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Covid negative patients being kept at Mumbai’s quarantine centres

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A 44-year-old woman, who was sent to a quarantine centre in IT Park of Mumbai University in Kalina, was shifted to this facility even after testing negative for Covid-19.

Amid an upsurge in the number of coronavirus cases in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued fresh Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for housing societies in Mumbai. According to these guidelines, everyone in society premises must wear a mask and outsiders will not get direct entry in society premises.

However, amidst issuing new guidelines, the BMC has itself failed to take care of Mumbaikars in isolation/quarantine centres. Mumbai is recording the highest number of coronavirus cases along with highest testing in a day. On the one hand, there is a lack of beds for patients at hospitals and quarantine centres, and, on the other hand, people who have tested negative for coronavirus are also being kept in the quarantine centres.

More than three females tested Covid-19 negative, but were asked to quarantine themselves. On the basis of rapid antigen test results, these ladies were shifted to the IT Park quarantine centre.

Pooja Shinde, who tested negative in her RT-PCR test, was also sent to this centre for isolation. Pooja Shinde ‹s reports came negative, but just because she did have the test results on mail or in hand, she was at the isolation center along with Covid-19 positive patients for six days.

A 60-year-plus senior citizen was shifted to the quarantine centre after she tested positive for Covid-19. However, talking about the facilities, she said, “There is no cleanliness, the food items are not edible; in fact, even the dogs will not eat the food which the patients are eating here.”

Complaining about the facilities, another patient said: “Sanitisation is not happening properly, doctors just check our body temperature and do not even provide vitamin capsules. The same washrooms are used by more than 40 women here. Washrooms are not in a good condition and are not at all hygienic.”

Looking at the situation and spike in coronavirus cases in Mumbai, if the BMC repeats such mistakes of keeping Covid negative people among Covid positive patients, then the risk will increase with time. People’s lives will be in danger.

Delay in shifting positive patients from quarantine centres to isolation facilities, puts other people in quarantine at risk of contracting the infection. On the other hand, if negative people are kept in quarantine centres, they will also get infected. It also could lead to the emergence of new clusters of the coronavirus from such centres.

After being informed about the situation at the quarantine centre at IT Park, Alka Sasane, ward officer of H-East ward, said, «We will inform the team present at the centre and ensure immediate assistance to patients.»

As per BMC, any asymptomatic positive patient in home isolation shall not move out of his/her flat. An FIR shall be filed by ward officials against violators. But what action will be taken against those putting Covid-19 negative patients at risk in quarantine centres, is still a big question.

The new guidelines are in addition to the ongoing strict Covid-19 measures which include statewide night curfew and weekend lockdown announced by the Maharashtra government on Sunday, the civic body said.

Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis has urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to revise the restrictions in consultation with the aggrieved stakeholders. “Stopping the pandemic is paramount, but man-made reasons shouldn’t impact the very existence of the people. Urgent steps need to be taken,” said the ex-CM.

While addressing the state CM Uddhav Thackeray has mentioned that people should follow all the guidelines as he doesn’t want Maharashtra to be the worst Covid affected state. Earlier, he said that if people break rules, they should be prepared for a lockdown.

The city has witnessed over 10,000 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours. Mumbai is one of the top three cities in Maharashtra to register the highest number of Covid-19 cases.

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SURAT TEACHERS ORDERED TO REGISTER COVID DEAD BODIES

Abhijit Bhatt

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Surat Corporation has gone too far in handing over the responsibility of Covid-19 management to its employees. Teachers have been assigned Covid-19 work. They are given the task of registering the bodies coming for the funeral. Teachers, along with SMC (Surat Municipal Corporation) employees, will also be on duty in three shifts of eight hours each. It’s teachers responsibility to ensure that there is no disruption in the registration of the bodies coming to the crematorium.

During the pandemic, all SMC employees were assigned different tasks, in which the teachers were asked to be outside the homes of the infected Covid patients.

There were orders to go with Dhanvanri Rath to carry out survey work, and distribute food grains, which were performed by the teachers as part of their duty amid such a difficult situation in the city.

At that time, the teachers who were assigned to the operation of the cemetery have been put in a dilemma.

A teacher, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, “The process of registering a body in a cemetery is not appropriate for us.. We made a presentation for our Teachers’ Union last night on this matter. We were given a message about this operation through social media. The Union has informed our appointees to cancel this order. Union officials have also vowed to inform the Municipal Commissioner and the State government about handing over the work to teachers.”

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UTTARAKHAND CM RAWAT CONFIDENT TO CONDUCT HARIDWAR KUMBH MELA SAFELY

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Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Friday said that the state government is determined to conduct Haridwar Kumbh Mela safely.

He inaugurated the Command and Control Room and Adarsh Barrack of the Police Surveillance System built for the Kumbh Mela, at the CCR Tower in Haridwar.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister said that the state government is fully committed to the modernization of the police.

He said, “Our government is determined to conduct Haridwar Kumbh Mela safely. 310 CCTV cameras have been installed in the area. Command and Control Room of Police Surveillance System has been set up at CCR Tower, Haridwar.”

