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Chennai to set up ‘oxygen parlours’ for COVID-19 patients


Chennai to set up ‘oxygen parlours’ for COVID-19 patients

The three regions in Chennai will have a 100-bed hospital with an oxygen facility to treat COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulty and patients with oxygen saturation between 90-92, but who still need oxygen support.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise at an alarming rate, the Greater Chennai Corporation has decided to implement the concept of “oxygen parlours” to treat COVID-19 patients across three regions of the city.

The three regions in Chennai will have a 100-bed hospital with an oxygen facility to treat COVID-19 patients with breathing difficulty and patients with oxygen saturation between 90-92, but who still need oxygen support.

The corporation has already ordered oxygen concentrators and 2,700 of them will reach the city soon, Greater Chennai Corporation Commissioner Gagan Singh Bedi said.

Moreover, changes have also been made regarding the RT-PCR tests. The report will not be given directly to positive patients.

The decision for patient’s requirement for hospitalisation will be taken by doctors after they check the blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and respiration rate of the patient.

The corporation will also provide a medical kit immediately to all patients who are undergoing an RT-PCR test with symptoms of fever, loose motion, loss of smell and taste, and body pain.

According to officials, this is to ensure that the patient isn’t left unattended till the arrival of the results of RTPCR. Thirty thousand such medical kits are already ready for providing to patients.

Meanwhile, India recorded 3,48,421 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours taking the overall caseload to 2,33,40,938, according to data from the Union Health Ministry.

The country’s active COVID-19 cases stand at 37,04,099.

With 4205 deaths in the last 24 hours, the total death toll is 2,54,197.

(With IANS inputs)




Dos and Dont’s in home isolation – the AIIMS guidelines


Dos and Dont’s in home isolation – the AIIMS guidelines

In his presentation, Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Saurabh Mittal, highlighted how home isolation helps free hospital space and contain spread of disease.

The AIIMS has given guidelines on Covid management in home isolation at a recent training session for 14 experts from tertiary care centres across the country.

In his presentation, Assistant Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Saurabh Mittal, highlighted how home isolation helps free hospital space and contain spread of disease.

It was noted that only patients having mild disease, in which there are only upper respiratory tract symptoms and no shortness of breath, are recommended for home isolation, but the decision about whether it is mild will be taken by a doctor.

The availability of requisite facility with attached separate bathroom at the residence is necessary for self-isolation.

However, immunocompromised patients like HIV+ people are not recommended for home isolation and can be allowed it only after proper evaluation by a doctor, while elderly patients with comorbidities shall only so allowed after proper evaluation by the treating doctor, and should have a caregiver on 24X 7 basis, it was stressed.

The caregiver should have link with a hospital for entire duration of home isolation, and the treating physician should be kept updated regarding worsening symptoms. Patients should continue medications for comorbid conditions, and should be hydrated and well rested. Antipyretics should be consumed as per doctor’s prescription.

Mittal said that monitoring of symptoms is the most important segment in home isolation. Patients should make use of pulse oximeter and should promptly report any deterioration of symptoms.

It was also noted that patients must stay in an identified room with attached bathroom which should have cross ventilation. They should stay away from other family members, especially the elderly, and should not share personal items with other members.

Patients should use triple-layer medical mask all the time which should be discarded after 8 hours of use. It should be disinfected with sodium hypochlorite before discarding.

Caregivers should also wear triple-layer mask within the house, and ensure hand hygiene before and after wearing mask and also after contact with patient and his/her immediate surroundings.

Regularly touched surfaces like table-tops, and door knobs should be cleaned with 1 per cent hypochlorite solution or phenyl. Alcohol-based sanitisers are not recommended for disinfecting surfaces.

Potentially contaminated items in immediate environment of the patient should be avoided. Food must be provided to the patient in his/her room, and the utensils and dishes used cleaned with soap and detergent.

Patients should follow the instructions regarding physical distancing, mask use, handwashing, self-monitoring, and constant contact with healthcare provider.

