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India reports over 28K mucormycosis cases till date: Central government

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A total of 28,252 cases of mucormycosis have been reported in India so far from 28 states in which 86 per cent have a history of Covid-19 infections and 62.3 per cent of diabetes, the Central government said on Monday.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said this while chairing the 28th meeting of the high-level Group of Ministers on Covid-19 through a video-conference, here.

“So far, 28,252 cases have been reported from 28 states. Out of these, 86 per cent (24,370 cases) have a history of Covid-19 infection and 62.3 per cent (17,601) have a history of diabetes.”

Maharashtra has reported the maximum number of Mucormycosis cases (6,339) followed by Gujarat (5,486).

Till May 25 night, over 768 mucormycosis cases were being treated in Andhra Pradesh followed by Madhya Pradesh (752), Telangana (744), Uttar Pradesh (701), Central institutions (592), Rajasthan (492), Karnataka (481), Haryana (436), Tamil Nadu (236), Bihar (215), Punjab (141), Uttarakhand (124), Delhi (119), Chhattisgarh (103), Chandigarh (83), Kerala (36), Jharkhand (29), Odisha (15), Goa (10), Jammu and Kashmir (5), Himachal Pradesh (3), Puducherry (2) and Tripura (1).

Mucormycosis is one of the rapidly spreading infections observed in patients recovering from Covid-19.

Mucormycosis is a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes that has been developing in Covid-19 patients. The fungal disease is commonly being observed in patients who were given steroids for a long time, who have been hospitalised for a long time, were on oxygen support or ventilator, faced poor hospital hygiene or those who have been taking medication for other illnesses such as diabetes.

If not treated on time, the mucormycosis infection can turn fatal. Covid medication can leave the body weak and low on immunity. They can also escalate the blood sugar levels in both diabetics and non-diabetic Covid-19 patients.

Besides the Health Minister, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar; Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep S. Puri; Union Minister of state for Home Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Health Ashwini Kumar Choubey were present in the meeting.

Speaking on vaccines and clinical intervention, Harsh Vardhan observed: “Till Monday morning, we have administered 23,27,86,482 vaccine doses to our countrymen in various categories.”

Talking specifically about the 18-44 age group, the first dose has been given to 2,86,18,514 people, the Minister said, adding: “As of today (Monday), over 1.4 crore doses are still available with the states.”

He noted that first doses have been given to 6,06,75,796 people in the above 60 plus category and 7,10,44,966 in the 45-59 age group.

On the testing front, the Union Health Minister noted that “as of June 7 morning, we have conducted over 36.6 crore (36,63,34,111) tests so far and over 15 lakh tests yesterday despite being a holiday”.

“The labs for testing purposes have also gone up to 2,624. Daily Positivity Rate has also been declining and is at 6.34 per cent and even though this is less than 10 per cent positivity rate for 14 consecutive days, there still are 15 states where the daily positivity rate is greater than 10 per cent.”

In the second wave, the Minister said we see that continuously daily cases are declining and are outnumbered by new recoveries 83 per cent of active cases are in 10 states and the remaining 17 per cent in 26 states and Union Territories.

Seven states and UTs (Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand) have less than thousand cases. Five state and UTs (Jammu, Punjab, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh) have less than two thousand cases. Even the most affected states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have observed decline in the number of cases at a significant rate.

Growth rate has declined from 14.7 per cent (May 5) to 3.48 per cent (today), said the Minister.

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Captain quits in Punjab, takes team along

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Just minutes ahead of the crucial Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting on Saturday, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh reached the Governor’s house and submitted his and his council of ministers resignation to him.

“CM @capt_amarinder has met Punjab Governor and submitted his and his council of ministers’ resignation,” the Chief Minister Media Advisor Raveen Thukral informed in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, the party’s high command is said to have conveyed to the Chief Minister to resign to enable the election of a new incumbent.

However, the Chief Minister ‘threatened’ to quit the party for being humiliated.

