AS NUMBERS CROSS 1.5L, INDIA BEGINS ‘SECOND BIG WAR’ AGAINST CORONA - The Daily Guardian
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AS NUMBERS CROSS 1.5L, INDIA BEGINS ‘SECOND BIG WAR’ AGAINST CORONA

India registers 152,879 fresh cases on the day Modi government launches Covid-19 mass vaccination festival; Centre prohibits exports of Remdesivir till situation improves.

Aishvarya Jain

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As India added 152,879 new Covid-19 cases to its total, setting another grim one-day record, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday declared the beginning of the “second big war” against the virus.

At the ‘Tika Utsav’ or Covid-19 mass vaccination festival, the PM asked to make targets at the personal, social and administrative levels and emphasised on testing, awareness and eligible individuals getting vaccinated.

In a message on the occasion, the Prime Minister stressed on four points regarding the nationwide vaccination drive. “Firstly, ‘Each One, Vaccinate’. Those who can’t go for vaccination, such as illiterate and old people, should be assisted. Secondly, ‘Each One, Treat One’. This involves helping people in getting who do not have resources or knowledge to get treated. Thirdly, ‘Each One, Save One’, which means that “I should wear a mask and save myself and others”. Finally, the community should lead in creating ‘micro-containment zones’ even in case of a single positive case. They are a key component of the fight against Covid-19 in a densely populated country like India,” the Prime Minister said.

He added that success would be determined by awareness, not moving out of homes unnecessarily, vaccinating all eligible persons, and following Covid-appropriate behaviour. He expressed hope people would participate and reminded the country about “dawai bhi, kadai bhi”.

The PM also insisted that the country has to move towards zero vaccine wastage and optimum utilisation of vaccination capacity.

Among concerns about shortages of vaccines and essential medicines, the Centre on Sunday prohibited exports of Remdesivir injections and Remdesivir Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), which is considered a key anti-viral drug in the fight against Covid-19.

Additionally, all domestic manufacturers of the drug have been advised to display details of their stockists/distributors on their website. A total of seven Indian companies are producing Injection Remdesivir under a voluntary licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences in the USA.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has been in contact with the domestic manufacturers to ramp up the production of Remdesivir, stated the press release issued by the Union Government.

Drug inspectors and other officers have also been directed to verify stocks, check malpractices and take effective actions to curb hoarding and black marketing. State Health Secretaries will review this with the Drug Inspectors of the respective states and UTs.

The Union has also advised the states that the extant “National Clinical Management Protocol for Covid-19”, which is based on evidence, has been developed after many interactions by the Committee of Experts and is the guiding document for treatment of Covid-19 patients. In the protocol, Remdesivir is listed as an investigational therapy, and shared decision-making is essential, besides taking note of contraindications mentioned in the detailed guidelines, it said further.

States and UTs have been advised to communicate the information to all hospitals, both public and private, and to monitor compliance.

These steps were taken as India’s Covid tally reached over 1.33 crore cases. 839 deaths in the last 24 hours pushed the total death count to 1.69 lakh.

Active cases have seen a steady increase for the 32nd day in row. The active cases increased to 11,08,087, comprising 8.29 percent of the total infections, while the recovery rate further dropped to 90.44 percent.

India’s worst-affected state Maharashtra reported 63,294 new cases and 349 deaths due to the virus. The state’s active case tally has mounted to 5,65,587.  

Delhi recorded 10,774 fresh cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, which is the highest single-day surge in the national capital till date. The previous highest-ever single-day spike in Delhi of 8,593 cases had been reported on November 11, 2020. 48 new fatalities were also recorded, pushing the death toll to 11,283. The fresh cases came after more than 1.14 lakh tests were conducted the previous day, which is a record number for Delhi. The positivity rate stood at 9.43 percent.

The Covid-19 death toll in Haryana reached 3,268 with 16 more fatalities, while 3,440 fresh cases pushed the infection tally to 3,16,881. While three fatalities were reported from Jind, two deaths each were reported from Panipat, Yamunanagar, Bhiwani, Karnal, Ambala, and one death each from Gurgaon, Hisar and Sirsa districts.

