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Manish Tewari’s troop march claim triggers controversy

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Former Union Minister Manish Tewari has raked up the 2012 troop movement controversy, saying a media report about army units moving towards Delhi without notifying the then UPA government was “unfortunate but true” even as his own party distanced itself from his claims while former Army Chief V K Singh rubbished the remarks.

As Tewari’s remarks opened a can of worms, Singh dismissed the claims and called the Congress leader jobless even as the BJP questioned the timing of the remarks and demanded a statement from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the matter.

Replying to a question at a book release function here yesterday, Tewari had said, “At that point of time I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence. And it’s unfortunate but the story was true. Story was correct.”

Tewari, who was Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in UPA government between October 2012 and May 2014, said, “I am not getting into an argument. All I am saying is that to the best of my knowledge that story was correct”.

The Congress leader was asked about media coverage of issues pertaining to defence forces as in the case of the Indian Express report on April 4, 2012, titled “The January night Raisina Hill was spooked: Two key Army units moved towards Delhi without notifying Govt.”

Reacting to his remark, former Army chief and Union Minister Singh said, Tewari should be told to read his book which talks about the issue.

“He should be told to read my book, which reveals all (about the issue),” he said.

Singh, who had in 2012 dismissed the report, said, “He (Tewari) has no work these days.”

The Congress on its part distanced itself fom Tewari’s claims.

“We on behalf of Congress very clearly and categorically want to deny this report,” party spokesperson P C Chacko said.

Another party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said there is no truth in the report. “I am again clarifying there is absolutely no truth in it (claims about troop movement in 2012), he said.

“My colleague was neither a member of the Cabinet Committee on Security, nor any relevant decision making body,” Singhvi said, adding some troop movements are necessary, inbuilt and inevitable part of the defence mechanism.

“It was inappropriate, unnecessary and completely wrong to suggest that there was any truth in those allegations when made,” he said.

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Six more test corona positive in Gujarat, total 53

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New Delhi, The health authorities announced on Saturday that six more coronavirus positive cases have been detected in Gujarat, taking the number of positive cases to 53.

Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health and family welfare Department, Gujarat said, “On Saturday, six more positive cases were found. Among the affected are persons from Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Ahmedabad who got infected through local transmission.”

This takes the total corona positive cases in the state to 53. Three deaths have also been reported from the state. The highest number of cases detected is in Ahmedabad: 18, followed by Vadodara: 9, Rajkot: 8, Gandhinagar: 8, Surat: 7 and one each in Bhavnagar, Mahesana and Kutch.

“We have covered a significant population of the state, that is 4,46,60,856 people have been covered under the survey so far in the state, carried out by ten thousand health workers in the state. The survey found travel history of total 60,708 where 50,169 had interstate travelling and 10,539 had travelled abroad,” added Ravi.

“We are carrying out the sample testing as per the ICMR protocols. So far we have sent 993 samples for testing, out of which 938 were found negative, while confirmatory tests are being carried out for two,” said Ravi.

“The cases of home quarantine have come down from 20,103 to 19,340 whereas the number of forced quarantine in government facilities is 657,” she said.

“All the four dedicated hospitals in Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara are ready with isolation wards. The state has total 2,399 ventilators in which 660 are in government and 1,739 are in private healthcare facilities. Everyday we are receiving 30,000 N95 masks and 300,000 three-layered masks which are being distributed.

The total number of N95 masks are more than 45,000 and three-layered mask are more than 6 lakhs and the total number of PPE kits is 29,500, said Ravi.


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Covid-19 test now available on Practo for Rs 4,500

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Coronavirus Symtoms

Bengaluru, March 28 (IANS) Leading digital healthcare platform Practo on Saturday said it has partnered with diagnostic lab chain Thyrocare to conduct Covid-19 detection tests authorised by the government and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Starting Saturday, the test is available for Mumbai residents for Rs 4,500, and will soon be expanded to the rest of the country, Practo said.

A valid doctor’s prescription, duly filled Test Requisition Form signed by the physician, and a photo ID card has to be presented at the time of testing.

“To ensure that anyone who experiences the symptoms of the infection can get tested, the government is constantly working on expanding the list of labs and centers,” Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Health Strategy Officer, Practo, said in a statement.

“We’ve partnered with Thyrocare to ensure that access to these tests is not an issue. We will continue to work closely with the authorities to identify more such areas where Practo can solve for accessibility – be it for doctor consultations, testing or medicine delivery,” Kuruvilla added.

Certified phlebotomists from home healthcare service provider I2H will collect the samples from the patients’ homes directly, Practo said, adding that the swab that is taken during the test will be collected in a viral transport medium (VTM) and will be transported in a cold chain to the Thyrocare laboratory which has been selected for COVID-19 testing.

The report will be made available to the patients on the Practo website within 24-48 hours of the sample collection, the company added.


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J&K sets up helpline for stranded residents

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New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) To help stranded Jammu and Kashmir residents in the national capital and other parts of the country due to lockdown, the J&K Resident Commission has set up a 24×7 dedicated helpline centre.

Additional Secretary Rimpy Ohri is supervising the centre’s functioning. Three helpline numbers — 24611210, 24611108 and 24615475 — have been announced.

Any J&K resident facing any issue due to lockdown could contact the helpline numbers, said an official spokesperson.

Hundreds of students from across the country had been helped by the commission to return to their homes or stay at various dedicated hotels in Delhi, the spokesperson added.

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