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Hospital flouts Covid cap, patient charged Rs 1.15 lakh for a day

Lokeswara Rao

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The Telangana government may have capped the Covid-19 treatment cost at the state’s private hospitals, but the latter seem to be busy making money at the cost of poor patients. The dirty face of these hospitals came to light once again on Sunday when a woman doctor serving at a governmentrun hospital in Hyderabad alleged that a private hospital charged her Rs 1.15 lakh for one-day treatment of Covid-19.

The Telangana government has capped the cost of conducting a Covid-19 test in a private lab at Rs 2,200. Likewise, the fee for treatment in ICU without ventilator support is Rs 7,500 per day, while it would be Rs 9,000 per day with ventilator support and for mere quarantine and treatment (not ICU) Rs 4,000.

 Dr Sultana, who is Divisional Medical Officer (DMO) at Fever Hospital, claimed that the hospital authorities detained her for not paying the bill. As per reports, the hospital staff detained her for paying only Rs 40,000 and demanded her to pay the rest of the amount.

 She released a video about her bitter experience and complained to the police in writing. Dr Sultana wrote, “I am a Covid warrior doctor. On July 1 midnight, I had breathing problems and was admitted at Thumbay Hospital. Neither medicine is good nor nurses are responsible. They did not give any medication on time. After 22 hours, I was discharged and Rs 1.15 lakh bill was given to me for a day. I paid Rs 40,000. I don’t have money and they have detained me. Please help.”

The doctor, who had tested positive for Covid-19 along with her brother and daughter, kept crying throughout the 1.5 minute video which went viral on Sunday.

The Thumbay Hospital management, however, said that the doctor fought with the hospital staff and so nurses refused to treat her. When The Daily Guardian contacted the healthcare expert Dr Srinubabu Gedela, he said, “Due to better facilities we all want Covid-19 treatment in private hospitals with affordable prices but many hospitals are violating the norms. I request the Telangana government to keep an eye on such hospitals and take stringent action against them.”

 Dr Sultana was later shifted to a government-run super speciality hospital NIMS.

 Recently, one 53-year-old man, who was admitted in a corporate hospital in Hyderabad’s posh Banjara Hills area for Covid treatment, was charged Rs 20 lakh for a 23-day treatment.

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PM, J.P. NADDA BJP’S STAR CAMPAIGNERS FOR UP; VARUN, MANEKA OUT

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday released a list of 30-star campaigners for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. While many star campaigners like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah are on the list, party MPs and mother-son duo Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi have been excluded from the list. The duo has been victorious multiple times from Sultanpur and Pilibhit. In the recent rejig of the BJP national executive committee, the two were also dropped from that list. BJP released a list of 30 leaders who will campaign for the party’s candidates in the first phase of the upcoming Uttar Pradesh election.

The first name on that list includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, followed by party national president J.P. Nadda. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP candidate from Gorakhpur Yogi Adityanath also features on the list of star campaigners.

Others on that list include Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and state president Swatantra Dev Singh. Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan, Smriti Irani, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dinesh Sharma Keshav Prasad Maurya are on the list. Sanjeev Balyan and Radha Mohan Singh amongst others are on the list.

Varun Gandhi has taken to Twitter on multiple occasions questioning his party on farmers’ issue and also Lakhimpur Kheri issue, subtly blaming his government in the Centre and in the state for not taking quick action.

Given the constraints of campaigning because of the spread of COVID, the BJP is likely to hit the campaign trail in UP in a phased manner, doing door-to-door campaigning and from there on doing closed-door meetings which would allow 300 people. Sources say that top leaders including Home Minister Amit Shah and national president J.P. Nadda will start touring UP starting the third week of January.

ALLIANCE WITH APNA DAL, NISHAD PARTY

Meanwhile, BJP on Wednesday announced that it would contest the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh with the NDA allies including Apna Dal and Nishad Party on all 403 Assembly seats. “NDA allies are contesting together just like we did in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. BJP, Apna Dal and Nishad Party will jointly contest polls on 403 seats in upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly Polls. We have had a detailed discussion with both of the parties in the past few days,” BJP national president JP Nadda said. Union Home Minister Amit Shah posted a picture on Twitter comprising Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel, Sanjay Nishad from Nishad Party, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP chief Nadda and others, to tweet in Hindi, “Had a meeting today with @JPNadda, @myogiadityanath and UP’s allies @AnupriyaSPatel and Sanjay Nishad. The blessings of the people of Uttar Pradesh are with the NDA and under the leadership of PM @narendramodi, the NDA coalition is going to form the government with a thumping majority.”

