Ahmedabad Covid News

Gujarat reports 580 Covid cases, zero deaths
The Indian Express | 2 hours ago
The Indian Express
2 hours ago

Gujarat on Saturday reported 580 COVID-19 cases, which took the tally to 12,33,242, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,947, a state health department official said.The recovery count increased by 391 during the day to touch 12,18,817, leaving the state with an active caseload of 3,478, he said.Ahmedabad reported 236 new cases, the highest in the state, followed by Surat with 106 cases, Vadodara 36 and Mehsana 29 cases, among other districts, he added. A government release said 11.15 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered so far, including 39,438Saturday.

Gujarat reports 580 Covid cases, zero deaths
  • Covid cases rise by 632, max 232 in Ahmedabad
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    Gujarat registered 632 new Covid cases and one Covid-related fatality on Friday. The death toll increased to 10,947 since Covid first struck the state in March 2020 while the total number of cases reached 12,32,662.Covid casualtyOf the 632 cases, 262 were registered in Ahmedabad, 103 in Surat, 46 in Vadodara and 33 in Valsad. The sole Covid death also took place in Valsad on Friday. Against this,384 persons were discharged post recovery.So far, 12,18,426 persons have been discharged after recovery, leaving the state with an active caseload of 3,289.A government release said 11.14 crore Covid vaccine doses have been administered in Gujarat so far, including 48,047 during the day.Gujarat’s Covid figures are asfollows: Positive cases 12,32,662, new cases 632, death toll 10,947, discharged 12,18,426 and active cases 3,289.

  • India reports 17,070 new Covid cases, 23 deaths
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    India reported 17,070 Covid cases in a span of 24 hours, a marginal decline from the previous day’s count of 18,819, said the Union MInistry of Health and Family Affairs.In the same period, the country reported 23 more Covid deaths, taking the nationwide toll to 5,25,139.The active caseload has also surged to 1,07,189 cases, accounting for 0.25 per cent of the country’s total positive cases.The recovery of 14,413 patients in the last 24 hours took the cumulative tally to 4,28,36,906. Consequently, India’s recovery rate stands at 98.55 per cent.Meanwhile, India’s daily positivity rate has also marginally declined to 3.40 per cent, while the weekly positivity rate currently stands at 3.59 per cent.Also in the same period, a total of 5,02,150 tests were conducted across the country, increasing the overall tally to over 86.28 crore.As of Friday morning, India’s Covid-19 vaccination coverage exceeded 197.74 crore, achieved via 2,57,61,312 sessions.Over 3.67 crore adolescents have been administered with a first dose of Covid-19 jab since the beginning of vaccination drive for this age bracket.

  • Five Covid patients admitted to Civil
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    Five Covid positive persons were admitted to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital on Thursday. Meanwhile, the state recorded a total of 547 fresh Covid cases with Ahmedabad reporting the highest 222 cases. Surat followed with 82 cases.Civil Superintendent Dr Rakesh Joshi said that there are total 9 patients in the hospital, which include 7 women. Three are on higher oxygen, 1 on bipap and one on plain oxygen. The condition of all patients is stable.Six are fully vaccinated and two are partially vaccinated. While one has not taken even a single dose, Dr Joshi added.There are total 3042 active Covid cases in the state and 5 patients are on ventilator.

At meeting with Yashwant Sinha, KCR attacks PM Modi, says he is killing democracy
The Indian Express | 9 hours ago
The Indian Express
9 hours ago

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP even as he lent support to Yashwant Sinha, the opposition’s presidential candidate, at the latter’s meet-and-greet programme with Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leaders.Urging TRS MPs and MLAs to ensure that a deserving candidate wins, KCR said, “Weigh the two candidates and vote after thinking. It will bring a qualitative change.”He also accused the Centre of killing democracy in the country, and using constitutional bodies to harass those who disagree. “What the Modi administration is doing is successfully killing democracy every day, throttling the federal system of India…toppling governments which do not toe their line. One Union minister said that like Maharashtra, they will pull down the Telangana government…we are ready. If our government falls, we will be free to bring down the BJP government at the Centre. For 60 years, Telangana society has fought for a separate state and we are prepared for another struggle,” he said.The chief minister also hit out at the Prime Minister, accusing him of lowering the image of the country before the world. Saying that the actions of the Modi government and BJP functionaries have destroyed India’s image in the international community, KCR asked the PM to reply to the allegation that it was due to his pressure on the Sri Lankan government that a power project contract was given to an Indian industrialist. If the Prime Minister did not reply, the allegations were true, KCR said. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the 15th PM of India and in the terms of the previous 14 PMs, never has India’s image been affected,” he said.The chief minister alleged that as per the Centre’s coal policy, coal was being imported at a steep price of Rs 30,000 while Indian coal was cheaper. “States are being forced to purchase the imported coal because it is being imported by the PM’s industrialist friend. That is why I am saying he is not a PM but has become a salesperson,” KCR said, adding that PM Modi’s policies and promises were fooling 1.5 billion people of the country. “Have you fulfilled even one promise that you have made to the people? Even if you search with a torchlight, you will not find one,” KCR said.LIVE: My interaction with MPs and MLAs of TRS https://t.co/7KBR8tI4v7— Yashwant Sinha (@YashwantSinha) July 2, 2022Criticising the Centre’s attitude towards farmers, KCR said that the Modi government had to face humiliation in front of agitating farmers and had to repeal the farm laws. “The PM and BJP leaders have vilified the farmers, even calling them Khalistanis and terrorists. Eventually, you had to bow down to the farmers. Seven hundred farmers died during the agitation but you did not express any sadness or mercy for them,” he said.KCR also accused the Prime Minister of failing the country during the Covid pandemic. “It was the biggest calamity since Independence and the PM failed to handle it. Lakhs of people died unnecessarily. Lakhs and crores of people had to walk on the roads. The Centre declined to give trains for free. Modi swears by river Ganga but instead of people immersing the ashes, bodies of Covid victims were pushed into rivers,” he said.The Telangana chief minister said that the country had fared badly on all indexes due to the Prime Minister’s failed policies.“The nation is watching and demanding answers. Modi may be under the false impression that he will be a permanent PM. Political change will happen,” KCR said, asking the Prime Minister to reply to all the allegations in his speech at Parade Ground on Sunday evening.Referring to the Prime Minister’s visit to Houston and his support to former US President Donald Trump, KCR asked if Modi knew the difference between US presidential elections and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.Meanwhile, addressing the TRS representatives, Yashwant Sinha said that the presidential election was being held at an extraordinary time. “We all know what is happening in the country. Intellectuals are saying that the nation is collapsing, and that it is why this election is so important. I am fortunate to have the support of TRS,” he said.Earlier, the chief minister and his Cabinet colleagues went to Begumpet airport to receive Sinha. The TRS had declared its support to Sinha’s candidature on June 27.

