Govt working with four-pronged strategy towards healthy India, says PM Modi - The Daily Guardian
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Govt working with four-pronged strategy towards healthy India, says PM Modi

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New Delhi [India], February 23 (ANI): With an aim to provide better healthcare to every citizen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that his government is working with a four-pronged strategy towards a healthy India.
Addressing a webinar on the implementation of Budget in the Health sector, PM Modi said, “The first is ‘Prevention of illness and Promotion of Wellness’. The second is to provide cheap and effective treatment to the poorest of the poor’. The third is to “increase the quality and quality of health infrastructure and health care professionals’. The fourth is to ‘work on mission mode to overcome obstacles.”
The Prime Minister said the budget allocated to the health sector in this year’s budget is unprecedented and shows the Government’s commitment to providing better healthcare to every citizen.
Modi recalled how the last year was very difficult and challenging owing to the pandemic and expressed happiness for overcoming the challenge and saving many lives. He credited the achievement to the combined efforts of the government and private sector.
The Prime Minister recalled how, within a few months, the country could set up a network of 2500 labs and how it could reach a milestone of 21 crore tests from a mere dozen tests. The Prime Minister said coronavirus taught us a lesson that we not only have to fight the epidemic today but also to prepare the country for any such situation in the future. Therefore, it is equally necessary to strengthen every field related to healthcare.
The Prime Minister said as per the recommendations of the 15th Finance Commission, local bodies will get more than Rs 70000 crore rupees keeping health services in mind. That is, the government’s emphasis is not only on investment in health care but also to expand access to health care in far-flung areas of the country.
He stressed that it should be ensured that these investments not only improve health but also increase employment opportunities.
Narendra Modi said the world now clearly appreciates the strength and resilience shown by India’s Health Sector owing to the demonstration of its experience and talent during the Corona Pandemic.
He said that the demand for Indian doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, medicines and vaccines will increase across the world, adding that the world’s attention would definitely shift towards India’s Medical Education System and there would be a huge influx of foreign students to study medicine in India.
As opposed to the previous Governments, the Prime Minister said that the current government treats Health issues in a holistic manner rather than in a fragmented manner. Therefore, the focus is on wellness and not just in treatment. He added that a holistic and integrated approach is adopted from Prevention to Cure.
The Prime Minister lauded the efforts of the AYUSH sector during the Corona period. He said our AYUSH’s infrastructure has also been of great help in the country regarding increasing immunity and scientific research. He said the world is experiencing the impact of traditional medicines and masalas in improving health along with the vaccine in controlling the COVID-19. He announced that WHO is going to establish a Global Center of Traditional Medicine in India.
The Prime Minister stressed that this is the opportune moment to take the accessibility and affordability of the health sector to its next level. He said Digital Health Mission would help the common people to get effective treatment as per their convenience.
He said these changes are very much important for AtmaNirbhar Bharat. Modi said that though India has become the pharmacy of the world today but is still dependent on imports for the raw materials.
He lamented that such dependence does not augur well for our industry and this is a huge obstacle in providing affordable medicines and health care to the poor.
The Prime Minister announced that for self-reliance four schemes have been launched in the latest Union Budget.
He stressed the need to work at every level and to promote each level. He said we have to ensure that the people of the country, whether they are the poorest of the poor, even if they live in remote areas, receive the best possible treatment.
He said for these to happen the central government, the state governments and local bodies of the country should work together to get better results.
The Prime Minister said the private sector can support PPP models in creating a network of public health laboratories as well as a stake in PMJAY. There may also be a partnership on the National Digital Health Mission, digital health records of citizens and other Cutting Edge Technology. (ANI)

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PM Modi to inaugurate India Toy Fair today

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the India Toy Fair 2021 on Saturday at 11 AM via video conferencing.
“Toys play a significant part in the development of a child’s mind and also help improve psychomotor and cognitive skills in children. In his Mann ki Baat address in August 2020, the Prime Minister had said that toys not only augment activity, but also give flight to aspirations,” read the press release by Prime Minister’s Office.
Noting the importance of toys in the holistic development of a child, the Prime Minister has earlier also emphasized boosting toy manufacturing in India. The India Toy Fair 2021 is being organized in line with this vision of the Prime Minister.
The Fair will be held from February 27 to March 2, 2021. It aims to bring together all stakeholders including buyers, sellers, students, teachers, designers etc. on a virtual platform to create sustainable linkages and encourage dialogue for the overall development of the industry.
Through this platform, the Government and the Industry shall come together to discuss how India can be made the next global hub for manufacturing and sourcing of toys by way of attracting investments in the sector and promoting exports.
Over 1000 exhibitors from across 30 States and Union Territories will display their products in e-commerce enabled virtual exhibition. It will showcase traditional Indian toys as well as modern toys including electronic toys, plush toys, puzzles and games.
The fair will also host numerous webinars and panel discussions with eminent Indian and international speakers with proven capabilities in toy design and manufacturing. For children, it is an opportunity to participate in a plethora of activities, including craft demonstrations on traditional toy-making and virtual visits to toy museums and factories. (ANI)