Uttar Pradesh reported 15,353 new Covid-19 cases, the highest single-day spike since the outbreak of the virus, while 67 fresh deaths took the toll in the state to 9,152. The total number of cases in the state stands at 6,92,015. The count of active is 71,241. In this month, so far, the highest single-day death toll has been 67.

Madhya Pradesh reported 5,939 fresh cases, the highest in a single day, taking the tally to 3,38,145, while 24 fatalities pushed the toll to 4,184. Madhya Pradesh is now left with 35,316 active cases. A total of 3,306 patients were discharged from hospitals in the last 24 hours, taking the count of recoveries to 2,98,645.

Gujarat reported 5,469 new Covid-19 cases and 54 deaths in the last 24 hours. The case tally went to 3,47,495, including 27,568 active cases.

Jammu and Kashmir reported 915 fresh infections while five more people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours.  Among the fresh cases, 288 cases were reported from the Jammu division and 627 from Kashmir Valley, taking the total tally to 1,38,390.

Kerala logged 6,986 new Covid-19 cases, which included 27 health workers, and 16 related deaths, taking the total affected to 11.67 lakh and the death toll to 4,783. As many as 2,358 people were also cured of the disease, taking the total number of recoveries to 11,17,700. The test positivity rate stood at 10.75 percent.

Meanwhile, Karnataka reported 10,250 new coronavirus cases, 2,638 discharges and 40 deaths in the last 24 hours.

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INDIA REVISES TRAVEL GUIDELINES, WILL REVIEW DECISION ON FLIGHT RESUMPTION

The government also asked the states to prioritise their containment, surveillance, testing, monitoring and vaccination strategies.

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In the wake of the emergence of the new Covid “variant of concern”, “Omicron”, India will review its decision on the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services. On Sunday, the government also revised travel guidelines for passengers coming to India from abroad. The government also asked the states to prioritise their containment, surveillance, testing, monitoring, vaccination strategies, apart from augmenting health infrastructure.

The government revised travel guidelines for international passengers, particularly those arriving from 12 “countries at risk”. These passengers will have to undergo Covid testing post-arrival and wait at the airport for the test results. In the case of a negative test report, the travellers will have to home-quarantine for seven days and will be tested again on the eighth day. If the second test report is also negative, the travellers will have to monitor themselves for another seven days. International travellers will also have to submit 14 days’ travel details and upload a negative RT-PCR test report on Air Suvidha portal before the journey. Travellers from countries excluding those “countries at risk” will be allowed to leave the airport and shall self-monitor themselves for 14 days. A sub-section (5% of total passenegrs on a flight) will have to undergo post-arrival testing at random at the airport The revised guidelines come into effect from 1 December.

On Sunday an urgent meeting was chaired by Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, following the high-level review by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, it was decided that the government will further review Standard Operating Procedure on testing and surveillance of incoming international passengers, especially for those countries identified “at risk” category.

Other experts including Dr V.K. Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog, Dr Vijay Raghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to Prime Minister and senior officers from Health, Civil Aviation and other Ministries comprehensively reviewed the overall global situation in wake of the Omicron virus.

“Various preventive measures in place and to be further strengthened were discussed. Further, the decision on the effective date of resumption of scheduled commercial international passengers service will be reviewed, as per evolving global scenario,” said a Home Ministry statement.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, genomic surveillance for Covid variants is to be further strengthened and intensified. “Airport Health Officials (APHOs) and Port Health Officials (PHOs) will be sensitized for strict supervision of testing protocol at airports and ports.”

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had chaired a comprehensive meeting that lasted for almost two hours to review the public health preparedness and vaccination-related situation for Covid-19.

As per an official statement issued by Prime Minister Office, officials briefed the Prime Minister about the new Variant of Concern ‘Omicron’ along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries. Its implications for India were also discussed. Prime Minister Modi spoke about the need to be proactive in light of the new variant.

