A day after the Union Health Ministry told the Rajya Sabha that no deaths due to lack of medical oxygen have been reported by states and UTs during the second wave of Covid-19, health ministers of several states have issued statements supporting the Centre. This includes health ministers of Opposition-ruled states.
On Tuesday, while responding to a question on whether many Covid-19 patients died on roads and hospitals due to acute shortage of medical oxygen in the second wave, Minister of State for Health Bharati Pravin Pawar said since health is a state subject, states and UTs are responsible for collecting data on Covid-19 deaths.
“No deaths due to lack of oxygen were specifically reported by states and UTs,” he said. The government, however, acknowledged that there was an unprecedented surge in demand for medical oxygen during the second wave and it peaked at nearly 9,000 MT compared to just 3,095 MT in the first wave.
Reacting to the controversy, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani claimed no one died due to shortage of medical oxygen in the state during the second wave. “Nearly 8.5 lakh Covid-19 patients have been treated in Gujarat so far. We have several dedicated Covid-19 hospitals because of which lakhs of people have recovered and been discharged. No patient died due to lack of oxygen at any hospital in the state,” Rupani said.
Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey said that no one died of oxygen shortage in the state. “A total of 9,632 people have died of Covid-19 in Bihar so far but none of them died due to shortage of medical oxygen.” The minister added that during the second wave, Bihar’s demand for medical oxygen saw a 14-fold increase. “But this did not result in any death,” he said.
Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, too, claimed that no person died due to shortage of medical oxygen during the second wave of coronavirus infections in Goa. “Goa is the only state which reported accurate Covid-19 deaths. However, there was a delay in reporting deaths from private hospitals,” he said.
Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said that his state has a surplus of oxygen and no deaths were reported in the state due to oxygen shortage during the second wave. “It is true that no patient died due to the lack of oxygen in Chhattisgarh. Our state is an oxygen-surplus state. There could have been some issues regarding management, otherwise, there is no death due to lack of oxygen,” Deo told news agency ANI.
Apart from Deo, Tamil Nadu health secretary J. Radhakrishna also said that the state government ensured adequate availability of oxygen in both government and private hospitals and there was no death due to lack of the life-saving gas.
Madhya Pradesh, too, insisted that no deaths were reported due to shortage of oxygen. “No deaths took place due to lack of oxygen in our state. Union health minister stated the same in Rajya Sabha. Even in Tamil Nadu, the health minister voiced the same opinion,” said Vishwas Sarang, the medical education minister of Madhya Pradesh.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, however, hit out at the Central government for its statement in the Rajya Sabha. “The Centre will soon say there was no Covid-19 pandemic. If there were no deaths due to lack of oxygen, then why were hospitals going to high courts? This (Centre›s reply) is completely false,» Jain said.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said that the Delhi government did not have any data regarding deaths due to the lack of oxygen as the Centre had not let it form a committee to look into the deaths of people, who allegedly died because of the lack of oxygen in hospitals between April and May. “When the Delhi government said yes, it seems like people died due to the lack of oxygen and decided to set up a committee to look into the deaths and give them Rs 5 lakh as compensation, the Centre did not let us do it… The Centre wants to hide the truth about the mismanagement it brought on, and doesn’t want the figures to come out,” he said.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, too, criticised the Centre’s no oxygen death comment. He said, “Apart from shortage of medical oxygen, there is also shortage of sensitivity and truth. This shortage existed back then (during second wave) and continues.”
He got support from former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who said, «The government has perfected the art of facing every tragedy with bluff and bluster. First, it was no shortage of vaccines. Just yesterday, Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh reported it has run out of vaccines. It is the same story in many vaccination centres.» He added that now it is «no reports of deaths due to shortage of oxygen… Read that carefully. Minister did not say there were ‹no deaths›. He said ‹no REPORTS of deaths›. A blind and deaf government will not be able to ‹see› or ‹hear› the truth.»
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut also accused the Central government of lying after it said that no Covid-19 deaths had been reported due to an oxygen shortage during the second wave, and demanded that a case be filed against it.
