The Digital India campaign has helped save Rs 2.25 lakh crore from falling into the wrong hands in the past eight years, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar Monday. The campaign has also helped to eliminate middle-men, he said while inaugurating “Digital India Week 2022” and a Digital Expo at Mahatma Mandir in the city.“The transparency that has come due to Digital India has eliminated corruption at various levels adversely affecting the poor and the middle class. We have seen that period when it was difficult to get a service without paying a bribe. Digital India has saved money for the common man… ending the network of middle-men,” said PM Modi while speaking on the seventh anniversary of launching the “Digital India” campaign, a flagship programme of the Central government.“In the last eight years, more than Rs 23 lakh crore has been transferred through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) to beneficiaries. Due to this technology, almost Rs 2.25 lakh crore that would have landed in the wrong hands have been saved,” he added. He said the trio of Jan Dhan, Mobile and Aadhaar, or JAM, have “provided maximum benefit to the poor and the middle class”. The Digital India campaign has also helped eliminate “queues” in the country.“It will touch your hearts to know how Digital India helped missing children reconnect with their parents,” he said as he narrated the story of a young girl from Uttar Pradesh who got lost on a railway platform when was six years old. “She was not able to tell her address or anything about her parents whereabouts. She had an Aadhaar card already registered in her name. Using this data, her parents were found,” said Modi, adding that the girl was reunited with her parents at age of 14 using the Aadhaar data. “Similarly, more than 500 children from different places have been reunited with their parents using this technology.”Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar were also present at the event where PM Modi launched a host of digital platforms and services, including Indiastack.global, myscheme, Meri Pehchan, Digital India Bhashini, Digital India Genesis, Chips to Start-ups and an e-book.The Prime Minister said it was Digital India that helped the government tackle the crisis arising out of Covid pandemic. “CoWin and Aarogya Setu are two mobile applications that helped provide 200 crore vaccine doses. The world is still debating how to generate vaccine certificates and in India, the certificate is available immediately after a vaccine dose is taken,” he said, adding that his critics are stuck at why the vaccine certificates carryModi’s photograph.PM Modi also mentioned how GIFT City was emerging as a fintech hub. He said India’s Unified Payment Interface (UPI) has been appreciated by the World Bank and others. “Just in May this year, India conducted 1.3 lakh UPI transactions every minute. In other words, 2200 transactions were conducted every second. Be it developed countries or those who cannot invest in such technology, India’s digital product—UPI—is the centre of attraction. We have scale in our digital solutions. They are secure and have democratic values,” he added.Digital India has also helped bridge the digital divide that exists between rural and urban India, the Prime Minister said. Talking about his recent visit to Dahod (a tribal area in Gujarat), PM Modi said he met a divyang couple who were operating a common service centre (CSC). “The couple met me. They told me that their average income was Rs 28,000 as people in the village come to his centre to avail the services. See the strength of digital India.”Pointing out that Gujarat was the first state in the country to have a State Data Centre, Gujarat State Wide Area Network, e-gram centres and ATVT (Aapno Taluko Vibrant Taluko) scheme, PM Modi said the “experiences in Gujarat” have helped in using technology for governance after 2014. “Thank you, Gujarat. These experiences are the foundation of Digital India,” he added.Sharing a personal experience from the Gujarat Assembly in 2005, Modi narrated how he wanted to introduce widow pensions through post-offices. Pointing out that there was opposition for the move, Modi said, “They were not worried about the widows. When photos and identity documents of widows were submitted, you will be surprised to know that there were many fake accounts in the name of widows that were drawing pensions.”
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat reported 419 Covid-19 cases and one death on Monday, which took the tally to 12,34,117 and the toll to 10,948, a state health department official said. So far, 12,19,657 persons have recovered, including 454 during the day, leaving the state with an active caseload of 3,512, he added. The official said Ahmedabad reported 155 new cases, Surat 96, Vadodara 40, Mehsana 19 and Bhavnagar 17, among other districts, while the lone death took place in Mehsana. A government release said 43,981 persons got vaccine jabs on Monday, which took the overall number of doses administered in the state to 11.15 crore. The adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu has 13 active cases, a local official said.
AHMEDABAD: The city on Sunday recorded 203 new Covid positive cases, an 11.4% drop compared to 229 on Saturday. For Gujarat, the drop was 21.4% — from 580 on Saturday to 456 on Sunday. Other cases included 86 from Surat city, 38 from Vadodara city, 13 each from Bhavnagar city, Kutch, Mehsana, Navsari, 12 from Valsad, 11 from Surat, and 10 from Gandhinagar city. With the discharge of 156 patients, the active cases in Ahmedabad reached 1,536, whereas for Gujarat the figure was 3,548. Out of 33 districts, four have zero active cases, whereas seven have more than 100 active cases. Most of the cases are concentrated in the urban areas primarily with higher testing. In the past 24 hours, Gujarat vaccinated 937 persons for the first dose and 4,423 for the second. In all, 5.41 crore were administered the first and 5.34 crore, the second dose of Covid vaccine. The state administered booster doses to 7,012 persons, taking the total to 40.94 lakh.
