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99 US citizens stuck in Hyderabad airlifted

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Hyderabad, April 7 (IANS) A special relief flight of Air India on Tuesday airlifted 99 US citizens stuck in Hyderabad.

The flight, which took off from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), carried the US citizens to Mumbai, from where they will be further connected with Delta Airlines from Mumbai to their final destination in the US.

An airbus A 320 aircraft landed here from Mumbai at 3.12 P.M. and departed for Mumbai with the US-bound passengers at 4.15 P.M.

The flight was operated from the main passenger terminal building of RGIA, airport operator GMR said in a statement.

In coordination with the US Consulate and the Telangana State government, a group of 98 adults and one infant US-bound passengers arrived at the airport from various parts of Hyderabad. All these passengers were serviced through the fully-sanitized main passenger terminal building, which has been kept ready for evacuation operations.

To meet this emergency requirement, a select group of personnel from GHIAL Terminal Operations, Airside Operations, Airport Operations & Control Center, Air Traffic Control, IT Team, Central Industrial Security Force, Landside Security and others were present.

Special screening and safety measures were in place during the flight’s handling to protect against the COVID-19 threat including thermal screening prior to terminal entry, mandatory social distancing enforced through special queuing arrangements at all passenger processing points.

The airport, shut for regular commercial operations from March 22, has so far handled three evacuation flights.

On March 31, it handled a group of 38 German nationals who flew by a special flight of Air India which ferried the passengers from Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai to Frankfurt.

The airport on March 28 serviced a special medical evacuation flight of IndiGo, which dropped its eight crew members bound for Hyderabad and departed to Chennai with five stranded IndiGo crew members.

RGIA’s cargo terminal is also fully operational to keep the vital link of essential supplies completely alive. The cargo is working round the clock in close coordination with various agencies to keep rolling the critical chain of essential supplies like medicines, vaccines, medical equipment, pharma raw material and defence goods.

Health

Health Ministry steps in to curb black marketing of Covid drug

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has given approval for the manufacturing and marketing of Remdesivir to Cipla, Hetro and Mylan.

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remdesivir antiviral drug

New Delhi, July 7 : The Union Health Ministry has asked all the states to strengthen their vigil so that black marketing of Covid-19 drug Remdesivir is prevented.

The Directorate General of Health Services under the Health Ministry has written to the Drug Controllers of the states to prevent sale of Remdesivir above MRP.

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation has given approval for the manufacturing and marketing of Remdesivir to Cipla, Hetro and Mylan.

The DGHS said that it has received a letter from LocalCircles routed through the Health Ministry, raising concerns over black marketing and overpricing of Remdesivir by certain unscrupulous persons.

“In view of the above, you are requested to instruct your enforcement officials to keep strict vigil on the matter to prevent black marketing and sale of Remdesivir injection above the MRP,” the DGHS said in the letter to the states.

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Cities

LG Polymers CEO among 12 arrested over Vizag gas leak mishap

According to police, while 12 people died on May 7 and 8, three more villagers succumbed on May 25 and afterwards. A total of 34 animals also died in the incident.

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Visag Gas Victims Protests

Visakhapatnam, July 7 : LG Polymers Managing Director and CEO, Sunkey Jeong and Technical Director D.S. Kim were among 12 officials of the company arrested by Visakhapatnam police on Tuesday, in connection with the styrene gas leak tragedy that left 15 dead and hundreds hospitalised in May this year.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, R.V.S.N. Murthy, who is also the investigation officer, said the accused were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

They were also booked under Indian Penal Code”s Sections 278 (Making atmosphere noxious to health), 284 (Negligent conduct with respect to poisonous substance), 285 (Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) read with section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

The gas leak from LG Polymers plant on the intervening night of May 6 and 7 affected Venkatapuram and five other villages.

According to police, while 12 people died on May 7 and 8, three more villagers succumbed on May 25 and afterwards. A total of 34 animals also died in the incident.

