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Congress raises questions over ventilator prices, quality

Citing the PMO release, he said ventilators were ordered at Rs 400,000 a piece. But at the same time, AgVa Healthcare quoted Rs 150,000 per ventilator.

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Gourav Vallabh Congress

New Delhi, July 5 : Taking a break from upping the ante on the India-China standoff, the Congress, here on Sunday, raised questions over availability and purchase of ventilators through the PM-CARES fund.

“On March 31, the government had placed orders to procure 40,000 ventilators from two domestic manufacturers. Skanray Technologies was given the order for 30,000 ventilators and AgVa Healthcare, 10,000 ventilators.

“Thereafter, the PM-CARES fund allocated Rs 2,000 crore for supply of 50,000 ventilators to the government-run Covid hospitals. Did the 50,000 ventilators ordered through the PM-CARES fund include the earlier order for 40,000 ventilators? Or they are separate,” said Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh.

According to the PMO release, only 1,340 ventilators had been delivered till June 23, he said.

Citing the PMO release, he said ventilators were ordered at Rs 400,000 a piece. But at the same time, AgVa Healthcare quoted Rs 150,000 per ventilator.

“When the ventilator is available at Rs 1,50,000 a piece, then why the PM-CARES fund had allocated Rs 4,00,000 per ventilator? Where is this extra money going,” the Congress leader demanded to know.

He also asked if the open tendering and competitive bidding process was followed in the placing of orders.

The Congress spokesman said when several government hospitals and panels of experts and doctors had said that ventilators supplied by AgVa Healthcare were sub-standard and of no use, why the government was compromising on health of lakhs of patients by ordering low quality equipment.

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5.5-magnitude earthquake rattles northern Philippines

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Earthquake

MANILA, Aug. 13 : An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 shook Batanes province in the northern Philippines on Thursday, the Philippine Institute of Seismology and Volcanology (Phivolcs) said.

The institute said the quake, which struck at 6:32 a.m. local time, hit at a depth of 14 kilometers, about 49 kilometers southwest of Sabtang town.

The institute said the quake, which was tectonic in origin, will trigger aftershocks but will not cause damage.

The Philippines has frequent seismic activity due to its location along the Pacific “Ring of Fire.”

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5.3-magnitude quake hits 62 km SW of Surab, Pakistan: USGS

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Earthquake Strong

NEW YORK, Aug. 12 : An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 jolted 62 km southwest of Surab, Pakistan at 22:40:45 GMT on Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 10.96 km, was initially determined to be at 27.9781 degrees north latitude and 65.9996 degrees east longitude.

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60,963 new corona cases take India tally across 23L

Notably, the fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die of the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to about two per cent, the Ministry said.

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Jahangirpuri Delhi Coronavirus Test

New Delhi: India’s novel Coronavirus tally crossed the 23-lakh mark on Wednesday with detection of 60,963 new cases in the last 24 hours, while 834 more fatalities took the death toll to 46,091, the Health Ministry said.

Out of the total 2,329,638 cases, recoveries surged to 1,639,599 as a record 56,110 more patients recovered during the period. The recovery rate is nearly 70 per cent now. The active cases in the country currently total 6,43,948.

Notably, the fatality rate, which is the proportion of people who die of the disease among individuals diagnosed, has dropped to about two per cent, the Ministry said.

The country had touched the 20-lakh mark on August 7 and added more than 3,00,000 cases in less than five days. The silver lining, however, is that the gap between recoveries and active cases is growing every day. Currently, recoveries are 10 lakh more than the active cases.

As many as 7,33,449 samples were tested on Tuesday, taking the total to 2,60,15,297 samples till date, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total of 5,24,513 cases and 18,050 deaths, followed by Tamil Nadu with 302,815 cases and 5041 deaths. The southern state is followed by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with Chief Ministers and representatives of 10 states, including Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh for a review meeting.

He mentioned that almost 80 per cent of the active cases are from the participating 10 states, and if the virus is defeated in these states, the entire country will emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.

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