At meeting with Yashwant Sinha, KCR attacks PM Modi, says he is killing democracy
Gujarat CM flags off procession: Jagannath Rath Yatra held amid fanfare, tight security
The Indian Express | 1 day ago
The Indian Express
1 day ago

The 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra was concluded in old city Ahmedabad amid huge fanfare and heavy police security Friday as Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel flagged off the procession only three days after he tested positive for Covid-19.The annual yatra was held after a gap of two years after the procession was curtailed for the past two years due to the pandemic. On Friday, the ceremony began around 4 am when Union Home Minister Amit Shah arrived at the temple premises to conduct the “Mangla Aarti”. Shah left shortly after.Later, CM Patel flagged off the procession. Uncertainty had prevailed over the CM’s presence in the yatra until Thursday after he contracted Covid. However, late Thursday, the Lord Jagannath Temple management was informed that the CM will attend the event as per “doctors’ advice”. On Friday morning, CM Patel was seen wearing a mask and performing the traditional “pahind” ceremony at the Lord Jagannath Temple premises.“On the occasion of the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, I pray for the well being, peace and prosperity of the people of Gujarat. I also congratulate the people of Kutch on Kutchi New Year,” said Patel, while addressing reporters outside the temple.Governor Acharya Devvrat, state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi, Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Aravind Kumar and former state home minister Pradipsinh Jadeja were also present at the event.A total of 18 elephants and 101 tableau depicting various Akhadas and Bhajan Mandalis and over 2,000 sadhu saints, along with several hundred thousands of devotees were part of the procession that travelled via sensitive pockets of old city Ahmedabad from 7 am to 6 pm.Security was beefed up with over 25,000 police and security personnel in the Jamalpur area of old city Ahmedabad as a high alert was sounded in the wake of the Udaipur terror killing. The procession was surveilled through drone cameras and a helicopter. For the first time, the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad was roped in for security measures.Meanwhile, as many as 20 persons, including three children, received minor injuries when the slab of a one-room pucca cabin on which they were standing, collapsed, on the route of the rath yatra.According to police, the incident occurred around 1 pm when the roof of a cabin built alongsidethe road collapsed in Shahpur while the yatra procession was going on. Incidentally, state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi and Ahmedabad city police commissioner Sanjay Srivastava were present at the spot when the incident occurred and they rushed for help. “As many as 20 people received minor injuries when the roof collapsed on which they were standing. The home minister and police commissioner responded to the accident and helped rescuers and took stock of the situation. The victims received minor bruises,” said a senior police official at Gaekwad Haveli Police Station.

Gujarat CM flags off procession: Jagannath Rath Yatra held amid fanfare, tight security
  • Ahmedabad Rath Yatra: With ‘docs’ advice’, CM to flag off Yatra; police on high alert
  • The Indian Express

    Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, whose presence in the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra to be taken out Friday morning in old city Ahmedabad was under clouds due to him testing Covid-19 positive, will attend the event under doctors’ advice. “We have got confirmation from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) that the CM will attend the Yatra and do the Pahind Vidhi,” said Jagannath Temple Trustee Mahendra Jha.As per Jha, since Patel’s presence was in doubt, they had also invited Governor Acharya Devvrat to perform the Pahind vidhi ritual, traditionally performed by the CM where the leader of the state sweeps the path of the chariot of the gods before the procession begins.On Friday, the yatra will be flagged off after the mangala aarti to be conducted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the temple premises.Amid heightened tension in the backdrop of the recent terror killing in Udaipur, the Gujarat Police has been on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the Yatra.Several lakhs of devotees are expected to attend the 145th Rath Yatra procession, which will be taken out from Lord Jagannath Temple at Jamalpur Darwaza to Saraspur and then back to the temple, in a full-fledged manner after two years of restricted procession due to the Covid-19pandemic.Other cities of Gujarat such as Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar, among others, will also see several rath yatra processions marking “Ashadhi Beej” diwas of the Hindu calendar, which also marks the Kutchhi new year.In a first, the state police has also roped in the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) for the security arrangements for the yatra for which over 25,000 police and paramilitary personnel will be deployed along the nine-kilometre route.The yearly Rath Yatra processions in Ahmedabad have had a history of communal violence during the four decades between 1960s and 90s.Ahmedabad Rath Yatra: With ‘docs’ advice’, CM to flag off Yatra; police on high alerthttps://t.co/yC3Kfivz4h pic.twitter.com/1qSqvN8joj— Express Gujarat (@ExpressGujarat) July 1, 2022On Wednesday, a high-level meet was chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi and senior police officials to discuss the security arrangements ahead of the procession in Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat.“Police commissioners of all four cities and superintendents of police of all districts were present in the meeting where the CM gave directions to ensure law and order and facilitate water and other necessary arrangements for the devotees expected to join the procession. In the wake of a recent incident in the neighbouring state (Rajasthan), the CM has asked police to be on high alert for maintaining law and order in the state,” read a statement issued from the Information Department, Gandhinagar.According to police sources, Sanghavi has asked the police to keep a strict watch on social media for any instigation or attempt to disrupt law and order related to Yatra and the Udaipur incident. After the meeting, the police of at least 15 districts issued advisories Thursday asking citizens to refrain from commenting on anything instigating or rumour-mongering on social media.“In the past two days, we have conducted over 350 peace committee meetings in localities of old city Ahmedabad to ensure harmony between communities. We are anyway on high alert and we have been preparing for the yatra for the past three months. The recent Udaipur incident will have no effect on the yatra,” RV Asari, additional commissioner of police, sector 1, Ahmedabad, told The Indian Express.Amit Vasava, the deputy commissioner of police, Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, said, “We are being vigilant on social media but no adverse impact of the Udaipur incident has been witnessed yet.”Meanwhile, the temple trust management informed The Indian Express that a total of 18 elephants, 101 trucks with different tableaus depicting India’s culture, 30 Akhada Dal groups and 18 Bhajan Mandalis will be part of the procession. A total of 1,200 persons will be pulling the three different chariots in the procession.“We have been requested by the Ahmedabad Police to accompany the procession of elephants. We will have teams of vets from the animal husbandry department and experts from Indroda zoo in Gandhinagar and the Junagadh forest department. The elephants are well-trained and acquainted to walk in public places. If in case any elephant is to be controlled, it can be done by another elephant,” RK Sahu, director of Kankaria Zoo, told The Indian Express.

  • With docs’ advice, Gujarat CM to flag off Jagannath Rath Yatra; police on high alert
  • The Indian Express

    Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, whose presence in the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra to be taken out Friday morning in old city Ahmedabad was under clouds due to him testing Covid-19 positive, will attend the event under doctors’ advice. “We have got confirmation from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) that the CM will attend the Yatra and dothe Pahind Vidhi,” said Jagannath Temple Trustee Mahendra Jha.As per Jha, as the CM’s presence was in doubt, they had also invited Governor Acharya Devvrat to perform the Pahind vidhi ritual, traditionally performed by the CM where the leader of the state sweeps the path of the chariot of the gods before the procession begins.On Friday, the yatra will be flagged off after the mangala aarti to be conducted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the temple premises. Amid heightened tension in the backdrop of the recent terror killing in Udaipur, the Gujarat Police has been on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the Yatra.Several lakhs of devotees are expected to attend the 145th Rath Yatra procession, which will be taken out from Lord Jagannath Temple at Jamalpur Darwaza to Saraspur and then back to the temple, in a full-fledged manner after two years of restricted procession due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Other cities of Gujarat such as Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Mehsana, Banaskantha, Jamnagar, Bhavnagar, Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar, among others, will also see several rath yatra processions marking “Ashadhi Beej” diwas of the Hindu calendar, which also marks the Kutchhi new year.In a first, the state police has also roped in the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) for the security arrangements for the yatra for which over 25,000 police and paramilitary personnel will be deployed along the nine-kilometre route.The yearly Rath Yatra processions in Ahmedabad have had a history of communal violence during the four decades between 1960s and 90s.On Wednesday, a high-level meet was chaired by Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi and senior police officials to discuss the security arrangements ahead of the procession in Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat.“Police commissioners of all four cities and superintendents of police of all districts were present in the meeting where the CM gave directions to ensure law and order and facilitate water and other necessary arrangements for the devotees expected to join the procession. In the wake of a recent incident in the neighbouring state (Rajasthan), the CM has asked police to be on high alert for maintaining law and order in the state,” read a statement issued from the Information Department, Gandhinagar.According to police sources, Sanghavi has asked the police to keep a strict watch on social media for any instigation or attempt to disrupt law and order related to Yatra and the Udaipur incident. After the meeting, the police of at least 15 districts issued advisories Thursday asking citizens to refrain from commenting on anything instigating or rumour-mongering on social media.“In the past two days, we have conducted over 350 peace committee meetings in localities of old city Ahmedabad to ensure harmony between communities. We are anyway on high alert and we have been preparing for the yatra for the past three months. The recent Udaipur incident will have no effect on the yatra,” RV Asari, additional commissioner of police, sector 1, Ahmedabad, told The Indian Express.Amit Vasava, the deputy commissioner of police, Ahmedabad Cyber Crime Cell, said, “We are being vigilant on social media but no adverse impact of the Udaipur incident has been witnessed yet.”Meanwhile, the temple trust management informed The Indian Express that a total of 18 elephants, 101 trucks with different tableaus depicting India’s culture, 30 Akhada Dal groups and 18 Bhajan Mandalis will be part of the procession. A total of 1,200 persons will be pulling the three different chariots in the procession.“We have been requested by the Ahmedabad Police to accompany the procession of elephants. We will have teams of vets from the animal husbandry department and experts from Indroda zoo in Gandhinagar and the Junagadh forest department. The elephants are well-trained and acquainted to walk in public places. If in case any elephant is to be controlled, it can be done by another elephant,” RK Sahu, director of Kankaria Zoo, told The Indian Express.