While speaking to reporters here, Raut asked what would happen to families who had lost their loved ones due to the oxygen shortage after hearing this. «I am speechless. What would have happened to the families of those who lost their loved ones to oxygen shortage after hearing this statement? A case should be filed against the government. They are lying,» the Shiv Sena leader said.
Interestingly, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Wednesday said the state government never reported any death due to shortage of oxygen during the second wave of Covid-19. When asked by a TV channel about the Centre›s statement, Tope said, «We never said people died due to oxygen shortage in the state. Many of them had issues like co-morbidities and other illnesses. No death has taken place due to the shortage of oxygen.”
Reacting to the Opposition›s allegation, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said there are three things that one must pay attention to in the reply given by the government in Parliament. “The government has said health is a state subject. It said it just collects the data sent by the state/UTs. It doesn›t generate the data.”
“Rahul Gandhi and the Aam Aadmi Party are doing politics over Covid-19 deaths. The health ministry has replied in very categorical terms that health is state’s subject.”
“Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut is saying he is shocked to hear the government›s reply, but the Maharashtra government in its affidavit in the court itself said no deaths have occurred due to shortage of oxygen in the state,” Patra said. Hitting out at the Congress, he said that Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said that was no death due to oxygen shortage in his state. “We are surprised. Rahul Gandhi should know what Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh governments have said in their statements.”
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Around 53 Egyptian vultures spotted on Yamuna river in Delhi
As many as 53 Egyptian vultures were spotted two days ago by an ecologist on a sandy mid-island on the Yamuna river in Delhi.
While talking to ANI, TK Roy, who is an ecologist, said, “I found 53 Egyptian vultures here two days back in Delhi, which is the largest number in the last five years. This place is suitable for them.”
Roy further informed us that there are around 47 Egyptian vultures in the area at present.
“The population is slowly rising because of a ban on diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug that has a toxic effect on vultures and awareness among people on vulture conservation,” the ecologist added.
TRAFFIC FREE, PEDESTRIAN FRIENDLY ‘EK SHAAM CHARMINAR KE NAAM’ PROGRAMME BEGINS
The local authorities and the city police have organised the programme to provide residents of the city with an entertaining, fun, and frolic event.
A traffic-free and pedestrian-friendly “Sunday Funday” programme titled “Ek Shaam Charminar ke naam” is being held at the historic Charminar of Hyderabad.
The local authorities and the city police have organised the programme to provide residents of the city with an entertaining, fun and frolic event. This event will also be used to spread awareness about various issues of public importance.
The event is inspired by the continuation of a similar programme for eight weeks now at the upper Tank Bund road of Hyderabad.
“With the success of Sunday Funday programme at upper Tank Bund road which has been happening in Hyderabad for last eight weeks now, we felt that the iconic place of Charminar is also another place which can be used for similar entertainment, fun and frolic and intermingling of people,” said Anjani Kumar, Police Commissioner, Hyderabad.
“Through such events, communities can be educated and made aware about several things such as how to prevent theft by servant, drivers theft, and other similar programmes. So we look forward to have a successful program at Charminar,” he added.
The event was inaugurated with the performance of the Hyderabad police band.
“The police department is also actively participating in this programme, the event was inaugurated with Hyderabad police band which is quite famous and subsequently it will be used for various police initiatives which are citizen-centric,” said the Police Commissioner.
PEOPLE HAVE MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WHAT SEX EDUCATION MEANS: KARISHMA SWARUP
In an exclusive conversation with NewsX Influencer A-List, Karishma Swarup opened up about sexual education, what comes in its ambit, whether it is important to have a degree in sexual education to be able to teach it and much more.
Karishma Swarup, Sexuality Educator, recently joined NewsX for an insightful chat as part of NewsX Influencer A-List. In the exclusive conversation with NewsX, Karishma opened up about sexual education, what comes in its ambit, whether it is important to have a degree in sexual education to be able to teach it and much more.