For symptomatic management, a patient may perform warm saline gargles twice a day, and steam inhalation for a few minutes may also be done. Patient can also consume vitamin C and zinc tablets.

The decision to administer Remdesivir should be taken only by a medical professional, and patient should not attempt to procure or administer it at home. Oral steroids should not be taken in mild disease, and only a doctor can take decision about a low dose of oral steroids if symptoms persist beyond seven days.

Patients should seek help of a hospital if they develop difficulty in breathing or oxygen saturation goes below 94 per cent, and also, if they feel persistent pain in the chest or mental confusion or inability to rise.

For patients who are borderline hypoxic, proning is recommended to increase oxygen saturation by two to three points to avoid panic order stress.

Patients under home isolation can end it after 10 days of symptoms’ onset or if there is no fever for three days. There is no need for testing after the home isolation period is over.




Antibiotics, antipyretic drugs fly off the shelf


Antibiotics, antipyretic drugs fly off the shelf

Similarly, sanitizers, masks, Dettol, savlon, etc are showing hiked-up sales.

The doctors stressed on the diligent use of medicines, and not to take antibiotics without consulting a physician as reports of certain drugs flew off the shelf of medicine stores in rural areas and small towns.

“Even for normal flu or cold, people are getting panicky and using every type of antibiotic unaware of the side reactions it causes,” said the chief district medical officer Dr P K Patra.

It may be mentioned here that antibiotics like Azithromycin, Cefixime, and antipyretic like Dolo 650, Crocin, etc are flying off the shelf of all pharmaceutical outlets. Many have started providing a ‘Covid kit’ based on widely circulated prescriptions of infected persons under treatment at hospitals.

Similarly, sanitizers , masks, Dettol , savlon etc are showing hiked-up sales.

Meanwhile, sanitation and hygienic conditions at the Covid Care Hospital, at Betaguda run by the district administration remains much to be desired. Most of the Carona infected patients admitted to this government-run facility, allege that the surrounding is unclean and the bathrooms stink.

“My younger brother along with his daughter (in her teens) were admitted yesterday to the Betaguda Covid Care Center. The cleanliness and the related issues left a lot to be desired and the patients admitted here are complaining ” said Devaraj Patra.

Unlike in other districts of the state, there are no private Covid Care Centre’s in any other places, and the patients have no option but to go to the government hospital. The CDMO Gajapati Dr. P Ch Patra, on the other hand, said the entire health sector is under acute stress.

We are trying our best to maintain all facilities, and already a critical care centre has been opened recently at Rasuru Sitapur. Normal cases with limited Carona issues are coming to the Betaguda Centre , and since it is accommodating 280 patients there are bound to be some problems” he said.

While there is no dearth of medicines and other supplementary products related to Covid treatment, there is an apprehension that this is bound to be a shortage anytime, as cases are going up.




Over 20 percent positivity rate in 19 districts of Odisha


Over 20 percent positivity rate in 19 districts of Odisha

It is part of the western Odisha districts which have borders with Chhattisgarh and the initial spurt was from the neighbouring state.

The COVID-19 infection in Odisha has evidently assumed virulent proportion with as many as 19 out of 30 districts in the state logging a Test Positivity Rate (TPR) of more than 20 per cent in the past week from 1 May to 7 May, according to the latest data released by the union health ministry.

Sambalpur district with a high TPR of 57.1% stands ninth amongst the districts in the country and has recorded a steep upward trend in case positivity in the past one week.

It is part of the western Odisha districts which have borders with Chhattisgarh and the initial spurt was from the neighbouring state.

As many 301 districts in the country including 19 from Odisha reported above 20% TPR in the last 24 hours, it said. Madhya Pradesh in central India accounted for the maximum number of 37 districts with more than 20% TPR followed by Karnataka (25), Maharashtra and Rajasthan (23).

