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BHU begins pool testing to cope with rush of samples

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Banaras Hindu University, BHU

Varanasi, April 22 The microbiology department of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) has started pool testing of Covid-19 samples in view of the increasing number of pending samples reaching here from 13 districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Prof Gopal Nath, in-charge of the BHU laboratory, said, “We are conducting over 350 tests every day against our capacity of 300 samples per day, for more than a week now. But, the number of samples collected from all 13 districts connected with this lab is accumulating. Pool testing will quicken the pace of testing now.”

He said that Varanasi district magistrate, Kaushal Raj Sharma, had asked him to start pool testing on the lines of Agra and other labs in the state to give early results.

Pool testing, which has been approved by Indian Council of Medical Research, involves collective testing of about ten samples at one go. If found negative, all the ten persons are declared Corona free but if the sample tests positive, all ten persons will have to undergo individual tests.

The district magistrate said, “We have asked the BHU lab in-charge to start pool testing on the lines of Agra and other places in the state to clear the pending sample tests. Of over 400 samples, 280 are from Varanasi alone. We need early results as the number of samples is increasing.”

The testing lab at BHU is witnessing a rush of samples, mainly due to the large number of migrant workers who have been quarantined in various districts in eastern UP.

India

Virtual classes, empty rooms, Delhi’s coaching hub’s a ghost town now

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

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Delhi School Pollution Mask

New Delhi, July 4 : The national capital’s Rajinder Nagar is a buzzing locality of aspiring youngsters who come here to get coached for their future. They not only dot every length and breadth of the Delhi locality, but collectively drive the area”s economy. Today, with nearly 80 per cent of them gone, the area is not only wrapped in an eerie silence, but the areas economy too has dried up significantly.

Ask Rajat Sapra, who runs a dhaba in Old Rajinder Nagar that he fondly named ”Friend Restaurant”, and he will answer, “Previously, we used to have 100 to 150 students coming to eat everyday. Now, we are left with barely 20 per cent of the orders, including those that we get from online sales.”

He added, “Before the lockdown and particularly during Unlcok 1.0, most of them had gone back home. We have 50-60 dhabas in this locality. But we had more street vendors who would sell food here. None of them are here anymore.”

Empty streets, economy dried up and the buzz gone, Rajinder Nagar, which was known for the youth who stayed here, resembles a ghost town now.

Praveen, who preferred only to give his first name, coordinates the KSG Institute. Ask him the reason and pat he will answer, “From June 19, we started online classes. There used to be around 600 students who used to come for coaching. But now, all have shifted to online classes.”

The KSG Institute is not alone. There are approximately 50 coaching centres around the area that trains thousands of students for competitive exams like the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).

While the students going back haven”t hurt the coaching centres, but they have hurt the rest, including the real estate agents who broker rent deals for them.

Sahil Bachani, who owns one such outlet at Sad Guru Kirpa Properties, told IANS, “If you ask me, there”s not even 1,000 students left out of 5,000 students in the radius of 3.5 km.”

Another broker, Ashok Agarwal, said that students who left in a hurry before the lockdown returned during Unlock 1.0, only to take back their belongings and return home.

In old Rajinder Nagar, there are more than 63 blocks which have more than 630 houses. There are approximately 7,560 rooms, where a large number of students used to stay.

One broker claims, the collective loss in brokerage in the area comes to the tune of Rs 4 crore.

With libraries shut, vendors vanishing, classrooms which shifted to the online mode and minimal eateries opening, Rajinder Nagar is not just braving the loss of income, but is adjusting to a more silent, empty neighborhood that it hasn”t seen in decades.

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Business

Corona impact: CAIT demands de-sealing of Delhi shops

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

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DELHI LOCKDOWN

New Delhi, July 4 : The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Saturday demanded that shops in Delhi be de-sealed immediately without further delay.

Accordingly, in a letter to the Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, CAIT demanded that “Delhi sealed shops should now be de -sealed immediately without further delay”.

Besides, the traders’ body also called for the finalisation of Delhi Rent Act, “ending a long running dispute between the land lords and tenants in Delhi”.

Furthermore, CAIT demanded that traders should be allowed to participate in the consultation process of Master Plan 2041 which is being prepared for Delhi.

According to CAIT National Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, estimates show that about 6,000 shops have been sealed in Delhi.

“Corona started since the beginning of the year 2020 and the traders of Delhi are faced with a big crisis of livelihood and in such a situation, it has become imperative that shops are immediately de-sealed,” he was quoted as saying in a statement.

“Keeping this in view, the Central government should take an initiative in this matter and pass an ordinance in which all sealed shops should be opened and all other problems related to sealing should be postponed for the time being thereby giving all traders a fair chance to do business.”

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Cities

Out to catch dogs, NGO staff thrashed by locals

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

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Stray dogs

New Delhi, July 5 : The volunteers of an NGO, ”Neighbourhood Woof”, were thrashed by locals in Rani Bagh of outer Delhi.

The NGO workers, including a woman, were out in the area to catch dogs when the locals confronted them. In view of late night hours, local residents enquired about their identities on which heated argument started and a scuffle broke out between them. Later, the Delhi police registered a case against the residents on the complaint of the NGO worker.

On the night of July 3 at around 10.30 p.m., 3 PCR calls were received in Rani Bagh police station regarding a quarrel between two parties, i.e., one belonging to an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” and the local residents of Rishi Nagar, Rani Bagh. Immediately, the police reached the spot and it revealed that some persons from an NGO named “Neighbourhood Woof” had come to catch stray dogs in Rishi Nagar, said a senior police officer.

However, the locals grew suspicious and raised questions on the operation of the NGO staff which also had a woman with them. An argument started between the NGO workers and the local residents which soon turned ugly. The NGO workers alleged that they were brutally assaulted by the locals.

The police said that when the people from the NGO tried to flee from the spot in their car, 3 local residents were hit by their car, inflicting some minor injuries.

“On the complaint of the NGO worker Ayesha Christina, a case u/s 323/341/506/427/34 IPC has been registered against residents. Further investigation is under progress,” the police said.

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