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Maharashtra reports 2,515 new COVID-19 cases

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 9 (ANI): Maharashtra has reported 2,515 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours.
The total count of COVID-19 cases has risen to 20,48,802 and the state has 1,69, 499 active cases.
With 2,554 more patients discharged, the total discharges have risen to 19,61,525.
As per the state Health Department, 35 COVID-19 deaths are reported in the state in the last 24 hours. A total of 1,50,58,995 samples have been tested so far in the state. (ANI)

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West Bengal: Forest department personnel rescues elephant in Midnapore city

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Midnapore (West Bengal) [India], February 26 (ANI): A good news pours in as forest department personnel on Thursday rescues an elephant who entered Midnapore city.
“On Thursday night, an elephant entered into Midnapore town and hid inside Midnapore Medical College and Hospital premises. A number of people rushed to see the elephant. As soon as we received the information, a police force deployed to control the situation. Forest officials and police covered the hospital and surrounding area,” Chief Conservator of Forests of western Circle, AP Singh said.

“Later that elephant was tranquilized by forest officials. The elephant was loaded using a crane in a truck and transported to the Arabari forest,” he said.
Singh said, “The elephant now transported to Arabari forest and will be kept under observation. After that, it will be released. No casualty was reported during the tranquilize process.” (ANI)

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Vaccinating oldest against COVID-19 saves both most lives, most years of life: Study

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): A recent study by Joshua R. Goldstein, Thomas Cassidy, and Kenneth W. Wachter states that vaccinating the oldest against COVID-19 saves both the most lives and the most years of life.
The study was released by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Researchers report that vaccinating the oldest individuals against COVID-19 not only saves the most lives but, counterintuitively, also saves the most years of remaining life, because COVID-19 mortality increases more rapidly with age than the rate at which remaining life expectancy decreases with age,” read the study.
Many competing criteria are under consideration for prioritizing COVID-19 vaccination. Two criteria based on age are demographic: lives saved and years of future life saved. Vaccinating the very old against COVID-19 saves the most lives, but, since older age is accompanied by falling life expectancy, it is widely supposed that these two goals are in conflict. The study shows this to be mistaken.
The age patterns of COVID-19 mortality are such that vaccinating the oldest first saves the most lives and, surprisingly, also maximizes years of remaining life expectancy. The study demonstrates this relationship empirically in the United States, Germany, and South Korea and with mathematical analysis of life tables. Our age-risk results, under usual conditions, also apply to health risks.
Margaret Keenan received the first vaccination against COVID-19 given in the United Kingdom just a week before her 91st birthday (1). In contexts where vaccine allocation is based on age, prioritizing the very old, who have the highest risk of dying, averts the most deaths. But, from the point of view of saving years of remaining life, it seems that it might be better to target younger people, who are less likely to die quickly of another cause if they can be protected from the coronavirus.
Common intuition suggests a trade-off between saving the maximum number of lives and saving the most future life. Such a trade-off is central to philosophical and ethical discussions and epidemiological and public health studies often report both numbers of deaths and numbers of years of life lost (YLL) in quests for balanced health intervention priorities.
The study shows that this intuition about demographic trade-offs is wrong in the case of COVID-19. While it is true that remaining life expectancy declines with age, this decline is overwhelmed by the exponentially increasing risk of death. For COVID-19, it turns out that vaccinating first the oldest old saves the most lives and also the most life left. Early guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list those aged “65+” as one priority group among several. But, even in terms of YLL, the oldest old in this group should be first in line.
Naturally, many complex considerations besides age impinge on vaccination strategies, and the study defers to epidemiologists, ethicists, and experts in health-related sciences for comprehensive studies that include transmission dynamics and other priorities. The study’s aim in this report is strictly demographic. The study takes one–narrow but central–aspect of the picture and shows that formal demography can avert one common misunderstanding. (ANI)

