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Around 140 bodies found in river Ganga, officials yet to confirm them as Covid deaths

Residents of Purvanchal and Ghazipur districts were shocked to find more than a hundred bodies along the bank of River Ganga

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:staradvertiser.com

As many as 140 bodies have been discovered near the banks of River Ganga at Ghazipur district in Uttar Pradesh, reported Amar Ujala on May 12, 2021. The corpses drifted ashore in Ballia of Purvanchal district and Ghazipur and local administration officials are rushing to cremate and bury them. According to locals in the area, the corpses came from surrounding villages, who could not cremate their dead for lack of firewood.

Officials deployed police in regions where corpses were initially found on May 10 in Buxar district of Bihar. However, since then, bodies were discovered in Ghazipur-Ballia as well. Burials for these unknown persons continued from Monday evening till May 11 night. Several corpses were sent to Ghazipur for cremation while 123 dead bodies, found along the banks of Dharamarpur Ganga Ghat, were buried.

According to Ghazipur’s Karanda police station, excavators were brought in due to the high number of dead bodies lying on the banks of Dharampur Ganga. Bodies along Narwa, Sojhwa, Panchmukhi and Bulakia Das Mathia ghats of Sevarai tehsil were buried along the shore with the help of employees, villagers and social workers.

In other areas, where the corpses drifted ashore, locals buried the dead and sprayed lime and bleaching powder along river Ganga. Amar Ujala reported 17 dead bodies in Ballia region on Monday evening under Ballia-Buxar bridge in Thana Narhi area. Bodies were unidentifiable due to severe decomposition. Nonetheless, discovered bodies were cremated in the presence of police and administration. Apart from this, two bodies were seen near Manjhi ghat in Jayaprakash Nagar area on Tuesday.

The Hindu reported that police are currently ascertaining whether the bodies were of Covid-19 patients. However, due to the condition of the corpses, authorities are yet to confirm suspicions.

Jamania DSP Hitendra Krishna estimated that the deaths could have occurred around 10 to 15 days ago. Officials claimed that the corpses may have been thrown into the river due to the long waiting lines outside cremation grounds. Meanwhile Gahmar district head Balwant Singh said the bodies did not belong to the village and did not like how the village was embroiled in the matter based on proximity.

Related:

EC, courts and Government failed to see risk of polls during Covid-19: Allahabad HC
Rs. 1 cr compensation should be given to families of polling officials who died of Covid: Allahabad HC
Covid-19: Over 40 bodies wash up on Ganga banks in Bihar!
Don’t compare Kumbh Mela to Markaz event: Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat

Around 140 bodies found in river Ganga, officials yet to confirm them as Covid deaths

Residents of Purvanchal and Ghazipur districts were shocked to find more than a hundred bodies along the bank of River Ganga

Image Courtesy:staradvertiser.com

As many as 140 bodies have been discovered near the banks of River Ganga at Ghazipur district in Uttar Pradesh, reported Amar Ujala on May 12, 2021. The corpses drifted ashore in Ballia of Purvanchal district and Ghazipur and local administration officials are rushing to cremate and bury them. According to locals in the area, the corpses came from surrounding villages, who could not cremate their dead for lack of firewood.

Officials deployed police in regions where corpses were initially found on May 10 in Buxar district of Bihar. However, since then, bodies were discovered in Ghazipur-Ballia as well. Burials for these unknown persons continued from Monday evening till May 11 night. Several corpses were sent to Ghazipur for cremation while 123 dead bodies, found along the banks of Dharamarpur Ganga Ghat, were buried.

According to Ghazipur’s Karanda police station, excavators were brought in due to the high number of dead bodies lying on the banks of Dharampur Ganga. Bodies along Narwa, Sojhwa, Panchmukhi and Bulakia Das Mathia ghats of Sevarai tehsil were buried along the shore with the help of employees, villagers and social workers.

In other areas, where the corpses drifted ashore, locals buried the dead and sprayed lime and bleaching powder along river Ganga. Amar Ujala reported 17 dead bodies in Ballia region on Monday evening under Ballia-Buxar bridge in Thana Narhi area. Bodies were unidentifiable due to severe decomposition. Nonetheless, discovered bodies were cremated in the presence of police and administration. Apart from this, two bodies were seen near Manjhi ghat in Jayaprakash Nagar area on Tuesday.

The Hindu reported that police are currently ascertaining whether the bodies were of Covid-19 patients. However, due to the condition of the corpses, authorities are yet to confirm suspicions.

Jamania DSP Hitendra Krishna estimated that the deaths could have occurred around 10 to 15 days ago. Officials claimed that the corpses may have been thrown into the river due to the long waiting lines outside cremation grounds. Meanwhile Gahmar district head Balwant Singh said the bodies did not belong to the village and did not like how the village was embroiled in the matter based on proximity.

Related:

EC, courts and Government failed to see risk of polls during Covid-19: Allahabad HC
Rs. 1 cr compensation should be given to families of polling officials who died of Covid: Allahabad HC
Covid-19: Over 40 bodies wash up on Ganga banks in Bihar!
Don’t compare Kumbh Mela to Markaz event: Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat

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Cow dung, urine don't prevent Covid-19, can cause infections: Doctors

A dangerous myth has taken root in Gujarat where many are going to a gaushala to smear themselves with cow excreta mix to ‘protect’ themselves from Coronavirus

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:telegraphindia.com

That senior doctors have to talk to health workers telling them not to smear their bodies with cow dung and cow urine is more than a bizarre tale. This is the strange and dangerous reality currently being reported from cow shelters in Gujarat, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah hail. That cow dung and cow urine have some ‘curative’ or medicinal powers is a belief that still holds strong among many in India, and is often supported by the right-wing groups who see it as an important part of their agenda.

As the country continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic that has now reached cities and villages even as it continues to wreak havoc in big cities, some in Gujarat believe taking a bath in cow excreta will ‘protect’ them from Coronavirus. According to a report in Reuters, people have been going to cow shelters to smear themselves with ‘packs’ made of cow dung and cow urine because they believe this “will boost their immunity against, or help them recover from, the coronavirus.”

Doctors, however, have warned that this mixture will give “no protection from the coronavirus” and that it “may cause other infections including mucormycosis or black fungus.” The news report quoted Gautam Manilal Borisa, an associate manager at a pharmaceuticals company, who claimed “even doctors” undertake this cow dung therapy. He claimed that this “practice helped him recover from Covid-19 last year” and he continues to undergo it at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam. Reuters photos show how a group of men sit smeared with the dung and urine mixture and then wash it off with milk. 

The report quotes Dr JA Jayalal, national president, Indian Medical Association, debunking this practice saying, "There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against Covid-19, it is based entirely on belief," adding “there are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products - other diseases can spread from the animal to humans."

This comes close on the heels of a disturbing video of a man attempting to pour a yellow liquid, that was allegedly cow urine, or gau mutra, down the throat of a woman who is hooked to a ventilator. This incident came to light in the last week of April, and the questions were raised on how did the man even manage to get into a ward and administer the liquid to a seriously ill female patient.

According to another news report a Covid-19 isolation centre at Tetoda village in Deesa taluka of Banaskantha district, Gujarat is reportedly "treating" patients based on "ayurvedic medicines made of cow urine, dung, milk, ghee and curd" called "Panchagavya'' or five elements/ essences from cows, along with allopathic medicines. It was reported by the Deccan Herald that this “centre is being run in a gaushala or cowshed that has over 5,000 cows managed by a trust 'Rajaram Gaushala Ashram' and is named "Vedalakshana Panchagavya Ayurvedic Covid Isolation Centre." 