WHAT THE STATES SAID

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to stop flights from countries affected by the new Covid-19 variant Omicron. In an official letter, Kejriwal wrote, “Our country has fought a tough fight against Corona for the last one and half years. We should do everything possible to prevent the new variant of concern from entering India.” “We should do everything possible to prevent the new variant of concern, recently recognised by WHO, from entering India. A number of countries, including the European Union (EU), have suspended travel to the affected regions. I urge you to stop flights from these regions with immediate effect. Any delay in this regard may prove harmful if any affected person enters India,” he stated.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that the state government is taking all the precautions and is prepared to deal with Omicron variant of Covid-19. Khattar said, “We are taking all precautions and are prepared to deal with it. The District Commissioners have been asked to remain vigilant especially before granting permission for fairs.”

Uttarakhand Health Secretary Dr Pankaj Kumar Pandey has instructed all the District Magistrates of the state to monitor the people coming from outside along with intensive testing as a precautionary measure against the Covid-19 variant Omicron. The Health Secretary has also given instructions to form monitoring teams at the district level for proper prevention.

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18 lives lost in Bengal accident, PM announces Rs 2 lakh each for next of kin

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In the wee hours of Sunday, 18 people were killed and 5 others were injured after a speeding vehicle, carrying a dead body along with family members and the kin for the last rites, hit a lorry loaded with stones, parked on the roadside.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences to the families of people who lost their lives in the road accident. “Extremely pained by the loss of lives due to a road accident in Nadia, West Bengal. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. May the injured recover at the earliest”, the PM tweeted. Union Home Minister Amit Shah and West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also expressed grief over the incident. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too expressed her condolences on the loss of lives and promised that the party would extend all the necessary support to the victims.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund (PMNRF) for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the road accident in Nadia on Sunday. “The injured will also be given Rs 50,000 each,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a tweet. “The Prime Minister has announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the road accident in Nadia, West Bengal. Rs. 50,000 would be given to the injured,” the PMO India tweeted.

Many leaders of Trinamool Congress (TMC) have expressed their condolences and the party will announce the compensation for the victims of the families, who have lost their lives in the Nadia Road accident.

“The party is going to announce the compensation to help the families of the victims. The party is also making arrangements for the treatment of the injured victims,” TMC leader Kunal Ghosh told The Daily Guardian.

As per the report, around 10 men, 7 women and a six-year-old girl were killed. All the 18 people who were killed in the unfortunate accident were the residents of Parmadon at Bagdah, North 24 Parganas. The car carrying the deceased and the relatives, was going to Nabadwip burning ghat. The accident took place at Hanskhali-Krishnagar state highways. While the car was crossing the Phoolbari area in Nadia, it collided with the truck parked on the roadside. The driver of the truck has been detained. All the injured people are shifted to Shaktinagar district hospital. As per the local sources, the accidents occurred due to dense fog and high speed.

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Vyapar app simplifies financial management for MSMEs

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Financial management is the key to business success. There’s no refuting this fact, but despite that, many business owners are simply not careful enough.

India has approximately 6.3 Crore MSMEs which contributes about 29 percent towards the GDP through its national and international trade. 70 percent of businesses in India are Micro, Small, and Medium-sized (MSMEs), and many business owners cannot cope with their business growth. Financial asset management is one of the contributing factors. In addition to that, many of them also struggle to keep up with digital systems that are supposed to ease the process but don’t actually do so. When they cannot afford better systems, hire qualified accountants and practice better financial management, they tend to lose control of their business.

To solve this issue, Vyapar App was launched in the year 2016 with the aim of making it easier for MSME business owners to run their businesses. Accounting can take a significant amount of their time, but they have comprehensive and accurate financial reports at the tips of their fingers with the app. Vyapar App is a business accounting application that helps the user store and access all their financial data in one place. In addition to offering an accounting solution, they also provide inventory tracking, customer and vendor management, invoice generation, barcode management, online cataloging, and even order tracking features.

