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Delhi has 3,734 beds ready for COVID-19 patients: LG office

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Delhi L-G Anil Baijal

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Delhi has a total of 3,734 beds for COVID-19 patients at both government and private hospitals, Lt. Governor’s office said on Thursday.

These 3,734 beds are available at LNJP, RGSSH, GTB, DDU, BSA as well as private hospitals (including Max Super Specialty Hospital, Sir Gangaram Hospital and Apollo Hospital).

In a statement, the Raj Niwas said 20 Containment Zones (CZ) have been identified, “based on COVID Hotspots”, to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Delhi.

“Cordoning of all CZs has already been done. Sanitization of all the CZs is being done by local municipal authorities. Doorstep delivery of all essential commodities is being ensured with the support of Food and Civil Supply Department or Market Associations,” the statement said.

It says mapping of the CZ and house-to-house survey is being conducted for the identification of suspected patients with influenza-like symptoms.

Also, the Delhi government has secured the supply of 3,500 Personal Protective Equipment per day and 28,000 N-95 masks per week for frontline health workers and professionals.

“Mass mechanized disinfection is being carried out by local bodies using one per cent hypochlorite solution spray in public and residential areas, bus stops, public toilets, markets, DMS/Mother Dairy booths and at taxi stands.”

The DUSIB is taking measures for the care of homeless people in the shelter homes, the statement said. Free lunch and dinner are provided to the homeless at all the shelter homes in Delhi.

“Adequate arrangement of soaps, hand sanitizers, protective masks and medical screening is being made in all shelter homes.”

As of April 8, 11,100 people are housed in shelter homes in Delhi and over 8 lakh people served free meals twice daily.

“In addition, the state-level hunger helpline for Delhi ‘1031’ has been established.”

Further, the government is also distributing PDS ration items at over 2,000 Fair Price Shops where increased monthly ration is given free, benefitting 71 lakh persons across Delhi.

“As many as 5,995 ASHA workers and 1,278 ANMs have been trained as the second line of support in the fight against coronavirus.”

As per the Centre’s direction, a list of retired government and private medical professionals has been circulated among all hospitals with instructions to engage them as per the requirement.

The Raj Niwas also said that the Delhi Police was asked to use technology to track mobile phones of those under home quarantine. “The Delhi Commissioner of Police has said that 23 violators of home quarantine have been booked under Section 188 of the IPC and sent to quarantine centres.”

Delhi has so far reported 669 coronavirus positive cases.

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Closed Markaz, no foreigners dims hopes for Nizamuddin shopkeepers

In comparison to the adjoining Bhogal market, Nizamuddin market is primarily focused on the needs of the visitors to the Markaz. Now since the markaz has been closed, the usual flow of customers is missing.

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Nizamuddin Markaz

New Delhi, July 10 : A group of five men in white kurta pyjamas wait outside the Nizamuddin Markaz for the local policeman to arrive. After some anxious moments, the policeman arrives on a motorcycle with the building”s key. It is time for afternoon prayers and only five people are permitted to offer prayers inside the Markaz five times a day. As he unlocks the gate, the five men walk in to offer Zohar Namaz.

Khaleeq, who has his small shop, selling skull caps, beads and other religious items, exactly opposite the Markaz entrance, feels that with foreigners gone from the area, the market will have a hard time to pick up.

“With the uncertainty on when foreigners would be allowed in Markaz now, the business at Nizamuddin market is badly hit. Most of the shops here are based on the foreigners” needs and demands. With no foreign customers, we are facing heavy losses,” he said.

The worst affected are money exchange shops which were mostly dependent on foreigners” visit to Markaz.

Ahmed Uzair, a banker who resides in Nizamuddin, believes that the market might now pay the price of being too much dependent on foreign customers attending the jamaat at Nizamuddin Markaz.

“Many shopkeepers are vacating their shops as they are unable to pay the rent. Many have packed up and went to their native places as they see a bleak future of what was once a flourishing market,” Uzair said.

After de-containment of Nizamuddin, the barricades present at the main road leading to Nizamuddin Markaz has been removed now but there are little or no customers in the market.

In comparison to the adjoining Bhogal market, Nizamuddin market is primarily focused on the needs of the visitors to the Markaz. Now since the markaz has been closed, the usual flow of customers is missing.

“Not just foreigners but visitors from other states in India formed the backbone for the survival of this market. It”s facing a tough time now and it seems it will continue for some time,” said Shamshad Ahmed, another shopkeeper in the area.