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In democracy, Centre can never dare to make such laws that will harm farmers: Tomar

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New Delhi [India], February 26 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday said the Centre can never dare to make laws that will harm farmers.
“In a democracy, a government can never dare to make such a law that will harm farmers,” said Narendra Singh Tomar at Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela 2021 in Delhi.
The Union Minister in a tweet in Hindi informed: “The three-day Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela organized by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) is inaugurated today. This time the theme of this fair is ‘Atmanirbhar Kisan (translated as a self-reliant farmer)’.”
“If the farmers of the country are strong, then the village will be strong. If the village will be strong, then the agricultural sector will be prosperous. If the agricultural sector will be prosperous, then India will be prosperous. Only then will India be established as the best nation in the world in the coming tomorrow,” said Tomar in Hindi.
“I call upon the farmers of the country to explore the advantages of this new agricultural research along with government schemes, make agricultural sector atmanirbhar and make our country atmanirbhar,” said Union Minister.
“This fair is called Krishi Kumbh, in which a large number of common farmers, progressive farmers have come forward from all over the country,” he tweeted.
Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar earlier on Thursday reiterated that the central government is ready to talk to protesting farmers at any time.
This comes as farmer leader Rakesh Tikait had on Tuesday announced plans for marching to the Parliament with 40 lakh tractors in order to intensify pressure on the central government to withdraw the three farm laws.
Since November 26 last year, farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital, against the three newly enacted farm laws: Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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Himachal Pradesh: 5 houses gutted in fire in Shimla

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Shimla (Himachal Pradesh) [India], February 26 (ANI): Five houses were gutted in fire in the Nankhari area of Shimla on Thursday.
Locals were gathered at the spot and were seen dousing the fire.
More details awaited.
Yesterday, a fire broke out at a three-storeyed house in Raila village of Kullu district.
On February 10, a similar incident took place wherein a fire broke out in some houses along a hillside in Shimla. (ANI)

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COVID-19: Rajasthan govt makes COVID test mandatory for travellers arriving from Maharashtra, Kerala

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Jaipur (Rajasthan) [India], February 26 (ANI): Amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country, the Rajasthan government on Thursday tightened restrictions for travellers arriving from Maharashtra and Kerala.
The state government has made it mandatory for travellers from these states to produce a negative COVID-19 test report upon their arrival in the state.
“Travellers from Maharashtra and Kerala to Rajasthan should provide negative RT-PCR report not older than 72 hours on their arrival,” read the statement by the government.
On February 24, the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) deputed high-level multi-disciplinary teams to Maharashtra, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Jammu and Kashmir for supporting them in public health measures for targeted COVID response and management.
According to the official release, the three-member multidisciplinary teams will work closely with the states and UT administration and ascertain the reasons for the recent surge in the number of COVID19 cases. They will also coordinate with health authorities of the states and UT for requisite COVID19 control measures to break the chain of transmission.
The health ministry has advised states and UTs for regular critical review of the emerging situation with concerned district officials to ensure that gains made so far in COVID management are not lost. (ANI)

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Chhattisgarh: Over 7 Naxal hideouts demolished in Abujhmad

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Bastar (Chhattisgarh) [India], February 26 (ANI): In the last three days, over seven Naxal hideouts got demolished in the Abujhmad area of Bastar, according to the official on Thursday.
“Under Operation Sangam, over seven Naxal hideouts demolished in the Abujhmad area, in the last three days. Huge quantities of camping materials, arms, and ammunition were recovered,” said Bastar Inspector General P Sundarraj.
“Earlier, a team of Narayanpur district reserve group (DRG) raided naxal hideout near Tekmetta/Musparasi jungle of Abujhmad region. Huge quantities of naxal camping material recovered from hideout,” Bastar IG informed.
“One DRG jawan had got injured. Within time, he got evacuated to Narayanpur and is now normal,” he said.
Further search operations are being carried out. (ANI)

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