Using Vyapar software you can send free transaction messages, payment reminders, generate E-way bills, delivery challan, generate financial reports and much more.

By providing so many features onto one software, they’ve enabled the growth of many MSME businesses in the country. Until now, many business owners would suffer because they had to use different applications for different purposes, which would lead to increased costs and efforts. But by using this easiest one-stop solution, they can manage their finances and get creative with it.

The software offers them the option to customise their dashboard and other feature of software as per their individual requirement. MSMEs have been able to present themselves professionally and see increased business as well.

One of the key points that many of their users talk about is that when the GST filing process was introduced, it was tough to manage it since you’d need an accountant with sound financial knowledge. But now, they can retrieve GST report directly from software in government prescribed format in excel. Later they can convert the excel file to JSON format using an offline utility tool available on GST portal. User can now upload the JSON file by logging in to GST portal.

This shows how the team at Vyapar Apps has taken the concerns of their users into account and adapted the software over time.

Overall, no other service in the market simplifies business and financial management for MSME business owners the way Vyapar App does. It’s available for download on the Play Store and can be done in two languages — English and Hindi. This will be a top-notch option if you’re looking to simplify financial management and grow your business.

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ACCURSED SHARE ANNOUNCES NFT COLLECTION BY PHOTOGRAPHER FREDERIC AUERBACH

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Artist-led production studio Accursed Share yesterday announced an NFT collection by celebrity photographer Frederic Auerbach that will give an exclusive insight into his work with five of Hollywood’s most notable celebrities as well as 30 never-before-seen ‘process’ photos culled from the working sessions with the stars.

The NFT collection, titled “Captured Moment: The Master’s Process,” will center around five famous figures – boxing legend Mike Tyson, singing legend Zendaya, as well as established actors like Natalie Portman, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sharon Stone.

The Master Series, which will feature celebrities, will be available for bidding in the middle of December. Winners will receive a dynamic NFT and a high-resolution one of the published work. The dynamic NFT is powered by an internal ‘smart contract’ innovation, Accursed Share’s proprietary technology, which displays an alternate edit of the final masterwork randomly at certain intervals.

Accursed Share CEO, John Connor said, “We wanted to give fans, collectors, and students of Auerbach’s work an internal view of his process and inspiration; we wanted to create a set of NFTs that really spoke to collectors and had engaging and intrinsic value.”

He added that Auerbach’s ability to capture the charisma and character of his subjects is unique in the world of photography, and his uncanny ability to ‘summon the ineffable’ in his images is very real. “This is something that seems to be missing from the current popular perception of NFTs, and we hope that this project -and other subsequent Accursed Share NFT projects will provide a renewed focus on high-quality NFT content and continue to push the boundaries of the medium,” Connor said.

Captured Moment’s first selections from the ‘Process Series’ will become available on December 5th, at which point early whitelist submissions will receive free airdrops of the first round.

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CROWDFUNDING SOLUTIONS THAT HELP IN EMPOWERING PEOPLE

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People must believe in the power to make someone smile, to save a life. Brilliant ideas and social change can make an impact on the world.

Social for Action is easy-to-use to help transform individuals and the non-profit giving sector. The most accurate online tools, offered to mobilise crowds towards great ideas and projects, enabling good things to get done fast. As a tech-for-good platform, there are complete crowdfunding solutions to empower individuals, NGOs and social enterprises. Thus, enabling fundraising for medical emergencies, personal needs, creative projects, or any social cause – be it big or small. The aim is to bring forward the generosity and the need to maximise the potential to do good.

The team works together to assist, innovate, collaborate and support anyone who wants to use crowdfunding to make a positive difference. On a given day, there are interactions with campaigners, stories written, evolving the platform to be more functional by reaching out to more NGOs and disbursing funds. The world can be changed – one fundraiser at a time.

FOR DONORS

Verification for all required documents for fundraisers from NGOs and individuals ensures that the donation makes a difference in its true goal. The primary objective is to enable social giving to trusted NGO projects and an uncomplicated, credible experience for verified individuals.