“Amarinder Singh spoke to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in the morning and told her he is being humiliated and he will resign from the party,” a close confidant of the Chief Minister, told IANS.

According to some senior party leaders, the high command has categorically asked Amarinder Singh to step down.

The minute-by-minute changing political development began at about 11.42 p.m. on Friday when Punjab Congress in-charge Harish Rawat tweeted about the decision to hold an urgent CLP meeting on Saturday.

Almost 10 minutes later state party chief Navjot Sidhu directed all the MLAs to be present at the CLP meeting.

The announcement by Rawat is being seen as an indication from the high command to appoint the new incumbent under whose helm the party will go to the Assembly polls, slated in March 2022.

Responding to the political developments, former state President Sunil Jakhar tweeted: “Kudos to Sh Rahul Gandhi for adopting Alexandrian solution to this Punjabi version of Gordian knot.”

“Surprisingly, this bold leadership decision to resolve Punjab Congress imbroglio has not only enthralled Congress workers but has sent shudders down the spines of Akalis.”

The decision to call the CLP comes in the wake of the fresh letter signed by a majority of legislators who expressed dissatisfaction with Amarinder Singh and demanding his removal from the Chief Minister’s post.

Meanwhile, AICC’s deputed party general secretary Ajay Maken and Harish Chowdhry reached Chandigarh as central observers for the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) meeting slated in the evening. State party in charge Harish Rawat is also reaching here.

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Former Union Minister Babul Supriyo joins Trinamool Congress

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Former union minister and BJP MP Babul Supriyo on Saturday joined West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).

“Today, in the presence of National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, former union minister and sitting MP Babul Supriyo joined the Trinamool family,” the official account of the AITC tweeted.

On July 31, Babul, also a playback singer, declared that he had quit politics and would soon resign as the MP too. He had cited a difference of opinion between him and the state BJP leaders, saying that it was “harming the party”.

“I will continue to work constitutionally as an MP in Asansol. Politics is beyond the constitutional post and I withdraw myself from it. I will not join any other party. I will vacate the MP bungalow in Delhi and release security personnel from their duties soon,” he was quoted saying.

A minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, Supriyo was dropped in a reshuffle that took place in the month of July. Post his leaving the saffron party, he had told media that if someone asks whether leaving the politics was somehow linked to losing ministry then he said that is true to some extent. He also added differences with the senior leadership since the assembly poll campaign as another reason.

It is yet to be seen whether Supriyo will resign from his Lok Sabha seat or leave it to the Bharatiya Janata Party to move the Speaker’s office for his disqualification post the latest move.

Earlier in the day, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) reduced the security cover of Babul from Z to Y category, an official ministry said.

Having joined BJP in 2014, Babul Supriyo has been elected twice from Asansol.

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B’days will come and go, but yesterday was special: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget my 71st birthday because of the nearly 2.5 crore vaccine jabs which the country administered, marking a new feat against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking during a virtual interaction with health workers, ruling politicians, administrative officials and a cross section of people from Goa, Modi also said that by clocking the record vaccinations in a single day, India has shown the world the depths of its ability, adding that Indians should boast about the achievement with pride.

“But due to all your efforts, yesterday was a special day for me. Birthdays will come and go, but I will never forget yesterday. I cannot thank you all enough,” Modi said.

“Many birthdays have come and gone. But I have kept away from these things (birthday celebrations). But in all my years, yesterday was a very emotional day for me,” the Prime Minister added.

Breaking down Friday’s nationwide statistics, Modi said that 15 lakh vaccines were administered every hour, 26,000 every minute and 425 doses given every second at the more than 1 lakh inoculation centres across the country.

“Because of your efforts, yesterday, India in one day, vaccinated 2.5 crore people, creating a record. Bigger and developed countries in the world have not been able to achieve this fear.

“I noticed yesterday as to how the country was watching the Cowin dashboard in anticipation,” Modi said.

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