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Why there’s dip in New Coronavirus cases every Monday? July 08, 2020 12:43

The number of COVID-19 cases across the country fell by 3000 this Monday from Sunday’s count which is according to the same pattern that is happening since two months. Reaffirming a pattern that is being seen since the start of coronavirus testing in India, about 3000 cases fell this Monday too when compared to the previous day. The pattern which the country is seeing goes like this: The number of cases increases in the week days, reach the peak during weekends mostly on Sunday and then see a sudden dip on Monday. The trend has held the country for 9 weeks in a row which is being called a statistical quirk. For example, the new cases recorded this Monday were 22,007 which is big drop from Sunday’s count which is 24,976. In the earlier week too, the number of fresh cases reported on Monday across India was 18,870 whereas on Sunday the number was 19,741. The same pattern is being witnessed for 10 weeks now except for the first week of testing. The best explanation for this dip in fresh COVID-19 cases on Monday’s can be given when a careful observation is made on the testing figures. The numbers of tests conducted see a fall every Sunday which is reflected on the Monday’s count and sometimes on Tuesday’s count too. This is because the results of RT-PCR tests take 24 to 48 hours to arrive. According to Covid19India.org website, on July 4, around 2.4 lakh tests were conducted. The number fell to 1.8 lakh on the next day which is Sunday and again rose to 2.41 lakh on Monday. Surprisingly, the daily figures of COVID-19 deaths do not show the dip as seen in number of cases registered. The “Monday Dip” is also a parameter that determines the relationship between testing and detection of COVID-19 cases, which also indicates the need to ramp up the number of tests conducted across the country. India has so far recorded 7,42,000 COVID-19 positive cases of which 2.8 lakh cases are active as on Wednesday. The death on the country has reached to 20,642. While some of the states have re-imposed lockdown to curb the infection spread many of the metro cities are implementing Unlock 2.0 though the COVID-19 cases are seeing a surge day by day. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Kerala Government announces “Triple Lockdown” in Thiruvananthapuram July 06, 2020 15:15

Kerala Government, after a meeting, presided by CM Pinarayi Vijayan has announced that the state capital will go into triple lockdown for a week starting from Monday at 6 am. After 22 of the 38 new COVID-19 patients in Thiruvananthapuram were infected through local transmission, the state government took heed to the situation and announced a triple lockdown. What is a triple lockdown? The shut down in the capital city will be in a triple lock manner which covers all sectors to be put under lockdown. Lock 1 – This would restrict the movement of people across the district where only a few relaxations would be allowed. Lock 2 – This lock will be enforced in the hot spots of the city where people should mandatorily stay at home except for some medical requirements. Lock 3 – The third lock will be applied in the houses of primary and secondary contacts of the patients to make them stay in mandatory home quarantine. Additionally, all roads leading to the capital city would be closed except entry and exit roads. All essential services like groceries, banks, pharmacies will be allowed to operate. All the non-essential services will be closed. With a security guard recently being tested positive for COVID-19, the Secretariat will remain closed. All the public transport will be shut. Only one grocery store would be allowed to operate in one area in the city and the Police will help the public in delivering the essentials to houses. The movement of passengers from airport and railway stations will be allowed but with precautions. Public examninations across the capital will remain canceled. Trucks or lorries carrying essential supplies, electricity, and water supply workers will be allowed to commute through containment areas. All these restrictions will be applicable in Thiruvananthapuram for a week. However, the origin of community transmission of these 22 cases is yet to be ascertained. Meanwhile, during this lockdown, health officials are planning to carry out large scale antigen tests in areas that reported more COVID-19 cases. This lockdown aims to carry out extensive contact tracing and isolate those who have tested positive for COVID-19. By Gayatri Yellayi

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NEET and IIT JEE Exams Postponed Till September July 04, 2020 16:59