Related:

Take a swig of cow urine to finish Corona: Surendra Singh, BJP MLA
Did a BJP worker give 'Gau Mutra' to a Covid-19 patient on a ventilator?
Bad news for those still looking for gold in cow milk
Why does UGC want herds of students to take ‘cow science’ exams?
INVESTIGATION: The Missing Cows of Gujarat

Cow dung, urine don't prevent Covid-19, can cause infections: Doctors

A dangerous myth has taken root in Gujarat where many are going to a gaushala to smear themselves with cow excreta mix to ‘protect’ themselves from Coronavirus

Image Courtesy:telegraphindia.com

That senior doctors have to talk to health workers telling them not to smear their bodies with cow dung and cow urine is more than a bizarre tale. This is the strange and dangerous reality currently being reported from cow shelters in Gujarat, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah hail. That cow dung and cow urine have some ‘curative’ or medicinal powers is a belief that still holds strong among many in India, and is often supported by the right-wing groups who see it as an important part of their agenda.

As the country continues to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic that has now reached cities and villages even as it continues to wreak havoc in big cities, some in Gujarat believe taking a bath in cow excreta will ‘protect’ them from Coronavirus. According to a report in Reuters, people have been going to cow shelters to smear themselves with ‘packs’ made of cow dung and cow urine because they believe this “will boost their immunity against, or help them recover from, the coronavirus.”

Doctors, however, have warned that this mixture will give “no protection from the coronavirus” and that it “may cause other infections including mucormycosis or black fungus.” The news report quoted Gautam Manilal Borisa, an associate manager at a pharmaceuticals company, who claimed “even doctors” undertake this cow dung therapy. He claimed that this “practice helped him recover from Covid-19 last year” and he continues to undergo it at the Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam. Reuters photos show how a group of men sit smeared with the dung and urine mixture and then wash it off with milk. 

The report quotes Dr JA Jayalal, national president, Indian Medical Association, debunking this practice saying, "There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against Covid-19, it is based entirely on belief," adding “there are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products - other diseases can spread from the animal to humans."

This comes close on the heels of a disturbing video of a man attempting to pour a yellow liquid, that was allegedly cow urine, or gau mutra, down the throat of a woman who is hooked to a ventilator. This incident came to light in the last week of April, and the questions were raised on how did the man even manage to get into a ward and administer the liquid to a seriously ill female patient.

According to another news report a Covid-19 isolation centre at Tetoda village in Deesa taluka of Banaskantha district, Gujarat is reportedly "treating" patients based on "ayurvedic medicines made of cow urine, dung, milk, ghee and curd" called "Panchagavya'' or five elements/ essences from cows, along with allopathic medicines. It was reported by the Deccan Herald that this “centre is being run in a gaushala or cowshed that has over 5,000 cows managed by a trust 'Rajaram Gaushala Ashram' and is named "Vedalakshana Panchagavya Ayurvedic Covid Isolation Centre." 

Related:

Take a swig of cow urine to finish Corona: Surendra Singh, BJP MLA
Did a BJP worker give 'Gau Mutra' to a Covid-19 patient on a ventilator?
Bad news for those still looking for gold in cow milk
Why does UGC want herds of students to take ‘cow science’ exams?
INVESTIGATION: The Missing Cows of Gujarat

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EC, courts and Government failed to see risk of polls during Covid-19: Allahabad HC

It remarked that the virus has now reached the villages, and that the State lacks preparation and resources to deal with the same

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:scroll.in

“The Election Commission, the Higher Courts and the Government failed to fathom the disastrous consequences of permitting the elections in few States and the Panchayat elections in the State of Uttar Pradesh,” said the Allahabad High Court while hearing an anticipatory bail matter.

Justice Siddharth allowed the anticipatory bail application filed by one Prateek Jain, accused of cheating and fraud, while holding that the apprehension of death on account of contracting Covid-19 is a valid ground for bail.

Further, the court noted the unpreparedness of the state and how the virus has now spread to the remote villages. It said, “The State Government is having a tough time controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus in urban areas and it would be very difficult to conduct tests, detect and treat the village population found suffering from novel corona virus”, adding that, “The State lacks preparation and resources for the same at present.”

The Single-judge Bench observed that on account of the recent panchayat elections in the state, a large number of FIRs have been lodged in the villages. Even otherwise, the crime rate in villages is high.

“Keeping in view the overall situation of the villages after the Panchayat elections, a large number of accused persons may be infected and their infection may not have been detected,” Justice Siddharth reportedly said.

While granting him anticipatory bail, the court also observed that the established parameters for grant of anticipatory bail holds no value over the unprecedented crisis the nation is facing. “…the nature and gravity of accusation, the criminal antecedent of the applicant, the possibility of fleeing from justice and whether accusation has been made for injuring and humiliating the applicant by getting him arrested have now lost significance on account of present situation of the country and the State on account of spread of second wave of novel corona virus”, read the order.

The court also went a step ahead and said that not considering an applicant’s apprehension of being infected with Covid-19 before and after his arrest and the possibility of his spreading the same while coming into contact with the police, Court and jail personnels, would be against the requirement of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The elections have cost many lives in Uttar Pradesh. In related news, taking strong note of reports about the deaths of teachers, shiksha mitras and others due to Covid-19 –all 135 government employees --who were posted for poll duty during panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad high court had recently pulled up the state election commission (SEC) for clarification on the same. “It appears that neither the police, nor the Election Commission did anything to save the people on election duty from getting infected by this deadly virus,” the court observed.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC
UP: Covid crisis claims at least 706 primary teachers and kin owing to election duty!
Who is to blame, 135 people, including teachers die on election duty in UP?
SHOCKING: Covid kills over 700 teachers, 300 still critical in UP!

EC, courts and Government failed to see risk of polls during Covid-19: Allahabad HC

It remarked that the virus has now reached the villages, and that the State lacks preparation and resources to deal with the same

Image Courtesy:scroll.in

“The Election Commission, the Higher Courts and the Government failed to fathom the disastrous consequences of permitting the elections in few States and the Panchayat elections in the State of Uttar Pradesh,” said the Allahabad High Court while hearing an anticipatory bail matter.

Justice Siddharth allowed the anticipatory bail application filed by one Prateek Jain, accused of cheating and fraud, while holding that the apprehension of death on account of contracting Covid-19 is a valid ground for bail.

Further, the court noted the unpreparedness of the state and how the virus has now spread to the remote villages. It said, “The State Government is having a tough time controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus in urban areas and it would be very difficult to conduct tests, detect and treat the village population found suffering from novel corona virus”, adding that, “The State lacks preparation and resources for the same at present.”

The Single-judge Bench observed that on account of the recent panchayat elections in the state, a large number of FIRs have been lodged in the villages. Even otherwise, the crime rate in villages is high.

“Keeping in view the overall situation of the villages after the Panchayat elections, a large number of accused persons may be infected and their infection may not have been detected,” Justice Siddharth reportedly said.

While granting him anticipatory bail, the court also observed that the established parameters for grant of anticipatory bail holds no value over the unprecedented crisis the nation is facing. “…the nature and gravity of accusation, the criminal antecedent of the applicant, the possibility of fleeing from justice and whether accusation has been made for injuring and humiliating the applicant by getting him arrested have now lost significance on account of present situation of the country and the State on account of spread of second wave of novel corona virus”, read the order.

The court also went a step ahead and said that not considering an applicant’s apprehension of being infected with Covid-19 before and after his arrest and the possibility of his spreading the same while coming into contact with the police, Court and jail personnels, would be against the requirement of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

The elections have cost many lives in Uttar Pradesh. In related news, taking strong note of reports about the deaths of teachers, shiksha mitras and others due to Covid-19 –all 135 government employees --who were posted for poll duty during panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Allahabad high court had recently pulled up the state election commission (SEC) for clarification on the same. “It appears that neither the police, nor the Election Commission did anything to save the people on election duty from getting infected by this deadly virus,” the court observed.