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat on Sunday reported 456 Covid-19 cases, which took the tally to 12,33,698, while the death toll remained unchanged at 10,947, a state health department official said. The recovery count increased by 386 during the day and reached 12,19,203, leaving the state with an active caseload of 13,548, he added. He said Ahmedabad led with 207 cases, followed by 97 in Surat, 41 in Vadodara, 15 Bhavnagar, among other districts. A government release said 11.15 crore Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Gujarat so far, including 12,372 on Sunday. Two new Covid-19 cases were reported in the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, raising its tally of active cases to seven, local officials said. Gujarat's Covid-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 12,33,698, new cases 456, death toll 10,947, discharged 12,19,203, active cases 3,548, people tested so far - figures not released.
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.
AHMEDABAD: The active Covid-19 cases in Gujarat rose to 3,042 after 126 days or more than four months on Thursday with 547 new cases and 419 discharges being recorded across the state. Ahmedabad accounted for 43% of the active case tally with 1,318 cases. The city recorded 222 fresh cases and the discharge of 184 patients. According to the state health department, 82 cases were reported from Surat city, 46 from Vadodara city, 22 from Valsad, 18 each from Mehsana and Navsari, and 16 from Gandhinagar city.
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).
AHMEDABAD: The daily Covid cases continued downward journey in the city and the state. On Monday, the city recorded 150 new cases compared to 203 on Sunday, a drop of 26%. For Gujarat, the drop was 8% from 456 to 419. It was after 37 days for Ahmedabad and 42 days for Gujarat that the discharges of the patients were higher than the new cases, thereby reducing the active cases. Ahmedabad had 1,525 active cases and Gujarat 3,512. The state also recorded death of an active case in Mehsana, taking the death toll to 10,948. Other cities recorded almost similar cases compared to Sunday — Surat recorded 87, Vadodara 28, Bhavnagar 16, and Gandhinagar 10. Gujarat in 24 hours administered 8,391 first doses of Covid vaccine.
VISAKHAPATNAM: Andhra Pradesh has so far administered about 48.4 lakh Covid-19 vaccine booster doses - the highest for any state/Union Territory in the country. Gujarat is the only other state to touch the 40-lakh precaution dose mark. Five other states, including West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, have crossed the 30-lakh mark. As many as 11 states/UT are yet to inoculate even one lakh population with the third shot. The Union government rolled out the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine for the elderly and frontline respondents on January 10 as a matter of precaution amid the then looming threat of Omicron-fuelled third wave. The booster dose net was later expanded to the 18-60 age group on April 10. But there is a world of difference in terms of response for the vaccination between these two cohorts due to varied reasons. Of the 48.4 lakh people who have been inoculated with booster doses, 48.2 lakh recipients belong to the 60+ or frontline worker category. The 18-60 group accounts for only some 19,000 shots. While the booster doses for the 60+ and frontline workers are being provided at public vaccination centres at free of cost, the recipients in the 18-60 group have to pay out of pocket. The precaution dose for the second group is administered only at the private centres. Apart from the pricing and availability factors, the significantly improved Covid-19 conditions may have set in the booster dose complacency for the younger cohort. Meanwhile, the daily Covid-19 cases continue to increase in the state. The state recorded 289 new cases on Monday, taking the cumulative caseload to 23,22,245. This is the highest one-day case total in at least the last 130 days. The active caseload currently stands at 1,232. Districts like Visakhapatnam, Chittoor and Guntur are recording over 15% positivity rate. This means that at least 15 people are being tested positive for the pandemic disease out of every 100 tests being carried out in these districts. Of the 13 (combined) districts, 10 districts have recorded over 5% case positivity rate between June 27 and July 3. Director, Visakha Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr K Rambabu said there are clear signs of resurgence of the disease in Andhra Pradesh. “Even though there is no need to panic about it, people should practise all the Covid-19 protocols. The eligible people should immediately complete their booster dose schedule,” said Dr Rambabu.
GANDHINAGAR: Speaking perhaps for the first time on the issue, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday said at a time when the entire world was discussing how India was able to give certificates to citizens soon after they were vaccinated against Covid-19, there were some people who were just focusing on why his photograph appeared on these documents. Speaking at the inaugural function of the Digital India Week 2022 at Gandhinagar, Modi said India's digital-driven Covid-19 vaccination programme (CoWin served as technology platform for the humongous inoculation exercise) received world-wide praise. "The world is amazed at the way record of each dose of vaccine given to such a large population was made available. People elsewhere faced trouble in getting vaccine certificates. But in India, once a person got a vaccine dose, he would immediately receive the certificate on his mobile phone," Modi stated. "The world is discussing how we managed to give Covid-19 vaccination certificates to people just after they got jabbed, but a few people here (in India) were just focused on why there was Modi's photo on these certificates," the PM said to the amusement of many in the audience. Critics have widely slammed the BJP-led NDA government for the prime minister's photo on Covid-19 certificates. Asserting that India is leading the way in the fourth industrial revolution and the massive digital push in the country is driving India's growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched seven portals to further enhance availability of various schemes more easily to people. The PM said the role of digital technology has drastically changed the lives of people of the country and India has eliminated all queues by going online. Digital technology has changed lives, eliminated queues Eght to 10 years ago, we had to stand in lines (queues) for everything. We had to stand in line for birth certificates, to pay bills, for ration, for admission, for exam results, for certificates, in banks. We used to stand in so many lines. India has eliminated all lines by going online," he said. The central government's flagship programme Digital India has given relief to the poor from corruption and it is working for elimination of middlemen in all fields, Modi said at the event. The PM said that India is guiding the world in the fourth industrial revolution. "As time passes, if a country does not adopt modern technology, time moves ahead leaving it behind. We can proudly say that today India is guiding the world