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Odd-even not a solution to Delhi pollution, says AIIMS doctor



odd even

New Delhi, April 27 : The problem of air pollution cannot be tackled by the odd-even formula alone, but the government should also subsidize electric cars which do not pollute the air, said a senior AIIMS doctor.

“By implementing the odd-even strategy, only the number of cars can be brought down to some extent, but air pollution and toxicity cannot be brought down at any cost,” said Randeep Guleria, head of respiratory medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Speaking at an event ahead of World Asthma Day, Guleria said the odd-even policy won’t work in the long run and instead the government should come up with a multi-pronged strategy to deal with the problem.

“We need to subsidize electric cars and two wheelers. They are environment friendly. We have to be realistic,” he said.

Guleria, who is among the world’s top pulmonary medicine specialists, also said there was need to improve the quality of cars and fuel.


Delhiites brace for an Eid at home amid Covid-19 pandemic




Lockdown Eid

New Delhi, May 24 : Observe Eid with simplicity, help your neighbour and feed the hungry. This seems to be the message this Eid ul-Fitr, at least in the national capital.

With assemblies prohibited and all religious places closed amid the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, Delhiites are bracing for an Eid at home, and so do religious leaders appeal for.

Stating that Eid means happiness, Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All India Imam Organization (AIIO), told IANS, “Happiness is possible only when others are happy as well. We are facing an unprecedented situation. I have appealed against buying new clothes and observing Eid by staying home.”

Every year visuals of thousands offering namaaz at Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid showcases Eid. But this year the vast expanse of the mosque will remain empty. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ahmad Bukhari have asked people to offer prayers at their homes.

“I appeal to all the faithful to maintain social distancing and stay indoors during the Eid festivities,” Bukhari said. He urged them to extend a helping hand to the poor, the destitute and the needy in this hour of crisis, as hundreds and thousands were staring at an uncertain future.

Despite relaxations, footfall in most markets have been minimal due to the fear of infection. With restaurants not allowed to serve food, most traditional Mughlai eateries in the bylanes of Jama Masjid are likely to either remain shut or open only to provide home delivery.

One of the biggest Muslim festival, Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan. It’s normally celebrated with exchange of greetings, hugs, feasting and bonding. But due to the lockdown and corona scare, this Eid is likely to be muted.

Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted that though for the first time he would offer prayer and celebrate Eid at home due to the pandemic, it would not affect the festive spirit.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain, known for organising sumptuous Eid feast in the Lutyens Delhi, which is attended by top politicians cutting across political affiliations, journalists and other dignitaries, will also be observing a quiet Eid.

“I have been doing this Eid luncheon for 21 years. But this time things are different. No invitation has been sent. I will spend Eid in a simple way by distributing food among the poor,” said Hussain.

While the grandeur will be amiss this year, religious leaders insist it’s the intent that counts. They say, new clothes or a grand buffet is not what makes Eid special, it’s the happiness that counts, which increases manifold when shared with others.

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No quarantine, Arogya Setu essential for those coming to Delhi

While special trains are running to and from Delhi since May 12, domestic flights will start operating from May 25. More trains will be running from June 1.




Public and Police Relation During Corona

New Delhi, May 24 : Making thermal screening, social distancing and Arogya Setu app on mobile essential, the Delhi government on Sunday directed all departments to follow the guidelines issued by the Central government for domestic travel through air, train or inter-state buses, and stressed only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed.

In an order signed by Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority allowed Delhi’s Department of Health and Family Welfare to issue requisite SOPs for implementation of these guidelines, if required.

Dev, in his capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee, “directs all authorities concerned to ensure compliance of the guidelines dated May 24 issued by Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in letter and spirit”.

The guidelines for domestic travel — air, train, inter-state bus — says the dos and don’ts should be provided along with tickets to the travellers by the agencies concerned.

“All passengers shall be advised to download Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices. Suitable announcement about Covid-19 including precautionary measures to be followed shall be made at airports, railway stations, bus terminals and in flights, trains and buses,” the guidelines issued on Sunday said.

It says the states and the Union Territories should ensure that all passengers should undergo thermal screening at the point of departure and exit and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to board the flight, train or bus.

“During boarding and travel, all passengers shall use face covers/masks. They will also follow hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and maintain environmental hygiene.”

At all the points, required measures to ensure social distancing should be taken, it said.

“The airports, railway stations and bus terminals should be regularly sanitised and disinfected and availability of soaps and sanitisers shall be ensured.”

For the asymptomatic passengers, the guidelines said they will be permitted to go with the advice that they will self-monitor their health for 14 days.

