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Buy affordable medicines from ‘Modi ki dukaan’: PM on Janaushadhi Diwas

Aditya Nair

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed Janaushadhi Diwas celebrations and interacted with beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana through video conferencing.

He urged people to buy medicines from Janaushadhi Kendras at affordable prices and said, “Medicines are expensive, that’s why we have the PM Jan Aushadhi Yojana for the poor which saves them money. I urge people to buy medicines at affordable costs from ‘Modi kidukaan’ as people like to call it.”

On the occasion, the leader also dedicated to the nation the 7,500th Janaushadhi Kendra at the North Eastern Indira Gandhi Regional Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NEIGRIHMS) in Shillong.

Union Ministers D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Mansukh Mandaviya, Anurag Thakur, Chief Ministers of Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, and Deputy Chief Ministers of Meghalaya and Gujarat were also present.

While interacting with a beneficiary, PM Modi asked people to spread the word about the benefits of janaushadhi. He said, “You are my family and your ailment is the ailment of my family members, which is why I want all my countrymen to stay healthy.” The PM also requested everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

He told beneficiaries that due to affordability, patients are taking the required medicines, which is leading to better health outcomes. He praised the youth for promoting the ‘Janaushadhi movement’ and asked them to help in the ongoing vaccine drive.

Talking about the 7500th Janaushadhi centre which opened in Shillong, PM Modi said that the dedication to the cause was important as there were not even 100 centres in India six years ago. He said that the aim now is to achieve the target of 10,000 centres.

PM Modi pointed out that for a long time, the government treated health as a subject of only disease and treatment. However, the topic of health is not confined to this but also affects the economic and social fabric of the country.

“Poor and middle-class families are saving about Rs 3,600 crore every year on expensive medicines. This scheme is also promoting self-reliance among women as more than 1000 centres are being run by them. In order to promote the scheme, the incentive has been enhanced from Rs 2.5 lakh to 5 lakh with an additional incentive of Rs 2 lakh for Dalit, Aadivasi women and people of the Northeast,” he said.

He further stated that the Ayushman Yojana had ensured free treatment up to Rs 5 lakh for the country’s more than 50 crore poor families. So far more than 1.5 crore people have taken advantage of it and saved about Rs 30,000 crore, he said.

The Prime Minister also noted that the demand for India-made medicines and surgery has increased. “Production is also increasing to keep up with the increasing demand. A large number of employment opportunities are also being created,” he said, adding that 75 AYUSH medicines are now available at the Janaushadhi centres. He said that patients will benefit by getting cheaper AYUSH medicines and the fields of Ayurveda and AYUSH medicine will also benefit.

The Prime Minister then lauded scientists for the ‘Made in India’ Covid-19 vaccine, saying, “Today, India has vaccines not only for local use but also for helping the world. The government has kept the interest of the poor and middle-class in mind for the vaccinations. Vaccination is free in the government hospitals and private hospitals are charging just Rs. 250, which is the lowest in the world.”

The leader also stressed on the need for having infrastructure for effective treatment and the availability of quality medical staff, adding that the government has started working on a holistic approach in extending the country’s health infrastructure from primary hospitals in villages to tertiary hospitals and medical colleges like AIIMS.

The Prime Minister recounted the government’s efforts to improve the medical setup in the last six years. He informed that in that period, more than 30,000 seats have been added to the 55,000 MBBS seats that existed in 2014. Similarly, to the 30,000 PG seats, 24,000 new seats were added. 180 new medical colleges have also been established in the last six years, along with 1.5 lakh health and wellness centres in villages, 50,000 of which have already started functioning. These centres are treating serious ailments and making sophisticated tests available locally, he noted.

The PM also spoke of the enormous increase in the allocation for health in the Union Budget and talked about the Pradhan Mantri Aatmanirbhar Swasthya Yojana. “Every district will be provided diagnostic centres and more than 600 critical care hospitals have been established. Work is on for establishing one medical centre in three Lok Sabha constituencies,” the Prime Minister said.

He ended his address by claiming that the effort of the government today is to make treatment cheaper and more accessible for everyone.

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YOGI ADITYANATH TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19

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LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.“I got tested for Covid-19 after showing some symptoms. The report is positive and I am in self-isolation and following all medical instructions. I am doing my work virtually. All the functions of the state government are running normally. Whoever came in my contact, please get their Covid test done,” Adityanath tweeted in Hindi.

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister on Tuesday went into self-isolation after coming into contact with some officials who tested positive for Covid-19. Uttar Pradesh reported 18,021 new Covid-19 cases and 85 deaths on Tuesday. ANI

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AS DELHI SEES 17K CASES, HEALTH MINISTER SAYS ENOUGH HOSPITAL BEDS FOR PATIENTS

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As Delhi registered more than 17,000 fresh Covid-19 cases—another record high in the national capital—and almost double the 9,925 cases in Mumbai, Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Wednesday said that there are enough hospital beds available for coronavirus patients.