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Implementing one-way customer traffic at retail stores can dramatically reduce COVID transmission: Study

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Researchers in a study suggests that implementing one-way customer traffic at retail stores can dramatically reduce COVID-19 transmission. The study was conducted by Robert A. Shumsky, Laurens Debo, Rebecca M. Lebeaux, Quang P. Nguyen and Anne G. Hoen.
The study was published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“To reduce the transmission of COVID-19, many retail stores use one-way aisles, while local governments enforce occupancy limits or require “safe shopping” times for vulnerable groups,” read the study.
To assess the value of these interventions, the study formulates and analyzes a mathematical model of customer flow and COVID-19 transmission. The study finds find that the value of specific operational changes depends on how the virus is transmitted, through close contact or suspended aerosols. If the transmission is primarily due to close contact, then restricting customers to one-way movement can dramatically reduce transmission. Other interventions, such as reductions in customer density, are effective at a distance but confront store operators with trade-offs between infection rates and customer flow.
The study examines how operational changes in customer flows in retail stores affect the rate of COVID-19 transmission. They combine a model of customer movement with two models of disease transmission: direct exposure when two customers are in close proximity and wake exposure when one customer is in the airflow behind another customer.
They find that the effectiveness of some operational interventions is sensitive to the primary mode of transmission. Restricting customer flow to one-way movement is highly effective if direct exposure is the dominant mode of transmission. In particular, the rate of direct transmission under full compliance with one-way movement is less than one-third of the rate under two-way movement.
Directing customers to follow the one-way flow, however, is not effective if wake exposure dominates. The study finds that two other interventions–reducing the speed variance of customers and throughput control–can be effective whether direct or wake transmission is dominant.
The study also examines the trade-off between customer throughput and the risk of infection to customers, and the study shows how the optimal throughput rate drops rapidly as the population prevalence rises.
By integrating knowledge about virology, epidemiology, and the physical flow of customers in retail stores, the study develops and analyze a model that connects the biology of COVID-19 with operational interventions to reduce the spread of the disease. The model calculates the disease transmission rate in a retail environment and determines how the rate depends on the customer flow policy (one-way versus two-way), the travel speed distribution, and store size. The study find that one-way restrictions are useful for reducing direct transmission but have no effect on wake transmission. Eliminating speed variability can reduce or even eliminate direct transmission when traffic is one-way but can only reduce (but not eliminate) transmission in two-way traffic. Finally, the study shows that the optimal admission rate to a store falls as the disease prevalence rises and the ratio of profit to infection cost falls.
The study also calibrates our model using published epidemiological data. For a medium-sized retailer in an area with a relatively high prevalence of COVID-19, our model predicts a total transmission rate (via direct and wake exposure) of 0.33 infections per day. Complete customer compliance with one-way flow reduces the direct transmission rate by 70%, while the partial compliance observed in one store reduces the transmission rate by 11 per cent. The study also compares the impact of direct and wake transmission by first defining a ratio between the wake and direct transmission probabilities for a single encounter between an infectious and a susceptible customer. Given two-way traffic, if this ratio is 200%200% or more, then wake exposure dominates direct exposure in its contribution to virus transmission. When retailers can control customer throughput, the optimal throughput drops significantly as COVID-19 prevalence increases up to 1%. Because estimates of some parameters vary substantially from region to region and will change over time, the study conduct sensitivity analysis to assess the robustness of our findings.
The study discusses some of our modeling assumptions and possible extensions. In the model of customer flow, the study ignores variation in both the speed and path of each customer, e.g., stopping to examine and pick products off shelves. Adding this additional variability would increase the number of customer interactions and direct exposure, although quantifying its impact and understanding the impact on wake exposure would require a more complex analytical model and/or simulation. The study also assumes Poisson arrivals, a reasonable assumption during short periods in many retail areas, but not a reasonable assumption in other contexts such as school hallways, where a fluid model may be more appropriate.
In addition, the study assumes that wake exposure ends as soon as an infectious customer leaves the area. This is a simplification, for infectious aerosols may remain in the air after customers depart (20). If the area is large, however, and if customers spend a significant amount of time on their journey, then the impact of edge effects when customers leave the area is small. For the numerical experiments described above, these edge effects are not significant.
Our model focuses on customer movement through store aisles and ignores interactions among customers and employees. Front-line workers for essential retailers, in particular, can face a high risk of exposure (47). Cashiers, for example, face both direct and wake exposure in checkout areas. Many stores now enforce social distancing standards around these areas and provide guidance such as floor stickers to indicate spacing between customers. While this can nearly eliminate direct exposure, wake exposure would be a concern around checkout areas. Incorporating a queuing model that includes customer movement and airflow may be a useful extension.
The specific infection rates predicted by our model depend upon many environmental variables, including ventilation systems and the proportion of customers who use masks. Given this uncertainty, the model highlights where gaps in the scientific knowledge of COVID-19 transmission need to be filled so that the study may redesign service operations to reduce spread. In particular, the effectiveness of these interventions is highly dependent on whether the virus is transmitted through heavy droplets or aerosols. In addition, the model may be adapted to analyze COVID-19 transmission in other service settings such as restaurants, airplanes (supplement to ref. 48), and hotels in which customer flow can be regulated. (ANI)

