the country with the second-highest number of infections after the US.
The rest of the continent has not fared much better. Peru has 108,769 cases, Chile 61,857, Ecuador 35,828 and Colombia 18,330 positive cases.
The rest of the continent is suffering in smaller numbers, but the rates of increase are not showing signs of flattening just yet.
"We've seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases and clearly there's a concern across many of those countries, but certainly the most affected is Brazil at this point," Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO's emergencies programme, said at a news briefing on Friday.
"In a sense, South America has become the new epicentre for the disease," he added.
Brazil reached the grim milestone after it reported 20,803 new cases on Friday, while fatalities climbed by 1,001 to 21,048.
In Brazil, Sao Paulo state, home to 46 million of the country's 210 million people, accounts for 76,871 cases and nearly 30 per cent of the deaths.
Next comes Rio de Janeiro, whose capital city is experiencing a coronavirus mortality rate of 12.7 per cent, almost double the national rate of 6.5 per cent, according to the IBGE statistics agency.
The country is now has its third health minister in a month.
Apart from promoting the use of chloroquine, the Brazilian government continues with lack of a clearly enunciated strategy to combat coronavirus, the peak of which in Brazil is expected in July.
President Jair Bolsonaro, meanwhile, continues to downplay the seriousness of the disease and is exerting pressure to reopen the country and resume economic activities of all sorts, this at a time when the country may be en route to surpassing the US as the world epicentre of the pandemic.
New Delhi, May 29 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a cross-appeal filed by Cyrus Mistry, seeking more relief than granted by the NCLAT verdict in December 2019.
The apex court issued notice to Tata Sons Pvt Ltd (TSPL) and others, and tagged the cross-appeals with the appeals filed by Tata Sons, Ratan Tata and others challenging the NCLAT verdict, which reinstated Mistry as the Executive Director of Tata Sons. Mistry and his firm sought removal of anomalies in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) verdict to get representation on the TSPL board.
A bench of Justices A.S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy, which took up the matter through video conferencing, said: "Issue notice. Tag with Civil Appeal Nos... And connected matters, if any. In the meantime, pleadings be completed by the parties within a period of four weeks from today. List the matter(s) thereafter."
In January, the apex court had stayed the NCLAT order.
Through the cross-appeal, Mistry is seeking representation on the board in proportion to the 18.37 per cent stake held by his family. The cross-appeal argued that it was incumbent on the NCLAT to have granted proportionate representation that would have ensured that the interests of the SP Group are protected in future.
In the petition, Mistry has described the group's relationship with Tatas as a quasi-partnership relationship of a vintage of over 60 years, holding 18.37 per cent in the equity share capital of Tata Sons and whose stake is now worth over Rs 1.5 Lakh crore.
In January, the apex court had observed, "You (Cyrus) have been out of the saddle for a long time...how does it hurt you today." Tatas were represented through senior advocates A.M. Singhvi, Harish Salve, Mukul Rohatgi and Mohan Parasaran.
A heated argument broke out on the court's remark on the stay of the tribunal judgement. Senior advocate C.A. Sundaram, representing the company Cyrus Investment Pvt Ltd, contended instead of staying the tribunal judgement, the court could order status quo; and a notice could be issued within two weeks to file a reply.
Mistry's side had also wanted to place a note apparently on an interim arrangement, but it was not accepted by the court.
Senior advocate N.K. Kaul represented Mistry and senior advocate Shyam Divan represented the shareholders on Mistry's side. Mistry's side also said that they have been sidelined completely.
Sundaram contended before the bench he was not pressing on relief in connection with the reinstatement, instead he was against the wrong process adopted to remove Mistry.