Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday ordered strict enforcement of Covid safety protocols to prevent any super-spread events, along with an increase in daily vaccination doses to two lakh.
He also directed to set up a special control room for effective in-person monitoring of home isolation cases.
Citing figures on mortality and positivity, the Chief Minister said that the restrictions currently in place are showing results, and they needed to be implemented strictly, particularly in Mohali and other big cities which are showing high rates of transmission and positivity.
Singh pointed out that the state’s positivity rate stands at 8.1 per cent, even though positivity in the age group of less than 40 years had come down from 54 per cent (September 2020) to 50 per cent (March 2021).
The curbs, coupled with strong efforts by all concerned, had helped reduce the percentage of mortality in the age group below 60 years from 50 per cent (September 2020) to 40 per cent (in March 2021), and should be strictly followed, he added.
However, the CM reiterated his demand that the Centre should allow vaccination for under 45 in areas with more cases, since the UK variant was infecting younger people more.
He directed Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan to pursue the matter with the central government, while medical expert K.K. Talwar stressed that patients of kidney and liver disease who are under 45 years should at least be allowed to be vaccinated.
The Chief Minister was chairing a virtual meeting with several ministers, including Health Minister Balbir Sidhu, Education Minister Vijay Inder Singla and Medical Education Minister O.P. Soni, along with senior administrative and police officials.
Making it clear that there was no scope for complacency, Singh said that the special control room with a dedicated team could utilise ANMs, ASHA workers, interns from medical colleges, to move beyond just telephonic to more in-person monitoring.
On the vaccination front, the Chief Minister directed the Health Department to further scale up vaccination efforts to vaccinate the entire eligible population within this month, along with auditing of any deaths taking place after vaccination.
“While vaccination has increased to 90,000 per day, we need to further take it up to 200,000 per day,” he said, adding that Punjab currently has 300,090 Covishield and 100,000 Covaxin vaccines in stock.
Sufficiency of doses must be ensured at all times and it must be ensured that the COWIN portal is updated so that the actual position is reflected, the Chief Minister said, adding that districts must not spread themselves too thin and execute vaccination strategies that ensure no wastage and adequate availability.
Singh also ordered immediate overtime allowance and weekly offs for all vaccinators, to reduce the burden on them.
Pointing to a Punjab Police case study, shared by DGP Dinkar Gupta, he pointed out that percentage increase in vaccination among police personnel had led to a clear downward trend and decline in active positive cases among the force.
The empirical data clearly shows a positive effect of vaccination amongst the policemen, and not only the number of active positive cases has come down, but the number of policemen requiring critical medical care has also become negligible, the DGP informed the Chief Minister, citing the study findings.
He said as against a peak of 1,700 daily cases last year, this surge had seen only 400 policemen getting infected on any given day at its peak. He also informed the meeting that after taking the second dose, there had been no death in the department due to Covid.
Noting that even though there had been a decline in CFR, almost 30 per cent deaths are taking place within two days of hospitalisation. Singh said around 84 per cent patients presented themselves at the hospital for the first time with severe symptoms, indicating delayed reporting.
Ninety per cent of the total deaths have been of persons with comorbid conditions, he observed, directing the department to ensure that those with Covid symptoms should immediately report to the nearest health facility to save precious lives.
Health Secretary Hussan Lal informed the Chief Minister that there was currently no shortage of oxygen in the state, with three oxygen plants already operational and two more in the process.
He said the department was grateful to the Rajasthan Chief Minister for providing it with 20,000 doses of Remdisivir, which have been given to both government (12,500) and well-functioning private hospitals (7,500 doses).
Punjab still has about 7,000 doses in stock, after giving around 300 to the PGI, he added.
Earlier in a presentation, the Health Secretary apprised the meeting that as against the 8.1 per cent overall positivity in Punjab, the district of Mohali was reporting 18 per cent.
PM Narendra Modi congratulates successful students as Class 12 results out
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on Friday declared the class 12 results of 13,04,561 students across the country. Out of a total of 13,04,561 students, 12,96,318 have passed the exams. Of these 70,004 students are those who have secured more than 95 per cent marks.
