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After 6 infectees, Mumbai airport ‘segregates’ passengers from ‘high-risk’ countries

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In view of the threat from Covid-19 variant Omicron, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Wednesday started segregating passengers arriving here from the ‘high-risk’ countries, after six were found infected in the past few days, an official said.

The new exercise was implemented after six international passengers have tested positive for Covid-19, including two from South Africa and the rest from other high-risk countries in the past few days.

According to a state government official, one each was found positive in Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali and Mira-Bhayander, while one is from Pune and two others from Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Though all have tested positive, they are asymptomatic or displaying mild symptoms, but their samples have been sent for genetic sequencing and their contact tracing has been taken up.

As per the current guidelines, all passengers arriving from Europe and 11 other nations will be tested and samples of those found positive will be sent for genomic sequencing.

Those found negative shall also undergo quarantine for seven days before testing again, and random tests on 5 per cent of all passengers landing here shall be conducted with positive reports to be sent for genetic sequencing.

The CSMIA has also made adequate RT-PCR testing facilities at 48 registration counters and 40 sampling booths for international arrivals.

Besides three labs have been set up — Lifenity, Suburban Diagnostics and Acu-MDx (Mylabs) for the testing purposes.

Besides the existing regular RT-PCR, 30 Rapid PCR machines are made available for the passengers intending to catch connecting onward flights with short gaps, and the facilities shall be upscaled further if required.

For those passengers who have not pre-booked online RT-PCR tests, QR codes are displayed at various locations in the arrival corridor.

Physical forms for RT-PCR registration are available to the passengers on board which they can fill up before disembarking from the flight to avoid queues on arrival.

“The CSMIA has undertaken all necessary precautions to mitigate the spread of the new covid variant. For CSMIA, passengers safety, well-being, and security is of utmost importance,” said a spokesperson.

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India logs 12,608 new Covid cases, 72 deaths

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India on Thursday reported 12,608 new Covid-19 cases and 72 deaths, said the Union Health Ministry.

The new fatalities increased the nationwide death toll to 5,27,206.

The active caseload is 1,01,343, accounting for 0.23 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.

The recovery of 16,251 patients in the last 24 hours took the cumulative tally to 4,36,70,315. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.58 per cent.

While the daily positivity rate marginally increased to 3.48 per cent, the weekly positivity rate stood at 4.20 per cent.

Also in the same period, a total of 3,62,020 tests were conducted across the country, increasing the overall tally to over 88.14 crore.

As of Thursday morning, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 208.95 crore, achieved via 2,77,65,601 sessions

Over 3.98 crore adolescents have been administered with a first dose of Covid-19 jab since the beginning of vaccination drive for this age bracket.

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No immersion of PoP idols in Hussain Sagar this year

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POP

 Authorities in Hyderabad this year will allow immersion of Ganesh idols made by Plaster of Paris (PoP) only in baby/artificial ponds and not Hussain Sagar Lake this year.

The Supreme Court had last year allowed immersion of PoP idols for the last time and has asked Telangana authorities to come up with a plan for immersions at an alternate place.

The authorities have built 50 ponds in addition to the 25 already existing for immersion of idols.

Telangana High Court on September 9, 2021 directed the state government not to allow immersion of Ganesh idols made of PoP in Hussain Sagar Lake and other lakes in and around Hyderabad.

On a petition filed by the state government, the High Court refused to modify its order. The state government subsequently filed an appeal in the Supreme Court. The apex court allowed immersion of PoP idols for one last time.

The court directed the government to permit immersion of PoP Ganesh idols in baby ponds constructed by the GHMC or separate areas/ponds which do not result in the spread of pollution into the main water body.

The state government has also taken steps to promote environment-friendly Ganesh idols. It will distribute a total of six lakh idols made of clay this year.

Minister for animal husbandry T. Srinivas Yadav said Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) alone will distribute four lakh idols made of clay. Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) and Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) will distribute one lakh idols each.

Khairatabad Ganesh committee, which installs tallest idol every year, has agreed to use clay for its idol this year.

As part of the arrangements for the ensuing Ganesh Navaratri festivities beginning on August 31, Hyderabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand on Wednesday held a coordination meeting with all SHOs and senior officers of city police.

Anand gave a slew of instructions regarding setting up of idols, intimation forms and immersion of PoP s idols and clay idols, the procession routes and precautions.

With some of the SHOs and DCPs being fresh to the city police and doing this ‘bandobast’ for the first time, the CP and his staff officers spent a lot of time explaining the various aspects of the preparatory works for the biggest event in the calendar of Hyderabad City Police.

“Since January, all the festivals of various communities were conducted peacefully despite the huge turnout of crowds post-Covid, and so were so many other programmes and events. Those were all quarter finals and semi finals, Ganesh bandobast is the finals and I am sure u will all rise to the occasion and do equally well,” he told the officials.

The police chief said that the organisers must intimate the concerned SHOs about the setting up of the idol and obtain permission. Instructions were given to immerse PoP idols at baby/artificial ponds. The officials were given clarity about court orders.

There will be coordination meetings with the organisers of these mandapams at every level to decide about the installation so as not to inconvenience the general public. Power, water, barricading etc., will be discussed.

The peace committee members should be actively involved and precautions should be taken for watching social media and mischievous posts, the commissioner said.

The Ganesh festivities will conclude this year with immersion on September 9. Every year, thousands of idols are immersed in Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city and dozens of other water bodies in and around the city.

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India’s daily Covid tally significantly dips to 9,062

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 In the last 24 hours, India logged 9,062 new Covid-19 cases, a significant decline against the 15,040 infections reported the previous day, the Union Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

In the same period, there were 36 additional fatalities which took the nationwide Covid death toll to 5,27,134.

The active caseload also declined to 1,05,058, accounting for 0.24 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.

The recovery of 15,220 patients in the last 24 hours took the cumulative tally to 4,36,54,064. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.57 per cent.

While the daily positivity rate came down to 2.49 per cent, the weekly positivity rate stood at 4.38 per cent.

Also in the same period, a total of 3,64,038 tests were conducted across the country, increasing the overall tally to over 88.10 crore.

As of Wednesday morning, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 208.57 crore, achieved via 2,77,24,081 sessions

Over 3.98 crore adolescents have been administered with a first dose of Covid-19 jab since the beginning of vaccination drive for this age bracket.

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