FOR NON-PROFITS AND INDIVIDUALS

A simple onboarding process and 0% platform fee make fundraising a simple experience for all NGOs, no matter how big or small.

“Social For Action’s crowdfunding platform has helped 4211 destitute women in Maher Ashram to raise 8,93,000/- INR in a month. The collective amount will support the holistic development of all orphans, for women who have been victims of violence rejected by relatives along with women with mental disabilities to stand on their own two feet,” said Lucy Kuriyan, Founder, Maher

“Social For Action has helped us to raise an amount of 3,34,000/- INR. This amount has helped build hostel and school construction projects at Kudal in Ratnagiri district and help destitute, single parents, and low-income household children,” Renu Gavskar, Founder, Eklavya Balshikshan Arogya Nyas.

Get a 50% tax exemption on the contribution made. All donations made to SFA, India’s most trusted crowdfunding platform, are exempt from tax under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

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I CALL MYSELF A LAWYER WITH A SOUL: NAINA PACHNANDA

In this conversation, the lawyer and author opened up about her journey from being a full-time lawyer and a motivational influencer at the same time.

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Naina Pachnanda recently joined NewsX for an insightful conversation as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation, the lawyer and author opened up about her journey from being a full-time lawyer and a motivational influencer at the same time.

We began the interview by asking Naina about her educational background, to which she replied, “I completed my schooling from Delhi Public School, RK Puram. I then went on to pursue BA LLB (Hons) from the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, wherein I graduated in 2014. I then wanted to pursue a carrier in litigation. In 2014, I joined the chambers of Paramjit Singh Patwalia, who is a senior advocate in the Supreme Court of India. At that time, he was an additional solicitor general in the Supreme Court of India. I had the good fortune of beginning my law career with him. Thereafter, I joined the litigation team at l&l partners law offices wherein I worked for about 3 years. After litigating for about 5 years, I decided to switch from litigation to policy and regulatory work. In 2019, I joined Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, wherein I drive legal regulatory policy and strategy side of affairs for innovation and technology commercialisation.” She went to say that, “I call myself a lawyer with a soul”.

Speaking about her poetic journey, she exclaimed, “My poetic journey began at the age of 10 when I wrote my first poem on Harry potter. Always been a big fan and still am. Mystically, it got published in the Telegraph kids in Kolkata where I went to school briefly. This gave me a lot of confidence and hence began my journey of poetry. Over the years that I went to law school and practiced litigation lawyer, my creative side took a backseat for some time because of time constraints. In December 2019, there was a calling within me to start an Instagram page to share my poetry based on hope, motivation and very relatable content for our generation because I feel poetry is a very powerful form of expression. I also believe that my words would resonate with many. Apart from sharing my poetry on Instagram, I also have a blog called ‘Lawyer with a poetic soul’ wherein I often share my poetry”.

We expressed our curiosity to hear about the two books that she had written. Naina shared, “In December 2019, when I started my Instagram handle for the sole purpose of sharing my poetry. It was during the lockdown. There were so many challenges so I decided to write about all those challenges very unapologetically in the form of poetry and post them on social media. The reason behind this was that I wanted everyone to feel the spirit of being united. This was the time when the response was very positive and my following started to grow. That is what encouraged me to write both my books. I wrote both my books during the pandemic.”

“I chose a very unique topic for my first book. I work for ‘Make in India’, so I decided to write about the schemes of the government of India such as Make in India, Startup India, Aatmnirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, Digital India Mission, etc. in poetic form because again I believe that poetry is something that touches the heart and it is the most impactful medium of self-expression,” she added.

Sharing insights on her second book, Naina revealed, ” ‘Miracles do happen’ was curated and conceived during the pandemic. It is a book of over 200 poems based on life, love, lost, failure, rejection, hope, motivation and so on. The idea behind this book is that life in general is a blur of uncertainty. The last 1.5 years have been particularly uncertain and full of challenges for all of us. The reason behind writing this book is to spread positivity and hope during these unprecedented times.”

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