Second wave? Gujarat sees a big jump in Covid cases - The Daily Guardian
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Second wave? Gujarat sees a big jump in Covid cases

Abhijit Bhatt

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Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani.

The festive season has led to a big jump in coronavirus cases in Gujarat, with 1,125 new cases being reported on Tuesday. In 24 hours, more than 1,100 patients died of the infection across the state, and several more were hospitalised. A total of 1,90,361 cases have been reported in the state so far.

At present, there are 625 Covid-19 patients in the Civil Hospital, out of which, 475 patients are on oxygen support. These numbers are still increasing and arrangements are being made to refer them to other hospitals as well. Following the explosive increase in cases, Health Minister Nitin Patel also rushed to the Civil Hospital on November 16 and held a meeting to review the situation.

The Superintendent of Civil Hospital, Dr J.P. Modi, said that, presently, 174 ventilator beds are occupied, of which, 24 are on ventilator, 94 are on BiPAP, 68 on NRBM (oxygen per minute on 11 litres), and 160 with oxygen masks. Besides the Civil Hospital, other corporation hospitals and home quarantine patients are also on the increase.

Ahmedabad is also seeing a comeback of the coronavirus. A total of 234 new cases have been reported in the city and district in 24 hours, while 3 patients have died. From the period between the evening of November 15 to the evening of November 16, 218 new cases were reported in the city and 16 in the district. At the same time, the number of positive cases in Ahmedabad has risen to 45,569, along with 1,940 deaths. Ahmedabad Civil Superintendent, Dr Prabhakar, has called it the second wave of the coronavirus in the state.

The spike in cases is being attributed to the festive season, especially Navratri and Diwali, when people were seen walking in the markets without masks or without following social distancing norms. In fact, numbers had declined as per Civil Hospital records, but shot up by 50% after Diwali. People queuing up for Covid testing have also increased, with a lot of them being tested positive for the infection.

Besides Ahmedabad, the number of cases amounts to 180 in Surat, 92 in Rajkot, 133 in Vadodara, 60 in Mehsana, 52 in Banaskantha, 45 in Surendranagar, 58 in Gandhinagar, 34 in Patna, 25 in Mahisagar, 23 in Kachchana, 23 in Anand, 22 in Jamnagar and 18 in Dahod, 16 in Bharuch, 15 in Panchmahal, 14 in Sabarkantha, 12 in Kheda, 12 in Morbi, 11 in Amreli, 11 in Junagadh, 6 in Girsomnath, 6 in Aravalli, 5 in Bhavnagar, 7 in Chhotaudepur, 4 in Botada, Devbhoomi in Dwarka and Narmada 3-3, 2 in Navsari and the rest in Noda district.

There are currently 12,458 active cases in Gujarat. A total of 47,328 tests were also conducted in the state on Tuesday, which is 4,000 less than the daily average. However, although the number of cases has gone up, the state›s recovery rate has reached 91.45 per cent.

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I WANTED TO BUILD A PLATFORM THAT COULD HELP OVER A MILLION PEOPLE: RANGANATH THOTA

Fueladream.com is the only crowdfunding platform in the world that funds social causes, products and creative ideas, said its founder and CEO Ranganath Thota during an exclusive interview with NewsX.

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Ranganath Thota is the Founder & CEO of FuelAdream and is doing social entrepreneurship via this platform. Thota in an exclusive interview with NewsX India A-list said “The objective is to try and build something that could help over a million people and the only way you could do it is through this concept called Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding means the act of several people coming together to fund something that they believe in.”

The switch from a media person to a social entrepreneur was because of a turning point that happened six years ago. Thota said, “I used to be in the corporate world for about 30 years where I worked across consumer products, media, worked in India, China, South-east Asia. About six years back, I realised I was making a lot of money and it was not as gratifying as I thought it should be. I realised that helping others was more satisfying and meaningful. I sold everything and decided to start this crowdfunding platform. I read about it for half an hour, discovered what it is and moved to Bangalore six years back.”

When asked what sets it apart from other competitors, he said, “What we discovered is that when people fund creative and innovative ideas, they are overwhelmed and passionate about it and that’s why they support it. Similarly when they fund something for a social need, then they have compassion. You have compassion at one end and passion at the other. But in many cases, people are the same. So, for example, we could fund the education for a child and also something as an electric bike.”