Odisha besides West Bengal reported 20% TPR in 19 districts. Sambalpur district in the western parts of the state with 57.1% has recorded the highest TPR followed by Kalahandi- 46.2%, Sundargarh37.4%, Khordha and Boudh34.1%, Bargarh- 33.5%, Angul31.4%, Nuapada- 30.7%, Deogarh- 27%, Bolangir and Bhadrak- 25.6%, Cuttack, Puri and Jharsuguda- 24.9%, Nabarangpur- 24.5%, Balasore23.2%, Keonjhar-23.1%, Jajpur22.5% and Sonepur- 20.1%. The districts like Changlang (Arunachal Pradesh)- 91%, Yanam in Puducherry 78%, Dibang valley in Arunachal Pradesh-75%, Bikaner 75% in Rajasthan and Pali (75.2 and 70.4%) Nuh in Haryana 64%, Lahul and Spiti in Himachal Pradesh 60.3%, Sonipat- 57.6% in Haryana has higher TPR than Odisha’s Sambalpur.




Assam: Campaigning for 3rd phase comes to an end


Assam: Campaigning for 3rd phase comes to an end

BJP’s ally UPPL leader Pramod Boro, Congress leaders Ripun Bora, Gaurav Gogoi, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, Asom Jatiya Parishad president Lurinjyoti Gogoi also attended public meetings seeking supports for their candidates from the voters.

As the campaigning for the third and last phase polling of Assam legislative assembly elections, covering 40 Assembly constituencies, came to an end this evening, the state readies for the final electoral battles on 6 April among 338 candidates.

Senior BJP leaders including Amit Shah, Sarbananda Sonowal, Ranjeet Kumar Dass, Himanta Biswa Sarma addressed poll rallies in various parts of western Assam. BJP’s ally UPPL leader Pramod Boro, Congress leaders Ripun Bora, Gaurav Gogoi, AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, Asom Jatiya Parishad president Lurinjyoti Gogoi also attended public meetings seeking supports for their candidates from the voters.

As far as the numbers are concerned, both sides have suffered losses and exact casualty figures cannot be ascertained immediately”, Shah said, after cutting short his election campaigning in Assam.Shah is flying back to Delhi to take stock of the situation.

Before leaving, the home minister told reporters he was appealing to people to vote for Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to ensure Sarma’s victory by a huge margin. He added that the vote would strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his work in Assam and the North East.




Winning Kerala is significant for Rahul


Winning Kerala is significant for Rahul

The May 2 result of Kerala polls will determine Rahul’s decision whether to take up the Congress president post again or not. The party is set to elect a new head in June and Rahul has decided not to run for the post.

The outcome of the Kerala Assembly polls will go a long way in deciding Congress scion Rahul Gandhi’s leadership sweepstakes. Of the four Assembly polls being held this month stakes are highest for Rahul Gandhi in Kerala

The May 2 result of Kerala polls will determine Rahul’s decision whether to take up the Congress president post again or not. The party is set to elect a new head in June and Rahul has decided not to run for the post.

The Congress is not in power in any of the four poll bound states-Kerala ,Tamil Nadu,West Bengal and Assam. It was in power in Puducherry till two months back.Yet, Kerala case is distinct for Rahul as he is an MP from Kerala’s Wayanad. So,winning Kerala is a matter of prestige for both Congress and Rahul Gandhi. Like Kerala, none of the four other poll-bound states, has seen alternate governments. The LDF had won the 2016 Assembly elections. Now,it is the turn of the Congress- led UDF to win in the 6 April polls. If the LDF under Pinarayi Vijayan succeeds in breaking the jinx and winning the polls, it will be an embarrassment for the Congress and in such a situation Congress will get weakened in the state.

Political observers say the BJP is waiting to emerge such a situation Rahul Gandhi knows the need and significance of Congress and UDF winning the Kerala polls.Keeping this in mind he has actively campaigned for the Congress-led UDF candidates in the state till the last lap of the campaign.

He attacked the ruling LDF government in the state , alleging that it was steeped into politics of vendetta, nepotism and corruption. In order to woo the poor,Rahul Gandhi on Sunday gave a further push to his ‘Nyuntam Aay Yojana’ to reach out to the voters, promising that every poor person in the state is going to get Rs 6,000 a month into his bank account, if UDF comes to power.

