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Sunday,16-May-2021

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Covid 3rd wave may hit kids, BMC prepares pediatric wards

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child

Preparing for a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which is expected to hit kids, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Maharashtra government are gearing up by setting up Pediatric Covid Care Wards in the city and elsewhere, officials said here on Tuesday.

Taking an early initiative, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last week directed all district collectors and municipal commissioners in the state to be ready for the Covid third onslaught which may also hit children in a big way.

Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray who is Guardian Minister of Mumbai Suburban District has held discussions with BMC Mayor Kishori Pednekar, Additional Municipal Commissioner Sanjeev Jaiswal and other top officials in this regard.

Among other things, he suggested to the BMC to create separate Pediatric Covid Care Wards anticipating the next wave and the demographics it may target.

“Since last year, our jumbo covid care centres also have units of Covid +ve dialysis and maternity care as well. As the virus mutates and targets different age groups, our response to it must actively mutate as well,” said Aditya Thackeray.

As per latest health data of the Public Health Department, nearly two-thirds of the state’s infections reported now are in age groups below 50, with the highest new cases reported in the 31-40 age (22.09 percent), 41-50 years (18.15 percent), 21-30 age (17.51 percent).

Children in the 0-10 years account for 3.04 percent, and older children-and teens in the 10-20 years are more than double at 6.80 percent, of the state’s new cases, giving rise to huge concerns as the situation is vastly different from the 2020 first Covid-19 hit.

The Pediatric Covid Care Ward is slated to come up at the NESCO Jumbo Covid Care Centre in Goregaon east suburb of Mumbai – and 700 beds are expected to be added.

This would include 300 for a dedicated Pediatric Covid Care Ward comprising Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with a capacity of 25 beds each to cater to the infants who maybe hit.

Apart from that, the BMC is planning to build four oxygen plants and maintain of adequate stock of medicines like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab injections, masks, PPE kits, etc.

“In the 2020 first wave mostly the adult and senior citizens were affected. In the current second wave (from February 2021) young men/women and children are also getting affected. We have to be alert for the third wave Also we have to account for the fact that the vaccination drive has not yet been opened for the under-18 age groups,” a senior BMC official expressed his concerns, requesting anonymity.

Besides wide-ranging consultations shall be held with the Covid-19 Task Force, medical experts and other stakeholders, on the strategies that need to be adopted for the third wave, likely to slam the state around July, as warned by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar recently.

Crime

Over 3.26L new Covid cases, 3,890 deaths in India in 24 hrs

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Coronavirus

Witnessing a decline, India on Saturday reported 3,26,098 new Covid cases and 3,890 fatalities in the last 24 hours, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

In the past 23 days India’s daily Covid tally has plateaued over the three-lakh-mark and over 3,000 casualties for 17 days.

On Wednesday, India recorded 4,205 fresh Covid deaths, the highest ever, while on May 7, the country had recorded its highest ever cases of 4,14,188.

India’s total tally of Covid-19 cases now stands at 2,43,72,907 with 36,73,802 active cases and 2,66,207 deaths so far.

According to the Health Ministry, a total of 3,53,299 people have been discharged in the last 24 hours, with 2,04,32,898 being cured from Covid till date.

The Health Ministry said that a total of 18,04,57,579 people have been vaccinated so far in the country, including 11,03,625 who were administered vaccines in the last 24 hours.

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 31,30,17,193 samples have been tested up to May 14 for Covid-19. Of these 16,93,093 samples were tested on Friday.

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Crime

Jail warden in UP faces action for chaining nonagenarian

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The Yogi Adityanath government has suspended the Etah jail warden Ashok Yadav after a video showed a 90-year-old prisoner chained to a hospital bed in the jail.

A departmental inquiry has also been ordered against him.

A photograph of the old man, who had been hospitalized after he complained of respiratory problem, had gone viral earlier in the day.

DG jails, Anand Kumar had sought a report from the supervisory officer.

Giving information about the action on the Twitter handle of DG prisons, Kumar said that no officer or employee will be spared.

The prisoner’s chains have been removed.

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Crime

Navneet Kalra denied anticipatory bail in O2 concentrator case

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Navneet-Kalra

A Delhi court on Thursday declined to grant anticipatory bail to businessman Navneet Kalra in connection with the oxygen concentrator black marketing case registered by Delhi Police.

Additional sessions judge, Saket court, Sandeep Garg passed the order rejecting anticipatory bail to Kalra.

Senior advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Kalra, had argued that his client had only carried out a legitimate transaction of import and customs authorities were activated, and the customs was aware of the transaction. “The GST was deposited with the government. Invoices were given and returns were filed,” Pahwa had contended before the court.

However, according to the prosecution, Kalra, along with other co-accused, hatched a conspiracy to wrongfully make money by inducing the public to buy oxygen concentrators from him at an “exorbitant rate”. Delhi police had opposed his anticipatory bail plea stating that the investigation was at a very early stage, and it required Kalra’s custodial interrogation to unearth his relationship with other parties.

Kalra’s counsel had argued that all rules were complied and the transactions of sale were through banking channels. He further added that oxygen concentrators are not cosmetic, not luxury, instead it was used when somebody is medically unfit. “When selling through banking channels, where is the offence”, Kalra’s counsel had submitted.

The prosecution had argued that no anticipatory bail could be granted to “influential persons” who could tamper with evidence. The prosecution further argued Kalra made a lot of money by inducing the needy public to believe that his oxygen concentrators were premium, and also cited a report from Sri Ram laboratory, that the sample of oxygen concentrator was of poor quality.

Kalra’s counsel had pointed out that there was no MRP fixed by the government till date, therefore the prosecution assertion that the price at which his client sold oxygen concentrator was exorbitant, was not correct. “We could not find a single notification, which fixes the price of oxygen concentrators”, said Kalra’s counsel.

He further added that his client was being “framed” based on social media content and he was being made a scapegoat to divert attention from more pressing issues. “It is being deliberately done. A campaign is going on against me”, added Kalra’s counsel.

Police have also alleged that through social media posts, it has come to notice that Kalra had collected advance payments from several persons who required oxygen concentrators, but he kept postponing the supply and increased the price.

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