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and national president of Apna Dal Anupriya Patel refuted reports that the party has demanded 36 assembly seats from the BJP in the forthcoming polls. “I do not know where this figure is coming from. I have made no demand of 36 seats from BJP. We have not quoted anything regarding the number of seats in front of the media. Our talks are going in a good direction,” Patel told ANI. “Winnability is the only criterion that we have to demand the seats. We have to work and ensure a better Uttar Pradesh and I’m sure we will get another term. The seat-sharing formula is working in a good and positive manner,” she said.

Meanwhile, BJP MP and a senior leader from Uttar Pradesh Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that she is patiently waiting for the decision of the party’s top leadership about her proposal sent to BJP chief J.P. Nadda for giving ticket to her son in the upcoming state Assembly elections.

Sources close to Joshi said, “She (Rita Joshi) is waiting for the party’s decision on her proposal which will be taken after the meeting today. She is hoping that their decision will be communicated to her and accordingly, she will make her next move.”

There is speculation that Joshi is in touch with the Samajwadi Party and other parties in the state.

WITH AGENCY INPUTS.

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IN A BLOW TO AKHILESH, SISTER IN LAW APARNA JOINS BJP

‘Nation comes first, I admire PM Modi’s work.’

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In a major setback to the Samajwadi Party ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Aparna Yadav, daughter-in-law of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and sister-in-law to Akhilesh Yadav, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday. According to sources, Aparna Yadav has sought a ticket from the Lucknow Cantt Assembly seat. Aparna is the wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger son Pratik. In 2011, AparnaYadav married Pratik Yadav.

Aparna Yadav

Aparna Yadav expressed her gratitude to the party and said that “nation comes first”, adding that she admires Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s work. “I am very thankful to BJP. The nation always comes first for me. I admire PM Modi’s work,” said Aparna Yadav after she joined the party at BJP headquarters in New Delhi. “I have also been influenced with BJP’s works and schemes including Swachh Bharat mission, welfare of women, employment. I will work in my fullest capacity,” she added.

In the past, she had praised BJP’s initiatives in the state and had also donated Rs 11 lakh for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

In 2017 Assembly elections, Aparna had contested from Lucknow Cantonment but was defeated by BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi. She had secured nearly 63,000 votes.

Speculation is rife that she wants to be fielded from the Lucknow Cantonment seat. Aparna feels that she has worked in the Lucknow Cantonment constituency. Aparna Yadav told ANI, “I have done a lot of work in that area and I am confident that I will do well.” She further said, “The final decision lies with my party, BJP, and whatever decision the core committee of the party takes will be acceptable to me.” “I have always been very vocal about the policies and ideologies of PM Modi and BJP. Nationalism is a very important aspect of my life. I’ve always thought of nation before anything. Whatever they’ll say, I do it (will you contest from Lucknow Cantt seat),” she added.

On asking whether her brother-in-law Akhilesh Yadav is now nervous, Aparna said, “What can I say?”

Aparna joined BJP in the presence of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP state president, Swatantra Dev Singh.

With the joining of Aparna Yadav, the party is hoping to have dealt a blow to the Yadav family. When a close family member leaves a party that is dynastic in nature, just few days to go before the election, it says a lot about the party, said sources in the BJP.

BJP sources went on to say that it really shows that not even the near and dear ones of the Yadav family are together or have any bonding despite the fact that the patriarch of the party Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) is still active in politics.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya took a swipe at former state Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav saying that though he claimed credit for several developmental works in the state he does not have the courage to fight the forthcoming assembly elections from these constituencies. “He (Akhilesh) used to claim that his government had started several developmental works. But now he does not have the courage to fight elections from any of these constituencies. I am surprised,” Maurya said.

Slamming Akhilesh, Maurya further said, “The former CM and SP president Akhilesh Yadav is not successful in his own family. He has also been unsuccessful in being the CM of the state. He is unsuccessful as a member of parliament too.”