NEET 2020, JEE Mains 2020 and JEE advanced examinations have been postponed till September 2020 as announced by HRD Minister on Friday. National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and JEE Mains have been postponed to September. HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal took to twitter to announce the decision on Friday. The new date for NEET 2020 has been scheduled for September 13 and JEE mains have been pushed to September 1 to September 6. JEE advanced which was scheduled to be held in August has also been postponed and the new date for this exam would be September 27. Ramesh Pokhriyal took to twitter to announce the news of postponement and also said that the decision was taken to ensure safety of the students and also to provide quality education to them. The news has brought joy among many students who were waiting for the decision of the central government. Several students have been rallying for the delay and this news has come as a feast to them. National Students Union India (NSUI) has welcomed the decision by the centre to defer the dates of exams. NSUI President Neeraj Kundan congratulated the students saying this was their victory and the student unions have let the government to take the right decision at the right time. However, those students who have dropped a year for the preparation of JEE are in a state of shock and confusion after the news of deferment is announced. Though the news of postponement has brought smiles on many faces, this decision has let another concern rise to fore, which is the enforcement of next academic calendar. With the delay in present schedule, authorities have said that it would impact the next academic calendar and syllabus. Experts are in a quandary. While the safety of the students cannot be compromised, COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the education system and the academic cycles are turning out to be worrisome according to them. However, government is yet to take a decision on this situation. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Haryana Government Reduces COVID-19 Treatment Costs for Private Hospitals June 27, 2020 20:33

The Haryana Government has formed a committee on Monday and decided to cap COVID-19 treatment costs at private hospitals for Rs. 8000 to 18000 per day.The health department of Haryana took the decision on Friday to fix rates for treatment for COVID-19 to be between Rs.8000 and Rs. 18000 for a single day treatment. This move by the government will reduce the rates by 64%. They came up with the move after public started criticizing the government for high costs for treating the virus.This new capped package rates will include laboratory investigation, diagnostic procedures and radiological investigation. Moreover, medicines, drugs, PPE kits and masks are also covered under the package.It also incorporates doctor consultation, chest-tube, nursing care, physiotherapy, and cardio diversion and incubation facilities.The rates will be applicable to children who are infected with the COVID-19 infection.However, the government has not made it clear if charges for high-end rooms or deluxe-rooms in private hospitals will be covered under the scheme.Pregnant woman having c-section or normal delivery and experimental therapies such as Ramdesivir and neo-natal care are excluded from the benefits of the package introduced by Haryana.As per the written order issued by the Haryana government, day rates for hospitals accredited by National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Providers (NABH) are capped for Rs.10000 for isolation beds, Rs.15000 for intensive care and Rs.18000 for ICU with ventilator support.Similarly, non-NABH hospitals would charge Rs.8000 for isolation beds, Rs.13000 for ICU and Rs.15000 for ICU with ventilator.“The disparity in charges for various hospitals is hampering is hampering access for inpatient hospital care”, said the Director of Health Services on the decision to cap rates for treatment.Some of the major hospitals in Haryana are charging Rs.20000 for general beds, Rs.40,000 for ICU and Rs.50000 to Rs.80000 for ICU with ventilator support  which has caused impatience among residents of the State.Delhi government has also capped the COVID-19 treatment costs earlier this week following the guidelines issued by Dr. V K Paul committee.The Haryana government asserted that no hospital or medical care centre would charge more than the capped rates by the government.The new rates would be applicable to all COVID-19 beds of a private hospital which are about 60% of the total beds.The state government employees, pensioners and other dependents can avail the treatment facilities under government’s healthcare reimbursement policies. As per the rates of Ayushman Bharat scheme, the cost of an isolation bed for a day in any hospital is Rs.2000 to Rs.5000. The bills will be reimbursed only after careful verification by chief medical officer and a nodal officer. By Gayatri Yellayi

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Families of 50 patients in Hyderabad refuse to take them back home after recovering from Covid: June 26, 2020 20:14