CM Bhupendra Patel Covid-positive as Gujarat records 529 cases
The Indian Express | 2 days ago
The Indian Express
2 days ago

Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel tested positive for Covid-19 Wednesday and has been isolated at home with mild symptoms, sources in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said.“He (the CM) was having mild symptoms yesterday (Tuesday) following which he got himself tested. Today, the result came positive. He has got himself home isolated,” the source said.The development has put a question mark on the CM’s attendance at the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Ahmedabad scheduled Friday. As a tradition, the CM flags off the Rath Yatra while performing the Pahind Vidhi ritual.“The CM has tested positive for Covid-19. But he is fine and home-isolated. About attending the Rath Yatra, he will be following the advice of the doctors,” an official in the CMO said.Meanwhile, CM Patel Wednesday virtually reviewed the alertness and preparation of the Gujarat police to ensure that the 145th Rath Yatra is carried out in Ahmedabad in a safe and harmonious manner.An official release from the CMO stated that Patel participated in a video-conference that was also attended by Minister of State for Home, Harsh Sanghavi, and police commissioners of four metro cities and superintendents of police of all the districts. Chief Principal Secretary to the CM K Kailashnathan, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Rajkumar, and Director General of Police Ashish Bhatia were also present in the virtual review meeting.As per the release, the CM also gave suggestions for maintenance of law and order in the state while keeping in mind the developments in neighbouring states.As per the state government’s daily bulletin on Covid-19, Gujarat recorded 529 new cases Wednesday. With that, the total number of active Covid-19 cases in the state is 2,914.Out of the total 529 fresh cases, Ahmedabad city reported the maximum cases at 220, followed by Surat (79) and Vadodara (53).

CM Bhupendra Patel Covid-positive as Gujarat records 529 cases
Can blood thinners help reduce symptoms of long Covid?
Ahmedabad Mirror | 3 days ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
3 days ago

Researchers in the UK are probing a potential link between blood clots and long-term symptoms post a Covid infection, and whether a treatment of blood thinners may help reduce long Covid conditions, media reports said.Long Covid is defined as having new or ongoing symptoms four weeks or more after the start of disease. The symptoms, which include fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of concentration and joint pain, may last up to months and even more than a year.Previous studies have pointed out that a Covid infection increases the risk of blood clots. Infected people have a greater risk of related conditions including stroke, heart attacks and deep vein thrombosis, the Guardian reported.Prof Ami Banerjee from University College London is leading a study called Stimulate-ICP, where 4,500 people with long Covid will be divided into four groups in which participants are allocated usual care, antihistamines, an anti-inflammatory or an anti-clotting drug for three months.”That will allow us to say whether that improves the fatigue and other outcomes of people with long Covid,” Banerjee was quoted as saying.A study by researchers at University of Cambridge, called Heal-Covid, involves people who were hospitalised with Covid and aims to identify treatments that may help to prevent or reduce ongoing symptoms, the report said.”Heal-Covid is not a study treating people with long Covid, we are aiming to prevent things getting to that point,” said chief investigator Prof Charlotte Summers from Cambridge.The team has recruited 1,118 participants, with one arm of the trial involving participants receiving blood thinners.”The trial included anticoagulants as there was thought to be an increased number of large blood clots occurring in the post-hospital phase of the illness rather than microclots,” Summers said.Further, a team from University of Leicester is also probing the issue of clotting, the report said.The post-hospitalisation Covid-19 study is looking at whether people with ongoing symptoms after hospitalisation have chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension. If this is found, it would be strong evidence that microclots are a substantial problem, Chief Investigator Chris Brightling, Professor of respiratory medicine at the University was quoted as saying.”Whereas if we don’t see that, that doesn’t exclude the possibility that, obviously — certain individuals get clots — but it would make it less likely that it’s intrinsically a major problem,” he said.

Can blood thinners help reduce symptoms of long Covid?
IT minister highlights strides taken by India’s tech sector
Ahmedabad Mirror | 3 days ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
3 days ago

After interacting with students and start-ups in Nirma University in Ahmedabad and Ganpat University in Mehsana, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar visited MS University in Vadodara and CVM University in Anand on the second of his two-day visit to Gujarat.Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, also answered students’ queries on “New India’s Techade of Opportunities”.While talking to them, he said, “Hard work, grit and passion are the only determinants for your success. You don’t need influential last names.”He added, “Today, India has crossed the mark of 100 Unicorns where 42 Unicorns came up in the year 2021. The ‘Genie of Innovation’ is out of the bottle and soon there will be thousands of Unicorns in India in the near future.”Explaining the surge in number of start-ups and unicorns in India, Chandrasekhar said, “The Narendra Modi government, over the last eight years, has created an enabling environment by scrapping old laws to ensure ease of doing business, initiating banking and financial sector reforms including cleaning up NPAs.”He further said expansion of the internet to 80 crore people, rapid digitalization of almost all sectors of economy and governance are some of the factors that have all collectively led to a vibrant start-up ecosystem.The minister also mentioned how India is at an inflection point and has an upward momentum as it emerges as a reformed and resilient nation post covid, and also world’s most vibrant start-up ecosystem.The Indian economy, after taking a hit initially during Covid, is now the fastest growing major economy in the world. It has received the highest FDI (over $80 Bn) and sets new records of goods export ($400 Bn) and services export ($254 Bn).Later in the evening, the minister met leaders from the industry, industry associations, academia and professionals in Vadodara.