in Industry 4.0." the PM stated. To further enhance availability of various services, the PM launched seven portals namely IndiaStackGlobal, a repository of projects implemented under GlobalStack, MyScheme - a service discovery platform facilitating access to government schemes, MeriPehchaan - a national-single-sign-on to access multiple online applications, Digital India Bhashini - a portal to avail various schemes and services in regional languages, Digital India Genesis - a portal to provide plug-and-play services to start-ups, Chip to Start-Ups - a portal for promoting chips and semiconductor entrepreneurship and Digital E-book - a compilation of all schemes being promoted under the Digital India campaign. Regarding the popularity of Unified Payments Interface (UPI), Modi said even small traders and hawkers on the street use the system and it has become a great success among people. In this context, he referred to a beggar in Bihar who was seen giving people options to pay him alms via digital mode with a QR code placard hanging around his neck. UPI is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. "Earlier, digital payment by card swapping facilities were available in a few big stores. But now I am told that even a beggar in Bihar has taken his QR code and accepts digital money," he said. The PM recalled the opposition meted out to the digital payment system being pushed by his government faced in Parliament. "When we introduced this scheme in Parliament one ex-finance minister raised many issues with it. He said 'people do not have mobile phones, how will they use them'. He is highly learned. The problem with highly learned people is that they make a lot of analysis," Modi said in a veiled reference to former finance minister and Congress leader PK Chidambaram. Unveiling ambitious plans for the electronics manufacturing sector, the PM said, "Today, India is working on the target of taking electronics manufacturing to more than $ 300 billion in the next three or four years. India wants to become a chip maker from a chip taker. Investment is rapidly increasing in India to increase production of semiconductors".
AHMEDABAD: For the city and state, the active cases of Covid are at a four-month high. However, the rise in the cases has had no major bearing over Covid vaccination. The statistics indicated that in one week, the booster dose jabs dropped by 21%, whereas the first doses have increased by 14%. In fact, the booster doses are at a three-week low at 1.41 lakh with approximately 20,000 doses administered daily. "Primary reason for the reluctance to take the third dose is lack of fear. After the second wave, the citizens were concerned about their well-being, and thus we saw huge queues last year. With the first and second doses completing nearly 100% coverage of the adult population, this year's spike is relatively milder and hospitalization is rare," said a city-based physician. "The pandemic has taken the form of an endemic with symptoms like body ache, weakness, low-grade fever with occasional complaint of cold." Cost is another factor, as 90% of the booster doses out of 40 lakh were administered by the government set-up to the healthcare workers, frontline workers and senior citizens. There are still fewer takers for the paid jab, said health department officials. Analysis of the booster doses trend also threw an interesting trend - Banaskantha district had higher booster dose recipients than Surat and Vadodara cities. Likewise, many districts overtook Rajkot city in getting the third jab as the city reached 1 lakh booster doses recently.
Appeasement politics practised by governments led by opposition parties has led to communalism and radicalisation in the country, said Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah on Sunday. India will move forward to become “Vishwa Guru” when the politics of appeasement, dynasty and casteism ends in the country, he said.On the concluding day of the BJP national executive meeting, Shah, who moved the political resolution setting the target for the upcoming elections, said the coming “30-40 years will be the era of the BJP”, which is focused on “politics of development and performance”.Shah began his address highlighting the recent Supreme Court verdict on Gujarat that agreed with the findings of the Special Investigation Team appointed by it that there was no “larger conspiracy” behind the 2002 Gujarat riots, endorsing the clean chit to Narendra Modi, who was then the state’s chief minister, and others in cases related to the riots.“Amit Shahji has drawn the attention of the leaders to the historic judgment by the Supreme Court on Gujarat. He said whatever allegations were on the PM have been proved wrong. The judgment has exposed the conspiracies of ideological-oriented mediapersons and NGOs. Throughout the years he (Modi) has maintained silence, like Lord Neelkantha (Lord Shiva)…, he too swallowed poison and kept it in his throat,” Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, briefing the media about the political resolution. “The Home Minister said he (Modi) did not make a political drama like a certain leader did when he was called for questioning by an investigation agency.”Both Sarma and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai seconded the resolution. While Sharma referred to the BJP’s achievements and focus on the Northeast, Bommai elaborated on the political developments in the southern states.“He spoke about the rising fundamentalists and their organisation. Congress does caste politics and for them there is jaati within jaati. But the BJP will soon have a breakthrough in the south. Next growth area of the BJP will come from the south,” Sarma said, adding that the BJP will come to power in the southern states, including in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, as well as in the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha.Quoting Shah, Sarma said the Union Home Minister referred to the Northeast region and how Modi has initiated developments there. Asked about the delay in signing of the Naga peace accord, Sarma said: “By 2024, there will be no fault line. All issues will be resolved.”In his address, Shah said the Congress has “Modi phobia” and is opposed to everything – surgical strike, triple talaq, Yoga Day, Ram Mandir and even the Covid vaccination. “They opposed every policy that were initiated by this government for the poor,” Sarma said.“The Congress is a party of a family. There were demands for internal elections but they are not doing it,” Sarma said, adding that the BJP “considers politics as a way to serve people”.Asked if the political resolution discussions referred to suspended party spokesperson Nupur Sharma’s comments on the Prophet and the violent protests against it or the Udaipur and Amaravati killings, Sarma said Shah reiterated that violence in politics should not be there and that he “spoke about fundamentalism and appeasement”.Shah lauded Prime Minister Modi for choosing a Dalit as the President in 2017 and a tribal woman candidate for the July 18 presidential election. Shah also referred to the Agnipath recruitment scheme, appointment of Chief of Defence Staff, banning the import of 340 defence items and abrogation of 370 among others as the Modi government’s achievements.