The public campaign for the 6 April Assembly polls in Kerala ended on Sunday evening with the leading political parties and fronts conducting roadshows and rallies. The Election Commission has banned Kottikalasam— the final campaign celebration in the state, due to Covid situation.




Eshwarappa charges: Loyalists defend BSY


Eshwarappa charges: Loyalists defend BSY

Defending the CM, home minister Basvaraj Bommai, revenue minister R Ashoka, health minsiter K Sudhakar along with agriculture minister B C Patil, argued that Eshwarappa would have done well to discuss the matter with Yeddyurappa instead of going to the governor, in the event if he had any objections. Besides, as finance minister, the CM had the right to approve funds for the legislators.

Senior BJP ministers and legislators came together this afternoon to support chief minister, B S Yeddyurappa, against charges of being an autocrat besides interfering in the functioning of ministries. The allegations were made by K S Eshwarappa, rural development and panchayat raj minister yesterday, in a fivepage letter to governor Vajubhai Vala. He urged the governor to advise Yeddyurappa to adhere to the rules and regulations while adopting a policy of non- interference . Predictably, this gave the much needed opportunity to the opposition Congress to demand the resignation of the chief minister, while accusing the Yeddyurappa government of being corrupt.

This perhaps was the cue for 34 legislators and a host of senior ministers to come out in support of Yeddyurappa, even though the chief minister refused to comment on the controversial matter.

Defending the CM, home minister Basvaraj Bommai, revenue minister R Ashoka, health minsiter K Sudhakar along with agriculture minister B C Patil, argued that Eshwarappa would have done well to discuss the matter with Yeddyurappa instead of going to the governor, in the event if he had any objections. Besides, as finance minister, the CM had the right to approve funds for the legislators.

The ministers said:“What the rural development minister has raised is an administrative matter that should be resolved internally. It was not appropriate to approach the governor.”




Opp attacks on Govt turn stronger as Parliament concludes Budget Session


Opp attacks on Govt turn stronger as Parliament concludes Budget Session

Confrontation took place on the Insurance Amendment Bill, 2021 and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Like the rest of the Session, there were repeated adjournments and walkouts.

Opposition attacks on the Government turned stronger as Parliament concluded its Budget Session last week, completing the entire financial business well before 31st March.

The opposition was exercised not just on financial policies; there were Bills that it wanted not passed in haste, but got no concessions from the Government . Confrontation took place on the Insurance Amendment Bill, 2021 and the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Like the rest of the Session, there were repeated adjournments and walkouts.

While the Insurance Bill sought to raise the limit of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the insurance sector from 49 per cent to 74 per cent, the Delhi NCT Bill sought to redefine certain basic features of the original NCT governance law.

The Insurance Bill was already passed by the Rajya Sabha when the Lok Sabha considered it last week. Still, doubts were raised how the substantial increase in FDI would impact the Indian insurance domain where public sector entities had provided reliable services to their customers and large dividends to the Government.

In both Houses, the Congress recalled that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had opened FDI into the sector with a 26 per cent limit, but blocked its increase to 49 per cent when the UPA Government under Manmohan Singh proposed it. The Rajya Sabha had seen a more aggressive Opposition on the Bill, forcing several adjournments before the discussion, but the Lok Sabha allowed its passage without any difficulty.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the FDI limit revision to 49 per cent had brought Rs 26,000 crores in foreign capital for the liquidity- starved sector.

The Finance Bill discussions on Tuesday and Wednesday, in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, respectively, were more comprehensive in reviewing the performance of the economy. Quite expectedly, the steep increases in the sale prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas came under attack.

In the Rajya Sabha, Sushil Kumar Modi (BJP) responded on behalf of the Government and said those criticizing the taxation rates for petrol and diesel must know that any reduction in the rates would seriously impact the States’ income, and their developmental projects eventually. If out of Rs 100 a litre petrol, Rs 60 was the tax component; the Centre received only Rs 35, and Rs 25 went to the States’ coffers. Even out of the Central share, 42 per cent devolved on the States as per the 14th Finance Commission formula.