IT minister highlights strides taken by India’s tech sector
Cops ready with Covid prep
Ahmedabad Mirror | 4 days ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
4 days ago

The Ahmedabad police are geared for any eventuality during the Rath Yatra as part of their comprehensive security apparatus. After the Al Qaeda threat recently, police are guarding against any potential threats, including a ‘lone wolf attack’.A top city police official told Mirror, “We are taking all precautions to prevent any disruption of the Rath Yatra, even as 25,000 personnel will be on route to thwart any law and order challenge. We are ready to defeat any attacks, including lone wolf attacks, to disrupt the Rath Yatra.”According to the police, as many as 10 lakh persons across the city join in with religious fervour. The Yatra did not take place in 2020 due to Covid and was confined to a curtailed route in 2021.“What is bothersome is the lack of chatter on social media. The social media is abuzz at such times and the silence is confounding,” the official said. This is why the police have countered it with a never before social outreach. “Five women DCPs held society meetings with women in the area. There were two blood donation camps and a cricket tournament involving two communities. All this has been happening since the past two months. Besides there will be helicopter sorties, and use of technology where there are cameras installed at several places along the routes. Besides, after every 13th vehicle there will be a police truck with CCTV cameras. The drones will keep a hawk’s eye in the air. Human interface has been increased to build confidence measures,” the official said.Covid is a concernAs Covid cases in the city rise, the spread of infection can pose a big threat during the Rath Yatra in the city. Asked about the health risk, DGP Ashish Bhatia said, “Instructions have been given to officials to take measures to ensure that Covid does not spread during the event.”A top official told Mirror, “We will distribute masks and sanitisers to 25,000 police and paramilitary personnel to ensure that infection does not spread. We are going to hand over one lakh masks and one lakh sanitizer bottles to the police and security personnel.”However, the official had no answers when asked about how 10 lakh people gathering on the roads can be safeguarded, most of whom have stopped wearing masks,using sanitisers or keeping social distance.The Jagannath temple has announced that there will be no darshan without masks but along the route, it will be difficult from people who jostle for prasad and other things and gather in large numbers to be controlled.In charge health officer Bhavin Solanki said, “The risk of Covid is there even if it is a small gathering in mall, flight etc. Wearing masks has stopped all over the world. This will be a big gathering and people who are not part of the Rath Yatra mustavoid it. Those who attend should take all social distancing measures, including wearing masks.”180 Rath Yatras to be held in state: DGP​​​​​​​DGP Ashish Bhatia said that 180 Rath Yatras will be held across the state, of which Ahmedabad is the biggest with 10 lakh people participating. The second biggest is in Bhavnagar with one lakh people participating. He said there are 16 Rath Yatras that have participation of 10,000 plus people. He said the Rath Yatra did not happen in 2020 while in 2021, it had a limited participation and on a truncated route and time due to Covid. “The Rath Yatra that has been going on since 1878 will traverse a 19 km route between 7am and 8.30pm. This year the bandobast will be the same as it was in 2019.”

Cops ready with Covid prep
Lakhs to attend 145th Rath Yatra on July 1
The Indian Express | 4 days ago
The Indian Express
4 days ago

Lakhs of devotees from across Gujarat are expected to participate in the 145th Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, which will be held in its full form from the temple in Jamalpur Darwaza to Saraspur, after a gap of two years when it was curtailed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The procession will be held in old city Ahmedabad on July 1.Union Home Minister Amit Shah will perform a Mangala Aarti at the Lord Jagannath Temple in Jamalpur of Ahmedabad around 4 am and the Rath Yatra will begin at 7 am.According to trustees of Lord Jagannath Temple, preparations for the Yatra are going on in full swing.At a press conference in Ahmedabad on Monday, Mahendra Jha, one of the trustees of the temple, said, “This year, we are organising the Rath Yatra in its full-fledged form… 18 elephants, 101 trucks with different tableaus depicting India’s culture, 30 Akhada Dal groups and 18 Bhajan Mandalis will be part of the procession. A total of 1,200 persons will pull the chariots.”Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxAdding that the trust has prepared prasad for at least two lakh devotees, Jha said, “We have also invited 2,000 sadhus and seers from all over India…”When asked about the Covid protocols for the procession, Jha said, “We request devotees to come wearing masks and follow the Covid protocols.”Meanwhile, the Gujarat Police announced that it will deploy over 25,000 police personnel, including teams of the Rapid Action Force, Central Reserve Police Force, State Reserve Police, ATS, Ahmedabad Crime Branch and other agencies, to monitor the yatra route. Parking arrangement have done kept at APMC Market ground of Jamalpur.Usually, over three lakh devotees from across the state attend the yearly Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra procession that covers a distance of 18 kilometres. In 2020, for the first time in over 100 years, the 143rd Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra was called off due to Covid pandemic and a symbolic yatra with one main chariot was carried out inside the premises of the as per a directive by the state government.In 2021, the 144th rath yatra was taken out from Jamalpur Darwaza to Saraspur, without devotees as a curfew was implemented in parts of the city. Only priests, temple trust members and police personnel were part of the procession.

Lakhs to attend 145th Rath Yatra on July 1
E-bike Yulu exits A’bad
Ahmedabad Mirror | 6 days ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
6 days ago

Even as the Centre promotes e-vehicles, an e-bike company quietly made its exit from the city a fortnight ago. The e-bike Yulu first began its service in Ahmedabad in 2020 just before Covid. Lack of response from citizens and rising costs, however, forced the operators to shut down.The service closed down fifteen days ago. Interestingly, the service had a 60% utilisation after Covid but it did not translate into profit forcing the Bangalore-based start-up to wind up operations in the city.​​​​​​​The service offered 250 Yulu bikes on streets but multiple uses through a single entry caused trouble, a source in the know said. “The entire fleet of bikes has now been moved to Mumbai where the service is a success,” a senior executive of Yulu bikes told Mirror. Those in the know said Covid negatively impacted the business. The night curfew that was put in place even after the lockdown also affected business.“Moreover there were health concerns as people did not want to use a bike that had been handled by many others. The lack of a dedicated lane for cycles and such bikes also made people reluctant to use them,” said the source. The bikes offered chargeable batteries and full safety features. The service was launched with much fanfare during the Happy Street initiative in Law garden. The company had two stands one outside Vastrapur Lake and one near Ahmedabad Mall.Booz bikesMeanwhile, electric kick scooters are offering their service at Kankaria Lakefront. Booz bikes, an Ahmedabad-based start-up, has put 10 such vehicles for use at the venue. “We plan to increase the number based on the response,” Rutvij Dasadia, the founder said.MYBYKAnother bike-sharing service MYBYK has reported good response from Amdavadis. The company has increased its fleet from 1,000 to 3,500 bikes post-Covid. The company has 350 bike stations in the city of which 250 are in the western part alone. Its founder Arjit Soni said the number of users is on the rise, but most ride it for health reasons rather than commute. He said several factors, including lack of dedicated lanes and weather conditions, prevent people from using bikes for commuting.SRFDCL reactionA senior official of Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Ltd (SRFDCL) admitted that the public bike-sharing system has not received the needed response. “All the three companies that offer the service began their operations just before Covid and then suffered losses due to lockdown,” said the official.“Lack of dedicated bike tracks also added to the problems. Though the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) made provisions for cycle tracks along the BRTS routes they have been encroached upon,” said the official.Interestingly, the Science City road which was developed as a model road has no cycle track. The cycle tracks on the road from Helmet Crossroads to Shivranjani have all been encroached.