Speaking about what exactly comes under the ambit of sexual education, Karishma said, “I feel like in India today, we don’t have a standardised sex education curriculum that is applied across schools, so a lot of people have misconceptions around what sex education even means. People seem to think that just talking about biology pieces that they studied in biology class might be considered sex education, but in reality, sex education is so much more than that. It involves biology but in the context of understanding anatomy. Understanding and not the teacher being like, oh! This is out of syllabus. Being able to discuss what are your body parts, how do those body parts function, whether or not it’s in a sexual situation. Right, so that is the first piece of it, just the anatomy bit of it.”
The second piece is, of course, the sexual health piece of it. That involves contraceptives, how condoms work and how to prevent STI transmissions. Just generally how to be safe and have safer sex. You cannot have any conversation about sex without talking about consent and consent is something that we talk about in the context of abuse but not necessarily in the context of teaching people what is the correct way of having a healthy relationship, what is the correct way to ask for consent in a certain situation. All of this is also influenced by things like gender and people’s personal identities. Good comprehensive sexuality education takes into consideration what are the different ways and aspects people are bringing into their experience of sexuality. So, that could include the LGBT community, it includes one’s gender. It can also include other intersections such as how does your class or other religion influences you, how you relate to other concepts so comprehensive sexuality or CSE is this holistic picture that goes so much more than telling young people to have sex and if anything the countries where they offer CSE at an early age young people tend to delay their onset of sexual activity rather than doing it earlier,” she added.
Talking about your educational background and whether or not from where you see it it is important to have a degree in sexual education to be able to teach it, Karishma stated, “I myself have done science my whole life. I did science in school. I did those biology classes, I was referring to. I went and studied geology biology while I was at Brown University as well. A large bulk of my learning came from working with this NGO named Plant Parenthood, which is a really big organisation in the US that offers different sexual health and reproductive health services including sex ed. I was a part of a student organisation there, we went out and taught sex ed to high students in the area. Working with them, I got 3 years of field experience. I got trained by this NGO, which had years and years of grass-root teaching experience and i think it goes beyond the question of having a degree especially with sexual health. It is a topic that is so widely ignored around the world, in most places really like, it is a question of who is doing it.
Ministry of Food Processing Industries organises ‘Food Tech Summit 2021’
To commemorate World Food Day, the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, under the Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro food processing Enterprises (PMFME) Scheme, organised the Food Tech Summit on Saturday.
The Food Tech Summit 2021 aimed at setting the stage for all food-tech stakeholders to impart, discuss and acquaint micro enterprises on the new emerging trends in food processing and technological innovation. Minhaj Alam, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries addressed the Food Tech Summit and highlighted the importance of the micro food processing sector as the growth driver of the Indian economy and through the PMFME Scheme the government’s efforts to encourage food processing in India.
The summit witnessed the presence of eminent industry speakers sharing insightful pieces for micro-enterprises and paving a way in the food processing sector at the domestic and global levels.
Among the distinguished speakers were, Dr. Prasun Kumar Das, Secretary-General, Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), who spoke about the “Role of small food enterprises in achieving food security – India vs. Global Perspective”. Dr. Prabodh Halde Head- Regulatory and Government Affairs Marico India, conducted a session on “Indigenous Food – Scale, Market and its Processing in Micro Industries”.
The session on “New Generation Food and Technology / Recent Trends (RTE/Convenient Foods)” was taken by Anand Chordia, Director – Technology & Innovation from Pravin Masale, (ONESuhana). Bidyut Baruah, Assistant General Manager, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), took a session on “Export Potential Food Products and its Scope in Micro Food Industries”.
The session on “Infrastructure and logistic Interventions for Micro Food Processing Industries” was taken by Vivek Jha, Associate Director – Government and Public Services, KPMG Advisory Service Private Limited. Akhilesh Gupta, Assistant Director – Regulatory Compliance Division, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), took the session on “Regulatory Compliances, Challenges & Solutions for Micro Industries”.