A former deputy chief minister of Bihar, Modi said he had long been associated with the evolution of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and knew that the States would never accept bringing petrol and diesel under the GST purview, as this would mean a reduction in the tax rates, and an annual loss of over Rs 2 lakh crores to them in tax revenues.

Trinamul Congress members led by their leader Derek O’Brien complained of injustice towards West Bengal in the Rajya Sabha, but the finance minister replied the state government was responsible for depriving the poor farmers of the state their due under the Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme by not supplying their names to the Centre.

The toughest battle during the Budget Session was on the Delhi NCT Bill, but the Government eventually managed to get it passed. The Bill was first passed by the Lok Sabha after heated exchanges. The Government defence was the Opposition read too much in the Bill which was just removing some ambiguities in the existing law.

The Rajya Sabha witnessed much more drama, but walkouts before the voting by several regional parties made things easier for the Government. The Bill came up before the Upper House first on 23rd March but had to be deferred till the next day, after the Opposition described it as “unconstitutional” and forced four adjournments.

On the next day, too, there were two adjournments, and a discussion on the Bill remained stalled for 40 minutes. Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge this time described the Bill as dangerous, designed to deprive an elected Government of its democratic powers.

He suggested a Select Committee reference for the Bill, saying the NCT of Delhi Act was protected by Article 239AA of the Constitution, and a Constitutional amendment must also come. Sanjay Singh, member representing Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), had given a notice against the Bill but it was rejected.




Sharad Pawar admitted to Breach Candy following complaint of abdominal pain


Sharad Pawar admitted to Breach Candy following complaint of abdominal pain

All eyes set on Nandigram where Mamata Banerjee takes on her protege-turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari

All eyes are on battleground Nandigram, where West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has locked horns with her protege- turned-rival Suvendu Adhikari.

The campaigning in the constituency, which will go to the polls on April 1, ended at 5 p.m. today.

The stage is all set for the voting in 30 constituencies spread across four districts on April 1. The fate of 171 candidates will be decided in the second phase by 75,94,549 voters who will exercise their franchise in 10,620 polling booths spread across the 30 constituencies, the Election Commission sources said.

All the booths where polling will be held in the second phase have been declared as “sensitive” by the EC, sources in it said.

It will deploy total 651 companies of Central Armed Police for this phase of election which will be held in Bankura (Part II), Purba Medinipur (Part II), Paschim Medinipur (Part II) and South 24 Parganas (Part I), they said.

A total of 199 companies of CAPF will be deployed in Purba Medinipur, 210 companies in Paschim Medinipur, 170 in South 24 Parganas and 72 in Bankura, the sources said.

The final day of the campaigning saw hectic canvassing for the Nandigram seat in Purba Medinipur district where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is facing BJP leader and her former follower Suvendu Adhikari.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah held roadshows with Bengal’s megastar Mithun Chakraborty in support of Adhikari in Nandigram during the day, while Banerjee, who is confined to a wheelchair following her injury which she had sustained while campaigning in the constituency, crisscrossed it addressing rallies at several venues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shah and BJP national president J P Nadda had led BJP’s campaign from the front addressing rallies at Kanthi and Nandigram and urging the electorate to vote for the saffron party to usher in ‘ashol poriborton’ (actual change) to build ‘Sonar Bangla’ (prosperous Bengal).

Modi in his rallies had attacked the TMC government and Banerjee, accusing her of “appeasement politics” and asserting that “khela shesh hobe” (game will be over).

Other star campaigners of the BJP stressed on various scams of the ruling Trinamool Congress – from the Saradha and Narada tape scam to the recent allegations over the siphoning of funds for Amphan relief and the Covid-19 pandemic.

They highlighted the achievements of the BJPled government at the Centre in their rallies and blamed the TMC government for not allowing schemes like the Ayushman Bharat, PM Kisan Samman Nidhi to be implemented in the state, where the BJP leaders claimed corruption and anarchy are prevalent.