The order may be read here:

Related:

Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC
UP: Covid crisis claims at least 706 primary teachers and kin owing to election duty!
Who is to blame, 135 people, including teachers die on election duty in UP?
SHOCKING: Covid kills over 700 teachers, 300 still critical in UP!

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Hanay Babu could lose vision in an eye due to administrative apathy!

Earlier, the professor who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case contracted a severe eye infection that required immediate attention, but officials are yet to arrange for proper medical assistance

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Family of Bhima Koregaon-accused Hany Babu on May 11, 2021 requested immediate access to proper medical care and transparency for the undertrial prisoner to treat the acute eye infection contracted at Taloja jail in Mumbai.

Wife Jenny Rowena called for due attention to the illness, as per the rights granted and guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. She talked about how Hany, arrested in July 2020, has little or no vision in his left eye due to a swelling that spread to his cheek, ear and forehead, compromising other vital organs and posing a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain.

“He is in agonising pain and is unable to sleep or perform daily chores. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to clean water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels,” she said.

The professor experienced pain and swelling in his left eye on May 3, which soon developed into double vision and severe pain. He immediately requested consultation and treatment by a specialist doctor because the prison Medical Officer had informed Hany that the prison did not have the facilities to treat his infection.

However, his brothers stated that he was not taken for consultation because of unavailability of an escort officer. The Taloja Jail Superintendent only sent him to a Government hospital in Vashi on May 7 after receiving an email from the accused’s lawyers a day prior.

At the hospital an ophthalmologist prescribed an anti-bacterial medication and advised him to return for follow-up treatment within two days. Yet, prison authorities failed to arrange for an escort officer even after two days. His condition deteriorated alarmingly, said family members.

On May 10, Hany Babu's lawyer Payoshi Roy, called the prison over eight times to speak with the Superintendent, who refused to answer the call. Finally, at 8:30 PM, the Jailor informed Roy that he was aware of the situation and making arrangements to take him to the hospital the next day.

Roy again sent an email to the Superintendent requesting that there be no further delay. She emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating that even a day’s delay may lead to an irreversible deterioration resulting in partial or complete loss of sight and life-threatening complication of the brain. On May 11, the family reported he was yet to be taken to the hospital.

In a press statement, brothers Harish MT & MT Ansari said, “Through the last few days, we have been beside ourselves with anxiety. The thought of Hany Babu having to beg for something as basic as essential health services is heart wrenching. Even today, we were unable to get a response from the prison, despite repeated calls by Ms. Roy. We fear that an opaque system will do irreparable damage to those locked up within as well as locked down at various places.”

Related:

Bom HC grants bail to Reliance Energy worker accused under UAPA
Expression of mere hostile point of view not hate speech: Bom HC
Bom HC issues notice in Fr. Stan Swamy’s bail plea; grants liberty to appear before vacation bench
Bhima Koregaon case: Bom HC seeks State’s response in Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson petitions

Hanay Babu could lose vision in an eye due to administrative apathy!

Earlier, the professor who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case contracted a severe eye infection that required immediate attention, but officials are yet to arrange for proper medical assistance

Image Courtesy:timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Family of Bhima Koregaon-accused Hany Babu on May 11, 2021 requested immediate access to proper medical care and transparency for the undertrial prisoner to treat the acute eye infection contracted at Taloja jail in Mumbai.

Wife Jenny Rowena called for due attention to the illness, as per the rights granted and guaranteed under the Indian Constitution. She talked about how Hany, arrested in July 2020, has little or no vision in his left eye due to a swelling that spread to his cheek, ear and forehead, compromising other vital organs and posing a significant risk to his life if it spreads to the brain.

“He is in agonising pain and is unable to sleep or perform daily chores. Due to an acute water shortage in the prison, he does not have access to clean water to even bathe his eye and is forced to dress his eye with soiled towels,” she said.

The professor experienced pain and swelling in his left eye on May 3, which soon developed into double vision and severe pain. He immediately requested consultation and treatment by a specialist doctor because the prison Medical Officer had informed Hany that the prison did not have the facilities to treat his infection.

However, his brothers stated that he was not taken for consultation because of unavailability of an escort officer. The Taloja Jail Superintendent only sent him to a Government hospital in Vashi on May 7 after receiving an email from the accused’s lawyers a day prior.

At the hospital an ophthalmologist prescribed an anti-bacterial medication and advised him to return for follow-up treatment within two days. Yet, prison authorities failed to arrange for an escort officer even after two days. His condition deteriorated alarmingly, said family members.

On May 10, Hany Babu's lawyer Payoshi Roy, called the prison over eight times to speak with the Superintendent, who refused to answer the call. Finally, at 8:30 PM, the Jailor informed Roy that he was aware of the situation and making arrangements to take him to the hospital the next day.

Roy again sent an email to the Superintendent requesting that there be no further delay. She emphasised the gravity of the situation, stating that even a day’s delay may lead to an irreversible deterioration resulting in partial or complete loss of sight and life-threatening complication of the brain. On May 11, the family reported he was yet to be taken to the hospital.

In a press statement, brothers Harish MT & MT Ansari said, “Through the last few days, we have been beside ourselves with anxiety. The thought of Hany Babu having to beg for something as basic as essential health services is heart wrenching. Even today, we were unable to get a response from the prison, despite repeated calls by Ms. Roy. We fear that an opaque system will do irreparable damage to those locked up within as well as locked down at various places.”

Related:

Bom HC grants bail to Reliance Energy worker accused under UAPA
Expression of mere hostile point of view not hate speech: Bom HC
Bom HC issues notice in Fr. Stan Swamy’s bail plea; grants liberty to appear before vacation bench
Bhima Koregaon case: Bom HC seeks State’s response in Shoma Sen and Rona Wilson petitions

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26 deaths in Goa hospital, Health Minister says CM ‘misguided’

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane called for a High Court probe into the deaths at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH)

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

A major rift has come to the fore in Goa’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, between Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. Rane has said Sawant might be “misguided” in the case of the deaths at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), on the night of Monday-Tuesday. He has called for a High Court probe and said these deaths could have been caused “due to oxygen shortage”.

The 48 Covid deaths at GMCH on Tuesday, made the total toll in the state 75 deaths. According to news reports, the CM said they had asked oxygen suppliers in the state to “ensure GMCH got its supply in 25 minutes. We have also asked the supplier to ensure a minimum of 55 trolleys of oxygen and 600 jumbo cylinders. The supplier has been asked to speed up, and additional vehicles and drivers are being provided to ensure that oxygen reaches GMCH within 25 minutes, only then can the pressure be maintained.” Questioned about his colleague health minister Rane’s claims that the 26 deaths at GMCH could be due to oxygen shortage, Sawant told media persons, “How many patients died because of only drop in oxygen levels or other reasons is something only the doctors can say. I am not an expert.” 

Rane has been openly critical of CM Sawant’s handling of the Covid-19 situation in Goa, a few days ago, when the CM announced the 15-day “curfew”, Rane told media persons that the restrictions “should have come much earlier” and that perhaps this “is one of those cases where we have made some error in judgment.” There has been an alarming surge in Covid-19 cases, in Goa, but the 15-day curfew was announced only on Sunday and is in place till May 23. According to Livemint, the Goa government has made it mandatory for non-residents entering the state to carry “a Covid-19 negative certificate or a vaccination certificate.”