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.
Gandhinagar: State health minister Rushikesh Patel tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday. Sources said Patel is not showing any serious symptoms and is recuperating at his official residence. Patel had tested positive for Covid-19 earlier as well.The city again recorded 100-plus daily cases at 106 after a day’s gap on Tuesday, accounting for 47% of the state’s daily tally of 226. With the discharge of 90 patients, there were 787 active cases in the city. In Gujarat, 163 patients were discharged in 24 hours as active cases reached 1,524, crossing the 1,500 mark for the first time after March 1.Other cases included 37 in Surat city, 22 in Vadodara city, seven in Gandhinagar city, six in Vadodara city, and five each in Rajkot city, Kutch, Mehsana and Valsad districts among others. Only nine of the 33 districts have zero active cases in the state. Two patients were on ventilators.In the past 24 hours, Gujarat vaccinated 7,281 persons for the first dose of Covid vaccine and 21,177 for the second. In all, 5.4 crore individuals were administered the first dose and 5.31 crore the second. The state administered booster doses to 27,126 persons, taking the total to 38.32 lakh.
The District Education Officer (DEO) in Rajkot on Monday issued an advisory to secondary and higher secondary schools in the district, asking students to wear masks and follow other safety protocols with an increase in Covid-19 cases.Interacting with media persons, DEO BS Kaila said that his office has advised schools to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) vis-à-vis Covid-19 pandemic from Tuesday.“The number of Covid-19 cases are rising in Rajkot and the entire Gujarat. Keeping the safety of children in mind, we have instructed all secondary and higher secondary schools to ensure that students come to school wearing face-masks and teachers also follow SOPs (related to Covid-19). We have also instructed them to ask parents not to send children to school if they are ill,” Kaila said, adding SOPs include facilities for hand-sanitisation and maintaining social distancing while gathering in large numbers.Underlining that state government or local authorities have not officially removed Covid-19 appropriate behaviour norms, the DEO said, “The SOPs issued earlier are very much in force. But people started taking them lightly as the cases of Covid-19 went down. Now, we have instructed schools to adhere to them strictly.”There are around 890 secondary and higher secondary schools in the district. Talking to The Indian Express later, the DEO said that his office issued these instructions in the form of advisory through WhatsApp groups.“These instructions are not in the form of any formal official circulars but advisory in nature so that schools take precautionary measures as children have started going back to schools after the summer vacation,” said Kaila.The DEO said that his decision was prompted by a rising trend in the daily fresh infections of Covid-19 in the state. “The number of daily new cases has been rising now… Yesterday, the state reported 244 new cases and I noted that many of those who contracted the virus were young. Therefore, we thought it was necessary to convey it to schools to take precautionary measures and go for vaccination,” said Kaila.Schools across the state reopened last week after the month-long summer vacation. Rajkot city reported 10 fresh cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, a bulletin from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) said on Monday, adding that a total 1,390 samples were tested during the day. However, no new infection was reported till noon on Monday.At present, Rajkot has 49 active cases and 1,857 tests were held in the rural and city jurisdictions on June 19. After the abatement of the third wave by mid-March, the district infrequently reported fewer than five Covid cases a day, with most days since mid-March seeing no new cases.However, since June 2, the district has been reporting new cases daily, with as many as 13 cases reported on June 15 and 12 cases on June 16. On June 19, the district reported 10 cases and on June 20, four cases.
Sickle cell disease, a blood disorder, remains a public health challenge in India, which is estimated to have the second highest burden after Nigeria. “There is an urgent need to notify sickle cell disease,” says Gautam Dongre, Secretary, National Alliance of Sickle Cell Organisations (NASCO).“SCD as a condition is often misdiagnosed as any other blood disorder. This delays treatment. Moreover, in urban settings, there is a lack of awareness about this condition. In remote areas, the lack of proper medical infrastructure and knowledge of the healthcare workforce make timely detection, screening and treatment a challenge,” he adds.The most common drug is Hydroxyurea, which effectively manages and minimises pain. In some cases, patients also require blood transfusions and hospitalisation. Stem cell transplants are the closest to a cure for this condition. However, this comes with its own set of challenges. Therefore, as Dongre emphasises, there is a need for a better understanding of the disease and identifying and developing innovative solutions that would help overcome some of the challenges with the existing options.Nagpur-based Dongre, who has been a Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) carrier and father to two children with the condition, says timely detection and treatment are crucial for disease management. He has been stepping up awareness about the disease via webinars and Youtube videos that provide testimonies of patients suffering from SCD.With around 18 million people with sickle cell traits and 1.4 million patients with sickle cell disease, India is expected to have the second-highest numbers in the world. Maharashtra is one of the 14 states in India that accounts for a large concentration of tribal groups, who are as vulnerable as Scheduled Castes and OBCs. SCD has a high prevalence in the eastern districts of Maharashtra, which include the Vidarbha region, Satpura ranges and a few districts of the Marathwada region.A few states in India have a significantly higher SCD prevalence: Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Odisha, Kerala and Rajasthan. Collectively, these are referred to as the sickle cell belt. Although more common among tribal communities, the disease is gradually finding its way across the country due to migration and intermarriages, according to Dongre.SCD requires a comprehensive model of care that includes timely and accurate treatment along with intense programmes for pre-marital, prenatal, and new-born screening besides administering Pneumococcal vaccination to adult patients.
