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United Nations rejects US claim it is using coronavirus to promote abortion

“Any suggestion that we are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to promote abortion is not correct,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

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NEW YORK : The United Nations rejected on Thursday an accusation by the United States that the world body was using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to promote access to abortion through its humanitarian response to the deadly global outbreak.

The UN is seeking some $6.7 billion for its coronavirus response plan and has so far received $1 billion, of which $172.9 million was given by the United States. A Reuters tally shows the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has infected some 5 million people globally and caused almost 327,000 deaths.

“Any suggestion that we are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to promote abortion is not correct,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

“While we support healthcare that prevents millions of women from dying during pregnancy and childbirth and protects people from sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, we do not seek to override any national laws,” he said.

In a letter to UN chief Antonio Guterres on Monday, acting USAID Administrator John Barsa said the world body’s plan – announced two months ago – gave sexual and reproductive health services the same level of importance as food insecurity, essential healthcare, malnutrition, shelter, and sanitation.

Washington has long-viewed “sexual and reproductive health services” as code for abortion.

“The UN should not use this crisis as an opportunity to advance access to abortion as an ‘essential service,’” wrote Barsa, adding that it was “most egregious” that the plan “calls for the widespread distribution of abortion-inducing drugs and abortion supplies, and for the promotion of abortion.”

The United Nations plan is to help 63 states, mainly in Africa and Latin America, combat the spread and destabilizing effects of the pandemic. Guterres has raised concerns about inadequate support for poor countries and lamented a lack of leadership by world powers in the coronavirus fight.

Health

Oats, rye bran may reduce weight gain, hepatic inflammation

The findings suggest that both brans have the capacity to create a favourable environment in the gut by supporting the growth of beneficial microbes.

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Oats Idli

London, July 5 : Want to lose some weight? Read on. Researchers have found that the consumption of dietary fibre from oat and rye brans increased the growth of beneficial microbes in the intestines and reduced hepatic inflammation.

In addition, diets enriched with oat or rye bran were shown to attenuate weight gain. The effects of oat and rye were partly different, but both were beneficial for health.

For the study, published in the Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, the research team from the University of Eastern Finland, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland collaborated with the University of Hong Kong.

The health benefits of oat, rye and other whole-grain products have been widely studied, and their use has been associated with decreased inflammation and improved glucose, lipid and adipose tissue metabolism in human and animal experimental research.

In addition, they have been linked to a decreased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes. Different dietary fibres are also known to have different health effects.

In the current study, the research team wanted to investigate differences in metabolites produced by gut microbiota and their interactions with host metabolism in response to supplementation with oat and rye bran fibres.

The study was an animal experiment during which mice were fed a high-fat Western diet for 17 weeks. Two groups were fed the same diet enriched with 10 per cent of either oat or rye bran.

Among the various gut microbial metabolites, this study focused on those especially relevant to the development of fatty liver disease, which is often associated with obesity. Thus, microbial metabolites were assessed by measuring cecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), ileal and faecal bile acids, and the expression of genes related to tryptophan metabolism.

The findings suggest that both brans have the capacity to create a favourable environment in the gut by supporting the growth of beneficial microbes.

Both bran fibres enhanced the production of SCFAs, leading to improved gut integrity, reduced liver inflammation. “In addition, both oat and rye supplementation were shown to attenuate weight gain associated with a high-fat diet,” the authors noted.

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Disaster

Rahul questions performance of ventilators funded by PM CARES

Quoting a former employee, the news article alleged that PM CARES Ventilator Maker AgVa has “fudged” software in order to hide “poor performance”.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, July 5 : Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday alleged that the Central government is putting Indian lives at risk by purchasing sub-standard ventilators for the fight against coronavirus.

Quoting an article, Gandhi tweeted, “PMCares opacity is: 1. Putting Indian lives at risk. 2. Ensuring public money is used to buy sub-standard products.”

He even used a hashtag “BJP fails Corona Fight”.

Quoting a former employee, the news article alleged that PM CARES Ventilator Maker AgVa has “fudged” software in order to hide “poor performance”.

Gandhi”s tweet comes soon after Congress asked four specific questions to the Centre, mostly revolving around the makers, the tendering process and price.

Earlier on Sunday, Congress spokesperson Gaurav Vallabh asked, “Multiple government hospitals of repute and expert panel of doctors had reported that ventilators supplied by AgVa Health Care are of sub standard quality and are of no use. Why Government is compromising with the health of lakhs of patients with such sub standard equipment at such a critical time?”

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Disaster

Congress raises questions over ventilator prices, quality

Citing the PMO release, he said ventilators were ordered at Rs 400,000 a piece. But at the same time, AgVa Healthcare quoted Rs 150,000 per ventilator.

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Gourav Vallabh Congress

New Delhi, July 5 : Taking a break from upping the ante on the India-China standoff, the Congress, here on Sunday, raised questions over availability and purchase of ventilators through the PM-CARES fund.

“On March 31, the government had placed orders to procure 40,000 ventilators from two domestic manufacturers. Skanray Technologies was given the order for 30,000 ventilators and AgVa Healthcare, 10,000 ventilators.

“Thereafter, the PM-CARES fund allocated Rs 2,000 crore for supply of 50,000 ventilators to the government-run Covid hospitals. Did the 50,000 ventilators ordered through the PM-CARES fund include the earlier order for 40,000 ventilators? Or they are separate,” said Congress spokesperson Gourav Vallabh.

According to the PMO release, only 1,340 ventilators had been delivered till June 23, he said.

Citing the PMO release, he said ventilators were ordered at Rs 400,000 a piece. But at the same time, AgVa Healthcare quoted Rs 150,000 per ventilator.

“When the ventilator is available at Rs 1,50,000 a piece, then why the PM-CARES fund had allocated Rs 4,00,000 per ventilator? Where is this extra money going,” the Congress leader demanded to know.

He also asked if the open tendering and competitive bidding process was followed in the placing of orders.

The Congress spokesman said when several government hospitals and panels of experts and doctors had said that ventilators supplied by AgVa Healthcare were sub-standard and of no use, why the government was compromising on health of lakhs of patients by ordering low quality equipment.

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