(With ANI inputs)

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CELEBRATIONS IN JAMMU AFTER THE RELEASE OF COBRA COMMANDO BY NAXALS

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As soon as the news of Rakeshwar Singh Manhas’ release reached Jammu, there were celebrations not only in his village but in other adjacent villages as well. Earlier his wife Meenu had appealed to the government that her husband should be rescued from the Naxals and the Congress leaders of the Jammu region visited the family and made her talk to the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister who assured all help and action.

People in the villages adjacent to his hometown were glued to television sets and expressed their joy when he stepped out of an ambulance as shown by different media channels.

Meenu Manhas exclaimed, “This is the happiest moment in our lives. Hope never died though we were anguished for his safe return. I am thankful to the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh and also to the Central government as everyone stood by us.”

Earlier, the relatives of Manhas and villagers protested and blocked the traffic for hours, appealing to the government to intervene and save him from the captivity of Naxals. He was posted in Chhattisgarh and was captured alive by the Naxals in a fierce gun battle in which dozens of his colleagues were killed while over 15 Naxals were also killed.

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DELHI SCHOOLS TO REMAIN SHUT FOR ALL CLASSES AMID COVID SURGE: KEJRIWAL

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government on Friday announced that all schools will be shut given the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the national capital.

“Due to increasing cases of COVID-19, all schools, government and private, in Delhi are being closed for all classes till further orders,” the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted. Schools have been shut ever since the pandemic broke out last year but for those from Classes 9 to 12 had resumed their classes. The board examinations for Class 10 and Class 12 are slated for May-June.

Several other states and Union territories have also closed down schools and colleges to curb the surging infections.

Delhi on Thursday reported 7,437 fresh cases and 24 related deaths over the last 24 hours. As per the daily health bulletin, the total positive cases in the city now stand at 6,98,005, including 23,181 active cases and 6,63,667 recoveries. So far, 11,157 lives have been claimed by the infectious virus.

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Covid chaos in Gujarat, waiting list in hospitals, cemeteries & crematoria

Abhijit Bhatt

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The state of Covid-19 spread in Ahmedabad seems frightening. The scenario in various cemeteries and crematoria of the city is bad with people waiting for hours for the burial and cremation of the dead bodies.

A total of eight bodies were brought to a cemetery in Vadaj cemetery in the city for burial around the same time. There is also a two-hour wait for the funeral at Thaltej. Both chimneys are currently in operation at the city’s Vadaj crematorium, where relatives of the deceased have been seen waiting.

There are no vacant beds in hospitals because of the surge in Covid-19 cases. As the number of patients keeps on increasing, the beds are getting filled. In some hospitals there is no stock of injections and while at other hospitals videos of missing oxygen are emerging. Extremely heart-rending videos surfaced on Friday at the Vadaj Cemetery in Ahmedabad, where eight bodies were being prepared for burial while many others were waiting in the cemetery. Similar is the case with Thaltej cemetery in Ahmedabad.

As a result of the worsening situation due to Covid-19 in Gujarat, relatives have to wait in hospitals for as long as 12 hours to get the body of the deceased in cities like Rajkot and Surat. Not only that, even after getting the dead body, they have to wait for 8 to 10 hours for cremation. Worse, the rising death toll at Rajkot Civil Hospital is waiting not only for cremation but also for ambulances to take the dead bodies to the cemetery.

In the Nagarwada area of Vadodara, a 65-year-old man died of Covid-19 and his body had to be taken in a handcart as the ambulance was not available to take him to the crematorium.

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ALL-PARTY MEET TO DISCUSS LOCKDOWN IN MAHARASHTRA

State reports 58,993 Covid cases and 301 deaths in 24 hours.

Preeti Sompura

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In view of the alarming spike in Covid-19 cases in the state, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has called an all-party meeting on 10 April. The government will take stock of the Covid-19 situation in the state.

The meeting will be attended by prominent leaders of the three parties involved in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, leaders of BJP, MNS, API, SP, and others.

On Friday, State Disaster Management Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that he has proposed a complete lockdown in the state, during a virtual meeting earlier in the day, given the continued spike in Covid-19 cases and upcoming festivals. While speaking to India Today, the Minister said that it was crucial to close all shops and establishments to break the chain of the pandemic.

“Every day we are witnessing 50,000 to 60,000 cases. We have 5.31 lakh active cases today. If the upsurge continues like this, we will have over 10 lakh active cases soon,” the Disaster Management Minister said to India Today. “If we have to break the chain, it’s not possible keeping half the shops and establishments open. In the virtual conference that took place today, I have suggested a strict lockdown of three weeks to break the chain,” the Minister said.

Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Pravin Darekar said the decision to organise the all-party meeting was taken this afternoon.

“This decision was taken during the meeting held today to decide the postponement of MPSC exams scheduled for Sunday,” he said.

When asked about the weekend lockdown that comes into force from Friday night, Darekar said the state government should decide on financially supporting small businesses.

Maharashtra Chief Minister will brief all parties regarding the covid situation. Maharashtra is planning a complete three weeks lockdown.

Maharashtra on Friday reported 58,993 coronavirus cases and 301 deaths in 24 hours amid a second wave of infections. Pune, with 10,084 Covid cases, was the worst-affected district today, followed by Mumbai with 9,200 single-day infections.

After the new additions, the total of active cases has reached 5,34,603. The state had reported 56,286 cases and 376 deaths on Thursday.

With Agency Inputs

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