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Asian Games gold medalist Hima Das inducted to Assam Police

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Guwahati (Assam) [India], February 27 (ANI): Sprinter Hima Das who had won a gold medal in Asian Games in 2018 has officially been inducted into Assam Police on Friday. She will be posted in Guwahati.
On the occasion, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal honoured her with a badge.
Briefly speaking to ANI, Das said, “This has come as a part of government’s policy. I will focus on sports for now. I will join the service after retiring from sports.”
“I feel honoured to be a part of Assam Police. I thank Union Minister Kiren Rijiju for showering his support on me,” Das said.

However, the decision that she will be inducted in Assam Police was decided two weeks ago.
Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on February 11 said that sprinter Hima Das will continue running for the country even after the Assam government decided to appoint her as a Deputy Superintendent of Police in the state.
The 21-year-old is currently preparing for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics qualification at Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala. (ANI)

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Police rescued businessman within 3 hours after kidnap in Hyderabad

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Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], February 26 (ANI): The Hyderabad police have rescued a businessman within three hours after he was kidnapped by unidentified assailants. The police also arrested four accused who were indulged in the incident.
The police informed about the incident on Friday according to which the victim, Amaranath Reddy was taken away by the assailants from his residence in Banjara Hills on Thursday and later the family alerted the police about his disappearance. The police swung into action and launched a search operation by forming teams.
Speaking to the media, Anjani Kumar, Hyderabad City Police Commissioner said, “The Hyderabad City Police on Thursday were able to arrest four kidnappers alongside rescuing the victim. The police were able to arrest the four accused — V Kumara Guru, Paluru Lokesh Kumar, S Jagadish and PK Ganesh Kumar.”
Two accused — Pradeep Natarajan and Keerthana are currently absconding, Kumar said.
Giving details of the incident, Commissioner said, “As per the complaint filed by the K Kalapana Reddy wife of K Amaranath Reddy, the kidnappers have demanded Rs 4 lakh for Amaranath Reddy to be released. The Kidnappers continuously called her and said that her husband has to give four lakhs rupees and demanded to immediately send to the bank account which they have given before 5 PM or else they will take her husband along with the car to Chennai and will kill him.”
During the course of the investigation, a police special team has been formed to trace out the victim K Amaranath Reddy and as well as the apprehension of the accused persons, he said.
“Due to non-availability of money, Police were able to arrange the Cash and sent the photos from the complainant cell phone to the kidnappers. On that kidnappers instructed the complainant to come to Srinagar Colony, Banjara Hills along with cash, at about 06:30 PM,” he said.
“The complainant along with the police special team proceeded to Srinagar Colony wherein police laid a trap where two kidnappers Pradeep Natarajan and Paluru Lokesh Kumar came to Srinagar Colony along with the victim car. While handing over the money, police apprehend Paluru Lokesh Kumar and interrogated him leading to the location of the rest of the gang members. The police have arrested three other accused while two others have absconded,” he added. (ANI)

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Odisha: Elephant tusks seized from Mayurbhanj, 2 held

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Mayurbhanj (Odisha) [India], February 27 (ANI): Two persons were arrested in Mayurbhanj for possessing elephant tusks, according to the police official on Friday.
“We have recovered 8 pieces of elephant tusk weighing 44.9 kgs from the possession of two persons. We have seized their bike,” said Santosh Joshi, District Forest Officer.
“Further investigations are underway,” he said. (ANI)

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Temperatures in parts of northwest India soar by 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Temperatures in various parts of northwest India have increased by 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal, according to the World Meteorological Organization on Saturday.
“Parts of northwest India have seen daytime temperatures 6-7 degrees Celsius above normal over Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi,” informed WMO.
Odisha also witnessed a rise in temperature. The state broke the record of last 10 years.
“Bhubaneswar in the eastern Indian state of Odisha recorded temp of 40.4 degree Celsius today, second-highest temperature for February in the past 10 years,” stated WMO.
Similarly, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday tweeted, “The temperatures are above normal by 4-6 degrees Celsius over most parts of Northwest India and adjoining parts of Central and East India. It is likely to continue during the next 3 days and then fall by 2-4 degrees subsequently.” (ANI)

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