Speaking to the media, Jain said, “Currently we have 13,000 beds and there is no shortage of ventilators. Patients from Delhi and other states are being admitted.” Elaborating on the arrangements that have been made, the Health Minister said the Central government has provided 1,100 beds and talks are going on to add more hospital beds.

He said that 286 out of 5,525 Covid Care Centres are occupied in Delhi. To set up more centres, banquets halls and hotels will be included soon, he added. The Health Minister said that there is no slowdown in Covid cases, the numbers of coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing and appealed to people to stay home. “The numbers of hospital beds (for availability) is being revised twice a day on the Delhi Corona App,” he said adding that people should visit hospitals only after going through the app.

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NO COMPARISON BETWEEN MARKAZ AND KUMBH: UTTARAKHAND CM

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Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Tuesday said that there is no comparison between Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi and Kumbh in Haridwar as the former was held in a closed space while the latter is being held in a vast open area.

Briefing the mediapersons, Rawat said, “There is no comparison between Markaz and Kumbh. Markaz was in a closed hall. All the people slept in a single hall with close contacts. They shared blankets. On the contrary, there are 16 ghats in Kumbh. Not just Haridwar, Kumbh is spread from Rishikesh to Nilkanth. Devotees take bath in different ghats at different times.”

“The Akhadas also reach the ghats at different time slots. The peshwai of the Akhadas visit in a time-bound manner. Markaz was in a closed building but Kumbh is in a vast open area. Most importantly, Kumbh is at the bank of the River Ganga. Maa Ganga’s blessings are there in the flow. So, there should be no corona,” added the CM.

Nizamuddin Markaz in Delhi is the headquarters of Tablighi Jamaat, a society of Sunni Islamic missionary movement. It caught national attention in March last year after the havoc Covid-19 infections caused among the people gathered in the building.

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GUJARAT STARTS NATION’S FIRST DRIVE-THROUGH RT-PCR TESTS

Abhijit Bhatt

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Drive-through RT-PCR tests have been started at the GMDC ground in Ahmedabad for the first time in the country from Wednesday, under a joint venture between the municipal corporation and Neuberg Supratech Laboratory. Sample collection was started in the morning to reduce the line of people wanting to get tested.

Those who come in car for the test first scan the QR code provided by the laboratory in their mobile phone. After mobile phone scanning and registering of all information, the car goes to a collection center inside. The suspect’s sample is taken by a person wearing a PPE kit without getting out of the car. From 8 a.m., about 50 vehicles arrived for the test. People returned with samples in just 5 minutes. About 10 collection centres have been set up by Neuberg Supratech Laboratory. In addition, walking test centers have also been set up, where people can get tested.

According to the director, Neuberg Supratech Laboratory, Dr Sandeep Shah, there were lines of people in the laboratory, so Dr Rajiv Gupta has arranged for drive-through RT-PCR tests to reduce the lines, for which an entire collection center has been set up with Sufalam software along with Neuberg Supratech Laboratory.

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TMC says EC acting on BJP’s instructions

Lists alleged instances of EC inaction against Modi-Shah.

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Raising questions over the functioning of the Election Commission during the ongoing West Bengal polls, a delegation of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Wednesday met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and submitted a memorandum, listing several instances of “inaction” against BJP’s “violators” and “over action” against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The delegation was led by TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien, who especially flew to Delhi to register the party’s grievances before the poll panel. Kalyan Banerjee, Dr Santanu Sen and Pratima Mandal were also part of the visiting TMC delegation.

“Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are seeking votes in the name of caste and religion. The Election Commission has not taken any action against the duo. We have now come here to formally file complaint and ask for action against them,” said Banerjee while briefing reporters outside the EC headquarters. 

The memorandum submitted by the TMC leaders to the EC was divided into three parts, in which “illegality by EC” was highlighted in an orderly manner. The first part was inaction of the EC, wherein references to various “divisive speeches” made by PM Modi and Home Minister Shah were mentioned and the TMC emphasised how action was not taken against them despite their speeches being fit cases of poll code violations.

The second part spoke of “mild action” taken against mid-level BJP leaders, who flouted EC norms and that too after much hue and cry by the TMC. 

The third part spoke of strong action by the EC against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who, according to the TMC, only appealed to female voters to lodge protests against those who hinder them from casting votes.

“It is apparent that the EC is acting in a partisan manner, absolutely in favour of the BJP or on its instructions, that is pre announced by the BJP,” said the memorandum. Since the onset of elections in West Bengal, the TMC has been accusing the BJP of misusing central agencies such as ED, CBI, EC and paramilitary forces.

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RAJASTHAN ORDERS 6 PM TO 6 AM CURFEW STARTING FRIDAY

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JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government on Wednesday night announced a 12-hour daily curfew—from 6 pm to 6 am—starting Friday, across all cities, as part of a series of measures to combat a worrying spike in Covid cases. The curfew will be in effect till the end of the month.

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