Congratulating all students who successfully passed their Class XII CBSE examinations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Congratulations to all my young friends who have successfully passed their Class XII CBSE exams. Best wishes for a bright, happy and healthy future.”
In the class 12 board results released by the CBSE on Friday, 1,50,152 students have secured 90 to 95 per cent marks. There are 70,004 students who have secured more than 95 per cent marks. Significantly, the number of students securing 95 per cent or more marks has almost doubled this year. At the same time, the number of students securing 90 to 95 per cent marks is almost the same as last year.
A total of 99.37 per cent students have passed their class 12 exams this year. Among the passing percentage of students, 99.13 per cent are boys and 99.67 per cent girls. Giving information about the examination results, CBSE said the pass percentage of girls in class XII board results is 0.54 per cent more than that of boys.
In the CBSE class 12 results, 11.51 per cent students have secured 90 to 95 per cent marks, whereas 5.37 percent students have secured 95 per cent or more marks.
This time, the total number of registered students appearing for CBSE class 12 boards was 14,30,188. Of these, 13,69,745 students studied via regular (both government and private schools) mode and 60,443 as private students.
The results of 13,04,561 candidates have been declared on Friday out of 13,69,745 regular students. The results of the remaining 65,184 candidates will be declared by August 5. The exam results of these students are under process.
There may also be some delay in checking the results by students due to heavy traffic on the CBSE website. For avoiding this problem faced by students the board has suggested that students can download their results through Digilocker as well. Students can also download and get a print of their results.
At the same time, apart from the official website of CBSE, students can also check their class 12 results through the UMANG app. Students can also check their class 12 results through an SMS.
SC gives no relief to former Maharashtra Home Minister, to hear plea Aug 3
The Supreme Court on Friday did not grant any protection from arrest to former Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on his plea seeking protection from any “coercive action” in the money laundering case registered against him by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
A bench headed by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar has scheduled the matter for hearing on August 3. “List this plea on August 3 along with connected cases, so that similar orders are passed in all cases with regard to no coercive action,” said the bench.
The ED had issued summons to Deshmukh, a Nationalist Congress Party leader, and his son Hrishikesh seeking their appearance. Deshmukh, who had skipped the previous summonses by the agency, had, in the plea to the top court, challenged these summonses and sought protection for both himself and his son.
Deshmukh has been accused of extortion from a bunch of Mumbai orchestra bars and money laundering, and the matter is being probed by the ED. It has been alleged that Rs 4.7 crore was collected as “extortion” from the orchestra bars by now-dismissed Mumbai police officer Sachin Waze allegedly on Deshmukh’s instructions. Later, this amount was transferred to Deshmukh’s Nagpur-based educational trust by his son, Hrishikesh. According to the allegation, the transaction was routed via two hawala operators and was showed as a “donation”.
The 71-year-old NCP leader is the president of the trust and his two sons, Salil and Hrishikesh, are trustees.
On May 11, a case was registered against the former minister and on June 25, the ED raided Deshmukh’s residences in Nagpur, Mumbai, and three other places. In April, the CBI had conducted raids at four premises of Deshmukh after registering an FIR against him in connection with the case.
Param Bir Singh, former Commissioner of Mumbai Police, in his letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, alleged that Deshmukh had indulged in “malpractices” and asked Waze to collect Rs 100 crore every month.
Earlier this week, the top court had adjourned the matter for a hearing on Friday and asked Deshmukh’s legal counsel to provide a copy of the plea to the ED and the Maharashtra government.
Yogi Adityanath for 24X7 ambulance availability
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has directed officials to ensure round the clock availability of ambulance services in all districts, in view of the impending third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing a Covid evaluation meeting on Friday, the chief minister said, “Strict action will be taken against the guilty if any incident of sudden death due to unavailability of ambulance takes place. Under no circumstances, patient or their families should suffer.”
The official spokesman said that all district magistrates have been asked to keep a constant watch on the arrangements of ambulance operations in their respective districts.
The chief minister also asked the officials to improve the response time of the ambulances.
The ambulance staff should be trained to adopt a sensitive approach towards parents or guardians of children and the ambulances have been equipped with all life-saving equipment for the treatment of children so that they can be given first aid till they reach the hospital in view of any urgency.
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