Now, Rane has called out his own CM’s response to the tragic death of 26 patients in one night in what is reportedly Goa’s largest Covid facility. According to Indian Express, CM Sawant, visited the Covid-19 wards at GMCH onTuesday, and later at a meeting with hospital officials, reportedly said “a delay in oxygen supply may have led to a drop in pressure in the central supply at the hospital,” however, “adding that it could not be said if the deaths were due to it.” The GMCH Dean S M Bandekar told the media that “We have to obtain the details (of the causes).”

In an affidavit filed in the High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday, it was reported that the Goa government stated on record that “the Centre had increased its oxygen allocation from 11 MT to 26 MT, and that it procured 35 MT from suppliers — against a need of 55 MT per day.” The High Court also asked the Dean, GMCH, and Director of Health Services on Tuesday to file affidavits stating the position of oxygen supply at the hospital and three other state-run hospitals by Wednesday, reported IE. The affidavit must “indicate whether lack of oxygen supply continues to be the cause for any casualties”.

According to news reports Rane has said while GMCH needed 1,200 jumbo oxygen cylinders on Monday, it got only 400. He said, “I think the CM needs to inquire into the causes behind the deaths between 2 am and 6 am and question the three nodal officers (appointed to oversee GMCH functioning)… The High Court can also set up an expert committee to inquire into this. In fact it is better if the High Court does it….  Let the High Court order an inquiry into the entire Covid management at GMCH. I have no problem because my conscience is clear… I think someone has misguided him (Sawant) or misinterpreted something.”

Goa reported 3,124 new cases Tuesday, taking its total active caseload to 32,836.

Related:

Indian coronavirus variant classified as one of global concern: WHO
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Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC
How will an angry letter to an Opposition party help curb Covid-19 pandemic in India?

26 deaths in Goa hospital, Health Minister says CM ‘misguided’

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane called for a High Court probe into the deaths at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH)

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

A major rift has come to the fore in Goa’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, between Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane. Rane has said Sawant might be “misguided” in the case of the deaths at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), on the night of Monday-Tuesday. He has called for a High Court probe and said these deaths could have been caused “due to oxygen shortage”.

The 48 Covid deaths at GMCH on Tuesday, made the total toll in the state 75 deaths. According to news reports, the CM said they had asked oxygen suppliers in the state to “ensure GMCH got its supply in 25 minutes. We have also asked the supplier to ensure a minimum of 55 trolleys of oxygen and 600 jumbo cylinders. The supplier has been asked to speed up, and additional vehicles and drivers are being provided to ensure that oxygen reaches GMCH within 25 minutes, only then can the pressure be maintained.” Questioned about his colleague health minister Rane’s claims that the 26 deaths at GMCH could be due to oxygen shortage, Sawant told media persons, “How many patients died because of only drop in oxygen levels or other reasons is something only the doctors can say. I am not an expert.” 

Rane has been openly critical of CM Sawant’s handling of the Covid-19 situation in Goa, a few days ago, when the CM announced the 15-day “curfew”, Rane told media persons that the restrictions “should have come much earlier” and that perhaps this “is one of those cases where we have made some error in judgment.” There has been an alarming surge in Covid-19 cases, in Goa, but the 15-day curfew was announced only on Sunday and is in place till May 23. According to Livemint, the Goa government has made it mandatory for non-residents entering the state to carry “a Covid-19 negative certificate or a vaccination certificate.”

Now, Rane has called out his own CM’s response to the tragic death of 26 patients in one night in what is reportedly Goa’s largest Covid facility. According to Indian Express, CM Sawant, visited the Covid-19 wards at GMCH onTuesday, and later at a meeting with hospital officials, reportedly said “a delay in oxygen supply may have led to a drop in pressure in the central supply at the hospital,” however, “adding that it could not be said if the deaths were due to it.” The GMCH Dean S M Bandekar told the media that “We have to obtain the details (of the causes).”

In an affidavit filed in the High Court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday, it was reported that the Goa government stated on record that “the Centre had increased its oxygen allocation from 11 MT to 26 MT, and that it procured 35 MT from suppliers — against a need of 55 MT per day.” The High Court also asked the Dean, GMCH, and Director of Health Services on Tuesday to file affidavits stating the position of oxygen supply at the hospital and three other state-run hospitals by Wednesday, reported IE. The affidavit must “indicate whether lack of oxygen supply continues to be the cause for any casualties”.

According to news reports Rane has said while GMCH needed 1,200 jumbo oxygen cylinders on Monday, it got only 400. He said, “I think the CM needs to inquire into the causes behind the deaths between 2 am and 6 am and question the three nodal officers (appointed to oversee GMCH functioning)… The High Court can also set up an expert committee to inquire into this. In fact it is better if the High Court does it….  Let the High Court order an inquiry into the entire Covid management at GMCH. I have no problem because my conscience is clear… I think someone has misguided him (Sawant) or misinterpreted something.”

Goa reported 3,124 new cases Tuesday, taking its total active caseload to 32,836.

Related:

Indian coronavirus variant classified as one of global concern: WHO
Maharashtra: Thane Standing Committee request vaccine centres inside residential 
Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC
How will an angry letter to an Opposition party help curb Covid-19 pandemic in India?

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Rs. 1 cr compensation should be given to families of polling officials who died of Covid: Allahabad HC

The court deemed the amount decided by the government to be very low, and directed that the same be revised

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:outlookindia.com

The Allahabad High Court has deemed Rs. 1 Crore compensation to be given to families of polling officers and staff who lost their lives to Covid as a consequence of being on polling duty during the Panchayat elections in the state.

Adv. Tarun Agarwal appearing for State Election Commission agreed to file an affidavit on next date giving names of Nodal Officers who were entrusted with task to ensure that Covid-19 guidelines were duly followed during counting as also on the deaths of polling officers.

The court then considered the issue of compensation decided by the government for the deceased and observed that it was too less. The court was of the considered opinion that compensation should be at least Rs. 1 crore.

The counsels for the petitioners submitted that the amount decided by Government was too meager an amount considering the threat of pandemic was well known to the State Government as well as State Election Commission and yet the teachers, investigators and Shiksha Mitras were forced to take risk. The court observed that, “It is not a case that somebody volunteered to render his/ her services during election but it was all made obligatory to those assigned with election duty to perform their duties during election even while they showed their reluctance”.

The court further held, “To compensate the loss of life of the bread earner of the family and that too because of the deliberate act on the part of the State and State Election Commission to force them to perform duties in the absence of RTPCR support, the compensation must be at least to the tune of Rs.1,00,00,000/-.”

The court asked the State Election Commission and the state government to rethink over the compensation amount and make submissions on the next date, May 17.

State Primary Teachers Association President Dinesh Sharma has claimed that at least 706 teachers died due to Covid-19 after continued duty at the panchayat polls. In fact, on April 29, the Association had even sent a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and State Election Commission to request a postponement of the elections but to no avail.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Allahabad HC not satisfied with DM Meerut’s response over oxygen shortage
UP: Covid crisis claims at least 706 primary teachers and kin owing to election duty!
Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice
Death of Covid patients due to oxygen shortage is not less than genocide: Allahabad HC

Rs. 1 cr compensation should be given to families of polling officials who died of Covid: Allahabad HC

The court deemed the amount decided by the government to be very low, and directed that the same be revised

Image Courtesy:outlookindia.com

The Allahabad High Court has deemed Rs. 1 Crore compensation to be given to families of polling officers and staff who lost their lives to Covid as a consequence of being on polling duty during the Panchayat elections in the state.

Adv. Tarun Agarwal appearing for State Election Commission agreed to file an affidavit on next date giving names of Nodal Officers who were entrusted with task to ensure that Covid-19 guidelines were duly followed during counting as also on the deaths of polling officers.