“In case, they develop any symptoms, they shall inform the district surveillance officer or the state/national call centre (1075).”

Those found symptomatic, it said, will be isolated and taken to the nearest health facility. They will be assessed for clinical severity at the health facility.

“Those having moderate or severe symptoms will be admitted to dedicated Covid Health facilities and managed accordingly.”

The guidelines also said that those having mild symptoms will be given the option of home isolation or isolated in the Covid Care Centre (both public and private facilities) appropriate and tested as per ICMR protocol.

“If positive, they will continue in Covid Care Centre and will be managed as per clinical protocol. If negative, the passenger may be allowed to go home, isolate himself/herself and self-monitor his/her health for further seven days.”

The guidelines said, in case, any symptoms develop they should inform the district surveillance officer or the state national call centre (1075).

While special trains are running to and from Delhi since May 12, domestic flights will start operating from May 25. More trains will be running from June 1.

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Maharashtra’s Covid-19 cases cross 50,000, toll rises to 1,635

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine increased from 485,623 to 499,387 — a jump of 13,764 — and those in institutional quarantine went up from 33,545 to 35,107, a spurt of 1,562.




Coronavirus India PTI

Mumbai, May 24 : Maharashtra saw its Covid-19 tally crossing the 50K mark with the highest single-day infections of 3,041 patients catapulting the number of cases to 50,231, besides 58 deaths, health officials said here on Sunday.

This comes to roughly one death every 25 minutes, and a staggering average 127 new cases recorded every hour in the state.

The state has been recording over 50 fatalities and over 2,000 new patients for the past one week now, with the previous highest figure standing at 2,940 cases on May 22.

With 58 fatalities — down by 18 from highest 76 notched on May 19 — the state death toll has touched 1,635.

The Health Department said with the new cases, 33,988 were ‘active cases’.

Of the total 58 fatalities, 39 were recorded in Mumbai alone, taking the city deaths up from 949 to 988 now, while the number of Covid-19 positive patients here shot up by 1,725 cases to touch 30,542.

Mumbai’s congested Dharavi slum continued to be a major hotspot with 27 new cases on Sunday, taking the total number of infectees to 1,541 and 59 deaths till date. In a new initiative, the civic authorities are experimenting with group ‘laughter therapy’ for the people of Dharavi in a bid to ease stress and anxiety levels in the crowded slum district, now largely in containment.

Besides Mumbai’s 39 deaths, there were six each in Pune and Solapur, four in Aurangabad, two in Thane (Thane City and Mira-Bhayander) and one in Latur.

They comprised 34 men and 24 women, and nearly 67 per cent of them suffered from other serious ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems and asthma.

On the positive side, 1,196 fully cured patients returned home on Sunday, taking the number of those discharged to 14,600.

Addressing the state on Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned of cases spiking in the next few days besides hinting at an extension of the lockdown 4.0 and flight restrictions.

Meanwhile, top leaders including Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Thackeray, Congress state President Balasaheb Thorat, Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik and others greeted the Muslim community on Eid on Monday and urged them to celebrate the festival at home amid coronavirus safeguards.

The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (Thane Division, comprises Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts) continued to cause grave concerns with 1,110 Covid-19 deaths and positive cases shooting to 38,585.

Though trailing a distant second after Mumbai, Pune Division (Pune, Solapur, Satara) fatalities touched 309, besides 6,562 patients.

The next major area of concern is Nashik Division (Nashik, Ahmednagar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nandurbar) with 103 deaths and 1,570 positive cases, followed by Aurangabad Division (Aurangabad, Jalna, Hingoli, Parbhani) with 47 fatalities and 1,446 cases, and finally Akola Division (Akola, Amravati, Yavatmal, Buldhana, Washim) with 34 deaths and 733 cases.

There’s Latur Division (Latur, Osmanabad, Beed, Nanded) with 8 deaths and 226 cases, Kolhapur Division (Kolhapur, Sangli, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri) with 5 deaths and 504 patients, and finally Nagpur Division (Nagpur, Wardha, Bhandara, Gondia, Chandrapur, Gadchiroli) with 8 deaths and 556 cases.

Meanwhile, the number of people sent to home-quarantine increased from 485,623 to 499,387 — a jump of 13,764 — and those in institutional quarantine went up from 33,545 to 35,107, a spurt of 1,562.

The state’s containment zones came down from 2,345 to 2,283 on Sunday and 16,913 health teams have carried out a survey of a population of around 66.6 lakhs in the state.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])

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