Kin of 50 Covid-19 patients are refusing to take their familymembers back home from Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad. The pandemic coronavirus has been spreading like a wild fire all around the world. It first originated in the month of December in 2019 in the city of Wuhan in China. In the six months the virus has infected more than 96 Lakh people around the globe. Around 5 Lakh have been dead. India recorded it highest one day spike with 17,000 cases taking its total to more than 4,90,000 cases. The deaths in India are a little over 15,000. Telangana is one of the South Indian states where the cases stand at 10,444 confirmed cases. On Thursday one incident happened at Gandhi Hospital in Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana when families of recovered of Covid-19 patients are refusing to take the patients back home. Family members of many Covid-19 patients at Gandhi Hospital, who have been discharged by authorities, are refusing to take them back home.Dr Prabhakar Rao, Nodal Officer, Gandhi Hospital, said there are “over 50 patients including men and women who tested positive for COVID-19” and underwent treatment at the hospital over last 10- 15 days. According to the doctor all of them are healthy and have no symptoms. The hospital authorities have discharged them and declared them fit for home quarantine. The families of these patients were called to take them back home but no one came. Many patients of the 50 also waited outside the hospital for hours to wait for their family members but no one showed up. When the hospital authorities saw that no one from their families came to pick them up, they re-admitted these patients back to the hospital and also provide them with beds to stay. The senior citizens have been kept in the Gandhi Hospital whereas the other people aged around 50 years or less have been shifted to nature Cure Hospital. The families are  asking the doctors to do the testing again to make sure they are negative, but the doctors said in these critical situations doing tests repeatedly is also not possible Dr Rao cited the case of a 93-year-old Covid-19 positive woman, who was admitted to Gandhi Hospital 15 days ago and is now fine and fit to get discharged from the hospital. He said her family members are not coming forward to take her to their residence and she is in hospital.In another case, an 85-year-old-person, who tested positive and got admitted to Gandhi Hospital 16 days ago, is now having no symptoms and is fit for home quarantine. But even after doctors are declaring that they are fine family members are demanding re-test. Gandhi Hospital is the designated nodal center in Telangana to treat Covid-19 cases. With all these re-tests it gets very difficult to treat the patients. In these difficult times when the world is in need of humanity and strangers are helping each other, some families are refusing to take in and help their own family members who they are related with blood. By Deepika Agarwal

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IIT Mumbai to go online for the rest of next semester, First major institute to take this decision: June 25, 2020 20:19

The Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai has scrapped all face-to-face lectures for the rest of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The global health crisis called the coronavirus has taken a toll over all our lives. The pandemic which started in the December of 2019 in a small city in Wuhan has spread all over the world infecting near 10 million people. India is soon going to cross the 5 lakh mark of confirmed coronavirus cases.Due to the pandemic and the lockdown which started in India on the 24th of March the schools, colleges and universities have been shut down. Examinations had to be canceled and classes went from class rooms to computer systems. This pandemic showed us the new reality of the world. Though classes of schools and colleges are still going online, there is no particular date or there is no announcement of when the schools and colleges will be scheduled to reopen. Though there are some reports which say that they could reopen in the month of October. Indian Institute of Technology popularly known as IIT in Mumbai becomes the first major university or educational institution in the country to scrap class room classes for the rest of the year. All the classes until the beginning of the next year will be held online. The Director of the institute, Subhasis Chaudhuri had made an announcement late on Wednesday night that the institute is going to teach the entire next semester through virtual classes. The whole semester is going to be purely in the online mode.  This decision is taken up to ensure the safety of the students as that is of utmost importance. The institute says that they are not going to compromise on the safety of students or their well-being at any cost. He shared this news on a Facebook post late night on Wednesday. In the institute’s 62 year old history, this is the first time it’s happening that a new academic year is going to tart with no students on the campus. IIT Mumbai has already made this statement and looks like IIT’s in the other states are likely to follow the same steps of online virtual lectures. The director also mentioned that they are looking for funding for their students to provide them with laptops and other necessary internet data plans for them to have a stress free class. Large amount of students at IIT-Bombay come from economically weak families and the institute is looking for funds to help bridge the digital divide between the students who can attend the classes and the students who cannot. In the post the director described how they don’t want even a single student to miss out on the learning experience just due to monetary issues. The institute says they need an amount of Rs. 5 crore to provide the students with the necessities of virtual classes. The alumni of the prestigious institute have also committed a good amount of support for the needy students and following that the heads of departments have sent emails to all students enquiring who all do not have access to a personal computer or laptop or even internet connection.By Deepika Agarwal

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Govt. bans all advertisement on Patanjali’s Covid drug; Ramdev says it’s just a communication gap June 24, 2020 11:58

