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No data to show third wave will affect children the most: AIIMS Director

There is no data that shows children will be affected in the third wave of Covid-19, either in India or internationally, says AIIMS Delhi Director Dr Randeep Guleria on Tuesday. During a media briefing, Guleria said, “It is a piece of misinformation that subsequent waves of the Covid-19 pandemic are going to cause severe illness in children.” He also said that 60 percent to 70 percent of children who got infected and needed hospitalization were children with either comorbidities or low immunity. Healthy children recovered with only a mild illness and they did not need to be hospitalized.

“Waves normally occur in pandemics caused due to respiratory viruses – the 1918 Spanish Flu, H1N1 (swine) flu are examples. The second wave of 1918 Spanish Flu was the biggest, after which there was a smaller third wave,” the AIIMS director said.

“Multiple waves occur when there is a susceptible population. When a large part of the population acquires immunity against the infection, the virus becomes endemic and infection becomes seasonal – like that of H1N1 that commonly spreads during monsoon or winters.”

Another reason for the occurrence of waves is when the virus mutates or changes.

Guleria said, “Waves can occur due to change in the virus (such as new variants). Since new mutations become more infectious, there is a higher chance for the virus to spread.”

He also asked people to strictly follow Covid-appropriate behavior.

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India Latest News

PM Modi takes first dose of Covid-19 vaccine at AIIMS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 1 tweeted to say that he took the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine at Delhi’s premier All India Institutes of Medical Sciences.

“Took my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at AIIMS. Remarkable how our doctors and scientists have worked in quick time to strengthen the global fight against COVID-19,” he tweeted.

“I appeal to all those who are eligible to take the vaccine. Together, let us make India COVID-19 free!” Modi

Sister P Niveda from Puducherry administered Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN to PM Modi.

This comes as India begins the third and the largest phase of vaccination drive against coronavirus, which will reach out to around 27 crores of the population aged above 60 or above 45 with co-morbid conditions.

Registrations are set to open at 9 am at www.cowin.gov.in and the Aarogya Setu app and there will be walk-in vaccinations in some places as well.

India began its vaccination drive on January 16 intending to inoculate 3 crore frontline workers but has struggled with hesitancy, giving out some 1.43 crore shots so far.

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Pesticide residues caused Eluru’s mysterious illness: Andhra govt

Amaravati: The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and other organizations on Wednesday have found that pesticide residues were the reason for the outbreak of the mysterious illness in Andhra Pradesh’s West Godavari district headquarters Eluru, a state government statement said.

“The experts said a long term in-depth study is required to understand how these residues of pesticides entered the human body,” it said.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has entrusted this responsibility to AIIMS, and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT).

He held a video conference with experts on the mysterious illness.

The CM also instructed officials to conduct tests across West Godavari, including on drinking water samples from all sources in all the districts.

“The samples should be collected systematically and should be analysed with experts. AIIMS and IICT should conduct a deep study in the long term on the causes of the outbreak in Eluru. I have asked the Chief Secretary to prepare an action plan for this,” he said.

Reddy also said that organic farming should be encouraged and awareness created on this among farmers.

In total, 622 people were struck by the mysterious illness which had symptoms such as three to five minutes of epileptic fits without repetition, forgetfulness, anxiety, vomiting, headache and back pain.

Eluru, which is 58 km north-east of Vijayawada and the headquarters of West Godavari district, is a coastal paddy cultivation and aquaculture hub near the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India.

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Books Latest News

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria co-authors book on India’s fight against Covid

New Delhi: A new book by AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria and two other doctors will give a definitive account of India’s fight against COVID-19 and how to deal with the pandemic in the days to come, announced publishing house Penguin Random House India on Monday.

The book, titled Till We Win, has been co-written by leading public policy and health systems expert Chandrakant Lahariya and renowned vaccine researcher and virologist Gagandeep Kang. It will hit the stands late this month, they added.

“There has been talk of a pandemic for many years. Yet, we never really thought it would cause so much disruption till COVID-19 hit our country. ‘Till We Win’ is a story of how no country was fully prepared for a pandemic of the nature of COVID-19, yet India pulled together despite all odds, and is continuing to successfully tackle the pandemic,” Guleria said.

The book deals with the “realization of inner strength and unity” amongst people of all walks of life in a country known for its cultural and linguistic diversity, he added.

Described as a “book of hope”, it shows how India has continued to persevere in her fight against this deadly virus. It also answers essential questions, like “How long will we have to go on wearing masks?”, “Will we need to wear a mask even after we get a vaccine?” or “What if there is no effective treatment against COVID-19?”.