The court then considered the issue of compensation decided by the government for the deceased and observed that it was too less. The court was of the considered opinion that compensation should be at least Rs. 1 crore.

The counsels for the petitioners submitted that the amount decided by Government was too meager an amount considering the threat of pandemic was well known to the State Government as well as State Election Commission and yet the teachers, investigators and Shiksha Mitras were forced to take risk. The court observed that, “It is not a case that somebody volunteered to render his/ her services during election but it was all made obligatory to those assigned with election duty to perform their duties during election even while they showed their reluctance”.

The court further held, “To compensate the loss of life of the bread earner of the family and that too because of the deliberate act on the part of the State and State Election Commission to force them to perform duties in the absence of RTPCR support, the compensation must be at least to the tune of Rs.1,00,00,000/-.”

The court asked the State Election Commission and the state government to rethink over the compensation amount and make submissions on the next date, May 17.

State Primary Teachers Association President Dinesh Sharma has claimed that at least 706 teachers died due to Covid-19 after continued duty at the panchayat polls. In fact, on April 29, the Association had even sent a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and State Election Commission to request a postponement of the elections but to no avail.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Allahabad HC not satisfied with DM Meerut’s response over oxygen shortage
UP: Covid crisis claims at least 706 primary teachers and kin owing to election duty!
Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice
Death of Covid patients due to oxygen shortage is not less than genocide: Allahabad HC

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Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC

The Court has issued a slew of directions while also seeking detailed information into various aspects of the covid situation in the state, from the 20 deaths in Meerut to the demise of a sitting judge of the court due to Covid, and the vaccination plan

12 May 2021

Image Courtesy:theleaflet.in

The Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to come up with a plan to vaccinate the physically challenged and those who are unable to register themselves online due to socio-economic conditions. This is among the many directions issued by the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar which has been closely monitoring and scrutinising the Covid situation in the state, while questioning the government on every little anomaly. The bench has also directed that a Public Grievance Committee be formed at district level to address the complaints of the people with regards to Covid management.

After perusal of the affidavit filed by Home Secretary Badugu Deva Paulson, the court observed that neither the information sought by it through its April 27 order was provided, nor compliance has been made to its directions. The court pointed out that:

  • health bulletin to be issued by the Covid hospital both government and private  through the district based portal has not been updated
  • proper procurement and supply of the life savings drugs/ life support systems like BiPaP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks have not been made available to the various hospitals
  •  Testing in the state has gradually reduced
  • details regarding oxygen production in the State qua 22 hospitals has not been provided
     ambulances with advance life support system are less
  • No details have been given regarding food supplied to the Level 2 and 3 hospitals
    figures of death have not been shown date wise between 19th April, 2021 and 2nd May, 2021

On the issue of information on food supplied to all hospitals as sought by the court, it said, “Only fact stated is that Rs.100 is allocated per patient in Level-1 category hospital. It is well known fact that the Covid patient needs highly nutritious food that should include fruits and milk in his daily diet and we fail to understand as to how with Rs.100 per capita budget the Government is managing three times meal in Level-1 category hospital with 2100 required calories.”

Deaths in Meerut

The District Magistrate, Meerut submitted a report conducted by a two member Committee enquiring into 20 deaths at Meerut Government Medical College and Hospital. The court was not satisfied with the same and questioned the Principal of the College who informed the court that out of the 20, only 3 were Covid positive patients and the antigen tests of the rest were negative. When the court questioned why a truenat test was not done, the Principal stated that the facility is not available at the hospital. “It is strange that Medical College, Meerut does not have any True Natt machine whereas Government claimed to have made it available in all government hospitals and directed all private hospitals to have it compulsorily,” the court expressed its surprise.

In such cases, the patients are treated as non-covid patients and their body is handed over to the family. The court raised concern over this and directed that even if it is the case of suspected death of Covid patients for antigen testing they should be treated as covid deaths. “No hospital can be permitted to hold these cases as non- Covid cases so as to reduce number of Covid deaths in that particular hospital,” the court held.

“In our considered opinion in these days of Covid surge, if a person is admitted to the hospital with ILI (Influenza like infection) and where only antigen testing has taken place or in the event RTPCR is delayed and in the meanwhile patient dies and if such deceased persons had no history of having cardiac or kidney problem then presumption should be raised that such death was caused by Covid infection only for the limited purpose of maintaining records and also following Covid protocol for the disposal of dead body,” observed the court.

Pandemic Public Grievance Committee

The court directed that in every district of the state, a three-member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall be formed. Chief Judicial Magistrate or a judicial officer of similar rank; Professor of a Medical College or a level-3/4 doctor of district hospital; and an administrative officer of the rank of Additional District Magistrate will be members. The court directed that this Committee shall come into existence within 48 hours of passing of this order.

Further, for rural areas, the court stated that complaints can be directly made to SDM of concerned Tehsil who shall transmit the same to Pandemic Public Grievance Committee. The court also tasked the Committee to look into news reports where the public can be seen raising their grievances regarding non-cooperation of the government and private hospital staff and so on.

Life saving machines

The Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal informed the court that sufficient number of oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks had been provided to the Community Health Centres and directives were issued but when the court questioned whether how many were delivered, the state sought time to respond. “Such details are required to be known because in rural areas by and large the facilities are not available and the villagers are dying of Covid for want of proper care,” the court observed.

Information on 5 districts

The court has sought specific information from the state with respect to 5 districts namely Bahraich, Barabanki, Bijnor, Jaunpur and Shravasti. Apart from the information mentioned below, the court has also sought number of testing done in these districts from March 31 to till date:

(1) Number of city population;

(2) Number of level-1 and level-3 hospitals with details of beds;

(3) Number of doctors, anesthetists in level-2 level-3 hospital;

(4) medical and paramedical staffs

(5) Number of BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks

(6) Number of rural population tehsil-wise,

(7) Number of community health centres,

(8) availability of beds in community health centres

(9) number of life saving gadgets like High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks, BiPAP Machines;

(10) Number of oxygen concentrators with capacity details in community health centres,

(11) Number of medical and para-medical staff.

Sun Hospital, Lucknow

Adv. Amrendra Nath Tripathi informed the court that on May 1 and May 2, there was no supply of oxygen cylinders to the hospital by the District Administration and the claims made by the administration that oxygen was supplied are false. He submitted that instead of considering the reply and verifying the facts, the District Magistrate, Lucknow rushed to lodge the first information report against the hospital to show compliance of Court’s order. He also stated that due to the FIR, the hospital management was being subjected to harassment and was not able to treat Covid patients.

The court directed District Magistrate, Lucknow to file an affidavit in response by next date and directed that no coercive measures be taken against the Hospital and its staff with respect to the FIR until the court decides the matter.

Vaccination

While the court refused to intervene in the state government’s decision to float tender in the global market for covid vaccines, it took the view that the vaccination programme ought to be expedited on a war footing. The court hoped that at least more than 2/3rd of the state’s population is inoculated in the next 2-3 months.

The court refused to accept the state’s submissions on the court’s query on how vaccination of the physically challenged will be carried out. The state had submitted that it was following centre’s policy of walk-in for 45+ age group and online registration for 18-44 age group.

The court directed the Centre to submit its plan on how it proposes to inoculate those physically challenged persons who cannot be brought to the vaccination centres and then those who cannot make online registration. The court also asked the state government to explain why it cannot adopt a policy for inoculating the physically challenged in absence of Centre’ guidelines.

“The Central Government and State Government are directed to place before this Court the programme by which they would vaccinate those illiterate labours and other villagers between the age group of 18 and 45 years if they are not able to register online for vaccination,” the court ordered.

