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Indonesia tsunami toll rises to 430, nearly 22,000 displaced

The disaster also caused deaths in a dozen other nations around the Indian Ocean, killing around 230,000 people in total.

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INDONESIA PANDEGLANG TSUNAMI

Jakarta, Dec 26 : Indonesian authorities on Wednesday raised to 430 the death toll in the devastating tsunami triggered by a volcanic eruption in Sunda Strait, while nearly 22,000 people were displaced.

Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho also raised the number of missing persons to 159 due to the disaster on Saturday night that also left 1,495 injured.

In the worst-hit area of Pandeglang, in the west coast of Jawa island, 290 were killed, 1,143 injured and 77 missing apart from nearly 17,477 affected, said Sutopo.

The tsunami struck the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra almost without warning late Saturday, shortly after the Anak Krakatau volcano erupted in the Sunda Strait dividing the islands.

Rough weather conditions in the west coast and southern part of Sumatra Island were making it tough for the humanitarian aid and rescue teams, Efe news reported.

Sutopo tweeted that heavy rain caused flooding in several areas in Pandeglang and disrupted the evacuation process.

Indonesia’s Meteorology Agency issued an alert urging people to stay away from the coasts due to predicted weather conditions that could cause strong tides.

The country on Wednesday also commemorated the 167,799 people who lost their lives in 2004 as a result of the December 26 Boxing Day tsunami caused by a magnitude-9.1 earthquake off the northern coast of Sumatra.

The disaster also caused deaths in a dozen other nations around the Indian Ocean, killing around 230,000 people in total.

Buddhists, Muslims and Christians all took part in events marking the disaster’s 14th anniversary, including at Siron Tsunami Mass Grave in the Sumatran province of Aceh, the hardest hit by the natural disaster.

The absence and failure of early tsunami warning systems contributed to the huge casualties in Saturday’s tsunami because people had no opportunity to be evacuated, the BNPB had said.

The authorities blamed the tsunami on the collapse of part of Anak Krakatau volcano after it erupted in the Sunda Strait. Many people were celebrating the holiday period when they were hit by waves 4 to 5 metres high.

Indonesia sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of great seismic and volcanic activity that is shaken every year by some 7,000 earthquakes, most of them moderate.

IANS

Disaster

Study reveals new strategies to control Covid-19 pandemic

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Social Distancing in Mizoram

London, July 13 : Strategies for the safe reopening of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic must recognise that preserving people’s health is as important as reviving the economy, say researchers, including one of Indian-origin.

In the study, published in the European Journal of Epidemiology, the research team examined three community-based exit strategies, and recommended their scopes, limitations and the appropriate application in the LMICs.

The three approaches considered are sustained mitigation, zonal lockdowns and rolling lockdowns. “Successfully re-opening a country requires consideration of both the economic and social costs,” said study lead author Rajiv Chowdhury from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

“Governments should approach these options with a mind-set that health and economy both are equally important to protect – reviving the economy should not take priority over preserving people”s health,” he added.

The study also revealed that strategies need to be based on the local epidemic growth rate at the time, social and economic costs, existing health systems capabilities and detailed plans to implement.

Sustained ”mitigation-only” approaches such as those adopted in the UK, Switzerland and other European countries, involve basic prevention measures such as mask-wearing, physical distancing and the isolation of positive cases after testing.

Zonal lockdowns approach involves identifying and ”cordoning off” new outbreak clusters with a high number of cases, keeping contact between zones and containing the disease within a small geographic area.

However, the authors point out that any successful implementation of zonal lockdown requires regular data feedback operations in real-time to identify hotspots, including information on newly confirmed cases, updated region-specific reproduction and growth rates, and deaths by age.

Additionally, control of transmission within zones may be an enormous undertaking. For example, in India, where this approach has been employed, the infection size within a cordoned zone can be as high as 100-200 times outside the zone.

Intermittent rolling lockdowns are now advocated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in various LMICs. These involve implementing strict social distancing for a set number of days before a period of relaxation. Rolling lockdowns may be particularly useful in LMICs with dense populations, where this is a high potential for contact, weak health systems and poor contact tracing.

“These three strategies should not be considered as one or the other. A country should further adapt and could combine them as needed,” the authors wrote.

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Cities

Doctor who managed Goa’s only Covid hospital tests positive

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

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Dr Gomes

Panaji, July 13 : Dr. Edwin Gomes, who had emerged as the face of Goa”s Covid-19 treatment and care effort, and had served as the in-charge of medication of patients at the state’s only designated Covid-19 hospital, has tested positive for the viral infection, a government spokesperson said.

“Dr. Gomes has been admitted to a state government facility for doctors infected by coronavirus,” the spokesperson said.

Gomes, 58, is also the head of medicine at the state”s only medical college, the Goa Medical College, and had last week ended his unbroken 98-day shift at the designated Covid-19 hospital.

The state currently has more than 900 active Covid-19 cases, with 17 fatalities linked to coronavirus.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said that “four to five” Covid-19 patients who died, were suffering from cancer. “Eight to 10 patients were above the age of 80 years, while one also died of liver failure. The death rate has increased due to co-morbid conditions,” Sawant told reporters at the State Secretariat.

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Uttar Pradesh: Corona reaches Speaker’s office in Vidhan Sabha

Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary is also being treated for Corona in SGPGIMS.

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UP Assembly

Lucknow, July 13 : The Covid-19 infection has reached the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha.

UP Speaker Hriday Narain Dixit’s OSD Pankaj Mishra and his personal secretary Ajay Pratap Singh have tested positive for the Coronavirus.

Mishra has been admitted to the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) while Ajay Pratap Singh has been admitted to the Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences.

The Speaker”s Corona test report, however, shows that he is negative.

The Speaker has asked all those who came in contact with him and his staff to get themselves tested. He has also quarantined himself.

Five ministers of the Yogi government have already tested positive for Corona.

UP ministers Rajendra Pratap Singh, Dharam Singh Saini, Chetan Chauhan, Upendra Tiwari and Raghuraj Singh have tested positive for Corona and are under treatment.

Leader of Opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary is also being treated for Corona in SGPGIMS.

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