“The book delves into how learnings from COVID-19 pandemic can be used to strengthen Indian health system, for better, forever. It is up to all of us to convert the challenge posed by pandemic as an opportunity to strengthen health systems,” said Lahariya.

“Dr Randeep Guleria, Dr Gagandeep Kang and Dr Chandrakant Lahariya are the most authoritative figures to talk about how we, as a nation, fought and continue to fight against the novel virus. In the book, they have offered a clear roadmap for future. The book will work as a useful guide for general readers,” said Premanka Goswami, executive editor, Penguin Random House India.

AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria said ‘Till We Win’ deals with the “realization of inner strength and unity” amongst Indians of all walks of life in a country known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. (Photos: Penguin India/Facebook)
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Bollywood India Latest News

CBI refutes closure of Sushant case, says probe still on

New Delhi: Amid some media reports that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to file a closure report in Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case, the federal agency on Thursday refuted the claims and said that such reports are “erroneous” and the investigation is still continuing.

CBI spokesperson R.K. Gaur said in a statement: “CBI continues to investigate the death of Sushant. There are certain speculative reports in the media that the CBI has reached a conclusion. It may be reiterated that these reports are speculative and erroneous.”

The remarks came amid media speculation that the agency will be filing a closure report soon.

Earlier, the forensic team of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) led by Sudhir Gupta had ruled out the murder angle in the actor’s death case.

The CBI had registered a case on August 6 after a notification from the Centre on the request of the Bihar government based on a complaint filed by Sushant’s father K.K. Singh in Patna.

Rhea was arrested by the NCB in a drug related case. She was granted bail after spending 28 days in Byculla jail, while her brother Showik is still lodged in the jail.

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Bollywood Latest News

Rhea Chakraborty gets bail after 28 days

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted conditional bail of Rs one lakh to Bollywood actress Rhea Chakraborty, her lawyer Satish Maneshinde said here.

Justice S.V. Kotwal, who had completed the hearing in her bail application last week and kept his ruling in reserve, pronounced the order this morning.

Arrested on September 9 by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in a drug related case, Rhea has spent 28 days in custody till date. She was sent to extended judicial custody by a Special NDPS Court till October 20 on Tuesday.

Welcoming the court order, Maneshinde said, “Truth and justice have prevailed and ultimately the submissions on facts and law have been accepted by Justice Kotwal”.

“The arrest and custody of Rhea was totally unwarranted and beyond the reach of law. The hounding and witch hunt by three Central agencies — the CBI, ED and NCB — of Rhea should come to an end. We remain committed to the truth. ‘Satya Meva Jayate’,” said Maneshinde.

Rhea, along with 19 others, including Showik, were arrested during August-September by the NCB in connection with the drugs angle which surfaced during the investigations of the late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case.

Among those nabbed include the Chakraborty siblings, Sushant’s staffers Dipesh Sawant, Samuel Miranda, several drug peddlers, suppliers and persons linked with the film industry.

The others who were arrested till September-end are: Abbas Lakhani, Karan Arora, Zaid Vilatra, Abdul Basit Parihar, Kaizan Ebrahim, Anuj Keswani, Ankush Arenja, Kamarjeet Singh Anand, Sanket Patel, Sandeep Gupta, Aftab Ansari, Dwyane Fernandes, Suryadeep Malhotra, Chris Costa, Rahil Vishram and Kshitij R. Prasad.

Some of the accused have been granted bail, others remain in custody for varying periods as the NCB probe continues along with questioning of several leading actresses.

Meanwhile, after an AIIMS report said that Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput had committed suicide, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and ruling ally Congress in Maharashtra were locked in a bitter political dogfight.

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India Latest News

Union minister Suresh Angadi passes away due to Covid-19

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Railways, Suresh Chanabasappa Angadi, succumbed to Covid-19 at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences on Wednesday, becoming the first member of the Council of Ministers to die of the deadly disease.

The 65-year-old leader was admitted to AIIMS on September 11 after testing positive for Covid-19, ahead of the commencement of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament.

Born of June 1, 1955 in Belagavi district in Karnataka, Angadi held several positions in the party during his long political career. Angadi served as an MP from 2004 and as Minister of State for Railways from 2019.

He was elected to the Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket from Belagavi in 2004, 2009, 2014 and 2019. In May 2019, Angadi became the MoS for Railways.

Condoling Angadi’s demise, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “Shri Suresh Angadi was an exceptional Karyakarta, who worked hard to make the Party strong in Karnataka. He was a dedicated MP and effective Minister, admired across the spectrum. His demise is saddening. My thoughts are with his family and friends in this sad hour. Om Shanti.”