Banerjee, who has chosen to contest from Nandigram instead of from her home seat Bhowanipore in the city, stayed put there and campaigned from her wheelchair.

The feisty politician held two back-to-back rallies in Paschim Medinipur despite the early summer heat urging people to vote for TMC so that the development work taken up there by the government continued.

Banerjee, who was accompanied by TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee attacked the Adhikary family, calling them “gaddars” (traitors) and “Mir Jafars” and asked people not to vote for them.

“Bangla wants her own daughter (Mamata). So vote for her,” Abhishek Banerjee urged in his meetings.

~With inputs from PTI~




Maharashtra’s ‘Lady Singham’ found dead, suicide note ‘accuses Sr forest officer’


Maharashtra’s ‘Lady Singham’ found dead, suicide note ‘accuses Sr forest officer’

When questioned about the tragedy, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that a thorough probe will be conducted into the incident covering all angles and no guilty would be spared.

In a shocking incident, a 28-year-old female Range Forest Officer posted in the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MRT) in Amravati, committed suicide after alleging sexual harassment and torture at the hands of an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, in a purported suicide note, officials said here on Friday.

The young woman RFO, (Mrs.) Dipali Chavan-Mohite, 28, shot herself at her official quarters in the Harisal village near the tiger reserve with her service revolver and succumbed on the spot, late on Thursday. Her blood-splattered body with the gun was recovered later by relatives and colleagues.

A no-nonsense and tough officer, famous as ‘Lady Singham’ for her dare-devilry against the forest mafias, Dipali’s husband Rajesh Mohite is working as a Treasury Officer in Chikhaldhara, while her mother had gone to her native Satara when she resorted to the extreme step.

Earlier Friday, Dipali’s family refused to take over her body for the last rites till the Amravati Police nabbed the accused named in her suicide note, sending shockwaves in the forestry circles across the state.

Acting swiftly, the Amravati police went after the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) Vinod Shivkumar, who figured in Dipali’s 4-page suicide note, with an earnest plea that strict action should be taken against him so that nobody else should suffer her ordeal.

An IFS officer, Shivkumar, was detained at the Nagpur railway station when he was waiting to board a train to Bengaluru and was being brought to Amravati for further formalities.

Among other things, she has mentioned how Shivkumar, abused his position, harassed her sexually and inflicted mental trauma on her continuously since the past few months.

On several occasions in the past, Dipali had complained about Shivkumar to his senior, MTR Field Director, M.S. Reddy (IFS), who reportedly ignored her pleas and ostensibly sided with the accused DCF.

Dipali had highlighted Shivkumar’s alcoholism, using abusive or foul language at her in public and private, making advances and dropping hints to get physical.

However, as she repeatedly rebuffed him, she earned his wrath in the form of difficult assignments, punishing work schedules, abuses, and once even holding back her salary for a month.

Married in 2020 and pregnant, in early-February, Shivkumar had compelled Dipali to accompany him on a gruelling 3-day forest patrol, walking or driving hundreds of kms ignoring her maternal condition, a colleague close to her told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Consequently, upon return from the forest ordeal, she suffered a miscarriage and was in deep depression and recovered with the loving care of her single-mother Shakuntala Chavan, who rushed to Amravati from Satara, he added.

Living up to her honest and upright image, around five years ago, in her official vehicle, Dipali displayed huge courage by chasing a gang of forest smugglers which was escaping by a train to Madhya Pradesh.

At the next station she intercepted the gang trying to smuggle out over five tonnes of a valuable jungle produce ‘lac’, arrested them, seized the consignment, and brought them back to Maharashtra.

Dreaded by local mafias out to steal forest produce or poach big and small animals, Dipali was known to run after them, often alone in remote areas when they would disappear in the thick forests, said another friend Rohan Bhate.

Joining the Maharashtra government service in 2013, she had taken up cudgels against illegal encroachments in the forests for which she faced the ire of local politicians or mafia who instigated such activities for their vested interests or pecuniary gains, said Bhate.

When questioned about the tragedy, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that a thorough probe will be conducted into the incident covering all angles and no guilty would be spared.




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