Gujarat on Tuesday recorded 165 new cases of Covid-19 with 90 of these cases being reported from Ahmedabad city, the highest number reported in the city since the last week of February.With the 90 new cases recorded in Ahmedabad in the last 24 hours, the city accounts for over 500 active cases of the total 920 active cases across the state.Apart from Ahmedabad city, cities of Vadodara, Surat, Gandhinagar, Bhavnagar too are seeing a slight increase in daily cases, with the four cities reporting a total of 47 new cases, and Vadodara reporting 19 cases.Meanwhile, Gujarat has seen a dismal coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine’s booster dose among its population. After covering 5.40 crore of the population with the first dose and 5.29 crore with the second dose, only 36 lakh-odd doses of the booster has been administered among the state’s population so far.
AHMEDABAD: With city recording 79 new positive cases on Sunday the rise in Covid cases continued. It was 56% of the state's total tally of 140. On Friday and Saturday, the city had recorded 83 and 80 cases respectively. With discharge of 42 patients, the active cases in city reached 436. It was 56% of the state's total active cases at 778. None of the active cases were on ventilator, according to the state health department. Other cases in Gujarat included 21 in Vadodara city, 11 in Surat city, 5 in Gandhinagar, 4 in Mehsana, 3 each in Rajkot city, Kutch and Sabarkantha districts among others. With the update, 10 out of 33 districts of Gujarat have zero active cases. Gujarat in 24 hours vaccinated 129 persons for the first dose and 1,566 for the second. In all, 5.4 crore people were administered first and 5.29 crore people second dose of Covid vaccine. The state administered booster doses to 4,984 persons, taking total to 36.06 lakh.
NEW DELHI: India recorded a single-day rise of over 8,000 fresh Covid-19 cases after 103 days, pushing the infection tally to 4,32,13,435, while the count of active cases jumped to 40,370, according to Union health ministry data on Saturday. A total of 8,329 new coronavirus cases were reported in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll due to the disease has climbed to 5,24,757, with 10 fatalities being recorded, the data updated at 9 am showed. The active cases now comprise 0.09 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.69 per cent, the ministry said. An increase of 4,103 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours, the data showed. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 2.41 per cent and the weekly positivity rate at 1.75 per cent, according to the health ministry. The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 4,26,48,308, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 per cent. The cumulative number of doses administered in the country so far under the nationwide Covid-19 vaccination drive has exceeded 194.92 crore. Ten new fatalities due to the disease were recorded in the country — five from Kerala, two from Delhi and one each from Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. (With agency inputs)
AHMEDABAD: The daily Covid cases increased unabated on fifth consecutive day in the city with the daily tally reaching 83. On Thursday, the city had recorded 62 new Covid cases. Thus, it was 33% spike in the daily cases for the city. For Gujarat, too, the climb continued with 143. With discharge of 51 patients, the state’s active cases crossed 600 at 608. It was the highest since March 10 or for three months. The other cases included 14 from Vadodara city, 10 from Gandhinagar city, 9 from Surat city, 8 from Rajkot city, 4 from Vadodara, and 3 each from Jamnagar city, Ahmedabad and Mehsana districts. Out of 33 districts, only 10 have zero active cases with the update. None of the active patients were on ventilator. The state health department officials said that the steps including tracing and testing and cluster monitoring has been initiated in Ahmedabad and Vadodara where the concentration of active cases is higher. Gujarat in 24 hours administered 59,719 doses of Covid vaccine - 21,156 for 18 years plus, 4,687 second doses for 12-14 years, and 30,092 precaution doses.
AHMEDABAD: The march of Covid cases continued in the city with 48 new cases recorded in the past 24 hours, averaging one new case every 30 minutes. This was a 97-day high for the city. With Ahmedabad district's two cases, Ahmedabad accounted for 45% of the state's tally. Gujarat crossed the 100 cases mark after 97 days, at 111. The other cases included 25 from Vadodara city, eight from Surat city, seveb from Rajkot city, five from Gandhinagar city and Valsad among others. Now, only 12 districts of 33 in Gujarat have zero active Covid cases. With discharge of 23 patients in Ahmedabad, the active cases reached 245, whereas the number of active cases in Gujarat was 445. No patient is on a ventilator, said state health department officials. "The spike in cases in Ahmedabad is partially due to public events and almost no regard for rules such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. The next few days will be crucial to ensure that we don't see another spike. The need of the hour is to increase testing and keep an eye on the public events," said an epidemiologist.
AHMEDABAD: The city continued to record high daily cases of Covid with 44 positive cases on Tuesday, the highest in the past 96 days. At 72, it was 95-day high tally for Gujarat, too. The active cases in Gujarat reached 363 with discharge of 53 patients. In Ahmedabad, the tally reached 218. The other cases included 7 each in Surat and Vadodara cities, 3 in Rajkot city, 2 each in Aravalli and Valsad, and 1 each in Gandhinagar city, Anand, Banaskantha, Gir Somnath, Mehsana, Rajkot and Sabarkantha districts. With the update, only 12 districts out of 33 in Gujarat have zero active cases. None of the active cases were on ventilator, said state health department officials. Gujarat in 24 hours vaccinated 1,520 persons for the first dose and 22,665 for the second. In all, 5.39 crore are administered first and 5.28 crore second dose of Covid vaccine. The state administered booster doses to 19,673 persons, taking total to 34.88 lakh.