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that Aparna Yadav liked the party’s “double engine work” and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision. Yogi Adityanath, in an exclusive interview with ANI, welcomed Aparna Yadav in the party and said, “She (Aparna Yadav) liked BJP’s ‘double engine work’ and PM Modi’s vision.” The Chief Minister also asserted that the party hopes that Aparna Yadav will strengthen BJP with her work.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha Deputy Speaker Nitin Agarwal stepped down from his post and also resigned from the primary membership of the Samajwadi Party. Nitin Agarwal who was also Samajwadi Party MLA from Hardoi constituency got elected as the Deputy Speaker of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly in October 2021. He joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2018 along with his father and former SP leader Naresh Agarwal, however, he was still an MLA from the SP government when elected as Deputy Speaker of UP Assembly.

UTTARAKHAND

The late Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat’s brother Colonel Vijay Rawat (Retd), joined the BJP on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming Uttarakhand elections. This came after Vijay Rawat met Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in Delhi earlier on Wednesday. “I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to join BJP. My father was with BJP after retiring and now I’ve gotten a chance”, said Rawat. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is out-of-the-box. His thoughts about the development of the country inspire us to join BJP”, he added.

WITH AGENCY INPUTS.

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POSITIVITY RATE NOT LOW ENOUGH, RESTRICTIONS WILL CONTINUE IN DELHI

India extends ban on international commercial flights till 28 February; market approval of Covishield and Covaxin recommended.

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As coronavirus cases in Delhi crept up to 13,785 in the past 24 hours, with a positivity rate of 23.86%, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said that even though the COVID-19 positivity rate in the national capital has declined from 30%, with a decrease from the earlier 28,000-plus in the number of infections as well, the COVID norms in the city will not be relaxed as the positivity rate is still not “low enough”.

Satyendar Jain said, “The positivity rate has come down from 30% to 22.5% (at the time of the press conference) and the total number of cases in Delhi has also decreased. However, the positivity rate is not low enough that we can relax the COVID restrictions.” “Today, a positivity rate of 24% is likely to be reported along with around 13,000 fresh infections. There is not much occupancy in hospitals and beds are also vacant. We are doing more testing in Delhi,” he said.

India, meanwhile, reported 282,970 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours with a daily positivity rate of 15.13%, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Wednesday. The weekly positivity rate is 15.53%. Meanwhile, the country’s recovery rate stands at 93.88%. The country also witnessed 441 new COVID-related deaths in the last 24 hours.

FLIGHT BAN TO CONTINUE

Amid rising concerns over the Omicron variant, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Wednesday extended the ban on commercial international passenger flights till 28 February. In a circular issued by DGCA, it said that the competent authority has decided to extend the suspension of Scheduled International commercial passenger services to/from India till 23.59 hrs IST of 28 February 2022. It further reads this restriction shall not apply to international all-cargo operations and flights specifically approved by DGCA. However, flights under air bubble arrangement will not be affected. All concerned authorities have been asked to acknowledge the receipt and ensure strict compliance. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, international passenger services have been suspended in India since 23 March 2020. Earlier, on 9 December, DGCA had extended the ban till January 31.

CONCERNS IN MUMBAI, KERALA

As many as 28 Mumbai policemen tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, said police on Wednesday. With this, the tally of positive police personnel rose to 1,273 in the city. A total of 127 personnel have died so far from the infection, said the Mumbai police. Mumbai reported 6,032 new cases of COVID-19 during the last 24 hours, said Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday. Of these patients, 5,067 (84%) are asymptomatic.

Numbers in Kerala, meanwhile, continued to soar, with the state reporting 34,199 new cases on Wednesday, with a positivity rate of 37.17%. The rising cases of COVID-19 in Kerala could be due to the presence of the Omicron variant of the virus, said Dr G.S. Vijayakrishnan, the President of Kerala Government Medical Officers Association on Tuesday.

Vijaykrishnan talked about the worsening situation in the Thiruvananthapuram district, where the test positivity rate is about 48%. “At the earliest, Trivandrum needs to have more restrictions regarding people visiting closed places and travelling. We have to take some preventive measures in offices like keeping rooms open, ventilated and proper use of masks etc,” he added.