The Markaz was closed since the lockdown and on the night of March 29, police and health authorities started bringing people out from the Markaz and sent them to hospitals and quarantine facilities.

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Did Vikas Dubey reach Ujjain himself or was he brought there?

After Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra announced his arrest, the Congress is raising questions.

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Vikas Dubey.

Ujjain/Bhopal, July 9 : After gangster Vikas Dubey, who had been on the run for the last seven days, was arrested in Madhya Pradesh’s Ujjain on Thursday morning, a controversy erupted over how he managed to reach the temple town. Questions have been raised whether he came on his own or was brought here, and also as to how he manage to cross many districts of Uttar Pradesh without being recognised.

Dubey, accused of killing eight police men in Bikaru village of Kanpur, was constantly changing his location for the past seven days. Though the Uttar Pradesh Police continued to raid various possible locations, he still reached Ujjain, dodging the police of several districts of UP and Madhya Pradesh.

Dubey, whose in-laws are also from Madhya Pradesh, has been coming to Ujjain every year. His mother Sarala Devi had admitted that he used to go to Ujjain every year to offer prayers at Mahakaal temple. It is being said that he reached Ujjain by road and also offered prayers at the temple on Thursday morning.

After Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Narottam Mishra announced his arrest, the Congress is raising questions.

Police sources said that Dubey came to Ujjain in a car from Uttar Pradesh and he also stopped at a residence of a person known to him in Nagjhiri area where he stayed for some time. He reached the temple for ”darshan” on Thursday morning. However, the security guards posted at the temple got suspicious and stopped him for questioning. He reportedly had a brief scuffle with the security guards who then informed the police post. Dubey was later arrested there.

But if Dubey did actually come to Ujjain by road, then he must have covered a distance of about 200 km in Madhya Pradesh seemingly without attracting police attention. Before entering Madhya Pradesh, he must have passed through several districts of Uttar Pradesh as well. Apprehension has been expressed that he reached Ujjain via Rajasthan”s Kota. The police is investigating this also.

Mishra said that Dubey came to Ujjain driving his own vehicle. “Two of his accomplices — Bittu and Suresh have also been arrested. The entire state police was on alert after the Kanpur incident. The surveillance was carried out and finally MP police succeeded in arresting him.”

However, questioning the government, Congress Rajya Sabha member and former Chief Minister Digvijaya Singh said: “It looks like a sponsored surrender to avoid an encounter by the Uttar Pradesh Police. My information is that this has been possible with the courtesy of a senior leader of Madhya Pradesh BJP.”

However, it was not immediately known whether Dubey reached Ujjain on Thursday morning itself or had come a day before.

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Existence of NDR fund does not prohibit PM-CARES: Centre to Supreme Court

The petitioner argued that the entire funds collected in PM-CARES till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

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pm-cares-fund

New Delhi, July 9 : The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that there are several funds which were either established earlier or now for carrying out various relief works, and PM-CARES is one such fund with voluntary donations.

The affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs said “It is submitted there exists a fund stipulated under section of the DMA (Disaster Management Act) which is called NDR fund. However, mere existence of a statutory fund would not prohibit in creation of a different fund like PM-CARES fund which provides for voluntary donations.”

The Centre contended that the petition seeking a direction that the funds received by PM-CARES to be credited to NDRF (National Disaster Response Fund) is neither maintainable on merits nor is maintainable under Article 32 as all funds other than the funds stipulated under section 46 of Disaster Management Act, 2005 are separate, different and distinct, created separately under separate provisions.

On June 17, the apex court issued notice to the Centre on a PIL seeking to transfer funds from PM-CARES to National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF).

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah asked the Centre to file a response within four weeks. Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), in the plea claimed that in the backdrop of Covid-19 pandemic, NDRF is not being utilised by the authorities, and establishing the PM-CARES fund is outside the scope of the Disaster Management Act.

The petitioner argued that the entire funds collected in PM-CARES till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF.

“Centre may be directed to utilise National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) for the purpose of providing assistance in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic in compliance with Section 46 of the DM Act, all the contributions/grants from individuals and institutions shall be credited to the NDRF in terms of Section 46(1)(b) rather than to PM-CARES fund and all the funds collected in the PM-Cares till date may be directed to be transferred to the NDRF”, said the PIL.

The petition argued that there is need to put in place a broader and well thought out national plan outlining inter alia a detailed coordination mechanism between the Centre and states. “Section 11 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 (hereinafter referred to as the “DM Act”) makes it mandatory for a national plan to be drawn up for disaster management for whole of the country but currently, there is no such national plan in place to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”, argued the plea.

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