AHMEDABAD: From 79 new Covid cases on Sunday, the number of cases on Monday fell to 57, a 28% decline. Gujarat had also recorded a 21% dip from 140 cases on Sunday to 111 on Monday. The number of active cases in Ahmedabad reached 462, while it was 832 for Gujarat. The city thus accounts for 55% of the state’s caseload. The cases included 20 from Vadodara city, six from Gandhinagar city, five each from Rajkot city and Gandhinagar, and four from Surat city. Of the 33 districts, only 10 have no active cases. The state administered 28,679 doses of Covid vaccine on Monday, including 1,216 first doses and 17,292 precaution doses. In all, the state has so far administered 11.05 crore doses. “Case numbers are still higher than a fortnight ago. The silver lining is that hospitalization is nearly zero. The next few days will remain crucial in terms of the direction the pandemic takes,” said a city-based epidemiologist.
Days after cancelling three shows in his world tour, Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber Saturday (June 11) announced he was suffering from temporary facial paralysis. He said he had to cancel his tour dates as he was “physically, obviously not capable of doing them.”In an Instagram video, Bieber revealed he has been diagnosed with a condition called ‘Ramsay Hunt Syndrome’, which has fully paralysed the right side of his face.“As you can see, this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face… So there’s full paralysis on this side of my face,” he said. A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)//www.instagram.com/embed.jsWhat is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, or herpes zoster oticus, is a rare neurological disorder which usually leads to paralysis of the facial nerve and a rash that generally affects the ear or mouth. It sometimes causes ringing in the ears, or tinnitus, and hearing loss.“It is from this virus that attacks the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has caused my face to have paralysis,” Bieber said in his video.The condition is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox in children and shingles in adults — the varicella zoster virus. It generally occurs when a shingles outbreak affects the facial nerve near your ear. Most commonly known to leave a painful shingles rash, the syndrome can also cause facial paralysis and hearing loss in more serious cases.The illness can occur in anyone who has had chickenpox, and is most common in older adults, particularly people over 60. Generally with chickenpox, the virus continues to live in your nerves. Years later, it may reactivate and affect your facial nerves, resulting in Ramsay Hunt Syndrome.Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inboxAccording to a report in The New York Times, only about five to 10 out of every 100,000 people will develop Ramsay Hunt Syndrome each year.What are the symptoms of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome?The most common symptoms are a red, rainfall rash around the ear, facial weakness and paralysis.Ear pain, hearing loss, tinnitus, dry mouth and eyes, and difficulty closing one eye are also common symptoms of the condition.Is Ramsay Hunt Syndrome contagious?No, but reactivation of the virus can cause a bout of chickenpox in people who haven’t previously had the illness or been vaccinated for it.Can Ramsay Hunt Syndrome be treated?While the illness almost always goes away, in rare instances, facial paralysis and hearing loss can be permanent, doctors told The New York Times.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨People suffering from Ramsay Hunt are generally prescribed anti-viral medication and in more serious cases, steroids.In his Instagram post, Bieber said that he was practicing facial exercises.Is there a Covid-19 connection?Some studies have suggested that there may be links between the Covid-19 vaccine and the Ramsay Hunt Syndrome. A study conducted by the Graduate Medical Education, Gujarat Adani Institute of Medical Sciences, stated that there “may be a possible association between Covid-19 vaccine and shingles.”Another study conducted by a team from the Department of Neurosurgery, Tulane Center for Clinical Neurosciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, claimed that vaccine related herpes zoster cases have been reported worldwide.