Patanjali had launched its Covid-19 drug claiming 100% result on Tuesday and on the same day comes under the government scanner for not providing any information related to the research. Ayush ministry has thus banned all the advertisement for the product.  Baba Ramdev says it’s just a communication gap between Patanjali and the government. Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd had launched its Covid-19 drug on Tuesday and had claimed that they have received 100% recovery in 7 days on their clinical trials. But it turns out the government of the country was not aware of this and thus Patanjali has come under the scanner of the central government. Ayush Ministry, which is government ministry for ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga, homeopathy in India has said that it’s not aware of the fact of the claim and details of the stated scientific study around it and had told the Ayurveda manufacturer to stop advertising the drugs. The Ayush ministry has asked the Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. to provide all the details at the earliest including the name and compositions of the medicines being claimed for the Covid-19 treatment. The Ayush ministry has also asked Patanjali to provide the site and hospitals where the research study was conducted including protocol, sample, size, Institutional Ethics clearance, Clinical Trials Registry India registration and also the results data of te said studies. Ayush Ministry has also directly asked Patanjali to stop publicizing and advertising such claims till the issue is duly exclaimed. Not just the results of the data, Ayush Ministry has also requested the concerned state Licensing Authority of Uttarakhand government to provide copies of license and product approval details of the medicine. Patanjali at a press release on Tuesday while launching the medicine claimed that the medicines have shown 100% results during the clinical trials conducted on the 280 patients in different cities around the country. 100 patients were being tested at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar. The managing director of Patanjali also said they are going to launch an e-commerce app for the delivery of their medicines. The medicines are being tested and will be available in a week in the Patanjali stores across the country. After Ayush Ministry raised concerns over Coronil, Patanjali has now submitted the composition of Coronil to the ministry. After the concerns being raised Patanjali says that the trials were conducted only on those who had mild and moderate symptoms. The serious patients were excluded from this trial. Patanjali spokesperson on Tuesday after the controversy said that they have already sent the data to Ayush Ministry and also one month is still left for the data and results to be recorded. Ayush ministry is yet to respond to the statement given by Patanjali group on the submission of the data. Ramdev Baba after the controversy said that it was just a communication gap and that they have taken all the permissions right from the production of the drug to its clinical trial. Patanjali has also sent all the details to the Ayush Ministry today and they will receive it soon. Baba Ramdev claims that they have not violated any laws regarding the production and launching of the Coronil medicine.By Deepika Agarwal

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PM Modi In Discussion With 14 States CMs Of Day 2 Consultations On Coronavirus Crisis June 17, 2020 19:53

PM Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah interact with CMs of 14 states and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. The discussion with all the state representatives to look over the spread of coronavirus during unlock 1.0. The virtual meeting is scheduled in two sessions to cover all the states. A set of states are scheduled to attend the meeting on June 16 and other few on the next day. The first day consultation meeting was with less affected states by the virus and the second day is for 15 worst affected states. The Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have attended Modi’s virtual meeting.Interactions with the specific state governments is crucial as they are the most affected by coronavirus in the country. The states which generally contribute more for economy and high employment have planned to discuss their strategy to run the economic activities following the strict lockdown restrictions in red zones. India has the highest record over 2000 fatalities in a single day and the spike touched about 11,000 new cases. It is expected to discuss the steps to be taken for the huge number of migrants moving inward and outward. The day before, the PM held another meeting to focus on the economic condition of the country. The meeting included the Chief Ministers, LGs and administrative authorities. In this meeting, Modi said that he is expecting improvement in Indian economy as most of the nation is free from lockdown restrictions. He spoke about the importance of both life and livelihood. At this point, health infrastructure must be the priority and on the other hand, economic activity should be managed. By Ramya C

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Earthquake Strikes Gujarat Rajkot At 5.5 Magnitude- No Major Damage Or Threat June 15, 2020 14:42

On Sunday evening, Gujarat was struck with an earthquake unfortunately and the magnitude was 5.5. The depth was 10 km in Gujarat, Kutch district approximately 120 km from Rajkot said the National Centre of Seismology.In Gujarat, a sudden earthquake struck at evening 8.13 on 14 June at 5.5 magnitude. The earthquake impacted the north region of Gujarat which included Ahmedabad with low intensity. The reports of earthquakes are not of any major damage or threat to lives.Previously also an occurrence of earthquake is seen on 9 May. The magnitude was closer to 4.3 on the Richter Scale which very lightly shook Junagarh, Porbandar and Gir Somnath. Chief Ministers had telephonic conversations with the District Collectors of the earthquake struck regions of Kutch, Rajkot and Patan.The tremor was felt in these places slightly. In the ANI visuals, it shows residents gathering out of the houses.In NCS official site, the incident in 2001 was mentioned when the moderate intensity of earthquake struck around 85 km from Bhuj. The entire area was devastated with magnitude 7.7 that killed over 20,000 people and several people were injured. This was reported on January 26th of 2001.The agency also reported an earthquake strike in Jammu and Kashmir after 30 minutes of Gujarat incident. In J & K it was a 2.9 magnitude tremor which was recorded at 90 km east of Katra.The low intensity earthquake strikes were reported in different parts recently. A low intensity earthquake occurred in Haryana on 8 June and in Delhi as well.The region of Delhi-NCR is observed to have the fault lines which generate earthquakes. There is another observation linked to earthquakes in Delhi, as an impact from Nepal and Afganistan’s Hindukush Mountains.By Ramya C

