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Bihar: Encephalitis death toll rises to 131 in Muzaffarpur


A senior Resident Doctor deployed at SKMCH, Dr Bhimsen Kumar, was suspended over alleged negligence of duty on Saturday. The Health Department had deployed Kumar, a paediatrician at Patna Medical College and Hospital to SKMCH on June 19 after the AES outbreak.

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed "serious concerns" over the rising deaths of the AES patients, saying "it is a matter of great concern". While hearing a plea filed by two advocates, a Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai said: "This (death of children) cannot go on." The petitioner had sought constitution of a team of medical experts for the treatment of children suffering from encephalitis disease.

Bihar government told the court that it is taking all necessary steps to control the outbreak of the AES in Muzaffarpur and that the situation is "absolutely under control." Chief Judicial Magistrate, Suryakant Tiwari orders investigation against Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, in a case of negligence registered against them, in connection with deaths of children in Muzaffarpur due to the AES.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to the AES. He had also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures for the containment of the disease.

The AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and in extreme cases, brain dysfunction, seizure, and inflammation of heart and kidney.




Jharkhand: 6 dead, 43 injured as bus falls into gorge in Garhwa


Garhwa (Jharkhand): At least six people were killed and 43 injured on Tuesday when a bus fell into a gorge at Anuraj Ghati in Garhwa district, police said. The accident took place around 3.30 am, they said.

CRPF jawans recovered the bodies of six people and rescued 43 passengers by entering the ill-fated bus through the windows, Superintendent of Police Shivani Tiwari told PTI. While three of the injured were referred to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences in Ranchi, the rest were admitted to a local hospital, the SP said. The bus was heading to Garhwa, about 140 km from state capital Ranchi, from Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh, she said.

 
 
 



Heat, humidity and malnutrition contributed to children's death due to AES in Bihar: IMA


New Delhi: Prevailing heat and humidity conditions coupled with malnutrition has "contributed substantially" to the deaths of hundreds of children due to acute encephalitis syndrome in Bihar's Muzaffarpur, an IMA team has said.

The team, which analysed the fatalities there, said consumption of 'litchi' cannot be attributed as the major factor as even infants have been affected. Dehydration, hypoglycaemia and the heat syndrome have played a significant part, the IMA said adding reduction in body temperature with tepid sponging, increased fluid intake and adequate food intake may prevent this syndrome. "Tepid sponging, correction of dehydration and hypoglycaemia can start right from home.

"A package programme focussed on health awareness, free meals to children especially at night and public availability of ORS (oral rehydration solution) may be simple interventions which may prevent further catastrophes," the four-member doctors team said. Two more children died in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district on Sunday due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). The state Health Department put the total number of AES casualties across 20 districts at 152. In its observations, the IMA team said that no definite conclusions can be made about the aetiology of the syndrome as of now, but "high atmospheric temperature, humidity and malnutrition appear to play a role in the causation of this encphalopathy." According to the doctors, acute encephalitis syndrome is unlikely to be an infectious cause with the present evidence.

"Litchi consumption cannot be attributed as the major factor as even infants have been affected. Persistence of very high atmospheric with temperature humidity through out the day and night without fluctuations might be causing a heat syndrome in children," they said. The doctors body recommended that affected children have to be given IV dextrose for correction of hypoglycaemia to prevent significant brain injury.

Foolproof scientific, epidemiological study and follow up of children who survived in previous episodes (2014, 2015) should be done systematically, they said. Follow up of these children for assessment of sequlae and MRI brain imaging for changes in brain should be evaluated, they stated. They pointed out that an awareness campaign about the preventive measures is essential especially among the rural population and measures to uplift the living conditions of the affected population should be undertaken as an immediate package programme. "Reduction in number of cases when the atmospheric temperature has fallen down indicates a possible causal relationship between the high temperature, humidity and the present syndrome," the team added.

 
 
 



BJP fields Jaishankar for Gujarat Rajya Sabha seat after he formally joins party


New Delhi/Ahmedabad: External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, who was nominated to contest from a Rajya Sabha seat in Gujarat hours after he joined the BJP on Monday, landed in Ahmedabad in the evening to file his nomination on Tuesday.

Along with Jaishankar, who was inducted into the Union Cabinet by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month, the BJP has nominated Jugalji Thakore, an OBC leader from North Gujarat, to contest another Rajya Sabha seat in the state. The two seats fell vacant after Union ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha in the April-May election. The 64-year-old former Foreign Secretary Jaishankar was earlier welcomed into the party by BJP Working President J.P. Nadda at the party headquarters in New Delhi.

BJP National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan and BJP MP Bhupender Yadav were also present. Jaishankar, who played a key role in shaping the foreign policy in Prime Minister Modi's first term, was inducted into the Cabinet and given the crucial portfolio of External Affairs on May 30, when the new Council of Ministers was sworn in. As of now, he is not a member of either House of Parliament.

