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Centre launches operational guidelines for critical illnesses including cancer, diabetes

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New Delhi [India], February 22 (ANI): Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan launched the operational guidelines for Integration of NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) with NPCDCS (National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke), here on Monday.
Expressing his elation at the timely importance of the event, Harsh Vardhan said, “NAFLD, the abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver in the absence of secondary causes of fatty liver, such as harmful alcohol use, viral hepatitis, or medications is a serious health concern as it encompasses a spectrum of liver abnormalities, from a simple non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL, simple fatty liver disease) to more advanced ones like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and even liver cancer. Globally, NASH caused 40 lakh prevalent cases of compensated cirrhosis in 1990, which increased to 94 lakh cases in 2017.”
Underscoring the importance of tackling NAFLD as a step to tackling the country’s burden of non-communicable diseases, he noted, as quoted in the Government of India (GoI) release.
“Epidemiological studies suggest the prevalence of NAFLD is around 9 per cent to 32 per cent of the general population in India with a higher prevalence in those with overweight or obesity and those with diabetes or prediabetes. Researchers have found NAFLD in 40 per cent to 80 per cent of people who have type 2 diabetes and in 30 per cent to 90 per cent of people who are obese,” Harsh Vardhan said.
“Studies also suggest that people with NAFLD have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in NAFLD. Once the disease develops, there is no specific cure available, and health promotion and prevention aspects targeting weight reduction, healthy lifestyle, and control of aforementioned risk factors are the mainstays to disease progression and prevent the mortality and morbidity due to NAFLD,” he added.
The Minister expanding on the government’s plan to curb deaths due to NCDs linked with the condition said, “NAFLD is an independent predictor of future risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic syndromes like hypertension, abdominal obesity, dyslipidaemia, glucose intolerance. The Government of India is of the view that existing NPCDCS programme strategies can easily be aligned to prevent NAFLD through lifestyle changes, early diagnosis, and management of associated non-communicable diseases as well as NAFLD.”
The Health Minister also took the occasion to remind the audience that India is becoming the first country in the world to identify the need for action for NAFLD.
He said, “The Government of India has realized that the existing NCD programme’s strategies can now be aligned to achieve the objectives to prevent and control NAFLD with: behavior and lifestyle changes; early diagnosis and management of NAFLD and building of capacity at various levels of healthcare for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NAFLD.”
He further elaborated on the importance of the Ayushman Bharat- Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs) in curbing NCDs.
“The Ayushman Bharat programme has so far screened 838.39 lakh, people, for hypertension, 683.34 lakh for diabetes and 806.4 lakh for the three common forms of cancer through the HWCs.They have so far organised 6.91 lakh yoga and wellness sessions at the community level. Apart from treating the poorest of the poor, they are also mandated to inculcate healthy living at the grassroots among the community. Along with the focus of ‘Eat Right India’ and ‘Fit India Movement’, the entire vision of the government is to move from Diagnostic Cure to Preventive Health”, he stated.
In this regard, he reminisced how he advised patients to abstain from tobacco and alcohol instead of suggesting medicines in the prescription as a young doctor.
He had also made the Delhi Medical Association a ‘no-smoking zone’ during his one year of Presidency. To broaden the movement, he suggested that health journalists and media, in general, play an important role in spreading awareness and information on NCDs and how a fit lifestyle can help avoid them and encouraged everyone to improve their own health awareness and remain physically active.
He also assured the support of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the medical community in any endeavour in this direction. (ANI)

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh takes first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at RR Hospital