It’s Saturday!Get your weekend started with the top 5 stories from today’s edition: The 2022 Rajya Sabha Elections results; protests break out across the country over Nupur Sharma’s comments; weekend web series recommendations; what’s behind India’s Environmental Performance Index rating? and more.1) Voting for 16 vacant seats in Rajya Sabha in four states — Rajasthan, Haryana, Karnataka and Maharashtra — concluded at 4 pm on Friday. The high-stakes battle turned out to be a nail-biting affair with the Congress and BJP trading charges, even approaching the Election Commission. Here’s what happened:🔴In Karnataka, BJP candidates Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, actor-politician Jaggesh and MLC Lehar Singh Siroya won three RS seats for the party, Jairam Ramesh clinched one for Congress while JD(S) drew blank. 🔴The Congress hit a home run in Rajasthan, bagging three seats while the BJP won the remaining one. 🔴The BJP’s Krishan Lal Panwar and Independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma, backed by the saffron party and its ally JJP, have won the two Rajya Sabha seats from Haryana, officials said early Saturday🔴In a major setback for the Uddhav Thackeray led government in Maharashtra, the BJP and ruling MVA alliance won three seats each. 🔴Counting delays: The counting of votes in Maharashtra and Haryana was delayed with rival parties trading charges.2) One person was killed, curfews were imposed, internet services were suspended and hundreds were arrested as protests broke out across the country against derogatory references to the Prophet made by former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal.While demonstrations in Delhi and parts of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra remained peaceful, protests turned violent in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj and West Bengal’s Howrah. A 15-minute demonstration was held at Jama Masjid in New Delhi, where hundreds gathered after Friday namaz before being dispersed by the police. In Jharkhand’s Ranchi, after a protest march turned violent, the police resorted to firing in the air to disperse the crowd. One person died of a bullet injury, while a few other police personnel and protestors were injured. Police sources said the situation escalated after a vehicle ploughed into a group of protesters. Police are also investigating how the bullet injury was caused, the sources said.The West Bengal government temporarily suspended internet services in the rural parts of Howrah district to rein in the unrest which continued in some pockets of the district for the second consecutive day. The protestors clashed with the police and set kiosks and vehicles on fire.Meanwhile, the UP Police said that a total of 136 people were arrested over the protests, including 45 in Saharanpur, 37 in Prayagraj, 23 in Ambedkarnagar, 20 in Hathras, seven in Moradabad and four in Firozabad.3) In our opinion section today, ICSSR Senior Fellow in Diaspora Studies, KM Seethi, explains why India must do everything it can to protect its ties with nations in the Islamic world. He writes: “Even as the South Block’s engagements with the Muslim countries continue — with damage-control exercises at different levels — there are countermoves to browbeat the Islamic world. Obviously, the ruling party is aware of the implications of this move for the upcoming elections in some states, besides the 2024 general elections. Hence, the party is likely to follow a carrot and stick policy on crucial political issues.”4) India doesn’t seem to be faring well as far as environmental health is concerned, according to the recently-released Environmental Performance Index (EPI) 2022, measured by Yale and Columbia universities, which ranked the country at the bottom position among 180 countries. The Environment Ministry has issued a rebuttal saying the indicators used in the assessment are based on “unfounded assumptions”.What is the index? How poor is the EPI assessment of India? What objections has India raised? We explain. 5) 📺 What to watch this weekendThis week, Shubhra Gupta reviews the Sonali Bendre and Jaideep Ahlawat starrer ‘The Broken News’: “Just in case the web series is deemed ‘too real’, lots of highly-dramatised elements are bunged in, which keep the series sliding into filmi territory. ‘The Broken News’ comes off more like a crime thriller than what it promises at the outset – an exploration of how TV news is shaping everyday discourse in the country, and how news is not just broken on TV, news TV itself is broken.”The Express Saturday QuizThe agriculture ministry on Thursday unveiled India’s first Covid-19 vaccine for animals. An inactivated vaccine developed using an infectious part of the Delta variant, it can be used in dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits. What is the vaccine called? (🤫 Pssst… the answer is in today’s edition of The Indian Express. Get it here)Until next time, Rahel Philipose
Ahmedabad: The daily Covid cases increased unabated on fifth consecutive day in the city with the daily tally reaching 83. On Thursday, the city had recorded 62 new Covid cases. Thus, it was 33% spike in the daily cases for the city.For Gujarat, too, the climb continued with 143. With discharge of 51 patients, the state’s active cases crossed 600 at 608. It was the highest since March 10 or for three months.The other cases included 14 from Vadodara city, 10 from Gandhinagar city, 9 from Surat city, 8 from Rajkot city, 4 from Vadodara, and 3 each from Jamnagar city, Ahmedabad and Mehsana districts. Out of 33 districts, only 10 have zero active cases with the update. None of the active patients were on ventilator.The state health department officials said that the steps including tracing and testing and cluster monitoring has been initiated in Ahmedabad and Vadodara where the concentration of active cases is higher.Gujarat in 24 hours administered 59,719 doses of Covid vaccine - 21,156 for 18 years plus, 4,687 second doses for 12-14 years, and 30,092 precaution doses.
An FIR was registered by the Special Cell on May 28 based on a complaint by a resident of Delhi’s Mehrauli who was allegedly being extorted after he applied for a “3rd Covid dose vaccine loan”, officers said. The FIR was filed under sections 420 (cheating), 384, (extortion), 468 (forgery for cheating), 471 (using forged document) of the Indian Penal Code.The complainant, Rohan Kapoor, had received an SMS informing him about a “3rd Covid dose vaccine loan” and a link to check eligibility. When he clicked the link, a loan app was allegedly installed in his phone and it gained access to his gallery and contacts. The complainant also uploaded his PAN and Aadhaar details on the app.According to the complainant, four days after he got the loan of Rs 4,200, he allegedly began to receive threat calls demanding thrice the loan amount. He was allegedly told that morphed nude images of him would be sent to his contacts and some of his contacts even received such images. The calls continued even after the complainant allegedly paid the amount back. The complainant said the calls allegedly appeared to originate from places like Malaysia, New York and Gujarat.In the course of investigating the fraudulent app via the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal, as many as 45 other complaints were found registered against the app, officers said.
AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday attacked the Congress, saying that those who were in power for a long time in the country, never took interest in the development of tribal areas as it requires hard work. He said he does not initiate development work for the sake of votes or to win elections, but he does it to improve the quality of people's lives. "Those who ruled the country for a long time, never took interest in the development of tribal areas as it requires hard work," Modi said at Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan rally after inaugurating and laying the foundation stone of projects worth Rs 3,050 crore at Khudvel, a tribal region in Navsari district. "Earlier, it used to take months for campaigns, such as vaccination, to reach forest areas where tribals reside, but now they are implemented in those pockets simultaneously along with urban areas," he said. The prime minister asked the people present at the rally if they have received anti-coronavirus vaccine doses free of cost or not, to which they replied in the affirmative. Modi said that speedy development in Gujarat during the last two decades is the pride of the state.
