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Digestive symptoms prominent among COVID-19 patients: Study

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Corona covid 19 lab test

Beijing, March 19 Amid the rapid spread of coronavirus cases around the globe, researchers have found that diarrhea was a prominent symptom among up to half of patients with COVID-19 during the outbreak in Wuhan, China.

The study, published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, conducted by the researchers from the Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19.

According to the researchers, nearly half of COVID-19 patients enrolled in the study conducted in the Hubei province of China presented digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea and anorexia, and cited it as their chief complaint.

“Doctors should recognise that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, may be a presenting feature of COVID-19, and that the index of suspicion may need to be raised earlier in at-risk patients presenting with digestive symptoms rather than waiting for respiratory symptoms to emerge,” the researchers said.

Patients involved in the study presented to three hospitals from January 18 to February 28. All patients were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and were analyzed for clinical characteristics, laboratory data, and treatment. Data were followed up until March 5.

Overall, data from 204 patients were analysed for the current study, according to the researchers.

The average age was 54.9 years old. In total, 48.5 per cent presented to the hospital with digestive symptoms as their chief complaint.

The study also revealed that patients with digestive symptoms had a longer gap between the onset of symptoms and hospital admission than patients presenting only respiratory symptoms and were less likely to be cured and discharged than those without digestive symptoms.

Patients who experienced digestive symptoms had a variety of manifestations, including anorexia (83.8 per cent), diarrhea (29.3 per cent), vomiting (0.08 per cent), and abdominal pain (0.4 per cent), the study said.

According to the researchers, as the severity of the disease increased, digestive symptoms became more pronounced.

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Delhiites brace for an Eid at home amid Covid-19 pandemic

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Lockdown Eid

New Delhi, May 24 : Observe Eid with simplicity, help your neighbour and feed the hungry. This seems to be the message this Eid ul-Fitr, at least in the national capital.

With assemblies prohibited and all religious places closed amid the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, Delhiites are bracing for an Eid at home, and so do religious leaders appeal for.

Stating that Eid means happiness, Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All India Imam Organization (AIIO), told IANS, “Happiness is possible only when others are happy as well. We are facing an unprecedented situation. I have appealed against buying new clothes and observing Eid by staying home.”

Every year visuals of thousands offering namaaz at Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid showcases Eid. But this year the vast expanse of the mosque will remain empty. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ahmad Bukhari have asked people to offer prayers at their homes.

“I appeal to all the faithful to maintain social distancing and stay indoors during the Eid festivities,” Bukhari said. He urged them to extend a helping hand to the poor, the destitute and the needy in this hour of crisis, as hundreds and thousands were staring at an uncertain future.

Despite relaxations, footfall in most markets have been minimal due to the fear of infection. With restaurants not allowed to serve food, most traditional Mughlai eateries in the bylanes of Jama Masjid are likely to either remain shut or open only to provide home delivery.

One of the biggest Muslim festival, Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan. It’s normally celebrated with exchange of greetings, hugs, feasting and bonding. But due to the lockdown and corona scare, this Eid is likely to be muted.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted that though for the first time he would offer prayer and celebrate Eid at home due to the pandemic, it would not affect the festive spirit.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain, known for organising sumptuous Eid feast in the Lutyens Delhi, which is attended by top politicians cutting across political affiliations, journalists and other dignitaries, will also be observing a quiet Eid.

“I have been doing this Eid luncheon for 21 years. But this time things are different. No invitation has been sent. I will spend Eid in a simple way by distributing food among the poor,” said Hussain.

While the grandeur will be amiss this year, religious leaders insist it’s the intent that counts. They say, new clothes or a grand buffet is not what makes Eid special, it’s the happiness that counts, which increases manifold when shared with others.

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No Ramzan gifts for poor Muslim families in Telangana this year

The TRS government has been distributing gifts among poor families on the occasion of festivals of other religions as well.

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Hyderabad during Bharat Bandh

Hyderabad, May 24 : Poor Muslim families in Telangana were this year deprived of Ramzan gifts which the state government has been distributing among them every year on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr since 2015.

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, led by K. Chandrashekhar Rao, apparently cancelled the programme due to the financial crisis caused by the two-month- old lockdown imposed to check the spread of Covid-19.

However, it was officially stated that since the distribution of Ramzan gifts could have led to violation of social distancing norms, it was decided not to conduct the programme this year.