Justice VK Srivastava’s death

The court had sought a detailed report on treatment given to Late Justice VK Srivastava, a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court, who succumbed to Covid. Upon perusal of the documents, the court observed that it was unclear whether Remdesevir was administered since no note of the same was made in his file. Further, there was no pulmonologist at Ram Manohar Lohia Institution of Science, Lucknow where he was initially admitted. The court thus directed the State Government to constitute a Committee that shall have a Secretary level officer as its convener with a senior Pulmonologist from SGPGI, Lucknow and a Senior Advocate to be nominated by the President/ Elders Committee of Awadh Bar Association as its members to hold a fact finding into this matter. The court directed such Committee be formed within 3 days and submit a report to the court within two weeks of being formed.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Allahabad HC not satisfied with DM Meerut’s response over oxygen shortage
Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice
Death of Covid patients due to oxygen shortage is not less than genocide: Allahabad HC

Form Public Grievance Committee, submit vaccine plan for disabled and labour class: Allahabad HC

The Court has issued a slew of directions while also seeking detailed information into various aspects of the covid situation in the state, from the 20 deaths in Meerut to the demise of a sitting judge of the court due to Covid, and the vaccination plan

Image Courtesy:theleaflet.in

The Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to come up with a plan to vaccinate the physically challenged and those who are unable to register themselves online due to socio-economic conditions. This is among the many directions issued by the Bench of Justice Siddhartha Varma and Justice Ajit Kumar which has been closely monitoring and scrutinising the Covid situation in the state, while questioning the government on every little anomaly. The bench has also directed that a Public Grievance Committee be formed at district level to address the complaints of the people with regards to Covid management.

After perusal of the affidavit filed by Home Secretary Badugu Deva Paulson, the court observed that neither the information sought by it through its April 27 order was provided, nor compliance has been made to its directions. The court pointed out that:

  • health bulletin to be issued by the Covid hospital both government and private  through the district based portal has not been updated
  • proper procurement and supply of the life savings drugs/ life support systems like BiPaP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks have not been made available to the various hospitals
  •  Testing in the state has gradually reduced
  • details regarding oxygen production in the State qua 22 hospitals has not been provided
     ambulances with advance life support system are less
  • No details have been given regarding food supplied to the Level 2 and 3 hospitals
    figures of death have not been shown date wise between 19th April, 2021 and 2nd May, 2021

On the issue of information on food supplied to all hospitals as sought by the court, it said, “Only fact stated is that Rs.100 is allocated per patient in Level-1 category hospital. It is well known fact that the Covid patient needs highly nutritious food that should include fruits and milk in his daily diet and we fail to understand as to how with Rs.100 per capita budget the Government is managing three times meal in Level-1 category hospital with 2100 required calories.”

Deaths in Meerut

The District Magistrate, Meerut submitted a report conducted by a two member Committee enquiring into 20 deaths at Meerut Government Medical College and Hospital. The court was not satisfied with the same and questioned the Principal of the College who informed the court that out of the 20, only 3 were Covid positive patients and the antigen tests of the rest were negative. When the court questioned why a truenat test was not done, the Principal stated that the facility is not available at the hospital. “It is strange that Medical College, Meerut does not have any True Natt machine whereas Government claimed to have made it available in all government hospitals and directed all private hospitals to have it compulsorily,” the court expressed its surprise.

In such cases, the patients are treated as non-covid patients and their body is handed over to the family. The court raised concern over this and directed that even if it is the case of suspected death of Covid patients for antigen testing they should be treated as covid deaths. “No hospital can be permitted to hold these cases as non- Covid cases so as to reduce number of Covid deaths in that particular hospital,” the court held.

“In our considered opinion in these days of Covid surge, if a person is admitted to the hospital with ILI (Influenza like infection) and where only antigen testing has taken place or in the event RTPCR is delayed and in the meanwhile patient dies and if such deceased persons had no history of having cardiac or kidney problem then presumption should be raised that such death was caused by Covid infection only for the limited purpose of maintaining records and also following Covid protocol for the disposal of dead body,” observed the court.

Pandemic Public Grievance Committee

The court directed that in every district of the state, a three-member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee shall be formed. Chief Judicial Magistrate or a judicial officer of similar rank; Professor of a Medical College or a level-3/4 doctor of district hospital; and an administrative officer of the rank of Additional District Magistrate will be members. The court directed that this Committee shall come into existence within 48 hours of passing of this order.

Further, for rural areas, the court stated that complaints can be directly made to SDM of concerned Tehsil who shall transmit the same to Pandemic Public Grievance Committee. The court also tasked the Committee to look into news reports where the public can be seen raising their grievances regarding non-cooperation of the government and private hospital staff and so on.

Life saving machines

The Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal informed the court that sufficient number of oxygen concentrators, BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks had been provided to the Community Health Centres and directives were issued but when the court questioned whether how many were delivered, the state sought time to respond. “Such details are required to be known because in rural areas by and large the facilities are not available and the villagers are dying of Covid for want of proper care,” the court observed.

Information on 5 districts

The court has sought specific information from the state with respect to 5 districts namely Bahraich, Barabanki, Bijnor, Jaunpur and Shravasti. Apart from the information mentioned below, the court has also sought number of testing done in these districts from March 31 to till date:

(1) Number of city population;

(2) Number of level-1 and level-3 hospitals with details of beds;

(3) Number of doctors, anesthetists in level-2 level-3 hospital;

(4) medical and paramedical staffs

(5) Number of BiPAP machines and High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks

(6) Number of rural population tehsil-wise,

(7) Number of community health centres,

(8) availability of beds in community health centres

(9) number of life saving gadgets like High Flow Nasal Cannula Masks, BiPAP Machines;

(10) Number of oxygen concentrators with capacity details in community health centres,

(11) Number of medical and para-medical staff.

Sun Hospital, Lucknow

Adv. Amrendra Nath Tripathi informed the court that on May 1 and May 2, there was no supply of oxygen cylinders to the hospital by the District Administration and the claims made by the administration that oxygen was supplied are false. He submitted that instead of considering the reply and verifying the facts, the District Magistrate, Lucknow rushed to lodge the first information report against the hospital to show compliance of Court’s order. He also stated that due to the FIR, the hospital management was being subjected to harassment and was not able to treat Covid patients.

The court directed District Magistrate, Lucknow to file an affidavit in response by next date and directed that no coercive measures be taken against the Hospital and its staff with respect to the FIR until the court decides the matter.

Vaccination

While the court refused to intervene in the state government’s decision to float tender in the global market for covid vaccines, it took the view that the vaccination programme ought to be expedited on a war footing. The court hoped that at least more than 2/3rd of the state’s population is inoculated in the next 2-3 months.

The court refused to accept the state’s submissions on the court’s query on how vaccination of the physically challenged will be carried out. The state had submitted that it was following centre’s policy of walk-in for 45+ age group and online registration for 18-44 age group.

The court directed the Centre to submit its plan on how it proposes to inoculate those physically challenged persons who cannot be brought to the vaccination centres and then those who cannot make online registration. The court also asked the state government to explain why it cannot adopt a policy for inoculating the physically challenged in absence of Centre’ guidelines.

“The Central Government and State Government are directed to place before this Court the programme by which they would vaccinate those illiterate labours and other villagers between the age group of 18 and 45 years if they are not able to register online for vaccination,” the court ordered.

Justice VK Srivastava’s death

The court had sought a detailed report on treatment given to Late Justice VK Srivastava, a sitting judge of the Allahabad High Court, who succumbed to Covid. Upon perusal of the documents, the court observed that it was unclear whether Remdesevir was administered since no note of the same was made in his file. Further, there was no pulmonologist at Ram Manohar Lohia Institution of Science, Lucknow where he was initially admitted. The court thus directed the State Government to constitute a Committee that shall have a Secretary level officer as its convener with a senior Pulmonologist from SGPGI, Lucknow and a Senior Advocate to be nominated by the President/ Elders Committee of Awadh Bar Association as its members to hold a fact finding into this matter. The court directed such Committee be formed within 3 days and submit a report to the court within two weeks of being formed.