 
 

The 1977-batch officer has served in various capacities in the Ministry of External Affairs and as Indian envoy in important countries such as the US and China at crucial times. He was Foreign Secretary from January 2015 to January 2018 and played a key role in shaping Modi's foreign policy during his first term, which saw a significant growth and expansion of India's ties with key countries, particularly the US and Arab nations.

Prior to that, during his tenure as India's Ambassador to the US from September 2013 till taking over as the Foreign Secretary, Jaishankar played a major role in bringing the US administration and the Modi government closer. He also planned and executed a highly successful maiden visit of Prime Minister Modi to the US in September 2014 and his landmark address to the Indian diaspora at the Madison Square in New York. A major highlight of his diplomatic career was his tenure as Joint Secretary in-charge of Americas Division from 2004 to 2007, during which he was involved in negotiating the historic civil nuclear agreement which was finalised in 2006.

He also led the Indian team of negotiators for the subsequent 123 Agreement with the US, which was linked to the civil nuclear deal and concluded in 2009. Jaishankar, who was honoured with India's fourth highest civilian award Padma Shri in January this year, also played a key role in improving the defence cooperation between India and the US in the shape of a new framework. Jaishankar's tenure as India's Ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013, which was the longest by any IFS officer, coincided with several major developments in relations between the two countries.

It was his briefing to the Cabinet Committee on Security in 2010 regarding China's refusal to issue a visa to the Northern Army Commander which led to suspension of Indian defence cooperation with China and military exercises, before the matter was resolved in April 2011. Also in 2010, Jaishankar negotiated an end to the Chinese policy of issuing stapled visas to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir. Born on January 15, 1955, Jaishankar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977.

 
 
 



BJP gets first Zilla Parishad in West Bengal as TMC members switch sides, MLA joins too


New Delhi/ Kolkata: The BJP Monday took control of the South Dinajpur Zilla Parishad in West Bengal from the TMC, its first in the state, after majority of its members, besides an MLA, switched sides.

In a jolt to the TMC in South Dinajpur district, veteran leader Biplab Mitra also joined the BJP. Mitra who was considered to be one of the architects of the Trinamool Congress in the district in north Bengal, was shunted out as the party's district president after the Lok Sabha polls. Besides Mitra and 10 of the 18 members of South Dinajpur Zilla Parishad, TMC MLA Wilson Champramary joined the BJP at its headquarters in Delhi.

Champramary who represents the Kalchini constituency in Alipurduar district joined the BJP in the presence of its senior leaders, including Mukul Roy, West Bengal president Dilip Ghosh and its national general secretary Kailash Vijarvargiya, who is in charge of its state affairs. Champamary is the fifth TMC MLA to have joined the BJP recently. One legislator each of the CPI(M) and the Congress have also switched over to the BJP. Roy described the joining as an "earthquake", saying almost all members of the Zilla Parishad, including its chairperson Lipika Roy, are in the BJP now.

A number of TMC leaders have joined the BJP after it emerged as a strong challenger to the state's ruling party by winning 18 Lok Sabha seats of the total 42 there. Mitra said the TMC was functioning in an "autocratic way" and has lost its contact with the people. "The TMC has become a party of arrogant autocratic leaders. I had built the party in the district from scratch from 1998 but I was made to feel like an outsider in the party. My hard work of so many years was not respected," he said.

He hinted that several other TMC leaders from north Bengal are also likely to join the BJP soon. The BJP had won six of the seven Lok Sabha seats in north Bengal this time, including the Balurghat constituency in South Dinajpur district. Reacting to the development, senior TMC leader Firhad Hakim said those who have joined the BJP are opportunists and they will repent in the days to come. "If they have guts, they should resign from their post as elected representatives and fight polls," Hakim said.

Buoyed by major gains in Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal, the BJP leadership is aiming for more than two-third majority in the assembly elections due in 2021 and also for early polls in the state. The party's vote share zoomed to 40.25 per cent in the Lok Sabha polls of 2019 from 17 per cent in 2014. The BJP's gains were even more impressive in the assembly bypolls, which were held along with the Lok Sabha election, where it won four out the eight seats, while the TMC won three and the Congress one.




CBI registers corruption case in Pilatus aircraft deal, searches Sanjay Bhandari's office, residence


New Delhi: The CBI on Saturday said it had a registered a case against arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari and unknown officials of the Indian Air Force and the Defence Ministry in 2009 trainer aircraft deal case.

A senior CBI official told IANS: "A case was registered against Bhandari and Bimal Darren, both directors of Offset India Solutions Pvt Ltd, as well as officials of Swiss-based plane-maker Pilatus Aircraft Ltd over alleged irregularities in procurement of 75 basic trainer aircraft in 2009 on Wednesday."