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Nepal Police Killed An Indian Citizen In Firing Near Bihar Border June 13, 2020 14:49

The clashes between Indian villagers and Nepali police led to killing a man in firing and two men were injured. The incident took place on Friday when the man was trying to meet his daughter in law who is a native of Nepal. Nepali police force detained the 42 year old man, Lagan Yadav and he was released on Saturday morning. Nepal police opened fire on Friday and killed a 22 year old Bihar man and two other men were injured. This clash created tension at the India-Nepal border. According to the Indian villagers, the whole incident started when the Nepali police troops objected to Yadav's daughter in law talking to Indian people standing in their area. The Nepali Police were patrolling the area and they asked the Indian people to step back from their area. The fighting between Indian people and Nepali police troops was 75 meters inside the Nepalese territory. While Nepali police claimed that they first fired in the air to disperse the crowd. The police also were suspected of Indian side people snatching their weapons. When the Nepali forces opened the fire in the crowd, three people were hit by the gunshots. The force said, total 15 rounds were fired in which 10 were in the air and 5 were in the crowd. APF claims that 2 people were fired above the knee and the man who died from firing was shot near the abdomen area. It was because he succumbed to his injuries. The two who were injured are admitted in the nearby hospital soon after the incident. Locals on the two sides said that the border was not fenced but was opened. In general, people move around to meet their relatives. The father of the deceased man said, "Nepal's security forces fired 15-16 rounds at unarmed villagers of Janakinagar, Sitamarhi, Bihar, killing Vikesh Rai and injuring two others." By Ramya C

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Export Bans On Hydroxychloroquine Lifted By India June 12, 2020 18:15

India has finally lifted the export bans on hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that has been touted by U.S President Donald Trump for fighting against the battle of Covid-19. “Department of Pharmaceuticals has approved the lifting of ban on Export of Hydroxychloroquine API as well as formulations,” said Sadananda Gowda, India’s minister for chemicals and fertilisers. The manufacturers, except for the export-oriented units and the ones in the economic zones, will have to supply 20% of their overall production to the domestic market. India is one of the leading suppliers of generic medicines across the world. The country banned the supply of HCQ export and its formulation in March following the impacts of Covid-19 in disrupting supply chains. India later eased some of the restrictions in April and then shipped 50 million tablets to U.S, as per the requirements posed by U.S President Donald Trump. Trump’s conviction of the drug had initially raised hopes in the minds of people, assuring that the drug does have benefitting properties. But, the confliction reports about the side effects of this drug have raised questions in the minds of people. Even the British scientists were forced to halt one of their trials after finding that the drug does no good to the Covid-19 patients and does have irreversible impacts in the long run. There have been medical studies that have hinted the side effects of this drug on the heart diseases and several other factors. WHO or the World Health Organisation reported that they would resume its trial of the drug to find its impacts in battling the novel coronavirus after doctors stop prescribing it to the patients. Two of the most popular labs in India that manufacture this drug include IPCA Laboratories and Cadila Healthcare. Following the lack of impacts of these drugs, both these labs experienced a down in their share market values. - Somapika Dutta

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Supreme Court Order To Aviation Ministry- Allow Fliers To Use Credit Amount Up to 2 Years June 12, 2020 14:45

The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Aviation Ministry to provide full refund to the fliers whose tickets were cancelled during the lockdown period. The court asked the center to reply within 3 weeks of time for the issued notice. Many fliers reserved tickets in advance which were dated after the coronavirus pandemic. All the advance booked tickets were cancelled as the lockdown restricted flights movements from and to India. Now, the Supreme Court has sent a notice to refund the amount of all cancelled tickets. SC also asked “Why should credit being issued by the airlines be limited to a short period or for the same route?” People who receive the refund from the airlines for cancelled tickets would be able to use the credit till 2 years. The notice from the Supreme Court also mentioned that fliers must be allowed to use the refund for a longer period which is a maximum of 2 years. Supreme Court said “Allow a passenger to use that credit for any route,” said the Supreme Court” The court notice is applicable for all the airlines and it should be heard as parties in the hearing of PIL seeking refund from airlines as the cancellation of tickets is due to nationwide lockdown. Court allowed three weeks of time to respond in regards with the notice. The Civil Aviation Ministry and the airlines must discuss the modalities and then come up with the response. The next hearing in the matter is scheduled after three weeks. By Ramya C

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