The complete order may be read here:

Related:

Allahabad HC not satisfied with DM Meerut’s response over oxygen shortage
Uttar Pradesh O2 crisis: FIR against Lucknow hospital for putting up shortage notice
Death of Covid patients due to oxygen shortage is not less than genocide: Allahabad HC

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Jabalpur: VHP leader caught administering fake Remdesivir to Covid patients in his hospital!

Sarabjeet Singh Mokha is Director of City Hospital which has reportedly administered fake Remdesivir drug to many Covid-19 patients under its care

11 May 2021

Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s twitter handle is yet to make a comment on its Narmada division president Sarabjeet Singh Mokha’s arrest for allegedly sourcing 500 fake Remdesivir injections from Indore. Mokha, is the Director of Jabalpur's City Hospital which has reportedly administered the fake Remdesivir to many Covid-19 patients under its care. According to news reports, Mokha was one of the four persons arrested for allegedly procuring and administering fake Remdesivir. This drug is much in demand as it is used in treatment of Covid-19 by hospitals.

Mokha, who is also the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) division president of the area, has been accused of “sourcing 500 Remdesivir injections from Indore,” and has been booked under Sections 274, 275, 308, and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, stated news reports. His manager, identified as one Devendra Chaurasia, and associate Sapan Jain, who looks after dealerships with pharmaceutical companies, have also been arrested with him. According to reports VHP leader Mokha’s fake drug racket was exposed “after a team of Gujarat Police busted a fake Remdesivir manufacturing unit and arrested Jain from Jabalpur on May 7.”

According to some news reports the VHP’s Prant Mantri, Rajesh Tiwari, has said Mokha is now relieved of his charges and that the police must take stringent actions against such people. Bhagwat Singh, Jabalpur Inspector General, told  the media that the police had “set up a nodal officer of the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police, under whose leadership, an SIT has been formed to track black marketing of Remdesivir and oxygen. We are trying to break that intricate network."

Related: 

Indian coronavirus variant classified as one of global concern: WHO
Covid-19: Gauhati HC extends Covid bail till May 31

Jabalpur: VHP leader caught administering fake Remdesivir to Covid patients in his hospital!

Sarabjeet Singh Mokha is Director of City Hospital which has reportedly administered fake Remdesivir drug to many Covid-19 patients under its care

Image Courtesy:indiatoday.in

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s twitter handle is yet to make a comment on its Narmada division president Sarabjeet Singh Mokha’s arrest for allegedly sourcing 500 fake Remdesivir injections from Indore. Mokha, is the Director of Jabalpur's City Hospital which has reportedly administered the fake Remdesivir to many Covid-19 patients under its care. According to news reports, Mokha was one of the four persons arrested for allegedly procuring and administering fake Remdesivir. This drug is much in demand as it is used in treatment of Covid-19 by hospitals.

Mokha, who is also the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) division president of the area, has been accused of “sourcing 500 Remdesivir injections from Indore,” and has been booked under Sections 274, 275, 308, and 420 of the Indian Penal Code, stated news reports. His manager, identified as one Devendra Chaurasia, and associate Sapan Jain, who looks after dealerships with pharmaceutical companies, have also been arrested with him. According to reports VHP leader Mokha’s fake drug racket was exposed “after a team of Gujarat Police busted a fake Remdesivir manufacturing unit and arrested Jain from Jabalpur on May 7.”

According to some news reports the VHP’s Prant Mantri, Rajesh Tiwari, has said Mokha is now relieved of his charges and that the police must take stringent actions against such people. Bhagwat Singh, Jabalpur Inspector General, told  the media that the police had “set up a nodal officer of the rank of Additional Superintendent of Police, under whose leadership, an SIT has been formed to track black marketing of Remdesivir and oxygen. We are trying to break that intricate network."

Related: 

Indian coronavirus variant classified as one of global concern: WHO
Covid-19: Gauhati HC extends Covid bail till May 31

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ASHA activist Ranjana Nirula succumbs to Covid-19

Nirula’s inspiring life of over 50 years worked for the welfare of ASHA workers and many similar ignored workforces of the country.

11 May 2021

Image Courtesy:news8plus.com

Another name added to the long list of Covid deaths on the night of May 10, 2021 at the RML hospital in New Delhi. However, the demise of ASHA Workers’ All India Coordination Committee Convener Ranjana Nirula hit harder for many activists and workers whose grief and remembrances flooded Twitter and Facebook platforms at the mention of “Ranjana Nirula ASHA.”

The former CITU Treasurer and All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Central Executive Committee member was a powerful voice that focused on the grievances of the under-appreciated medical workforce of India – Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers.

“Comrade Nirula fought for the rights of workers and continuously stressed on the necessity of recognising and fighting attempts to disrupt the unity of workers and people by communal forces. The working class and the Left movement has lost one of its champions today,” said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday.

Even before the onslaught of the Covid-crisis, the over-50-year-old Convener repeatedly praised them as the backbone of the health department. By 2020, she spoke about the workers being used as unpaid labour for contract-tracing, detection and awareness.

She told media persons that the whole operation of India’s fight against Covid-19 would have crumbled if not for these frontline workers. Even today, the female workforce continues as a crucial part of the healthcare system but lacking basic necessities such as payment incentives, PPE kit and other protective gear.

As for Nirula, the trailblazer was also a founding leader of AIDWA Delhi and the Working Editor of The Voice of the Working Woman since 1998. The journal was brought out by the Coordination Committee of Working Women, which was set up in 1979.

“Com Ranjana has guided many activists in the movement. She was very affectionate and always reached out to people whenever they needed help. Her always smiling face, warmth, enthusiasm and determination will be missed by all of us,” said AIDWA General Secretary Mariam Dhawale.

Her life though dedicated to activism and the rights of on-ground workers also impressed many people who met the personality in their lifetime. Below are a few Facebook posts of such instances.

https://www.facebook.com/kalpana.karunakaran/posts/10224531867459829

https://www.facebook.com/kuldeep.kumar.71216/posts/4596216607073547

https://www.facebook.com/kai.j.friese/posts/10225533156575690

As of May 11, as many as 37,15,221 active Covid cases have been recorded with 2,49,992 deaths. As reports of Covid-death under-reporting continues, obituaries become one of the few alternatives to track the human cost of the ensuing health crisis.

Related:

Strike 2: Centre now says no data on Covid-19 deaths of medical staff!
10 central workers' unions to observe strike for ASHA, anganwadi workers
ASHA Workers on Covid-19 duty demand safety gear, healthcare, insurance and better wages

ASHA activist Ranjana Nirula succumbs to Covid-19

Nirula’s inspiring life of over 50 years worked for the welfare of ASHA workers and many similar ignored workforces of the country.

Image Courtesy:news8plus.com

Another name added to the long list of Covid deaths on the night of May 10, 2021 at the RML hospital in New Delhi. However, the demise of ASHA Workers’ All India Coordination Committee Convener Ranjana Nirula hit harder for many activists and workers whose grief and remembrances flooded Twitter and Facebook platforms at the mention of “Ranjana Nirula ASHA.”

The former CITU Treasurer and All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) Central Executive Committee member was a powerful voice that focused on the grievances of the under-appreciated medical workforce of India – Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers.

“Comrade Nirula fought for the rights of workers and continuously stressed on the necessity of recognising and fighting attempts to disrupt the unity of workers and people by communal forces. The working class and the Left movement has lost one of its champions today,” said the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday.

