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Another staffer at AIIMS Delhi dies of Covid-19

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New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) After a mess worker at the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) here, another staff member died from coronavirus on Monday.

The deceased, Hiralal was working as senior sanitation supervisor and was posted at Rajkumari Amrit Kaur OPD in the AIIMS.

A source from the hospital said that he was very alert while discharging his duty in the hospital. “He used to follow all norms of hygiene but despite that, the deadly virus entered his body and he lost the battle of life. He did not care about his life while serving people in the hospital. He was loved equally by all including nursing staff and doctors.”

The source also said: “Hiralal was very active in participating in social causes. He played a key role in establishing SC/ST Employees Welfare Association at the AIIMS.”

His body has been kept in the AIIMS Trauma centre mortuary and will be handed over to his family after due procedure.

On May 22, a mess worker had also died from Covid-19 leading the Resident Doctors Association of the hospital charging the AIIMS administration of not following safety norms and demanding testing of all mess workers and residents after diligent contact tracing and compensation for the family of the deceased worker.

A source had then told IANS that AIIMS is allegedly “not taking proper precautions for its residents and staff”.

“Two months ago, we had demanded regular screening and other safety measures like thermal scanners, sanitisers, masks etc. to ensure mess workers are able to work safely without endangering themselves as well as the staff members. But the administration didn’t pay heed to our demands,” the source said.

India

‘Covid caused students mental distress’: HC on plea for exam scrapping

The bench has also asked the varsity to state its preparedness of the website portal for handling of the traffic during examinations, keeping in mind the recent technical glitches faced by students during the mock exams.

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New Delhi, July 6 : The Delhi High Court on Monday, while seeking the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s stand on whether to cancel the final year examination of degree courses, said that holding exams is not just a technological issue but also needs to take in account the mental preparedness of students.

“…the UGC and the Central government, ought to also bear in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in enormous mental distress and agony to students. There are families which are suffering medical illnesses and giving of examinations is not just a technological issue but the state of mental preparedness of the students also needs to be assessed,” said the court.

The observations by a single judge bench of Justice Pratibha M. Singh came in while it sought a response from the UGC and Centre over the cancellation of the examinations.

The bench said that the UGC and the HRD Ministry shall take a specific stand as to whether they recommend cancellation of final year examinations.

It has also asked responsible officials from the MHRD and the UGC to join the hearing on Tuesday.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Anupam and several students of the final year of the Delhi University seeking cancellation of the examinations in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plea sought quashing and withdrawal of the notifications May 14, May 30, and June 27 in respect of undergraduate and postgraduate students, including students of the School of Open Learning and Non-Collegiate Women Education Board.

During the course of hearing, the petitioner”s counsel submitted that the DU”s portal for conducting online open book examination is also not working properly, and the pandemic is at its height.

“Under such circumstances, permitting students to take examinations in community service centres also has a risk of Covid-19 spreading further,” said advocates Akash Sinha and Shubham Saket appearing for the petitioner.

Opposing the submissions, advocate Sachin Dutta, appearing for the varsity, submitted that though there were technical glitches faced on the first day of the mock test, on the second day, the mock tests were conducted smoothly.

On a query from the Court, as to whether the date sheet has been announced, the varsity submitted that though the dates are not readily available with them, these had been published on the website this morning.

Advocate Apurv Kurup, appearing for the UGC, submitted that its guidelines are advisory in nature and are not binding.

Agreeing that a large number of universities do go by the UGC”s guidelines, Kurup said: “Several universities have cancelled their exams and several other universities have also gone ahead and held their exams as per media reports.”

MHRD’s counsel Sunita Ojha told the bench that she does not have any instructions as of Monday and there is no decision which has been published by the Ministry on its website.

The court, noting that “it is clear that the online examination which the DU intends to conduct had various glitches during the mock tests”, has now asked the varsity to provide the data regarding number of students who are studying in the final year and the number of students who are registered for the final year examinations to be conducted through the online process.

The bench has also asked the varsity to state its preparedness of the website portal for handling of the traffic during examinations, keeping in mind the recent technical glitches faced by students during the mock exams.

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Delhi’s coronavirus cases cross one lakh mark

Earlier on Monday, an order was issued for all health care facilities to carry out compulsory rapid antigen detection testing of all individuals of high risk groups who visit their facility.

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Arvind Kejriwal Delhi

New Delhi, July 6 : With 1,379 fresh coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the national capital on Monday surpassed the one lakh mark of patients to reach 1,00,823. There were 48 more deaths in this period.

The silver lining, however, is the recovery rate, which has exceeded 70 per cent. According to Delhi government”s daily bulletin, as many as 749 patients recovered in the last 24 hours.

Till now, 72,088 people have recovered, 25,620 are active cases and 3,115 patients have succumbed to the deadly disease. This means that the city has a case fatality rate of 3 per cent.

Testing numbers in the city have gone up since the commencement of rapid antigen tests last month. Over 5,327 RT-PCR and 8,552 rapid antigen Covid-19 tests were conducted on Monday.

In total, 6,57,383 tests have been conducted so far in the national capital. Delhi has a total of 455 containment zones.

Currently, 5,250 beds are occupied in the hospitals out of a total capacity of 15,301 beds, 1,714 in the dedicated Covid Care Centres out of 7,869 and 136 beds in the dedicated Covid Health Centres as against the availability of 544 total beds. Over 17,141 people are under home isolation.

Earlier on Monday, an order was issued for all health care facilities to carry out compulsory rapid antigen detection testing of all individuals of high risk groups who visit their facility.

Lt Governor Anil Baijal also chaired a meeting of Delhi Disaster Management Authority to review the Covid-19 situation in the city.

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Bengal CM launches indigenous ‘Self-Scan’ app

Banerjee said that the new app would help people to scan important documents and nothing will be saved on its server.

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Mamata Banerjee

Kolkata, July 6 : West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday launched an indigenously developed mobile application ”Self-Scan” to help people scan important documents and keep them stored on their mobile phones.

The application was developed by the state”s Information Technology Department amidst a call to boycott all Chinese goods in India. It comes in the wake of Centre”s ban on 59 Chinese mobile applications, including TikTok.

“It reflects patriotism. I would always want to use an app prepared in my country,” the CM said, reiterating that “what Bengal thinks today, the whole world thinks tomorrow”.

Banerjee said that the new app would help people to scan important documents and nothing will be saved on its server.

Besides this, she also announced that Beleghata ID Hospital would be upgraded to a centre of excellence for its outstanding work during the Covid-19 crisis. Kolkata Medical College and Hospital”s haematology section will also have a plasma bank soon.

She said that the state government has taken a project worth Rs 58 crore, namely Jal Swapno, to supply safe drinking water in the rural belts of Bengal over the next five years. “This scheme will benefit about 2 crore people across the state,” she said.

Talking about the Cyclone Amphan relief package, Banerjee said the relief funds were disbursed quite fast, though there were some reports of irregularities.

“We have taken note and are looking into the matter. Let us not do politics over this. We must serve the people who are in real crisis,” she added.

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