In Uttar Pradesh, there was a spike of 17,776 fresh cases in the last 24 hours; while Tamil Nadu reported 26,981 cases; Gujarat 20,966; West Bengal 11,447;

VACCINATION

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) recommended the market approval of Covishield and Covaxin on Wednesday. “The SEC of CDSCO has recommended for upgrade of covishield and covaxin status from restricted use in emergency situations to grant of new drug permission with conditions In adult population, DCGI will evaluate the recommendations and give its decision,” CDSCO said in a tweet. Market authorisation for vaccines means that these can be authorised for use without reservation and conditions.

As many as 1,588,847,554 vaccine doses have been administered so far under the nationwide vaccination drive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded youngsters in the 15-18 age group for showing enthusiasm in getting vaccinated. While reacting to Union Health Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya’s tweet on Tuesday that 50% of children in the age group 15-18 years have been vaccinated, the Prime Minister tweeted: “Young and youthful India showing the way! This is encouraging news. Let us keep the momentum. It is important to vaccinate and observe all COVID-19 related protocols. Together, we will fight this pandemic.” On Tuesday, Mandaviya had tweeted, “Big day for India’s fight against COVID-19! Over 50% of our youngesters between 15-18 age group have received their 1st dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Well done, my Young Friends! Your enthusiasm for vaccination is inspiring people all over India. Sabko Vaccine Muft Vaccine.”

The country began vaccinating children between the age of 15-18 years from 3 January onwards.

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‘I had tears in my eyes’: Saqib Saleem reveals Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance in 83

In an exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Saqib Saleem revealed Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance in 83 and much more.

Priyanka Sharma

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Garnering praises for his stellar performance in 83, Actor Saqib Saleem joined NewsX for a candid chat as part of NewsX India A-List. As part of the exclusive conversation, the actor opened up about the response to his latest film 83, Mohinder Amarnath’s reaction to his performance and much more.

Speaking about the release of 83 and the response coming his way, Saqib said, “I have been working for the last 10-12 years but it feels like it is my first film because the love I have gotten for this, I have never gotten in my life for anything. It is just so overwhelming that the kind of messages I have been getting whether it is from the fraternity, whether it is from people on social media, my friends, my relatives and I don’t know how to react. Like I said, I have never gotten a response like this, so I don’t know what to say or what to do. I didn’t know that I was so bad at taking compliments. It is the first time I have realised that I am bad at taking compliments.”

When asked about the best compliment that he has received so far for his performance in the film, Saqib revealed, “If I had to tell you the best compliment I have gotten is from the man himself- Mohinder Amarnath. It was at the premiere of the film and I was very nervous about how he would see it. I had already the seen the film so I knew the film was good but I really wanted his review because I was playing him. When the premiere was on, I was slyly next to his seat, trying to gauge his reaction as to what he is thinking but I was getting very anxious. I was like I can’t do this to myself. I have to let him enjoy the film. I have to just disconnect from the film right now. I went out of the theatre. I had a couple of more black coffees and I got more anxious. When the film got over, I came back in. I went to him and I don’t know why but I had tears in my eyes. I looked at him and all I said was that ‘Sir, I am really sorry if I did something that was wrong’. He looked at me with his trademark smile and said, “Are you mad?”

“He had a red handkerchief that he would always carry himself in the 1983 world cup. He was wearing a red pocket square. He took out that pocket square and put on my jacket and said, “This is yours from now. You have made me 10 years younger.” I couldn’t stop crying. I had never in my life, my acting career had a more honest moment. I felt so connected to my own self at that time. Now, no review matters, no box office matters, nothing matters. The man himself appreciated it and that is the biggest validation I could have asked for, “ he added.

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:

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ITA Awards 2021 will be held in March this year: Anu Ranjan

In the exclusive conversation with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Anu Ranjan gave us an insight into ITA, her association with ITA and the preparations for this year’s ceremony.

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As the countdown for ITA Awards 2021 begins, Producer Anu Ranjan joined NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, Anu Ranjan gave us an insight into ITA, her association with ITA and the preparations for this year’s ceremony, especially amid a Covid scare.

Speaking about her association with ITA 2021 and what has the journey been like, Anu Ranjan said, “This is our 21st year. I started it and I have been there since its inception. It is just that because of what has happened the previous year, we have been running a few months late. Ideally it should have been last year but we had 20th awards last year so 21st would be held in March this year. I just love it. No other words for it.”