Speaking about one of his innovations, Thota said, “For example, there is a smart wallet with a chip in it that connects to the phone. If you lose your wallet you can call it with your phone and if you lose your phone you can call it with your wallet. You can use the phone camera and take pictures using the wallet. This project was funded four years ago. But the same person will help people with cataract surgery and education. So the same person can be driven by compassion and passion.”

He added, “The second thing is about giving behaviours. In social media, we talk about the food we eat, the holidays we take and the pictures we like but we never talk about giving. It is never understood. But there is a huge science in consumer behaviour related to giving which is very different. Crowdfunding also has a science and has four key elements that go into it. It includes storytelling, technology, consumer behaviour and most importantly, communication. Unless you know all this, you cannot do crowdfunding. The other thing we do is teach crowdfunding to a large number of people. They could be corporate people, students, etc.”

When asked about how he builds rapport, Thota said, “Nine out of ten people don’t know how to crowdfund even if their intention is good. They need a lot of hand rolling and that is where I and my team support them. The other important thing is raising funds. There are a lot of things that we need to understand about the projects that need fundraising. A lot of people come to us with great projects but what they don’t realise is that if they raise five times the amount that they are planning to, they actually cannot execute it. Unlike other platforms where you can start a campaign in an hour, with us it takes two days.”

Talking about the success rate he said, “typically it is about 70%. But if some projects don’t work well it is simply because the person doing it doesn’t manage it well, it is not like the story is not good.”

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ISRAEL MINISTER TO DISCUSS PEGASUS IN FRANCE VISIT

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JERUSALEM: Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz will meet his French counterpart in Paris this week for talks that will include an “update” on the Pegasus spyware scandal, his office said Tuesday. A Ministry statement said Gantz will leave Wednesday for talks with French Defence Minister Florence Parly on topics including the crisis in Lebanon, nuclear negotiations with Iran and the Pegasus malware made by the Israeli firm NSO, which was allegedly used to target President Emmanuel Macron. Pegasus, which is able to switch on a phone’s camera or microphone and harvest its data, is at the centre of a storm after a list of about 50,000 potential surveillance targets was leaked to human rights groups. Amnesty International and French media nonprofit Forbidden Stories collaborated with a clutch of media companies, including the Washington Post, the Guardian and Le Monde, to analyse and publish the list. Macron had to change his phone and number. Israel’s defence ministry must approve NSO exports given the sensitive nature of the sector. Israel’s defence establishment has set up a committee to review the firm’s business, including the process through which export licenses are granted. Pegasus’s list of alleged targets includes at least 180 journalists, 600 politicians, 85 human rights activists and 65 business leaders. NSO insists its software is only intended for use in fighting terrorism and other crimes and says it exports to 45 countries.

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NORTH, SOUTH KOREA AGREE TO RESTORE SEVERED COMMUNICATION LINKS

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SEOUL: North and South Korea restored their cross-border communication lines that had been severed for over a year, the South Korean presidential office said on Tuesday.

An official statement said that the two Koreas decided to resume their direct communication hotlines as of 10:00 am local time. This comes 13 months after North Korea cut off all communication lines with South Korea in protest over Seoul’s supposed failure to stop activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the communist nation, Yonhap reported.

Since June last year, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) cut off ties in protest against Seoul’s inability to stop civic activists from sending anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets into the DPRK.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un have exchanged personal letters several times since April to communicate about issues on the restored inter-Korean relations, the statement said.

Moon and Kim agreed first to restore the severed inter-Korean communication lines, the statement read. The two leaders also agreed to restore mutual trust and enhance inter-Korean ties at the earliest.

Seoul said the resumed inter-Korean communication lines would play a positive role in the improvement and the development of inter-Korean relations.

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PAK TO COMPLETE FENCING OF BORDER WITH AFGHAN BY 14 AUG

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Imran-Khan-with-Gen-Bajwa

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has announced that the fencing work along the Afghan border would be completed by August 14 amid fears of a new refugee crisis due to the large-scale violence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has already ruled out taking any more refugees due to the ongoing refugee crisis at the Afghan border, The Express Tribune reported. This comes as the UN has said it is witnessing “very intensive movements” of internally displaced Afghans towards the country’s borders as violence escalates.