E-bike Yulu exits A’bad
Individuals, alumni, govt gave Rs 4 cr aid to Civil
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 week ago

The increasing Covid cases currently in the city bring back memories of the second wave when the state machinery was hard pressed to handle the enormity of Covid patients. Lack of hospital beds, shortage of oxygen, PPE kits and other medical equipment had made it tough for the hospital administration and the people.Looking at the need in case of another such situation arising, the government, private individuals, doctors in India and abroad came forward to provide aid worth Rs 4 crore to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital.The rising cases in the past few days has been causing concern among people of a possible fourth wave. On Thursday, Gujarat reported 416 new Covid cases with Ahmedabad reporting 182 cases.Medical Superintendent Dr Rakesh Joshi said, “The second wave was scary. Doctors and paramedics were inundated by rising numbers of patients at the hospital. We got a lot of help from the government and society. During this time, there was a lack of oxygen but now we are in a much better position. This is because we received Rs 4 crore in aid which was used to purchase medical equipment.” Former students of BJ Medical College who are part of its alumni association in the US donated Rs 98 lakh for a 1,000 litre oxygen plant and Rs 34 lakh for an X-ray machine. Private firm JM Finance through CSR gave Rs 34 lakh for a digital X-ray machine, Rs 3 lakh for a baby warmer machine. Dr Aseem Shukla of Philadelphia sent oxygen concentrators worth Rs 80 lakh. Shyamnarayan Mignani gave Rs 34 lakh for an X-ray machine and Dr Vijay Jasani from UK gave Rs 10 lakh for oxygen concentrators.Medical equipment worth Rs 91 lakh came from MLA grants of the then MoS Home Pradipsinh Jadeja, MLA Pradeep Parmar and Balram Thawani.In all, a total of Rs 4 crore worth of aid was given to the hospital.The civil superintendent has urged people to be cautious as Covid cases are increasing. Currently two patients are being treated at Covid ward of the 1200-bed hospital at Civil Hospital.

Individuals, alumni, govt gave Rs 4 cr aid to Civil
Heart condition not linked to Covid, can’t reject insurance claim: Panel
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

The district consumer disputes redressal commission (DCDRC) in Ahmedabad city overruled an insurance company’s decision to reject a claim for Covid-19 treatment on the ground that the patient had pre-existing heart conditions. DCDRC ordered the insurer to pay the claim amount with interest and compensation.The complainant, Paldi resident Fenil Shah, was admitted to CIMS Hospital for five days–from November 28 to December 2, 2020–for Covid-19 treatment and had incurred an expense of Rs 1.90 lakh. He had filed his claim with Max Bupa Health Insurance Co Ltd, which not only rejected the claim but also revoked the policy on the ground of non-disclosure of pre-existing heart disease.However, DCDRC, in an order dated June 20, noted that at the time of the policy subscription in 2020, a medical test was done and the certificate had already mentioned the pre-existing heart condition, along with the line of treatment and medication. The order said the insurer had covered Shah’s risk after accepting the medical certificate. “…there is no reason to believe that the complainant has suppressed the fact of his health issues,”DCDRC observed.“…we find no direct nexus between Covid and heart diseases. The issue of heart disease would not be a material fact for Covid. The opponent has not produced any medical literature that shows any direct nexus between Covid and heart diseases. The opponent has not proved that due to the pre-existing heart diseases, the complainant suffered from Covid and hence, the risk of the complainant was not covered,” the Commission noted.Hence, the commission held that the insurer’s cancellation policy “is absolutely illegal” and “has committed an unfair trade practice” by revoking the policy as well as “repudiating a genuine claim”. The insurer “has miserably failed to accept their contractual liability towards the complainant,” it said.Shah’s counsel Sunil Chhabria had submitted before DCDRC that his policy entitled him to Rs 2,000 per day of hospitalisation, thus making him eligible for a payment of Rs 10,000.The commission directed Max Bupa Health Insurance to pay Rs 1,90,619, as claimed by Shah, and an additional Rs 10,000, which was payable under the policy clause as hospitalisation cash per day, along with interest at the rate of 6 per cent per annum from the date of the complaint until its payment within one month from now, failing which, the interest rate would be hiked to 8 per cent.The commission also directed an additional Rs 10,000 to be paid to Shah for “mental agony and stress”, in addition to Rs 2,000 towards expenses of the complaint. It also ordered the restoration of the policy.

Heart condition not linked to Covid, can’t reject insurance claim: Panel
Gujarat records 416 Covid cases; rise in Surat, Valsad
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

Gujarat continue to report a spike in Covid-19 cases with 416 cases being recorded on Thursday.Ahmedabad city recorded 182 new cases, while two cases were reported from the rural jurisdiction, with 971 active cases across the district. The district continues to test 3,000-odd samples.However, Ahmedabad city has not increased testing and the daily test positivity rate has increased from 2.5 per cent as of June 14, to over six per cent on June 23.The test positivity rate on Thursday was over five per cent — even as the city plans to go ahead with Rath Yatra celebrations on July 1.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨While Ahmedabad city’s share declined, other districts now record an increase in their daily numbers.Surat city reported a rise, with 56 cases reported and the rural jurisdiction reporting 34 new Covid-19 cases.The number of active cases in the district  too has increased to 330 from fewer than 50 as of June 10.Surat on June 22 tested fewer than 3,000 samples (2,395) across its city and rural jurisdictions.Valsad and Navsari, both neighbouring districts of Surat, too are seeing an increase in cases. Valsad reported 12 new cases on Thursday, the highest in the district in over four months.Other districts now seeing a rise in the number of cases include Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Gandhinagar ad Jamanagar.

Gujarat records 416 Covid cases; rise in Surat, Valsad
  • Covid cases in state, city double in a day
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    The number of Covid cases in Gujarat doubled in a single day on Wednesday, with Ahmedabad city contributing the largest jump. New cases in the city also jumped by 100% over the previous 24 hours even as officials say those with recent travel history constitute just 25% of cases in the city, pointing to a spread in cases among the community.Gujarat reported 407 new Covid cases, twice the number compared to the 226 reported on June 21. This is the highest number of cases reported in June, which is being called the “fourth Covid-19 wave” as cases continue to skyrocket across the country.Ahmedabad city reported 207 new Covid cases against the 106 cases reported on Tuesday. The one-day spike in the cases in Ahmedabad city, where cases double in conjunction with the state, made it the largest contributing factor to the Gujarat Covid caseload on Wednesday. Ahmedabad city, in line with trends seen since the beginning of this month, continues to report approximately 50% of all new cases reported in Gujarat on a daily basis.In Ahmedabad, while testing has risen marginally, the number of cases have shot up disproportionately, said officials. Most of the new cases being reported at the moment are from the western part of the city.Speaking to Mirror, Dr Bhavin Solanki, Medical Officer of Health (MoH) at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation said, “While they are just short of being called clusters, there is a concentration of cases in areas like Navrangpura, Thaltej, Bodakdev and Paldi. About 25% of all who are testing positive have some sort of travel history while others contracted in the community here itself. There aren’t many cases coming positive from the railway station and airport.”Six major cities report cases in double digitsThis is for the first time after the third Covid wave earlier this year that six municipal corporations have reported more than 10 cases on a single day.Surat district saw a major uptick in cases with both, the city and rural, showing upward trends. Surat city reported 45 new cases against 37 the previous day, while rural Surat, which had reported zero cases on June 21, reported 12 new cases on June 22.Vadodara city reported 39 new casesThree other major cities, which had reported cases in single digits till June 21, saw new infections in double digits. The number of new cases in Rajkot city went up to 17 on Wednesday against just 5 reported the previous day. In Gandhinagar city, cases rose from 7 to 10 in a day. However, 17 districts in Gujarat reported no casesat all.