Talking about the inception of ITA awards, she shared, “It was an idea told to me by my friends while we were walking on the beach. They were saying that there are no TV awards and that was in 2000. That time, it was just a thought. I used to live in America and I moved to India after I got married. The Emmy’s was something that we had always seen so I said ‘Okay, let me try doing it’. It just so happened that TV started at the same time. All of a sudden, things started happening on television. All the KBCs and K Series etc, all started and ITA was launched the same year. TV from no where; people not recognizing who the TV stars were, became household names exactly that year onwards.”

When asked what has changed in the past 2 years considering the Covid-19 outbreak and the protocols that have been put in place, Anu Ranjan responded, “Last to last year, it was fab. There were 10-15 thousand people. We had it in Indore. It was perfect. Last year, we had to have it a studio. What we did was instead of having a 3 hour live show, we kind of extended it over 2 days. We did one act and let them all go. We had 10 awards with just 30 people and then continued. We did managed to do it. In the edit, we had put everything together. What we did in 3 hours, was spread into 20 hours. It worked pretty well that way too. This year, god willing, we have it in March. If things work out well, which I’m sure they will, then it is going to be another super year. “

On recognising actors who have amazed the audiences in the OTT space in ITA Awards 2021 nominations, she said, “This year, we have got OTT at par with TV. So far, TV was 80% chunk and OTT was 20%. Now, what has happened is that it has become 60-40. TV is still a little heavier. There is a lot happening here and the good thing is that all the artists, more or less, the same. Whether you are doing television, films or web, it is the same people and they are very widely recognised and accepted by all. That has made a very big difference. We started OTT 3 years ago and that time we had 14 show entries. This year, it goes into 100+. Every single network, all 8-10 of the platforms, all actively participating  in the ITA awards.”

Check out the entire interview on NewsX YouTube:

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Films that have a huge spectacle are driving people to the cinema: Vivek Krishnani

In an exclusive interview with NewsX as part of NewsX India A-List, Vivek Krishnani, Krishnani talks to us about the roaring success of Spiderman: No way home.

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Recognised for excellence in leading production houses on NewsX India A-List, Vivek Krishnani, Managing Director, Sony Pictures India recently joined us for an insightful chat. In the exclusive conversation with NewsX, Vivek Krishnani spoke to us about the success of Spiderman: No way home, films that are driving people to the cinema post pandemic and much more.

Speaking about starting the year 2022 with the roaring success of Spiderman: No Way Home amid uncertainty over its release due to Covid-19 pandemic, Vivek Krishnani said, “We at Sony are really happy with way the year is headed. When we started planning for this back in September last year, the theatres were closed. We were very anxious about what is going to happen with our biggest release of the year. In October, if you see, when Hollywood films paved the way, the exhibition started and then we had Venom, which released in October and it did really well. That gave us the confidence in the fact that people are coming back to cinemas and they are really embracing a film that basically provides good content and good entertainment. We saw that happen when a few local films released as well.”

“I think, at the end of the day, when we went in with Spiderman, what we realised is that the film already had a huge nostalgia value attached to it. It had a huge amount of newness in it, in terms of what the film had to offer and that we saw when the trailer released. It actually broke the Internet. It gave us huge number of views in a span of 24 hours. That really caught the fancy of people globally. Slowly and steadily, we saw the hype building, Finally, the dams broke when we opened the advances on 12th of December. It was something that was never-seen-before experience; for a film to get advance bookings, this kind of love and support from the audiences. We have really been happy with the way that the film has turned out and the love that people have given it at the box office”, he added.

When asked if he has seen a trend of good Hollywood films doing well at the box office, Vivek Krishnani responded, “What is happening is that by all imagination, good content is working. Whether it is Hollywood content or local film content, that is immaterial. We have seen that happen even in the past when regional films have released and they have done extremely well. Sooryavanshi released and it did really well as well. Now that Spiderman has released, it has done exceedingly well too. At the end of the day, it is the victory of content and it is basically where people are understanding now what kind of content will get them to the theatres. That is very important. We have to very careful as filmmakers and content creators to understand what will motivate audiences to come back into theatres. That’s what we are saying. Films that have huge spectacle, large VFX, in terms of good visual range, those are the films that are driving people to the cinema. Plus, Films that have a connect with audiences, something that they haven’t seen before is getting people into cinema.”

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