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Tuesday,18-January-2022

Maharashtra

Mumbai’s 50% pediatric population has Covid antibodies

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In a significant finding, a sero-survey conducted by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revealed that 50 per cent of the pediatric population in Mumbai has developed Covid-19 antibodies, ahead of the anticipated third wave of the pandemic, a top official said here on Monday.

BMC Commissioner I.S. Chahal said that even the proportion of the pediatric population having antibodies has shown an increase, as per the survey, the fourth of its kind conducted between April 1 and June 15.

While the sero-positivity is highest — 53.43 per cent — in the 10-14 age group, it is 51.04 per cent for 1-4, 47.33 per cent for 5-9 and 51.39 per cent for 15-18 age groups.

The overall sero-positivity is 51.18 per cent, comprising 54.36 per cent in the public sector and 47.03 per cent in the private sector, indicating that more than half the pediatric population in a healthcare setting have already been exposed to SARS-COV-2, said Chahal.

The survey was conducted by a team of doctors comprising Jayanthi Shastri, Sachee Agrawal, Gargi Kakani, Surbhi Rathi, Ramesh Bharmal, Chandrakant Pawar, Kusum Jashnani and Gayathri Amonkar, under the supervision of Chahal and Additional Municipal Commissioner Suresh Kakani.

As compared to the Sero-survey 3 in March, which showed a sero-positivity of 39.04 per cent in the under-18 age group, there is a noticeable increase (51.18 per cent) in the latest survey, conducted jointly by BMC’s BYL Nair Hospital and Kasturba Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory (KMDL).

A total of 2,176 blood samples were made available from the samples received by various public (1,283) and private laboratories (893) and sent to the KMDL for analysis, against the backdrop of the imminent danger of the Covid ‘third wave’ to the pediatric population.

The heartening outcome indicates that over 50 per cent of the pediatric population has antibodies to Covid-19 and the proportion has also increased as compared to the previous survey, amid apprehensions that the ‘third wave’ could affect the vulnerable youngsters in the below 18 age groups, against the higher ages that were hit in the previous two waves.

The study has also suggested that the targeted health education and awareness about Covid-19 appropriate behavior should be created through various social media platforms (examples include memes, collaborating with social media influencers, etc.), cartoon advertisements and catchy jingles, according to Chahal.

Maharashtra

Devendra Fadnavis demands action over Nana Patole remarks on Modi

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The BJP will not keep quiet over Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole’s alleged controversial remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly and senior BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Fadnavis also slammed the Maharashtra government for not filing an FIR over Patole’s comments, a video of which had gone viral on Monday.

“Someone called the Maharashtra CM’s wife Rabri devi and an FIR was filed. And here a person who calls himself a leader, threatens to kill the PM and there is no FIR (First Information Report) against him in Maharashtra. This is wrong. We will not keep quiet,” Fadnavis said.

In the video in Bhandara district in Maharashtra, Patole is allegedly heard saying he could beat up and badmouth Modi.

Patole later clarified that he was not referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but a local goon with a similar surname.

Fadnavis, however, hinted at Congress conspiracy against the Prime Minister.

“I feel it is a Congress policy. In Punjab, the security of the PM is compromised and in Maharashtra the president says we will beat the PM. Through this, one can know what he (Patole) really feels about the PM. I feel it is Congress policy and we demand that an FIR and legal action should be taken against Nana Patole because he has spoken about beating the Prime Minister,” Fadnavis said.

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Maharashtra

Maharashtra Veteran PWP leader Prof N.D. Patil dies at 93

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Veteran political leader of Peasants & Workers Party (PWP), an ex-cabinet minister and a four-time legislator, Prof Narayan Dnyandeo Patil passed away following a brief illness, party leaders said here on Monday.

Battling from a recent brain haemorrhage, he breathed his last at a private hospital here early on Monday, aged 93.

Earlier, the fiery leader – who spent over seven decades in public life – was infected by Covid-19 and had recovered from it despite his advanced age.

He dedicated his life to the cause of farmers, peasants, mill-workers, casual labourers, the deprived and downtrodden in society and served as Maharashtra Member of Legislative Council for four terms, and served as a minister from 1978-1990.

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Maharashtra

Bombay HC rejects BJP MLA Nitesh Rane’s anticipatory bail plea

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In a massive setback, the Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed an anticipatory bail plea filed by Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nitesh Rane, son of Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane – in an attempt to murder case.

Kept in reserve last week as Nitesh Rane was granted continued interim protection from arrest, the much-anticipated order was pronounced by Justice C.V. Bhadang.

However, on the court’s request, the prosecution assured it will continue its earlier commitment and refrain from any coercive steps against Nitesh Rane till Jan 27.

Among other things, Nitesh Rane, 39, has been accused as the key conspirator behind an attempt to murder case against a ruling Shiv Sena leader Santosh Parab – which allegedly took place on Dec 18 (2021) – in Kankavli town of Sindhudurg district, considered the political bastion of the Rane family.

On Dec 30, the Principal Judge of Sindhudurg District & Sessions Court Shirishkumar V. Hande had rejected the legislator’s anticipatory bail plea which was challenged by Rane on Jan 4 in the Bombay High Court.

The Kankavli Police lodged an FIR against Rane Jr following a complaint by Parab, but the BJP legislator claimed that he was being targeted for allegedly mocking Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray and to prevent his participation in the Sindhudurg District Cooperative Bank elections held on Dec 30.

Nitesh Rane’s lawyer, Nitin Pradhan contended before the court that his client had been cooperating with the investigators and had been questioned for four hours last month.

The Special Prosecutor Sudeep Pasbola said that they needed Nitesh Rane’s custodial interrogation to corroborate the circumstantial evidence collected in the case, various transactions like who had paid and how much for the attempted contract killing, plus the forensic reports of the confiscated phones of the accused.

Meanwhile, BJP Leader of Opposition (Council) Pravin Darekar slammed the Maha Vikas Aghadi government for allegedly misusing the official machinery and pursuing vendetta against Rane Jr, but said they respect the court verdict.

The Shiv Sena has demanded that now with the Sindhudurg District & Sessions Court and Bombay High Court have rejected the anticipatory bail plea, Nitesh Rane – who was ‘incommunicado’ for several weeks – should gracefully go and surrender before the police.

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