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COVID-19: Ignoring social distancing norm cost Indore dearly

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Indore, April 2 : Madhya Pradesh’s Indore, which is known for its cleanliness, is now struggling with the novel coronavirus. There may be many reasons behind it but the biggest reason is not following the social distancing norms. Also, despite the initial cases, the necessary arrangements were not made in time.

Indore is the most developed and advanced city of the state. It has an international airport, major rail and bus terminals and big industries. These apart, thousands of students from across the state and the country come here for studies. The city also provides many employment opportunities to educated youth.

Amulya Nidhi, the national co-convenor of the Public Health Campaign who has worked as a social worker in Indore and Malwa Nimar for a long time, said: “Indore is an internationally connected metropolitan city. A large number of people come here from the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. When the corona epidemic came to light, the arrangements that were needed in Indore were not made. The check up facility was not there and people did not follow the social distancing norm. Perhaps, people came into contact with infected persons and after that the disease spread rapidly”.

“There is another reason for the increasing number of patients. Earlier fewer samples were being taken and fewer investigation reports were coming in. Now more samples are being taken and more reports are coming in. It should not be taken in a negative way, but if more patients are being found, then it is also giving us a message to be ready for further measures,” he said.

Vinay Bakaliwal, President of the Indore Pharmacists Association, said: “Social distancing was not followed in Indore and this was the biggest reason for the spread of the disease. When the lockdown has taken place, efforts are now being made and it is expected that the patients will be identified soon and the city will be safe”.

On the question of increasing number of patients in Indore, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Praveen Jariya told IANS, “It is true that the number of infected patients in Indore is much more than other places. But it is a matter of relief that people from only a few families are infected and only those who came in their contact got infected. The administration is putting people in quarantine and isolating others to stop the spread of the disease.”

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan agreed that the virus has spread in certain areas of Indore. He urged the people to observe the lockdown and maintain social distancing. This is because the chain of the disease can be broken only by staying inside the house.

It is also coming to light that most of the infected patients are being found at places like Ranipura, Nayapura, Daulatganj, Hathipala in Indore. A large number of people have been quarantined here. Special arrangements are being made for these patients in hotels and private medical colleges.

Indore has been the most affected by the coronavirus in the state. The number of patients here has increased to 75, while the number of victims in the state is 98. Six people have died so far. Apart from Indore, there are four patients in Bhopal, eight in Jabalpur, two each in Gwalior and Shivpuri, one in Khargone and six in Ujjain.

(Sundeep Pouranik can be contacted at [email protected])

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Covid-19 corollaries on the dairy sector: CRISIL

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

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New Delhi, May 26 : Supply chain disruptions in the early weeks of the nationwide lockdown, and bread-and-butter issues for hotels, restaurants and cafes, have materially reduced demand for dairy products.

This is despite supply of most dairy products continuing during the lockdown, since they are categorised as essentials.

The shuttering of hotels and dine-ins has also dried up off-take of skimmed milk powder and khoya.

According to report by CRISIL Research on the state of dairy industry and supply chains, products that can’t be made at home easily – such as cheese, flavoured milk and also khoya – haven’t found their way back to the dining table in the same quantities as before the lockdown.

Demand for ice creams, which usually peaks in summer (accounting for 40 per cent of annual sales) has just melted away. Rural areas, which are feeling the income pinch more, seem to be staying off butter and ghee, the report by global analytics firm has said.

To be sure, since the third week of April, supply chains have turned smoother, so demand for staples such as milk, curd, paneer and yogurt are expected to see a quick rebound, leading to on-year expansion in sales, CRISIL said.

The pandemic, however, may sour the business for unorganised dairies because of pervasive contamination fears.

Conversely, as consumers shift, revenues of organised dairies and packaged products should fatten.

Overall, demand for milk and dairy products would be lukewarm in the near term, so prices are unlikely to boil over, according to the report.

Large brands such as Amul and Mother Dairy had already hiked retail milk prices by 4-5 per cent last fiscal. They may not serve an encore.

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445 people died from Australia bushfires smoke: Experts

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

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Arogya Setu App

Canberra, May 26 : Smoke from Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires killed at least 445 people, health experts revealed on Tuesday.

Fay Johnston, a public health expert from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania, told the bushfire royal commission on Tuesday that her team estimated that 445 people died as a result of the smoke that blanketed much of the nation’s east coast, reports Xinhua news agency.

It takes the total death toll from the 2019-2020 bushfire season, which has been dubbed the “Black Summer”, to nearly 480 after 34 people lost their lives directly.

According to modelling produced by Johnston and her colleagues, 80 per cent of Australians were affected by the smoke at some point, including 3,340 people who were hospitalized with heart and lung problems.

“We were able to work out a yearly cost of bushfire smoke for each summer season and… our estimates for the last season were A$2 billion in health costs,” Johnston said.

“There’s fluctuation year to year, of course, but that was a major departure from anything we had seen in the previous 20 years.”

Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra all had periods where they had the worst air quality in the world as a result of the smoke.

Commissioners also heard on Tuesday that the increasing frequency of significant bushfire events in Australia meant that survivors no longer feel safe during the recovery phase.

“Disasters are no longer perceived as rare events, they are often seen as climate change, and they’re part of our new reality,” Lisa Gibbs, a child welfare expert from the University of Melbourne, said.

“We don’t know how that is going to affect recovery because the seeds of hope are a really important part of people’s ability to deal with what has happened and to get back on track.”

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Rising urbanization likely cause of heavy rainfall in South: Research

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

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Hyderabad, May 26 : A team of researchers at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) have discovered a link between heavy rainfall in several parts of south India and a growing urbanisation in the region.

A team led by Prof. Karumuri Ashok from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad, examined whether a common factor, the changing ‘land use land cover’ (LULC) in these states, has any implications for the heavy rainfall events.

Over the past few years, many heavy rainfall events have been reported in cities of south India. Prominent among them are the extreme rainfall that created havoc in Chennai and nearby areas of Tamil Nadu in December 2015, the heavy rainfall over Hyderabad and adjoining regions in Telangana in September 2016, and the extreme rainfall event in Kerala in August 2018.

Notably, these three states differ in their geographical locations, and also the season in which they receive rainfall. Kerala, located on the southwest Indian coast off the Arabian Sea receives heavy rainfall during the summer monsoon from June-September.

Tamil Nadu, off the Bay of Bengal, receives rainfall mainly during the northeast monsoon (October-December). The land-locked state Telangana receives the bulk of its annual rainfall during the summer monsoon season.

A UoH statement stated that their study showed the precipitation during heavy rainfall events in these states has significantly increased from 2000 to 2017. Using the LULC data from ISRO, and by conducting 2 km resolution simulation experiments of twelve heavy rainfall events over the states, the researchers found distinct LULC changes in these three states, which led to higher surface temperatures and a deeper and moist boundary layer. These in turn caused a relatively higher convective available potential energy and, consequently, heavier rainfall.

The study also suggests that increasing urbanization in Telangana and Tamil Nadu is likely to enhance the rainfall during the heavy rainfall events by 20%-25%. Prof. Ashok feels that improving the density of observational rainfall and other weather parameters may help in forecasting extreme rainfalls at city level.

Their findings were reported in the ‘Quarterly Journal of Royal Meteorological Society’ on May 18, 2020.

Prof. K. Ashok and his Ph.D. student Mr. A. Boyaj who is the first author, are both from the Centre for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Hyderabad. The work was done in collaboration with Prof. Ibrahim Hoteit and Dr Hari Prasad Dasari of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia.

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