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No country thought of exit strategy, says Swedish physician to Rahul

“I think it will take months to really ease out the lockdown. But you must do one restriction at a time and see what happens,” said Johan Giesecke.

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Johan Giesecke Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, May 27 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, continuing with series of talks on Covid-19 crisis, interacted with Johan Giesecke, a well-known Swedish physician and Professor Emeritus at the Karolinska Institute at Stockholm. Giesecke said that no country thought of exit strategy prior to announcing the lockdown.

“All the countries in Europe that instituted the lockdown one or two months ago, did not think about the exit strategy at that time,” said Johan Giesecke.

“I think you will soon create more harm than good with a severe lockdown,” he added.

He said, “Every single country had said that we’ll do this lockdown, we’ll close this school, we’ll close this border, we’ll close the restaurants. I don’t think at that point they thought about how to get out of it.”

“Now everyone is asking the same question, how do we get out of this,” added Giesecke.

He suggested that the exit has to be step wise. “Take away restrictions in India one by one, you take one away, you soften one restriction,” he suggested.

He further said, “Wait 2-3 weeks and see what happens. If you have more spread of the disease, then take one step back and try another restriction.”

“I think it will take months to really ease out the lockdown. But you must do one restriction at a time and see what happens,” said Johan Giesecke.

However, he said that it is a difficult balance there. “I think the way we have done it in Sweden is that the main thing is to protect the old and the frail. They should be protected from the disease. Everything else comes second.”

“So what we have done is that we have not completely shut down the country. Many workplaces are still open. Many people are working from home if they can. We don’t have restrictions. You can go outside, and meet other people outside. Better than in your home,” he said.

He suggested that for India, “you will ruin your economy very quickly if you had a severe lockdown. I think it’s better to skip the lockdown, take care of the old and the frail, and let the other people have the infection. Most people will not even be sick. They will not even notice they have it.”

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Iran’s Khamenei says all must help fight ‘tragic’ virus resurgence

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Ali Khamenei

Everyone must help fight the “tragic” resurgence of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei says.

Speaking in a video conference to parliamentarians, Khamenei stated that Iran’s “enemies” fail to achieve their “anti-Iran goals” despite strong pressure on Tehran.

Earlier, Khamenei criticized the US for using “knee on neck” policies on the whole world and also accused the US of creating COVID-19.

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China raises flood response to 2nd-highest level

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

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Flood in China

Beijing, July 12 : China on Sunday raised the emergency response for flood control to Level II, the second-highest in the response system, as heavy rains continued to lash vast stretches of the country.

Since July 4, alert-triggering floods have been observed in 212 rivers nationwide, among which 19 topped previous water level records, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) as saying.

By Sunday afternoon, floods in 27 provincial regions, including Jiangxi, Anhui, and Hubei had resulted in the deaths or disappearance of 141 people, and 2.25 million emergency relocations this year.

Around 28,000 homes were flattened and 3.53 million hectares of crops affected, with the direct economic loss at 82.23 billion yuan ($11 billion).

The water level in Taihu Lake, the country’s second-largest freshwater lake, has risen above the alert level for 15 consecutive days, said the MWR.

China’s State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters also lifted the emergency response to Level II later Sunday, following its last upgrade from Level IV to Level III on July 7.

The announcement came after Poyang lake, China’s largest freshwater lake located in Jiangxi province, saw its water level at the Hukou station nearing the guaranteed level of 22.5 metres at 4 p.m. on Sunday, indicating an extraordinary emergency of flood control.

Due to severe flooding, the headquarters, the Ministry of Emergency Management, and the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration on Sunday allocated disaster-relief supplies to Jiangxi, Hunan, and Guizhou.

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COVID-19: 55 inmates of Guwahati jail test positive for coronavirus

Meanwhile, the Assam government has refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers’ leader, tested COVID-19 positive.

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Guwahati Central Jail

Guwahati, July 11 : As many as 55 inmates lodged in Guwahati Central jail have tested positive for coronavirus, causing concern among the authorities, health officials said on Saturday.

A senior officials of the Health and Family Welfare Department said that the authorities of both health and prison departments are inquiring how the jailbirds were infected by the contagious virus during the past few days.

In pursuance to the Supreme Court”s order, different state governments of the northeastern region including Assam have taken several steps to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus in jails.

In all the eight northeastern states, several thousand prisoners had already been released on interim bail or PR Bond to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic inside the jails.

Meanwhile, the Assam government has refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers’ leader, tested COVID-19 positive.

On Akhil Gogoi’s Covid positive report, Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said he had not received any such information from the health department.

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for COVID-19.”

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) founder is lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail for the past seven months for his role in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Wednesday, two associates of Gogoi, who are in judicial custody, tested COVID-19 positive.

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