The development comes a day after the High Powered Committee (HPC) submitted its probe report to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

The HPC probe report had listed several lapses on the part of the LG Polymers management, which led to the styrene gas leakage.

The other accused arrested on Tuesday are LG Polymers” and Additional Director (Operations) P.P. Chandra Mohan Rao, HOD, SMH (in-charge) K. Srinivas Kiran Kumar, team leader production Raju Satyanarayana, engineers C. Chandrasekhar, K. Gowri Sankara Nagendra Ramu, K. Chakrapani, operator Muddu Rajesh, night duty officer (operations) P. Balaji, incharge GPPS S. Atchyut and safety officer in night shift K. Venkata Narasimha Ramesh Patnaik.

According to the investigating official, the investigations disclosed that the incident at M6 styrene storage tank took place due to negligence of the accused who were also having knowledge that their acts are likely to cause death.

“The investigations so far made disclosed that the accident occurred to the poor design of M6 Tank, inadequate refrigeration and cooling system, absence of circulation systems, inadequate measurement parameters, weak safety protocol, poor safety awareness, inadequate risk assessment and response, poor management, slackness of management, insufficient knowledge amongst staff, insufficient understanding of the chemical properties of styrene, especially during storage under idle conditions and total breakdown of the emergency response procedures,” the police said.

Meanwhile, in a related development in the case, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) suspended environmental engineers R. Lakshmi Naryana and P. Prasada Rao for negligence.

Acting on the report of the HPC, APPCB suspended Prasada Rao, environmental engineer, regional office, Visakhapatnam, for gross negligence in allowing operation of LG Polymers without environmental clearance, allowing import and storage of huge quantity of styrene without verifying safety and environmental issues. Lakshmi Narayana, environmental engineer, zonal office, Visakhapatnam, was also suspended on the same charges.

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India

Court grants bail to Malaysian nationals who took part in Tablighi meet

The Centre has cancelled their visas and blacklisted them. The foreign nationals have not been arrested yet.

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Tablighi Jamaat

New Delhi, July 7 : A Delhi court on Tuesday granted bail to several Malaysian nationals chargesheeted for attending the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Delhi’s Nizamuddin in mid-March in alleged violation of visa norms and Covid-19 guidelines issued by the Indian government.

“All the accused persons mentioned in Column A no. A11 A of the chargesheet are admitted to bail on personal bond of Rs 10,000 each. The counsel for all the accused shall file the personal bond on behalf of all the accused persons for today itself,” said Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gurmohina Kaur of Saket Court.

As of now, the police have filed chargesheets against 121 of the 125 Malaysian nationals. All the accused appeared before the court through video conferencing. On Monday, the court took cognisance of the 59 chargesheets filed in the matter.

After the court announced its order, Advocate Hari Haran moved the plea bargaining application on behalf of each accused.

“The plea bargaining applications moved by all the accused persons in the present chargesheet be marked to Siddharth Malik, MM, South East for 08.07.2020 for disposal as per the law,” Gurmohina Kaur added.

Plea bargaining is a pretrial negotiation between the accused and the prosecution where the accused agrees to plead guilty in exchange for certain concessions by the prosecution.

It is a bargain where a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutors in return drop the more serious charges.

The Crime Branch has named more than 900 foreign nationals, including over 120 Malaysians, in connection with the case. An FIR was registered against Tablighi Jamaat leader Maulana Saad Kandhalvi and six others on March 31.

The case pertains to a congregation at the Banglewali Masjid in Delhi”s Hazrat Nizamuddin area in mid-March, in which a large number of foreign nationals had participated.

The accused persons have been charged under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Epidemic Diseases Act, the Disaster Management Act, and also for violating the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The Centre has cancelled their visas and blacklisted them. The foreign nationals have not been arrested yet.

Earlier this month, the Delhi High Court had issued a slew of suggestions to a city court for speedy disposal of the cases related to several foreign nationals connected to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation.

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