  • State reports 226 fresh Covid cases
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    Gujarat on Friday reported 226 new Covid cases, more than the 217 reported the previous day.On Tuesday, Ahmedabad city reported 106 new Covid cases, up from 97 cases on Monday. Surat city reported 37 cases, Vadodara city 22 new cases, and there were 7 new cases in Gandhinagar city. All other cities and districts reported cases in single digits. No Covid deaths were reported, leaving state’s official Covid death toll at 10,946.The total number of active Covid cases in Gujarat rose to 1,524 patients. Of these, 2 were on ventilator support while 1,522 were said to be stable.Rishikesh Patel tests positive for CovidState Health Minister Rishikesh Pàtél has tested positive for Covid. He tweeted that he underwent RT-PCR test as he had developed some symptoms. I have isolated myself as per doctors advice and I urge all those who came in my contact to take care. AM

  • As Covid-19 cases rise in state, Gujarat High Court on alert
  • The Indian Express

    With Gujarat reporting 217 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, and Ahmedabad 97, the Gujarat High Court is now looking at curtailing crowding in courtrooms.Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Aravind Kumar, during court proceedings on Monday, remarked on the overall spike in Covid-19 cases in the state in the past one week. Hearing a contempt matter for which several people had gathered in the courtroom, the Chief Justice questioned why the courtroom was full of people.After an advocate responded that they were members of a petitioner-association, Chief Justice Kumar remarked, “Please tell them, now Covid-19 is on the rise and the state has enforced Covid protocols. We are not supposed to congregate like this, until and unless they are accused…Let one or two representatives be there, (for the rest) please ask them to go…Now slightly (Covid) is on the rise and these premises should not become a ground for that (further increase in cases).”Meanwhile, Gujarat High Court judges and advocates gathered at the High Court campus lawns on Tuesday to celebrate International Yoga Day.

  • Guj logs 244 new Covid cases
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    Gujarat on Sunday reported 244 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 12,27,643, the state health department said.The state is now left with 1,374 active cases after 131 patients were discharged after treatment during the day, raising the overall number of recoveries to 12,15,323, it said.The number of fatalities remained unchanged at 10,946, the department said in a release.Ahmedabad district reported 120 new cases, Surat 38, Vadodara 34, and Rajkot 10 cases, among others.The total number of Covid-19 vaccination doses administered so far in the state rose to 11.08 crore with 10,937 more people jabbed, said the department.Daman district in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu reported two new cases, increasing its number of active cases to 12.Gujarat’s Covid-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 12,27,643, new cases 244, death toll 10,946,discharged 12,15,323 and activecases 1,374.

  • 200 new Covid cases in state, Ahmedabad crosses 100
  • Ahmedabad Mirror

    The number of Covid cases in Gujarat crossed the 200-mark on Thursday with the state reporting 228 cases in the last 24 hours, higher than the 184 cases reported on June 15. Ahmedabad city also hit a milestone, with cases breaking into three-digits. The city reported 114 cases, which accounted for 50% of new cases in the state. The city reported 91 cases on the previous day.The four major cities of Gujarat accounted for 75% of new cases on Thursday with Vadodara city reporting 26 new cases, Surat city reporting 20 new cases and there were 12 new cases in Rajkot city.A 25-year-old resident doctor at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital was admitted for Covid treatment at the premises. Those in contact with him were also tested.

Thanks to PM Modi, Gujarat has done well in education, health and security: CM Bhupendra Patel
The Indian Express | 1 week ago
The Indian Express
1 week ago

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said on Thursday that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the state had done well in education, health and security—the three basic factors that he said were required to make progress in any field.Patel was addressing a gathering after launching the 17th edition of Kanya Kelavani & Shala Praveshotsav, the annual school enrolment drive, at Memadpur in Banaskantha district’s Vadgam tehsil.“Three factors can be listed as the basic requirements for progress in any field–education, health and security. With an aim to make Gujarat a growth engine and strengthen the foundation of education in the state, Narendrabhai (Modi) started Kanya Kelavani & Shala Praveshotsav in 2003. If the foundation of education is strong, we can make progress in each and every field,” the chief minister said.In Banaskantha district, more than 15,000 children were enrolled in Class 1 under the drive. According to district primary education officer Sanjay Parmar, “A total 71 eligible children were enrolled in Class 1 by the CM at two government primary schools (one each for boys and girls) in Memadpur village. Thirty-five children (in the age group of 3-5) were enrolled in the Anganwadi of Memadpur.”The chief minister said education was necessary for making better use of technology and that because of the state government’s efforts, the dropout rate had fallen significantly, adding that the government had made available the best facilities for engineering and medical education.Patel then referred to the state government’s Covid-19 response. “During the Covid pandemic, we have seen that even big countries felt exhausted. But under the guidance of Narendrabhai and his slogan ‘Sauno Saath, Sauno Vikas, Sauno Vishwas and Sauno Prayas’, we have given free vaccination to each and every person. And to ensure that nobody sleeps hungry, arrangements were made for free ration. (Modi) attempted to get us out of the pandemic and today we have come out (of the pandemic),” he said.Patel also talked about the government’s Ayushman card initiative, under which an eligible person can get medical benefits worth up to Rs 5 lakh for any ailment.Talking about security, the chief minister said, “We all know that security is also equally necessary…Earlier, before going to Ahmedabad, people here would first get it checked if everything is fine there. Many elders must have seen that two decades back. (But) the young ones, who are 20-22 years old, do not even know what unrest is.”“Today, under the instructions of Narendrabhai, police are doing very good work. Along with that, we also know that they did a very good job of assisting us during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Patel said.Minister of State for Education Kirtisinh Vaghela, who is the MLA for Kankrej in the district, and a number of local BJP leaders were present on the occasion besides district collector Anand Patel and superintendent of police Akshayraj Makwana.The Vadgam Assembly constituency, under which the Memadpur village falls, is represented by independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, who has pledged support to the Opposition Congress.

Thanks to PM Modi, Gujarat has done well in education, health and security: CM Bhupendra Patel
Covid returns to school classrooms
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 week ago

It is not just students who have returned to classrooms. As schools reopen, Covid has reared its ugly head again, with Udgam School For Children reporting two positive cases.The Covid cases were reported within two days of the school reopening after the summer break. Officials at Udgam said a student each from Class 9 and 7 tested positive for Covid on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. The school started its new academic session on Monday after the summer break.The school is yet to get details of the vaccination status of the Covid affected students.In the absence of any specific written guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) from the Gujarat government, the school has continued to call all students of Classes 9 and 7 to class. School principals in the city believe that sinceCovid has made its re-entry into schools, it is time for the state to lay out an SOP allowing the affected classes to be held online.“We started classes on Monday. A student who attended the class later tested Covid positive on Tuesday. Another student in another class who attended school on Monday and Tuesday tested Covid positive on Wednesday,” said Udgam School for Children’s Executive Director Manan Choksi. He, however, said offline teaching continues in the affected classes as there is no guideline from the Gujarat Government about the same.“Ideally, we would like to be allowed to take the affected classes online. Since the government has sought 100% classroom attendance and has not made any provision for online classes we have no other option but to call students to school despite the risk,” said Choksi.Principals believe that safety of students should be a priority at such times. Mrugen Shah, principal of Prakash Higher Secondary School said as students below 12 years of age are unvaccinated, a plan needs to be chalked out for them in case they test Covid positive.“I think we should have a hybrid model of education where half of the class is online, while the rest is offline. But schools should be allowed to hold 100% online classes if any student in a class tests positive. We do not want to violate norms by doing this on our own, but student safety should be our priority,” he said.Nivedita Ganguly, principal of DAV International School said, “I don’t know about Covid’s severity. If medical experts feel that it is unsafe for children to be in school if their classmates have tested positive then a guideline should be issued accordingly.”A student tested Covid positive on Tuesday. Anotherstudent in another class who attended school on Mondayand Tuesday tested Covid positive on Wednesday–Manan Choksi, ED, Udgam School

Covid returns to school classrooms
China’s Sinopharm shot ineffective against some Omicron sub-variants
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 week ago

