25 - 06 - 2021

India's COVID cases to peak in June-July: AIIMS director

New Delhi, May8,2020:All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Thursday said India may witness the peak of COVID-19 cases in June or July. "The answer of when will be the peak of cases of COVID-19 in India depends upon modelling data. National and international both experts are analysing the data. Most of them have guessed that India will most likely see the peak in June or July," he said.

Dr Guleria added, earlier it was analysed that the peak will be in May but due to extended lockdown the peak has also been extended.

It is a dynamic process that depends upon various factors. It is a long-lasting battle. Cases will come even after the peak is passed. People's lifestyle in terms of travelling and socialising will change," he said.

The AIIMS Director also said only with time the quantum of effect of the lockdown in the country will be known. The cases are increasing with the tally on Thursday at 52,952, including 1,783 deaths according to the Union Health Ministry data. The total tally includes 35,902 active cases while 15,266 patients have recovered from COVID-19.


Haryana cadre IAS officer resigns, cites 'personal safety on government duty' as reason

Delhi, May5,2020:A 2014 batch IAS officer of Haryana cadre on Monday resigned from the prestigious service citing “personal safety on government duty”.

Rani Nagar, currently posted as Additional Director, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Additional Director, Archives, sent her resignation to the state chief secretary with a request to forward it to the competent authority in the Central Government for acceptance.

The copies of the resignation letter were also sent to the President, the prime minister, the governor and the chief minister.

Nagar, in a Facebook post last month, had expressed her desire to resign from the service ‘after the lockdown’ and go back to her native place in Uttar Pradesh. She had cited issues related to her safety. Nagar currently lives with her sister in Chandigarh.

It may be recalled that in June 2018 Nagar had levelled harassment charges against a senior IAS officer, who was then posted as additional chief secretary, animal husbandry and dairying. She was working as an additional secretary, animal husbandry and dairying at the time. However, the senior officer had vehemently denied the charges.

Record 24-hour jump takes India's Covid case count past 37,700; over 10K recover

New Delhi, May 3,2020:The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,223 and the number of cases climbed to 37,776 in the country on Saturday, registering an increase of 71 deaths and a record jump of 2,411 cases in 24 hours, according to the Union health ministry.

The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 26,565, while 10,017 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.

“Thus, around 26.52 per cent patients have recovered so far,” a senior health ministry official said.

A total of 71 deaths were reported since Friday evening -- 26 from Maharashtra, 22 from Gujarat, eight from Madhya Pradesh, four from Rajasthan, three from Karnataka, two each from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh and one each from Bihar, Haryana, Punjab and Tamil Nadu.

Of the 1,223 deaths, Maharashtra accounts for the maximum with 485 fatalities, followed by Gujarat (236), Madhya Pradesh (145), Rajasthan (62), Delhi (61), Uttar Pradesh (43) and West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh at 33 each.

The death toll reached 28 in Tamil Nadu, 26 in Telangana, while Karantaka has reported 25 fatalities due to the disease.

Punjab has registered 20 COVID-19 deaths, Jammu and Kashmir eight, Kerala and Haryana have reported four deaths each, and Jharkhand and Bihar have recorded three COVID-19 deaths each.

Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Assam have reported a fatality each, according to the ministry data.

According to the health ministry data updated in the evening, the highest number of confirmed cases in the country is from Maharashtra at 11,506, followed by Gujarat (4,721), Delhi (3,738), Madhya Pradesh (2,719), Rajasthan (2,666), Tamil Nadu (2,526) and Uttar Pradesh (2,455).

The number of COVID-19 cases has gone up to 1,525 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,057 in Telangana.

It has risen to 795 in West Bengal, 772 in Punjab, 639 in Jammu and Kashmir, 598 in Karnataka, 498 in Kerala and 471 in Bihar.

Haryana has reported 360 coronavirus cases, while Odisha has 154 cases. A total of 111 people have been infected with the virus in Jharkhand and 88 in Chandigarh.