Even before the onslaught of the Covid-crisis, the over-50-year-old Convener repeatedly praised them as the backbone of the health department. By 2020, she spoke about the workers being used as unpaid labour for contract-tracing, detection and awareness.

She told media persons that the whole operation of India’s fight against Covid-19 would have crumbled if not for these frontline workers. Even today, the female workforce continues as a crucial part of the healthcare system but lacking basic necessities such as payment incentives, PPE kit and other protective gear.

As for Nirula, the trailblazer was also a founding leader of AIDWA Delhi and the Working Editor of The Voice of the Working Woman since 1998. The journal was brought out by the Coordination Committee of Working Women, which was set up in 1979.

“Com Ranjana has guided many activists in the movement. She was very affectionate and always reached out to people whenever they needed help. Her always smiling face, warmth, enthusiasm and determination will be missed by all of us,” said AIDWA General Secretary Mariam Dhawale.

Her life though dedicated to activism and the rights of on-ground workers also impressed many people who met the personality in their lifetime. Below are a few Facebook posts of such instances.

https://www.facebook.com/kalpana.karunakaran/posts/10224531867459829

https://www.facebook.com/kuldeep.kumar.71216/posts/4596216607073547

https://www.facebook.com/kai.j.friese/posts/10225533156575690

As of May 11, as many as 37,15,221 active Covid cases have been recorded with 2,49,992 deaths. As reports of Covid-death under-reporting continues, obituaries become one of the few alternatives to track the human cost of the ensuing health crisis.

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Indian coronavirus variant classified as one of global concern: WHO

Named B.1.617, the mutation spreads more easily than other variants and requires further study stated the World Health Organisation

11 May 2021

Image Courtesy:reuters.com

With India reporting more Covid-19 cases than the rest of the world combined, a complete nationwide lockdown may be inevitable it seems. Many states and union territories across the country have already extended their local lockdowns, even though the Union Government is yet to indicate if a national shutdown is expected. India on Monday recorded over 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths, even though this was after a drop in testing over the weekend. The total national tally is now at 22.66 million, with a death toll of 246,116. Despite the comparatively ‘lower number of cases reported on Monday’, India’s new Covid-19 cases are reportedly higher than the combined total of all other countries.

Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has saidd the “India variant” has already spread to more than 30 countries, and states that according to “some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.” Reuters reported that the WHO has said the coronavirus variant first identified in India in 2020 “was being classified as a variant of global concern.” According to the WHO this was based on preliminary studies that showed that it spreads more easily. B.1.617, it is reported to be “the fourth variant to be designated as being of global concern” and the other variants of global concern were first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, stated the news.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on Covid-19, told mediapersons, "We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level. There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility." According to Reuters, the WHO has said “the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India in December” adding that an “earlier version was spotted in October 2020”. The variant is reported to have already spread to other countries, even though now travel to and from India has been restricted at various places, considering how the pandemic is evolving here.

The WHO has stated that more information will be made available soon and that “even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant and this lineage and all of the sub-lineages". According to WHO chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, who was also quoted in the news report studies are on in India to examine the transmissibility of the variant's, severity of disease it causes, response of antibodies in those who have been vaccinated. She added, "What we know now is that the vaccines work, the diagnostics work, the same treatments that are used for the regular virus works, so there is really no need to change any of those."

Meanwhile, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the WHO Foundation was also launching a “Together for India” appeal to raise funds to purchase oxygen, medicines and protective equipment for health workers. Speaking at the media briefing on COVID-19 on May 10, Ghebreyesus said the “Together for India” appeal will raise funds to “support WHO’s work in India, including the purchase of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines.” Ghebreyesus added that “the shocking global disparity in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic.” According to WHO data, “high-and upper-middle income countries represent 53% of the world’s population, but have received 83% of the world’s vaccines” and “low-and lower-middle income countries account for 47% of the world’s population, have received just 17% of the world’s vaccines.”

Ghebreyesus asked “all countries to develop and implement comprehensive and cohesive national plans, based on the 10 pillars of WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.” The end to the pandemic, said Ghebreyesus, depends on “how quickly and how fairly we vaccinate a significant proportion of the global population, and how consistently we all follow proven public health measures.” 

Related:

UP: Covid-19 norms flouted as hundreds turn up for Islamic leader’s funeral
Covid-19: Over 40 bodies wash up on Ganga banks in Bihar!
Covid lockdown: Over 150 academicians voice migrant workers’ demands

Indian coronavirus variant classified as one of global concern: WHO

Named B.1.617, the mutation spreads more easily than other variants and requires further study stated the World Health Organisation

Image Courtesy:reuters.com

With India reporting more Covid-19 cases than the rest of the world combined, a complete nationwide lockdown may be inevitable it seems. Many states and union territories across the country have already extended their local lockdowns, even though the Union Government is yet to indicate if a national shutdown is expected. India on Monday recorded over 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths, even though this was after a drop in testing over the weekend. The total national tally is now at 22.66 million, with a death toll of 246,116. Despite the comparatively ‘lower number of cases reported on Monday’, India’s new Covid-19 cases are reportedly higher than the combined total of all other countries.

Now the World Health Organization (WHO) has saidd the “India variant” has already spread to more than 30 countries, and states that according to “some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.” Reuters reported that the WHO has said the coronavirus variant first identified in India in 2020 “was being classified as a variant of global concern.” According to the WHO this was based on preliminary studies that showed that it spreads more easily. B.1.617, it is reported to be “the fourth variant to be designated as being of global concern” and the other variants of global concern were first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, stated the news.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on Covid-19, told mediapersons, "We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level. There is some available information to suggest increased transmissibility." According to Reuters, the WHO has said “the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India in December” adding that an “earlier version was spotted in October 2020”. The variant is reported to have already spread to other countries, even though now travel to and from India has been restricted at various places, considering how the pandemic is evolving here.

The WHO has stated that more information will be made available soon and that “even though there is increased transmissibility demonstrated by some preliminary studies, we need much more information about this virus variant and this lineage and all of the sub-lineages". According to WHO chief scientist, Soumya Swaminathan, who was also quoted in the news report studies are on in India to examine the transmissibility of the variant's, severity of disease it causes, response of antibodies in those who have been vaccinated. She added, "What we know now is that the vaccines work, the diagnostics work, the same treatments that are used for the regular virus works, so there is really no need to change any of those."

Meanwhile, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the WHO Foundation was also launching a “Together for India” appeal to raise funds to purchase oxygen, medicines and protective equipment for health workers. Speaking at the media briefing on COVID-19 on May 10, Ghebreyesus said the “Together for India” appeal will raise funds to “support WHO’s work in India, including the purchase of oxygen, personal protective equipment and medicines.” Ghebreyesus added that “the shocking global disparity in access to vaccines remains one of the biggest risks to ending the pandemic.” According to WHO data, “high-and upper-middle income countries represent 53% of the world’s population, but have received 83% of the world’s vaccines” and “low-and lower-middle income countries account for 47% of the world’s population, have received just 17% of the world’s vaccines.”

Ghebreyesus asked “all countries to develop and implement comprehensive and cohesive national plans, based on the 10 pillars of WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.” The end to the pandemic, said Ghebreyesus, depends on “how quickly and how fairly we vaccinate a significant proportion of the global population, and how consistently we all follow proven public health measures.” 

Related:

UP: Covid-19 norms flouted as hundreds turn up for Islamic leader’s funeral
Covid-19: Over 40 bodies wash up on Ganga banks in Bihar!
Covid lockdown: Over 150 academicians voice migrant workers’ demands

Related Articles


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