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US President Obama calls PM Modi, discusses climate conference



In a bid to clinch a deal at the ongoing Paris climate conference, President Barack Obama is working the phones with calls to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other world leaders.

He spoke on the phone with Modi Tuesday “to discuss the ongoing Paris climate conference,” according to a White House readout of the call.

“Both leaders emphasized their personal commitment to secure a strong climate change agreement this week and their interest in our countries’ working together to achieve a successful outcome,” it said.

On behalf of the American people, Obama also accepted Modi’s condolences for the loss of life in the San Bernardino shootings last week.

Besides calling Modi on Tuesday, Obama conferred by phone earlier this week with President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, New York Times cited Secretary of State John Kerry as saying in an interview on the sidelines of UN climate change talks in Paris.

India and Brazil, along with China and the US, are among the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases that warm the planet, noted the media.

“The role of the four nations in reaching a deal to curb those emissions is crucial to the success of the negotiations.”

In a separate discussion with reporters on Tuesday, Kerry said he had also been working the phones to reach a deal, the Times said.

He said he spoke Tuesday with Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, the deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia, a country that is seen as a possible spoiler of a deal.

“He has pledged to help. I think the Saudis want an agreement,” said Kerry, who also spoke Tuesday with top Chinese officials.

The US and China have jointly pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but the US has been pushing for aggressive terms requiring countries to verify their reduced emissions in a step that the Chinese see as intrusive.

Wefornews Bureau


Six more test corona positive in Gujarat, total 53




coronavirus cases

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




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




Jammu and Kashmir-m
File Photo

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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