The government, in the budget for 2022-21, had allocated Rs 66 crore for iftar dinners at mosques across the state and for distribution of clothes among the poor. It had also allocated Rs 1.83 crore for the customary iftar party hosted by the Chief Minister in Hyderabad every year.

Since the Chief Minister’s iftar party and iftar dinners at mosques were cancelled due to the lockdown, there was a proposal to use the entire amount for distribution of ration kits. This was expected to help more than four lakh poor families.

The Minorities Welfare Department had also submitted a proposal that instead of giving clothes as Ramzan gifts, the government may distribute food packets as this would take care of the much-needed requirement of the poor families during the ongoing lockdown.

However, the proposal was not approved by the officials in the Chief Minister’s office. They pointed out said since the government distributed free rice and Rs 1,500 to every white ration card holder or below poverty line family as a lockdown relief measure, there was no need for a separate programme to distribute ration kits among poor Muslim families.

TRS’ friendly party All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) had also appealed to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao to distributed ration kits among poor Muslim families instead of clothes.

AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi had written a letter to Chandrashekhar Rao to divert the funds allocated for iftar parties at mosques for distribution of ration.

He wrote that in view of the unprecedented situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected the livelihood of daily-wage earners in the state, a large section of Muslims, who are all engaged in the informal or unorganised sector, required timely assistance during the fasting month of Ramzan.

The state government has been distributing Ramzan gifts and hosting iftars at mosques since 2015.

Last year, about 4.5 lakh gift packets were distributed among poor families through 832 mosques across the state. The government had also provided Rs 1 lakh each to these mosques to host iftars or post-dusk meals to break the fast.

Each Ramzan gift packet comprised a salwar, kameez, saree and blouse, all valued at about Rs.525.

The TRS government has been distributing gifts among poor families on the occasion of festivals of other religions as well.

Every year, it is also distributing gifts among 2.35 lakh poor Christians families and hosting Christmas dinners.

Similarly, the government has been distributing sarees among poor women on the occasion of Bathukamma, a folk festival which was declared as the state festival in 2014.

Last year, the government spent Rs 313 crore to distribute over one crore sarees on the occasion of Bathukamma.

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Eid in the shadow of lockdown: Quiet, subdued

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Muslim girl attends Eid al-Fitr

New Delhi, May 23 : The fragrance of ‘sewain’, the giggle of little ones running amok in the house, the stain on the new ‘kurta’ caused by spilling mutton ‘rogan josh’ — all these trademark moments of Eid are bound to get subdued this Eid, as people continue to struggle against a deadly global pandemic which has already infected more than one lakh persons in the country.

Ever thought how Eid and social distancing could find place in the same sentence?

Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi was the Chief Election Commissioner and a distinguished administrator. He, like most of those who practice Islam, loves to spend Eid with close family and friends. However, it would not be the same this time around.

“My plans are simple. Stay at home, offer namaz alone, pray for peace in India and the world,” Qureshi told IANS.

He said that rather than interpersonal greetings, he will send his best wishes through phone calls and social media this time. “Be positive. Remember this is a special Eid. It will be remembered for long” — is how he sees Eid under the shadow of lockdown.

In the power circles of Lutyens’ Delhi, one of the most famous Eid celebrations take place at BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain’s residence since decades. Journalists and top political leaders cutting across party lines assemble there over glasses of Rooh Afza and a scrumptious lunch. During the course, the most sworn political enemies laugh it out over chats where politics is a taboo for a day. But this year, Hussain too will have a rather quiet Eid.

“I have been having this Eid luncheon for 21 years now. But this time things are different. No invitation has been sent. I will spend the Eid in a simple way by distributing food among the poor,” said Hussain.

The contagious virus that can spread through physical contact or even close proximity has infected more than 1,25,000 people in India. In the national capital itself, the death toll has reached 231, with 23 deaths getting reported in the past 24 hours, the Delhi Health Department said on Saturday. Such data leave very little room for anyone to be dismissive of the dystopian self-restriction rules.

Most places of religious worship continue to be off limits for people due to the lockdown. In spite of relaxation of restrictions, footfalls in market places have been minimal.

Globally, Eid restrictions are quite stringent with Turkey announcing a four-day curfew during the festival while Saudi Arabia will implement a 24-hour nationwide curfew on Eid.

Ghuam Nabi Azad, a senior leader of the Congress party and a powerful voice inside the Parliament, will also stay at home this Eid.

“When we can’t meet each other, there will be no prayers at the Eidgah, what can I say? Stay home and stay safe,” Azad told IANS when asked about his Eid plans.

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