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Busquets, Albiol, De Gea join Ramos as Spain team captains

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Madrid, Sep 6 (IANS) Defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets, centre-back Raul Albiol and goalkeeper David de Gea on Thursday joined defender Sergio Ramos as Spain’s national team captains.

The decision for new captains was taken in the first international camp after Spain’s 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign, to replace the legendary Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Gerard Pique, after the trio’s retirement from international play, reports Efe.

Spain competed in the World Cup held in Russia between June 14-15, in which they were knocked out in the round of 16 on a penalty shootout with the Russian hosts.

In new coach Luis Enrique’s roster for the upcoming UEFA Nations League clashes, Ramos, the first captain, is the player who has made the most appearances for Spain with 156 matches, followed by Busquets at 107 matches.

Albiol, who returned to the national team after a three year absence, has participated in 51 international matches and De Gea has been active in 33 Spanish team matches.

Spain are set to kick off their UEFA Nations League campaign against England at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, and will then host Croatia three days later.

–IANS
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PM: Lockdown may have ended but virus still there, be vigilant

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that the lockdown may have ended, but the virus is still out there and urged people not to be complacent and drop their guard in the fight against Covid-19.

During his address to the nation on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister emphasised that the government is working on a blueprint to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, and when it is ready, it will be available to each and every citizen.

Modi said he recently saw many pictures and videos which showed that people are not taking enough precautions to contain the spread of the virus.

 

“This is not right. We must keep in mind that the lockdown may have ended but the virus is still there. We cannot be careless or believe that Covid-19 has ended. If you are careless and moving around without a mask, you are putting yourself, the children and the elderly in your family at risk,” Modi said.

The Prime Minister also lauded the healthcare workers’ efforts in fighting the pandemic and claimed that India is on a better footing in the fight against Covid-19 as compared to many western countries.

Modi said the recovery rate in the country is good and the fatality rate is low when compared to the US and some countries in Europe.

Modi emphasised that India is doing better than many developed countries in the fight against coronavirus. He said the fatality rate in India is 83 out of every 10 lakh people, whereas it is more than 600 in countries like the US, Brazil, Spain and Britain.

He reiterated that till a vaccine is developed, people should not drop their guard and indulge in reckless behaviour.

Urging people to be careful during the festive season, Modi said, “Most of us are stepping out of our homes every day to fulfil our responsibilities. The festive season is also round the corner.”

On the development of a vaccine, Modi said that scientists of the country are working on a war footing to develop a vaccine and a few candidates are in advanced stages of trials.

The Prime Minister added that initially in the US and many countries in Europe, Covid-19 cases dropped very sharply, but they began to rise again at an alarming speed.

Modi also invoked sages like Sant Kabir and the holy scripture of Ramcharitmanas to make his point that people should not develop a casual approach towards the disease.

He also urged journalists and people using social media to create awareness regarding Covid-19

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