He said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has alleged that kickbacks up to Rs 339 crore were paid in the deal. The CBI has earlier registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) on November 11, 2016 to verify the allegations of bribery.

The CBI official said the agency was probing the kind of services that Offset India Solution Pvt Ltd provided to the Swiss aircraft firm. Bhandari is already being investigated for allegedly buying a benami house for Congress President Rahul Gandhi's brother-in-law Robert Vadra in London.

 
 
 



Bihar: Death toll touches 128 in Muzaffarpur due to encephalitis


As per official data, the death toll in government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) has touched 108 while 20 children died at Kejriwal hospital in the district due to the vector-borne disease.

Muzaffarpur: The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) on Saturday mounted to 128 in Muzaffarpur district.

As per official data, the death toll in government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) has touched 108 while 20 children died at Kejriwal hospital in the district due to the vector-borne disease.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had announced an ex-gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to the AES. He had also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures for the containment of the disease.

The AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and in extreme cases, brain dysfunction, seizure, and inflammation of heart and kidney.




Not enjoying 5-star treatment, ready to sleep on road: HD Kumaraswamy on his visit to Yadgir Yadgir


Karnataka: Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who kick-started his village stay campaign 'Grama Vastavya 2.0' from Gurmitkal in Yadgir district on Friday, denied reports of him getting a "5-star treatment" in a village stating that he was ready to sleep on the road.

"What 5-star arrangements? Ready to sleep on the road. Want to ask the Opposition if I cannot have this basic facility, how will I work every day? A small bathroom was built. I will not be taking it back with me," Kumaraswamy said during a press conference here in Chandraki village.

Kumaraswamy's remarks come in response to a report that he was being given a luxurious treatment at the village. Prior to his visit, renovation was done in the bathroom of a lodge he was supposed to stay.

On being asked about it, Kumaraswamy said: "It will help kids here. I came here on an ordinary bus. I did not come in a Volvo bus. I do not need to learn anything from BJP. I have slept in a hut as well as in a 5-star hotel.

When my father was Prime Minister, I slept in Grand Kremlin Palace, Russia. I have seen everything in life." The Chief Minister also said that gimmicks were for the Opposition and that for him working on the ground was important.

"Some of my friends are asking why I am holding the 'village stay programme', they can sit in Vidhan Soudha and work. I would like to say that gimmicks are for the Opposition, not for me," he said.

During his visit, Kumaraswamy also interacted with school students to understand the problems faced by them.

"The meaning of coming to school is that through education there will be more development. Before I came, all officers went around villages and created awareness and identified beneficiaries of various schemes. All issues of the villagers are resolved now," he said.

Talking about the plight of the farmers in the state and loan waiver schemes meant for them, Kumaraswamy said: "I have detailed information on loan waivers. Rs 100 crore will be released to Kalaburagi District Central Cooperative Bank. The decision will be taken by the cooperative minister for new loans to farmers."




Bihar: death toll due to Encephalitis touches 117 in Muzaffarpur


Muzaffarpur (Bihar): The death toll due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) touched 117 on Thursday morning in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district. As per data, a total of 98 deaths were reported at government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital while 19 children died at Kejriwal hospital in the district due to the vector-borne disease till 8 am today.

The State Health Society had on Tuesday ordered delegation of more doctors in Muzaffarpur from Darbhanga, Supaul, Madhubani, Samastipur and Sitamarhi districts. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday visited the SKMCH to take stock of the encephalitis situation. Earlier, Kumar had announced an ex gratia compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the children who died due to the AES. He had also given directions to the health department, district administration and doctors to take necessary measures for containment of the disease.

Earlier Union Health Minister had visited the state to take stock of the situation and review measures taken in the wake of the outbreak. The AES is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms such as high fever, vomiting and in extreme cases, can lead to coma, brain dysfunction, seizure and inflammation of heart and kidney.




Six bodies, remains of 7 others recovered from AN-32 crash site


Shillong (Meghalaya): Six bodies and remains of seven others have been recovered from the crash site of the ill-fated AN-32 days after a massive search operation was initiated, Defence spokesperson Wing Commander Ratnakar Singh in Shillong said on Thursday.

The black box of the aircraft which crashed in Arunachal Pradesh with 13 personnel on board has suffered damage and an investigation by the Indian Air Force to find out the actual cause of the crash may take more time, defence sources had said on Monday. The black box of the plane was recovered by a team of mountaineers on June 9. The AN-32 aircraft went missing on June 3 after taking off from Assam's Jorhat. The aircraft was headed for Mechuka Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in Arunachal Pradesh when it lost contact with ground authorities at around 1 pm.

After a massive search and rescue operation for eight days, during which assets from several agencies were deployed, the wreckage of the aircraft was located by a Mi-17 chopper. The wreckage was located 16 km north of Lipo in Arunachal Pradesh at an elevation of 12,000 feet.

 
 
 




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