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Next 24 hours critical for Siachen braveheart




Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, miraculously rescued from the Siachen glacier after being buried under 35 feet of snow for six days, was in coma and battling for life on Tuesday.

Doctors said the soldier from Karnataka, who along with nine other colleagues of the Madras Regiment had been assumed dead, was in “extremely critical” condition at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here.

The bodies of the other soldiers who too were swept away by an avalanche on February 3 at a height of 20,500 feet on the southern side of the glacier in Jammu and Kashmir were also found, the army said.

The dead included a Junior Commissioned Officer.

A medical bulletin said Koppad, who was flown to Delhi early on Tuesday, was in shock with low blood pressure and was on ventilator in the ICU. The next one or two days were critical for him.

“He has been placed on ventilator to protect his airway and lungs in view of his comatose state,” said the bulletin issued at 4 p.m.

“He remains extremely critical and is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24-48 hours due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body.

“He has pneumonia and his investigations have revealed liver and kidney dysfunction. Fortunately, there was no cold exposure related frost

The soldier, being treated by experts, has been given fluids and drugs to bring up his blood pressure.

President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday lauded the “indomitable spirit” of Koppad. Modi visited the hospital along with army chief General Dalbir Singh.

Mukherjee said in a message to the army chief: “I am happy to know that Koppad has survived the avalanche… I applaud his indomitable spirit and ability to endure adverse conditions.”

Modi tweeted: “No words are enough to describe the endurance and indomitable spirit of Hanumanthappa. He is an outstanding soldier.”

In Karnataka, his distraught family and relatives prayed for his well being.

The soldier was luckily inside an “arctic tent” which possibly aided his survival despite being under the ice sheet, army sources said.

The tent is designed to withstand extreme temperatures and has a fibre-reinforced structure.

While Koppad’s survival is a miracle, doctors say he was possibly trapped in an air pocket which saved him.

“Air pocket created between the snow layers can possibly be a reason for his survival. Also, a strong will power to survive must have acted as an added advantage,” said H.S. Chauhan, president of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation.

Soldiers posted in harsh icy conditions are trained to look for air pockets in case of an avalanche and know how to clear the snow near the nose and the mouth so that they can keep breathing.

Even six days after the disaster, by which most people feared that none of the 10 soldiers could have survived, the army refused to give up its search operation in a hostile environment.

The efforts paid off late on Monday.

Doctors at the site immediately administered warm intravenous fluids, humidified warm oxygen and passive external re-warming — all of critical importance after the long time spent in the sub-zero environment.

Koppad was then flown out of the site on Tuesday by helicopter, along with a medical specialist, first to the Siachen base camp, then to Thois air base in Ladakh and finally to Delhi.

That’s where the soldier battles on — this time for his life.


COVID-19: Sanitisation drive taken up at Parliament

After an inspection by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Parliament House, the Lok Sabha Secretariat had previously conducted a similar exercise on March 21.




Parliament of India

New Delhi, May 30 : In the face of six novel coronavirus cases reported in Parliament so far, different civic agencies on Saturday undertook a sanitization drive in all buildings of the British-era complex.

Central Public Works Department (CPWD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and other agencies participated in the drive that included sanitization of all indoor and outdoor areas, individual offices, restrooms, and all common areas.

After an inspection by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Parliament House, the Lok Sabha Secretariat had previously conducted a similar exercise on March 21.

On that occasion, Birla said that awareness and restraint are key to corona prevention.

Thereafter, several such exercises were undertaken on a periodic basis.

In the exercise held on Saturday, CPWD, NDMC and other allied agencies, working within the Parliament, used specialized equipment and strong chemical disinfectants like Sodium Hydrochloride to ensure sanitation in and around Parliament.

The sanitation drive was conducted as a precautionary measure and to minimize contact between officials working within the complex. Currently, as per Lok Sabha Secretariat orders, a certain number of officers and staff are required to work from home.

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Govt in lockdown exit mode limits curbs to containment zones till June 30

Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force on the movement of individuals for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.




delhi hotspot coronavirus

New Delhi, May 30 : The Centre on Saturday took an exit step from the 68-day nationwide lockdown, declaring that the restrictions will be limited only to containment zones up to June 30 and that the prohibited activities will be opened in a phased manner in areas outside these zones, allowing restaurants, malls, religious places and education sectors to open in a phased manner.

Applicable from Monday, June 1, the fresh order issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) spoke of the expanded fresh guidelines a day ahead of the end of lockdown 4.0.

“In exercise of powers under section 6 (2) (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed the undersigned to issue an order to extend the lockdown in containment zones up to June 30, and reopen prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside the containment zones,” the order read.

“Therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred under section 10 (2)(l) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, it is directed that the guidelines will remain in force up to June 30. With effect from June 1 to June 30, the lockdown 5.0 will be limited only to containment zones and only a elimited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country'”, it added.

As per the order, international air travel, operation of Metro Rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, and political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural and religious functions, and other large congregations will remain prohibited.

Based on extensive consultations held with the states and Union Territories (UTs), the guidelines have allowed all activities that were prohibited earlier in areas outside the containment zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following the standard operating procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry.

The Covid-19 pandemic has so far infected over 1.73 lakh people in India, claiming the lives of 4,971 people across the country.

During lockdown 5.0, in Phase I, religious places and places of worship, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services, and shopping malls will be permitted to open from June 8. The Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central ministries, the concerned departments and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing.

In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational, training and coaching institutions will be opened after consultations with the states and UTs.

As per the MHA order, state governments and UT administrations have been advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in July.

In Phase III, dates for their opening will be decided based on the assessment of the situation.

The lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the state and UT governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.

Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities will be allowed. There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods.

No separate permission, approval or e-permit will be required for such movements. However, if a state or UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movements.

Night Curfew shall continue to remain in force on the movement of individuals for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

Vulnerable persons such as persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes, the order said.

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20 new containment zones formed in Delhi; 122 total

Covid cases in the national capital crossed the 18,000 mark on Saturday.




covid lockdown delhi

New Delhi, May 30 : The number of Containment Zones in the national capital rose to 122 on Saturday with 20 new being formed in the last 24 hours, according to Delhi Government.

Among the 20 new containment zones, one is in East, three in North, three in south-east and 13 in West zone.

The highest 24 containment zones are in the North district. The South East has 17 containment zones while the South district has 12 zones.

Among those having the least zones is the New Delhi district with three zones.

The South West has 12 such zones while the North West districts has 13 containment zones.

The Central district has seven zones and the North East district has four zones while Shahdara district has eight zones.

Six containment zones are in the East district.

So far, total 53 zones have been de-contained, as per the data shared by the Delhi government on Saturday — the highest 12 from the West district. On Saturday, three zones were freed — two in the south-east district and one in the South district.

Covid cases in the national capital crossed the 18,000 mark on Saturday.

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