Uttarakhand has reported 58 cases, Assam and Chhattisgarh have 43 cases each, while Himachal Pradesh has registered 40 cases so far.

The total number of cases includes 111 foreign nationals.


New academic session in varsities from Sep; final semester exams in July, says UGC

New Delhi, April 30,2020:The new academic session for already enrolled students will start from August while that for freshers will begin from September, the University Grants Commission said today while issuing an academic calendar and detailing guidance for varsities that have remained closed since March 16 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UGC said exams for students of the final semester would be conducted in July and added that universities could conduct exams online or offline depending on the support system available with them, and reduce exam time from three to two hours using innovative methods and keeping social distancing norms in mind.

 “University classes will be deemed to be attended by all students,” said the UGC, adding that every university would soon set up a COVID cell to address students’ queries about exams or the academic calendar.

Intermediate students would be graded on the basis of internal assessment of the present and previous semester, and in the states, where COVID-19 situation has normalised, exams would be held in July. For terminal semester students, exams would also be held in July, the UGC clarified.

Extension of six months will be granted to Mphil and PhD students, and viva-voice could be conducted through video conference.

“The timing of examination may be considered appropriately by universities. In case the situation does not appear normalise, to maintain social distancing for safety of students, grading of students could be composite of 50 per cent marks on the basis of the pattern of internal evaluation adopted by universities while the remaining 50 per cent marks can be awarded on the basis of performance in previous semester only,” the UGC said.

The Commission guidance added that where previous semester or previous year marks were not available, 100 per cent evaluation might be done on the basis of internal assessments.

“If the student wishes to improve grades, they may appear in special exams for such subjects during the next semester,” the Commission said.



Mumbai mayor dons nurse’s uniform to motivate students

Mumbai, April 28,2020:Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Monday donned her nurse’s uniform for a meeting with nursing students who have been roped in to work in the city’s Covid-19 wards.

Pednekar, who was a former nurse with the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust Hospital (JNPT) in Uran near Mumbai before entering politics full-time, said she donned the uniform to persuade nursing students who were apprehensive about contracting the virus.

“Nursing students and their parents were worried about these young girls falling sick

because of the virus. I told them that this was an opportunity to learn how to handle a crisis,” Pednekar told reporters at the hospital.

The mayor visited the civic-run BYL Nair Hospital and the attached Topiwala National Medical College from where the final year nursing students have been roped in for deployment in the Covid-19 wards.

According to the mayor she had worked as a nurse for 10 years. She borrowed the nurse’s uniform from the staffers of the BYL Nair hospital, according to civic sources.

Pednekar, 57, had gone into quarantine earlier this month after interacting with several journalists who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The mayor however subsequently tested negative for the virus.


Cong's Sibal cites law, asks where’s national COVID plan

New Delhi, April 26,2020:Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday pointed to the provisions of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005 and asked the government whether it has formulated a national plan for COVID19 as per provisions of the law.

Sibal, a former minister, said the NDMA 2005 provides for a nine-member National Disaster Authority headed by the Prime Minister and Section 6 (2) of Act says that the authority would approve a disaster plan.

Section 11 of the Act specifically talks of the need to frame a national plan in the times of a disaster while section 10 specifies who will frame such a plan under the law.

“The Act itself provides for a plan. I want to ask the government where the national COVID19 plan. COVID is a national disaster and the Act clearly says that the National Executive Council under the NDM Act will formulate the plan which the National Disaster Management Authority headed by the PM will approve,” said Sibal reminding the government of its obligation under the law to come up with a plan to address the COVID 19 pandemic.

“You can’t have a lockdown of people and a lockout of the economy. That is not the way to formulate a policy. We are not criticising; we are only saying it is time to rethink. We are with Government, we will support the Government in every possible way, but, we are making constructive criticism so that the Government responds to us and responds to the needs of the people of this country,” the former minister asserted.