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Covid cases rising, but situation under control: Kejriwal

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Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said while the coronavirus cases are increasing in the city, the situation is under control.

Kejriwal said there were about 4,000 covid beds with the government, of these only 1,500 were occupied.

“In Private hospitals, 677 beds are available of which 509 are occupied,” Kejriwal said.

In the private hospitals, about 2,000 beds are being made covid dedicated from Monday, he said.

“COVID-19 cases have increased in Delhi due to relaxation in lockdown. But there is nothing to worry about unless the mortality rate or the number of serious cases rises rapidly. If people contract the virus and recover, then there is nothing to worry about,” he said.

Assuring that there will be more beds in the coming days, he said the situation is under control. “The cases were expected to increase after the lockdown was relaxed. However, I can say the situation is under control.”

He said about 6,500 people are infected with the virus, and an equal number have recovered till date.

Kejriwal also said there are 250 ventilators with the government and only 11 are being used.

Also, he said no hospital can ask patients to arrange for themselves or can ask them to go. “We have issued a show-cause notice to a private hospital that denied treatment to a patient who tested positive for coronavirus. It is the hospital’s duty in such a situation to provide an ambulance to the patients and take them to a COVID hospital. Patients cannot be told to make arrangements for themselves,” he said.

On May 17, the Chief Minister said, there were 9,755 cases. “Now about 3,500 patients have increased. Also, 2,500 cases have recovered in the same period.”

He also said that most of the new cases are having mild or no symptoms. “At least 3,424 patients are being treated at their home as they have no or mild symptoms,” he added.

Delhi’s covid cases count reached 13,418 on Sunday.

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Andhra Covid victim’s body dumped into pit by earthmover

The 50-year-old man was admitted to Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) last week and died on Monday.

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Amaravati, July 6 : Another video has emerged from Andhra Pradesh on Monday highlighting utter disrespect being shown while disposing of dead bodies of Covid-19 victims in the state.

In the second such incident in 10 days, authorities used a JCB excavator to lift the body of a Covid victim from an ambulance and dump it into a pit.

The incident occurred in the temple town of Tirupati in Chittoor district. The front portion of the JCB excavator was brought closer to the ambulance belonging to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).

Health workers pushed the body onto the excavator, which carried it to a pit and dumped the body in it.

The municipal authorities defended the move, saying the body weighed nearly 180 kgs.

The 50-year-old man was admitted to Sri Venkateshwara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) last week and died on Monday.

Tirupati Municipal Commissioner P.S. Girisha said they had to bury the body as the attempt by the municipal staff to cremate it had failed, since the body did not fit into the gas furnace. As the wrapping around the body was also torn while shifting it from ambulance to the furnace, they shifted the body back to SVIMS for re-wrapping.

He said it was on the advise of the family that they decided to bury the body. A 14-feet deep pit was dug using the excavator. It was then used to lift the body from the ambulance and dump it in the pit. The official, however, admitted that more workers should have been used to carry the body physically to the pit.

In a similar incident in Palasa town of Srikakulam district on June 26, the body of a Covid victim was shifted from his house to the cremation ground on a JCB excavator. In another incident in the same district, a Covid victim”s body was transported in a tractor.

Taking a serious note of the incidents, the government has suspended six officials.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had expressed anguish for the inhuman act of transporting the mortal remains of COVID-19 patient through JCB excavator and ordered the immediate suspension of the officials.

“When the protocol in dealing with such cases are clearly mentioned and time and again we have been asking to drive out the stigma on Corona, the officials behaved in an irresponsible manner by transporting the dead body through a excavator which is inhuman and send a wrong signal to the people,” the Chief Minister had said.

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‘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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