Tonisha Dixit, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management, Thanjavur (NIFTEM) took the session on “Introduction on PMFME Scheme and Process for Applying (Online Form for Interested Enterprises/Groups)”.
The Food Tech Summit is one of a kind initiative by the Ministry of Food Processing Industries along with the support of distinguished industry experts to educate and guide the stakeholders to make informed decisions in order to scale up their food business in the present scenario.
In addition to the participation of the various eminent guest speakers, the summit saw the participation of government officials from across the states and also the food processing micro-enterprises. It was hosted live successfully and witnessed the vast participation of all stakeholders.
KAILASH KHER APPLAUDS INDIA’S VACCINATION DRIVE WHILE TALKING ABOUT HIS VACCINATION SONG
Singer Kailash Kher emphasised that any mass movement can only be successful after receiving participation and support from the citizens.
Renowned Padma Shri awardee singer Kailash Kher applauded India’s fast-paced vaccination programme against Covid-19 on Saturday while speaking about his new song ‘Teeke se bacha hai desh’, which he has sung to promote the vaccination drive across the country.
The audio-visual number was launched today by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Health and Family Welfare Minister Shri Mansukh Mandaviya. Speaking about the vaccination song, Kher noted that any mass movement can only be successful after receiving participation and support from the citizens. He said, “I want to say that all the missions or movements that achieve success, never do so without people’s participation. And it is only through this participation that India has been able to achieve such high success in the vaccination drive.”
“Today the number of vaccinated population in the nation is reaching 100 crores, hence this is a historical example of how India has conquered corona and that too amid all the misinformation and rumours. This has only been possible by the participation of the people,” continued the singer, adding, “But still, there are misconceptions amid people, like some individuals still haven’t taken the second dose and some not even the first. Intellect lies in taking the vaccine and saving yourself and others.”
Kher had pointed out that music is not only a source of entertainment but also has the qualities of inspiring others. He said that India is a great nation with the world recognising its potential and achievements but there are certain misgivings that need to be addressed. He said that moral support and awareness can be generated through inspirational songs and expressed confidence that the song will go a long way in overcoming the myths and boost the vaccine’s acceptability.
On the occasion of the vaccination song’s launch, Hardeep Singh Puri appreciated Kher and said that the singers can capture the people’s imagination, and this song will go in a long way in dispelling the myths and creating awareness about the vaccination.
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister had also shared the song on his Twitter handle, and along with it wrote, “A song that slays vaccine hesitancy! Teeke se bacha hai desh teeke se. Teeke se bachega desh teeke se. Joined my colleagues Dr @mansukhmandviya Ji and Sh @Rameswar_Teli Ji to release India’s Vaccination Anthem #BharatKaTikakaran sung by Sh @Kailashkhe Ji. #SabkaSaathSabkaPrayas”
During the vaccination song’s launch event, which was in a hybrid mode, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Rameswar Teli, Secretary PNG Tarun Kapoor, senior officers of the Ministry and Oil and Gas PSUs, were also present.
The song has been produced by the Oil and Gas PSUs.
FORMER PM MANMOHAN SINGH DOING BETTER THAN YESTERDAY: CONG
Congress spokesperson Pranav Jha on Friday said that former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is doing fine and is better than yesterday. Taking to Twitter, Jha urged all to respect the privacy of the former Prime Minister. “This is to inform that Dr Manmohan Singh ji is doing fine. He is better than yesterday. Let’s all wish him a speedy recovery. Any unfounded speculation is unnecessary and in bad taste. Also, request all to respect the Former PM’s privacy. Thank you! #HappyDussehra2021,” tweeted the Congress spokesperson.
Earlier, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), informed that Singh is stable and recovering.
Dr Singh, who was admitted to AIIMS on Wednesday, is under the observation of doctors. The eighty-nine-year-old Congress leader had complained of weakness and is stable and under the observation of doctors, hospital sources said.
Earlier in the day, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya visited the hospital to meet him.
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