Earlier this month, UN Deputy Special Representative Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan Ramiz Alakbarov said: “We are also seeing very intensive movements of the population to the areas, adjusting to the orders, where Iranian and Pakistan borders are now largely closed, and the people are using the illegal border crossing trying to move through those borders.”

During a presser on Monday, Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed had said that the fencing along the Afghan border would be completed by 14 August. He said that 46% to 48% of fencing on the border with Iran had also been completed.

The Minister said there have been thousands of foreigners living in Pakistan over the last many years without renewal of visas. Rashid also asked these foreigners to leave Pakistan before August 14 or get their visas renewed through an online application.

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AFGHAN VP SALEH CALLS PAK ARMY ‘STRATEGIC MASTER’ OF TERROR INVASION IN AFGHANISTAN

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Afghanistan’s first Vice President Amrullah Saleh on Tuesday lashed out at Pakistan saying that its army is the “architect and strategic master” of the ongoing terror invasion of Afghanistan.

The Afghan government has repeatedly accused Pakistan of supporting the Taliban and preventing the Afghan forces from carrying out military operations against them. Amid the ongoing Taliban offensive, the Afghan Vice President said the propaganda stunts “will not change the reality” of Pakistan. “The propaganda stunts will not change the reality and improve Pakistan’s image in my country. The reality is that Pakistan Army is the architect, strategic master and low profile supplier of the ongoing full-scale terror invasion in my country,” Saleh tweeted.

Quoting a Pakistan author, the Afghan Vice President said the Pakistan army may be able to deceive the public but they cannot fool the intelligence services and strategist circles.

“The reputable Pak author respected Ayesha Siddiqa says GHQ may be able to deceive the public but they cannot fool the intelligence services and strategist circles. Team Bajwa now betting on the UK to promote the Taliban — to get to the US indirectly,” he added.

The ties between the two sides have deteriorated since the daughter of the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan was briefly kidnapped on her way home in Islamabad on 16 July. Thereafter, Kabul recalled its ambassador from Islamabad, demanding punishment for those responsible.

Meanwhile, Afghan former intelligence chief Rahmatullah Nabil has said that at least 1,000 Pakistani terrorists enter into Afghanistan every day through Spin Boldak border district, which was captured by the Taliban last week.

In a post on Facebook, Nabil on Saturday warned that the country’s defences are in shreds and that disaster will be inevitable if the government did not retake Spin Boldak crossing, a major port of entry between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “If this situation falls on deaf ears and the Taliban are not ousted from Spin Boldak, more Pakistani militias and terrorists in Taliban uniform would freely come into Afghanistan,” Afghanistan Times quoted his post.

He also claimed that Pakistani terrorists and militias are taking preparation for war and direct incursion on Afghanistan soil.

Nabil said that terrorist training and recruitment centres have been reactivated in Pakistan and money is collected from those countries which have an interest in the spread of extremism in the region to achieve their goals.

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US COMBAT FORCES TO LEAVE IRAQ BY YEAR END

There will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by 31 December, the US and Iraqi governments said in a joint statement.

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After the strategic dialogue held in Washington on Monday, the US and Iraqi governments said in a joint statement that there will be no US forces with a combat role in Iraq by 31 December 2021, the US and Iraqi governments said in a joint statement.

The delegations include — Iraq’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Fuad Hussein and the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken. They co-chaired the final session of the Strategic Dialogue, initiated on 11 June 2020, in accordance with the 2008 Strategic Framework Agreement for a Relationship of Friendship and Cooperation between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq (SFA), as per a statement issued by US Department of State. The Iraqi delegation also included representatives of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The joint statement said that the two countries reaffirmed the importance of these discussions, which focused on strengthening the long-term strategic partnership defined by the SFA and on key issues of mutual concern: regional stability, public health, climate change, energy efficiency, energy independence, humanitarian aid, human rights, economic cooperation, and cultural and educational exchanges, among other issues. Iraq provided a detailed account of its efforts to promote the safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons to their home regions, and the US pledged its continued support in this regard.

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