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has taken the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at RR Hospital in the national capital on Tuesday.
“The first dosage of COVID-19 vaccine was administered to me at RR Hospital today. India’s resolve for making the country COVID free has been strengthened by this inoculation drive. The vaccine is completely safe and hassle free,” tweeted the Defence Minister.”
“I salute the efforts of India’s scientists and doctors who developed the vaccine in a short span of time. I also thank the doctors and paramedic staff at the RR Hospital for the vaccination. I urge everyone who is eligible to take the vaccine and make India COVID free,” added Singh.
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the first dose of Covaxin, the indigenous coronavirus vaccine developed by biotechnology firm Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Soon after receiving the jab, he tweeted, “Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS.”
“Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he added.
The second phase of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive for age-appropriate population groups (people above 60 and those with comorbidities above 45) began on Monday with the Union Health Ministry calling out eligible people to get an appointment at respective hospitals in the country. (ANI)

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Delhi HC raps petitioner for using ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ in plea

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up a petitioner for using “Tom, Dick and Harry” in the petition and said such language is not permissible in pleadings before the court.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh was hearing a petition filed by Group Captain Atul Jain against the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), on the ground that wrong procedures are being adopted by these tribunals.
The petitioner was appearing in person. The court noted that the petitioner appeared to have drafted the petition on his own.
The court also noted that a perusal of paragraph 6(f) shows that there is slang language being used in this petition.
“The said paragraph reads as under, ‘(f) The AA/NCLT cannot permit any person – Tom, Dick, and Harry’ to represent and defend the respondent u/s-7 of IBC, as the rules do not permit it,” the court noted.
The court further said the petition is liable to be dismissed, however, the petitioner later wished to withdraw it.
“Such language is not permissible in pleadings before the court. Accordingly, this petition is liable to be dismissed. If the petitioner is, aggrieved by any order of the NCLT or NCLAT, he may draft a proper petition and only then, file the same,” the court said.
The court added that the petition is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty to avail of his remedies in accordance with the law.
“Since the petitioner is appearing in person, this court is refraining from imposing costs at this stage,” it said. (ANI)

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153 monks test COVID-19 positive in Himachal Pradesh

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Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh) [India], March 2 (ANI): With a sudden surge of COVID-19 infections in Kangra district, 153 monks have been tested positive at Gyuto Tantric Monastery of Karmapa in Sidhpur area of Dharamshala on Tuesday.
Following initial cases on February 23, 330 monks tested so far for COVID-19 and 153 monks have tested positive at Gyuto monastery in Himachal Pradesh, informed said Dr Gurdarshan Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, Zonal Hospital, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
“During the case investigation, it was found that few of the monks travelled from Karnataka and Delhi after new year’s celebration but surprisingly all the people who have travelled from outside have tested negative. One of them is shifted to Tanda Medical College as he had serious symptoms, others are in isolation in the monastery itself,” said Dr Gupta.
“The entire locality has been now declared as a containment zone,” he added.
Informing about the safety protocols, Secretary of the Department of Health, Palden Dhondup said, “We are taking all precautions measures and we are taking care of the monks and the situation is very grave but after 10 to 15 days everything will be alright.” (ANI)

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Kangana Ranaut, sister move SC to transfer cases from Mumbai to Shimla court

