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Harsh Vardhan snubs AIIMS director Guleria’s prediction on Covid peak

Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Director Dr Guleria on May 7 had said, “National and international both experts are analysing the data. Most of them have guessed that India will most likely see the peak in June or July.”

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Harsh Vardhan and Dr Randeep Guleria

New Delhi, May 28 : In what appears to be a snub to the prediction made by AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria regarding COVID pandemic peak in the country, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said its “difficult” to make an assumption about “future scenarios of the disease”.

The Health Minister, in an exclusive interview with IANS, said that given the heterogeneous mathematical modeling based on varied assumptions and less information available about the virus, it was extremely difficult to make accurate predictions about future scenarios of the disease.

To a query by the IANS on when to expect the curve to flatten since AIIMS Director Guleria has said that the situation may worsen in the next two months, Harsh Vardhan clarified, “Right now, we have a steady curve. It has never shown any exponential rise.”

This seemingly public disagreement with Guleria is manifestation of the government’s apparent unhappiness with the AIIMS chief’s comment that sparked off fear psychosis amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in India.

The Minister added, “We are now trying to bend the curve downwards. The trajectory of the outbreak is decided by a number of factors such as pathogenicity and transmissibility of virus; availability of specific treatment or vaccine; as well as collective performance of all public health interventions undertaken to contain the outbreak such as testing and early case detection, isolation, quarantine, contact-tracing, optimum care of cases and surveillance.”

The Minister also said that COVID-19 is a new disease and the behaviour of this virus in the evolving outbreak is “unknown”. “We have isolated the virus and our scientists and epidemiologists are studying it with the help of gene sequencing. Not much data about the virus and the disease is available at the moment,” he said.

“Further as far as the issue of predictions of the further spread of the disease is concerned, let me tell you that I keep on hearing about one mathematical prediction model or the other. There are so many such models giving so many predictions round-the-clock that it is difficult to track them or justify them. But just like any mathematical model, these models are based on a number of assumptions and presumptions which may or may not match with real ground data because the data is still being generated each day and the disease has not matured across the world. Therefore, it beats me as to with so much uncertainties, whether it is possible to make accurate predictions about future scenarios of the disease,” said the minister.

Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Director Dr Guleria on May 7 had said, “National and international both experts are analysing the data. Most of them have guessed that India will most likely see the peak in June or July.”

Cities

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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Coronavirus Death US

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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Cities

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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Cities

Scribe suffering from Covid jumps off 4th floor of AIIMS, condition critical

The doctors at AIIMS claimed that the journalist was having hallucinations for the past one week. They also claimed that he was in depression.

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Coronavirus News

New Delhi, July 6 : A 37-year-old journalist, who had tested positive for Covid-19 a few days ago, jumped from the fourth floor of the AIIMS trauma centre where he was receiving treatment, doctors said on Monday. His condition is stated to be critical.

The police said that the journalist has been admitted to the ICU in critical condition. The doctors said that he has received multiple fractures. The incident occurred at around 2 p.m.

“The 37-year-old man was admitted to the Covid-19 ward in the Taruma Centre on the fourth floor on June 24,” DCP (South West) Devender Arya said.

The journalist was kept in the isolation room of the Covid-19 ward on the fourth floor of the trauma centre building. The hospital staff informed that an iron grill that covered the window of the toilet was found removed. “We assume that he jumped off the window after removing its grill,” said a hospital staff.

The doctors at AIIMS claimed that the journalist was having hallucinations for the past one week. They also claimed that he was in depression.

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