Two doses of Chinese Covid vaccine Sinopharm produced nothing or only minimally detectable neutralising activity against some Omicron sub-variants, according to a small study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.A third booster dose, however, partly restored the neutralising activity, revealed the study led by Chinese researchers from Anhui Medical University in Hefei and Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology.The study analysed 25 individuals who received two doses of BBIBP-CorV vaccine. They found that the neutralising activity against Omicron sub-variants such as BA.1, BA.2, BA.2.11, BA.2.12.1, BA.2.13, and BA.4/BA.5 “was not or only minimally detectable”.Neutralising activity against these sub-variants was observed in 24-48 per cent of people who received a BBIBP-CorV booster post a two-dose shot.The neutralising activity saw a slight improvement to 30-53 per cent among 30 participants who received a third dose of another Covid vaccine ZF2001, developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom.Further, the findings showed that the BA.2.12.1 subvariant showed significantly more resistance than the BA.2 subvariant to a BBIBP-CorV booster, and the BA.2.11, BA.2.12.1, and BA.2.13 sub-variants showed significantly more resistance than the BA.2 subvariant to a ZF2001 booster.The serum neutralising antibody titres against all tested pseudoviruses did not differ between people who received a BBIBP-CorV booster and those who received a ZF2001 booster.About 18 people had BA.1 breakthrough infection and 15 people had BA.2.2 breakthrough infection. In addition, neutralising antibodies against omicron sub-variants above the limit of detection accounted for 88-100 per cent of infections, the study showed.

China’s Sinopharm shot ineffective against some Omicron sub-variants
Timothee as young Al?
Ahmedabad Mirror | 1 week ago
Ahmedabad Mirror
1 week ago

After 27 years, the follow-up to Heat is almost here as writer-director Michael Mann is releasing a continuation of the crime epic on August 9 in the form of a novel titled Heat 2.The book will trace the lives of master criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) and obsessive detective Lt Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) before and after the events of his 1995 film, reports Variety.When asked who could play Lt Hanna in a potential film adaptation of the sequel, Pacino made one suggestion that was met with bursting applause.“Timothee Chalamet,” Pacino said at the United Palace theater in Manhattan’s Washington Heights.“I mean, he’s a wonderful actor. Great looks.”According to Variety, to commemorate the film’s 25th anniversary, the Tribeca Festival held a Q&A panel that featured vintage superstars Pacino and De Niro as well as longtime producer Art Linson. Moderated by journalist Bilge Ebiri, the conversation was followed by a 4K screening of the 1995 film.The celebration was delayed two years due to restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.Thousands of people, mostly unmasked, lined up around the block on West 176th Street to attend the event. Before the actors walked on stage, audience members were quickly reminded of the virus’ presence when Mann appeared through a video message to announce that he was unable to attend the panel after testing positive for Covid.To no surprise, Pacino and De Niro were met with a standing ovation when they first walked on stage.Agencies

Timothee as young Al?
From begging to crocheting: Madari women on way to earning a livelihood
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

Written by Rashi MishraKajal Sahebnath Madari, 25, a woman from the Madari (snake charmer) community, a denotified tribe, used to seek alms and during the Covid-19 lockdown, her family was left with no income. A resident of Ramol, Kajal is now getting trained in crocheting and has made items including scarves, mufflers, bags, coasters and lids.The Bhasha Research and Publication Centre (BRPC), which is providing skill training to at least 15 women each from around 40 families of the community living in Ahmedabad, will soon conduct an exhibition of their work in Ramol.“We have been promised sales in the coming months… We were paid Rs 3,000 once and Rs 3,500 another time…,” says Kajal.A trust founded in 1996 for the study, documentation and conservation of marginal languages, Bhasha is recognised as a centre of excellence under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India. It works in the areas of language, arts, culture, education and social harmony, across states and union territories.The centre has been providing skill training to women with focus on livelihood for the tribe.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨The initiative was taken up by Bhasha during the Covid-19 pandemic when these communities were severely affected. According to Bhasha, the aim is to make these women independent to create an incoms of their own.Gazala Paul, a consultant for western India, from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, a London-based philanthropist organisation that is funding the project, said, “Earlier Madaris were like Kalbelias, the snake charmers, had their livelihood based around animals. But statutes such as The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 prevented the community from living on their original occupation and pushed them to become labourers and beggars.”The project focuses on denotified tribes which were earlier criminalised under Criminal Tribes Act 1871 of the British Raj. The tribes include Kalbelias/Madaris, Kanjar, Sansi, Nath, Pardhi, Bedia, Banchada and Gadiya Lohars. Around 40 such denotified tribes exist in Gujarat.Initially, the community was granted relief funds by the foundation in association with Bhasha. However, later, given the stigma of being snake charmers, Bhasha took up the initiative to skill the women of these communities.“The older generation of the community was skilled in quilt-making, but this generation hardly knows the craft. They do it but not to sell. We here are equipping them with the new skill of making items from crochet and doda dora (braiding),” said Dr Madan Meena, a trustee at Bhasha Research and Publication Center.The skilling project started a year ago and these women are still being trained. They are given a stipend of Rs 3,500 every month in accounts opened in their names.“We have been taught this work of bharat (embroidery) for the past few months. They come to check our work on a monthly basis,” said 34-year-old Shobha Sanjay Nath Madari. The women are trained for 2-3 hours a day for three days in a week.“For their craft, now they will be paid per piece, which will get them a decent earning on their own,” said Dr Meena. The exhibition will mark the second phase of the project that will be followed by launching of an e-commerce website and social media accounts for marketing.The project is slated to cover a period of seven years, according to Paul.

From begging to crocheting: Madari women on way to earning a livelihood
‘Don’t be lax about booster and revive old protocols’
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

The key to taming the recent surge in COVID-19 cases is going back to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) like maintaining COVID-appropriate behaviour, masking, ventilation of indoor spaces and social distancing, say infectious disease experts. But above all, we should not be ignoring the booster dose. Without being alarmist, as cases rise in several states like Maharashtra, Kerala, Delhi, Karnataka and others, it is time to revisit protocols for better management and recovery.WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS THIS TIME?Quite like the third wave, the few patients, who have presented themselves for diagnostic examination so far, have usually shown upper respiratory system-related symptoms. So you still have a scratchy or sore throat, runny or blocked nose, dry cough and fever. “However, we haven’t seen severe symptoms such as breathlessness or the need for hospitalisation,” says Ahmedabad-based infectious disease specialist Dr Atul Patel.Ahmedabad-based general physician, Dr Dhiren Mehta, too says that low-grade fever is the common complaint among patients “followed by symptoms such as body pain or fatigue that happen to last a few more days.”WHY IS TESTING SLOW?According to Dr Mehta, many patients are not going in for a diagnostic test because “they are dismissing the symptoms as those of common flu, which generally affects everybody during a season change. Also, the cases are milder than what we saw in the Omicron-fuelled third wave. So a lot of people now are directly opting for over-the-counter medication.”IS THE RESURGENCE OF COVID BECAUSE OF LAXITY IN THE BOOSTER DOSE?The booster dose uptake has been dismal across India, with only 3.90 crore precautionary doses administered so far compared to the 101 crore first doses and 90 crore second doses administered so far, as per the CoWIN dashboard. As a Government official in Ahmedabad explained, a key deterrent, despite many being eligible, is that precautionary doses have to be paid for, a decision many are opting out of. Dr Mehta adds, “Most patients have taken the mandatory two doses but have not yet taken the precautionary dose. Some say they are not sure if they want to take it despite our insistence. Many also say ease of accessibility is an issue (with the urban health centres or primary health centres only administering the precautionary doses to those above 60 years while the rest have to take it at designated sites).”Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxThen there is the matter of perception regarding efficacy of the booster dose. Dr Patel quotes a 1,000-patient study, which has assessed the impact of Covishield vaccination (which 92% of the cohort received) and is about to be published, as concluding that two doses “significantly reduce severity and mortality even against the Omicron variant.” However, he adds, that among those in the cohort who also took the precautionary dose, “no statistically significant difference was seen among those who received the two-dose versus those who received the third dose.”WHY ARE YOU GETTING INFECTED FREQUENTLY?“Omicron, including its sub-variants (BA.1, BA.2, BA.4, BA.5) have been seen to be immune evasive following vaccination-induced immunity or after natural infection or hybrid immunity (those who have past history of infection along with vaccination). Thus technically, those affected in the third wave (assuming they were infected by the Omicron variant) run the risk of getting infected again now in the present surge. Doctors believe that post-recovery, you could technically contract an infection between one and six months. But the advantage is that the disease severity will be much less and mortality will be statistically significantly reduced. “Long COVID-19 effects were not as commonly seen in third wave patients compared to those seen among second wave patients (when Delta was the predominant variant in circulation),” says Dr Patel.