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Hindi film actor Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel have moved the Supreme Court seeking the transfer of criminal cases pending against them in various courts of Maharashtra’s Mumbai to Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.
Ranaut and Chandel claimed that they face a threat to life if the trials proceed in Mumbai, because of the personal vendetta of Shiv Sena leaders against them.
Ranaut in her plea said that looking at the threat perception, she was granted Y-plus category of CRPF security by the Home Ministry, therefore, it becomes quite evident that they “face a serious threat to life and property and if the trial of the cases are not transferred out of Mumbai their life will be at risk.”
Various cases were filed against both the sisters including the criminal defamation complaint by veteran lyricist, Javed Akhtar alleging that Ranaut had made defamatory remarks against him on Republic TV after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Advocate Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh had also filed a criminal case against them in Mumbai for allegedly causing disharmony between Hindus and Muslims by her tweets. He had cited the example of Ranaut’s tweet on Mumbai turning into “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”.
A sedition case was filed by casting director Munawar Ali Sayyed, who alleged that Ranaut and her sister tried to create a communal divide through social media and they deliberately made the tweets to bring hatred and excite disaffection towards the Maharashtra government.
The sisters have now approached the top court urging to transfer all the cases to Himachal Pradesh, their home state.
In their petition, Ranaut stated that “Shiv Sena will leave no stone unturned to eliminate her, because of her continuous outspokenness against the wrongs done by the Shiv Sena in collusion with big names of the Hindi film industry.”
Ranaut in the plea pointed out that Sanjay Raut, who is a senior Shiv Sena leader and a Member of Parliament had used inappropriate words against her and the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) illegally demolished her Pali Hill Bungalow. The plea added that the Bombay High Court has declared the BMC’s act of demolishing a part of her bungalow illegal, and added that it smacked of malafide intentions.
Ranaut and Chandel further stated that while they have utmost faith and respect for courts in the country, they apprehend a threat to their life and property if the trial in the cases continues in Mumbai. They also alleged harassment at the instance of the Maharashtra government led by Shiv Sena.
“These acts of the Maharashtra government clearly show that the Maharashtra government has malafide intentions against the petitioners and that if the petitioners visit Maharashtra to attend the trials, there will be a constant threat to them from the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra government,” the plea stated. (ANI)

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Congress workers burn effigy of Ghulam Nabi Azad for praising PM Narendra Modi

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Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], March 2 (ANI): Congress party workers on Tuesday burnt an effigy of senior party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and raised slogans against him in a protest in Jammu.
This comes as Azad praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the G-23 event in the state saying that he speaks frankly about his past as a tea-seller and never tried to hide his background from the world.
Targeting Azad, Shahnawaz Choudhary, General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said Congress has always held him in high esteem but today when it is time to support the party, Azad forged a friendship with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Congress has always given him (Ghulam Nabi Azad) so much. Congress has only made him the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, but when it is time for him to pay-back to the party, he is making Congress weak by not supporting his own party,” Choudhary said.
Another Congress worker, Aijaz Choudhary, Vice President of Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee said, “Ghulam Nabi Azad praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took our statehood and people like him become the reason for making Congress weak.”
“Azad should have guided the party with his experience in politics to resurrect the party and not weaken it,” Choudhary added.
The protesters who were carrying party flags said they will fight against any force questioning the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
At the same time, Ghulam Nabi Azad’s statement has not been liked by G-23 members too. A leader told ANI on the condition of anonymity that Azad should not have made these remarks as they can deflect attention from the G-23’s aim of strengthening the party.
An event was organised in Jammu by the Gandhi Global Family whose national chairman is Ghulam Nabi Azad where G-23 leaders were invited. (ANI)

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Fuel price hike: Youth Congress stages protest outside petroleum ministry

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New Delhi [India], March 2 (ANI): Youth Congress workers on Tuesday staged a protest outside the petroleum ministry over rising prices of petrol, diesel and cooking gas.
Hundreds of Indian Youth Congress activists assembled outside the petroleum ministry office with placards in their hands and raised slogans against the central government. The police, meanwhile, arrested a few of the protesters to control the situation.
The prices of petrol and diesel have increased sharply over the past few days, with that of petrol touching the 100-rupee mark in some of the cities. Opposition parties have held protests in different parts of the country over the rising prices of fuel.
On February 25, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that she won’t be able to answer when the prices of petrol and diesel will be reduced.
“I won’t be able to say ‘when’. It is a ‘dharam sankat’ (dilemma),” Sitharaman said at an event in Ahmedabad after being asked when would the central government reduce fuel prices.
Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Steel Dharmendra Pradhan has also said that price of fuel will decrease once the winter season ends.
“Increase in petroleum price in international market has affected consumers too. Prices will come down a little as winter goes away. It is an international matter, price is high due to increase in demand, it happens in winter. It will come down as the season ends,” Pradhan had said on February 26. (ANI)

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