President Ram Nath Kovind too expressed his shock at this sudden demise of Angadi. “Shocked to know the passing away of Shri Suresh Angadi, Union Minister of State of Railways. An amiable leader Shri Angadi worked tirelessly for the people of his constituency, Belagavi and Karnataka,” he tweeted.

BJP chief J.P. Nadda said, “Extremely saddened by the passing away of Central Minister Shri Suresh Angadi Ji. He was a remarkable leader who dedicated all his life for organization and went on to serve society with utmost diligence and compassion. My thoughts and Prayers are with his family and followers.”

“Deeply anguished at the unfortunate demise of Suresh Angadi ji,” tweeted Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal. He added that Angadi was like a brother to him, who was committed towards the people.

Over 57 lakh Covid cases, above 91,000 deaths in India

New Delhi: With a spike of 86,508 coronavirus cases in 24 hours India’s tally on Thursday reached 57,32,518 and there were 1,129 deaths in one day.

Out of the total cases, 9,66,382 are currently active, 46,74,987 have been discharged, while 91,149 lost the battle against the viral disease.

Continuing with its record, India posted 81.55 per cent of recoveries while the fatality rate stood at 1.59 per cent, the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said.

Maharashtra continued to be the worst-hit with a total of 12,63,799 cases, including 33,886 deaths; followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh.

According to the data from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), India conducted 11,56,569 sample tests in a single day on Wednesday, taking the total number of samples tested so far to 6,74,36,031.

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Health Minister snubs AIIMS director’s prediction on Covid peak

New Delhi: In what appears to be a snub to the prediction made by AIIMS Director Dr Randeep Guleria regarding COVID pandemic peak in the country, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said its “difficult” to make an assumption about “future scenarios of the disease”.

The Health Minister, in an exclusive interview with IANS, said that given the heterogeneous mathematical modeling based on varied assumptions and less information available about the virus, it was extremely difficult to make accurate predictions about future scenarios of the disease.

To a query by the IANS on when to expect the curve to flatten since AIIMS Director Guleria has said that the situation may worsen in the next two months, Harsh Vardhan clarified, “Right now, we have a steady curve. It has never shown any exponential rise.”

This seemingly public disagreement with Guleria is manifestation of the government’s apparent unhappiness with the AIIMS chief’s comment that sparked off fear psychosis amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in India.

The Minister added, “We are now trying to bend the curve downwards. The trajectory of the outbreak is decided by a number of factors such as pathogenicity and transmissibility of virus; availability of specific treatment or vaccine; as well as collective performance of all public health interventions undertaken to contain the outbreak such as testing and early case detection, isolation, quarantine, contact-tracing, optimum care of cases and surveillance.”

The Minister also said that COVID-19 is a new disease and the behaviour of this virus in the evolving outbreak is “unknown”. “We have isolated the virus and our scientists and epidemiologists are studying it with the help of gene sequencing. Not much data about the virus and the disease is available at the moment,” he said.

Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) Director Dr Guleria on May 7 had said, “National and international both experts are analysing the data. Most of them have guessed that India will most likely see the peak in June or July.”

194 deaths in single day, India reports 1.58 lakh cases

New Delhi: With 6,566 new cases and 194 new deaths India’s total tally of COVID-19 reached 1,58,333 on Thursday, the Health Ministry data revealed. This is the second highest number of deaths reported in 24 hours, it was on May 5 when India had reported 195 deaths in a day.

Of the total cases at least 86,110 are active cases and 4,531 people lost their lives while a total of 67,691 people have recovered taking the recovery rate to 42.75 per cent. The deaths rate hovers at 2.86 per cent which was 2.85 per cent on Wednesday. India continues to maintain the plateau of over 6,000 cases per day.

Maharashtra’s position remained the same with the highest number of total cases — 56,948 — which is 35.96 per cent of the total number of cases in the country, followed by Tamil Nadu with 18,545 cases and Delhi with 15,257 cases. The national capital surpassed Gujarat’s total cases which was the third worst hit state till now. The state of Gujarat reported 15,195 cases.

The infection is witnessing a surge in Bihar (3,061) and Uttar Pradesh (6,991) mostly due to the migrant exodus from urban areas to rural one in these states.

According to ICMR a total of 33,62,136 samples have been tested so far and 1,19,976 samples in a day.

On the world front, there over 5.7 million cases of novel coronavirus and more than 3 lakh deaths have been reported. India is few cases behind Turkey (1,59,797) which is the 9th worst hit country Globally from the pandemic. India has already surpassed Iran and China in terms of total cases and is the tenth worst hit country due to the pandemic worldwide.

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