‘Don’t be lax about booster and revive old protocols’
About 3,600 chemical units in Gujarat have closed post Covid: GCA
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

Post Covid-19, an estimated 3,600 MSME units in the chemical sector have closed down in Gujarat, while several others have turned sick, said Jaimin Vasa, president of Gujarat Chemical Association (GCA), on Thursday.“There are over 11,000 chemical units in Gujarat of which 98 per cent are MSMEs. Due to the rising cost of raw materials, logistics and fuel, about 60 per cent of them have turned sick. Out of those who have turned sick, an estimated 3,600 have closed in the post-Covid period,” Vasa added. The association will be organising a national conference on June 18, to highlight the plight of the chemical sector in the state.“There is a 300-400 per cent increase in the cost of raw materials used by the chemical industry,” Vasa said. For instance, the price of raw materials like sodium nitrite has risen by 288 per cent in the last one year. Many of the raw materials used by the sector, like sodium nitrite, come from China. Apart from the cost of raw materials, cost of fuel like coal and gas used by the industries and cost of transportation and logistics have also increased in the last two years.The MSMEs operating in the chemical sector in Gujarat largely deal with dyestuff, paints, fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals.The common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) that were working 24 hours in a day, currently work for just 12 hours in Gujarat, members of industry said. “In Naroda – a chemical cluster in Ahmedabad — the CETP used to handle 60 lakh litres of effluents every day. This has now reduced to 24 lakh litres. This clearly indicates that the volume of discharge has gone down as the production in the units has fallen,” said Shailesh Patwari, former president of Naroda Industrial Association and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The policy of the government is very good, but the implementation is very poor,” Patwari added.Gujarat Chemical Association is the second industry body after Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF) to highlight the plight of MSMEs in Gujarat. In April this year, IIF pointed out that 10 per cent of foundry units, including those in Rajkot, have closed in the last nine months due to shortage of working capital and increase in raw material prices. Foundries in Rajkot have cut production by 50 per cent during this period.One of the panel discussions at a national conference organised by GCA on June 18 is titled ‘India, the new battleground for global chemical manufacturing; support the industry seeks from policy makers’. This panel discussion will be moderated by Susanta Kumar Purohit, joint secretary, department of chemicals and petrochemicals, Government of India.

About 3,600 chemical units in Gujarat have closed post Covid: GCA
Residency period: Junior docs go on strike, minister warns of action
The Indian Express | 2 weeks ago
The Indian Express
2 weeks ago

Members of the Junior Doctors’ Association (JDA) of BJ Medical College (BJMC), affiliated with Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Wednesday went on strike from routine OPD and operation theatre duties over long-pending demands of equating the bond period with the senior residency duration owing to their service in Covid-19 wards for nearly 17 months.A JDA office-bearer told this paper, “Of the 36 months of course-work as a post-graduate course candidate, we served nearly 16-17 months in Covid wards, which also affected our academics as we were not dealing with regular OPDs. The state government considered equating the senior residency period with the mandatory bond period for those admitted in 2017 and 2018 but has not considered the same for those admitted in 2019, despite the Covid work that was done by the 2019 batch as well.”Meanwhile, state Health Minister Rushikesh Patel told media persons on the sidelines of an event in Patan: “If the strike continues, the state has its recourse and will take disciplinary action if required. It is my request that they rejoin duty.”BJMC JDA has been raising the issue since last year, and had in February this year made written representations to the chief minister’s office as well as to the health minister. In March, the health minister wrote to the additional chief secretary of the health department advising them to “take appropriate actions” with respect to the request put forth by JDA. BJMC post-graduate course director and medical superintendent of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, on May 28 and June 6 respectively, wrote to the additional chief secretary endorsing and recommending for counting bond service equal to the residency period.Residency is a year-long specialised training after three years of the post-graduate programme and becomes mandatory if one wants to apply for teaching positions. In Gujarat, for those admitted through state quota seats, students are also mandated to serve a year-long medical bond period as rural tenure, which is separate from the residency period.BJMC JDA plans to boycott Covid and emergency services on June 16 as well “if there is no positive response from the government”. A similar strike was held last year, following which, the state government agreed to consider one year of residency equivalent to one year of bond service.

Residency period: Junior docs go on strike, minister warns of action
  • 4,000 Resident Doctors Go On Indefinite Strike In Gujarat
  • Ndtv

    Gujarat's health minister said doctors cannot shy away from serving people.(File)Ahmedabad: Nearly 4,000 resident doctors from five government-run medical colleges in Gujarat went on an indefinite strike from Wednesday to put pressure on the state government to consider 12 months of their senior residency as mandatory bond service.While hospital authorities have made alternate arrangements to cope up with the impact of the strike, Gujarat Health Minister Rushikesh Patel said the resident doctors cannot shy away from serving people in rural areas, as per their bond condition.Out of the state's six government medical colleges -- Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar -- resident doctors in Surat refrained from joining the strike and they gave one more day to the government to resolve the issue.As of now, the resident doctors have withdrawn from attending to all routine OPD (Out Patient Department) services for an indefinite period. Though they are available for emergency and COVID-19 services, their associations have threatened to launch a full-fledged strike in the coming days if the issue remains unresolved.According to rules regarding the service bond, students of government medical colleges have to serve in rural areas for at least one year after completing their post graduate (PG) medical course.If any student wants to break the bond signed at the time of taking admission, he has to pay Rs 40 lakh. This rule is applicable to students of the six government medical colleges in the state.Since some time, students of the 2019 batch, who have completed their course and are about to start their senior residency of 12 months in hospitals attached with their respective colleges, have been demanding that the government should consider this residency period as the bond period."Our demand is legitimate because students of this batch had served COVID-19 patients for 17 months, out of the total 36 months of the course. If the previous batches are exempted from bond service on the same ground, then why can't the government consider the batch of 2019 for the same relief?" asked Dr Rahul Gameti, president of the Junior Doctors' Association in Ahmedabad.However, Health Minister Rushikesh Patel has warned of disciplinary action against the agitating doctors."We will take disciplinary action if required. I urge these doctors to end the strike and join duties at the earliest. I don't agree with their demands. The government spends a considerable amount to make them specialist doctors. Thus, you have to serve in villages after completing your PG," Patel told reporters.According to officials at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, which is affiliated to the government-run Byramjee Jeejeebhoy(B J) Medical College, there is no major impact of the strike as of now.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com"To cope up with the situation, we have cancelled the vacations of our faculty members and transferred non-clinical staff to clinical branches. As of now, there is no major impact on the services because the resident doctors have withdrawn themselves only from routine duties," the civil hospital's superintendent, Dr Rakesh Joshi, said.(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)