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat on Wednesday recorded 111 new Covid cases, crossing the 100 threshold after 97 days. The rise in Covid cases is seen across the country, and Gujarat is no exception. In the past one week, Gujarat has recorded 456 new Covid cases, which is nearly double compared to the past week that had recorded 238 cases. Out of the daily cases on Wednesday, 48 cases were from Ahmedabad city alone, followed by 25 in Vadodara city. The two cities accounted for two-thirds of the cases, the trend which has been seen since the past one month. Dr Rakesh Joshi, medical superintendent of Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad, said that they have not witnessed any new Covid cases for over three months. "It's possible that the Omicron variant of Covid, which is infectious but milder compared to its predecessor Delta, is still at play. Factors such as herd immunity and better vaccination percentage are also providing us cover," he said, adding that society however must not let guard down with the overall rise of Covid cases in India. Gujarat has not recorded any deaths of active Covid patients for the past 31 days.
Gujarat on Wednesday reported 111 new Covid-19 cases– breaching the 100-mark for the first time since after March 2. Vadodara city recorded a rise in new cases detecting 25 persons with Covid-19.Medical officer of health at Vadodara Municipal Corporation Dr Devesh Patel said that the spike was largely owing to the “16-17 cases that were reported from three families” and added that “it would be too soon and premature to call this a rising trend”.Vadodara city has reported cases in single digits on most days after the first week of March. Dr Patel said the civic body will continue “targeted testing, surveillance and contact tracing”.Ahmedabad city, where a rising trend is being seen, reported 48 cases Wednesday. The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has attributed the rising trend largely to greater travel across city borders, lower uptake of booster vaccine shots and low compliance in Covid-appropriate behaviour.AMC commenced active testing setting up testing domes at the Kalupur railway station and state transport bus stand.
Ahmedabad: At the time when Covid cases are rearing its head again across India including Gujarat, the state is witnessing sluggish pace of booster doses especially in the paid category. Out of total eligible population above 60 years, nearly two-thirds have got the jab. in sharp contrast, only 1.5% of those eligible in 18-60 years have taken booster shot which is not offered free by government and has to be taken in private hospital for a fee, said sources in the state health department officials.Gujarat has covered 99% of 18-plus population with two shots. It has so far administered 34.88 precaution (booster) doses, out of which 32.95 lakh or 94% of the doses are administered to senior citizens alone, they added. While the health department officials did not divulge the exact figures of the percentage of new cases with full vaccination, they said that the ‘significant' number of cases is in the working age group of 18 to 50 years and almost all of them are fully vaccinated. Thus, the importance of booster doses increases for the vulnerable population. While the booster dose is free for the healthcare workers (HCW), frontline workers (FLW) and senior citizens, it costs Rs 225 plus service charge for 18-60 years in the private hospitals. On Tuesday, Gujarat recorded a 95-day high daily tally of 72 new Covid cases – out of the total, 44 or 61% of the cases were from Ahmedabad city alone. With discharge of 53 patients, the active cases in Gujarat reached 363, which is the highest in 81 days. The cases are constantly above 50 for the past four days. To put the figure in perspective, the daily cases were mostly in single digit between March 27 and April 7, giving hopes that the pandemic might be over for the state.Dr Nayan Jani, state immunization officer, said that out of 50 lakh-odd eligible senior citizens, nearly two-thirds are provided the precaution doses. "Special drives were conducted recently across the state to identify the potential beneficiaries and provide them the vaccine. According to the policy, the booster dose for those not falling in HCW, FLW or senior citizen category would have to avail it from the recognized vaccination centres after payment," he said.Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), said that several of the city-based private hospitals have procured sufficient doses of vaccines in hope that the citizens would come forward for vaccination."I don't think that money is the only matter. It's true that the response in free vaccination is far better than what we see at our centres – we hardly see 10-20 individuals coming daily for the vaccines. But I think that the reason lies in the low number of cases and even lower number of hospitalizations compared to what we have seen in the past couple of years," he said, adding that the majority of those getting the jabs are those who are traveling or have medical procedures approaching.
AHMEDABAD: At the time when Covid cases are rearing its head again across India including Gujarat, the state is witnessing sluggish pace of booster doses especially in the paid category. Out of total eligible population above 60 years, nearly two-thirds have got the jab. in sharp contrast, only 1.5% of those eligible in 18-60 years have taken booster shot which is not offered free by government and has to be taken in private hospital for a fee, said sources in the state health department officials. Gujarat has covered 99% of 18-plus population with two shots. It has so far administered 34.88 precaution (booster) doses, out of which 32.95 lakh or 94% of the doses are administered to senior citizens alone, they added. While the health department officials did not divulge the exact figures of the percentage of new cases with full vaccination, they said that the ‘significant’ number of cases is in the working age group of 18 to 50 years and almost all of them are fully vaccinated. Thus, the importance of booster doses increases for the vulnerable population. While the booster dose is free for the healthcare workers (HCW), frontline workers (FLW) and senior citizens, it costs Rs 225 plus service charge for 18-60 years in the private hospitals. On Tuesday, Gujarat recorded a 95-day high daily tally of 72 new Covid cases – out of the total, 44 or 61% of the cases were from Ahmedabad city alone. With discharge of 53 patients, the active cases in Gujarat reached 363, which is the highest in 81 days. The cases are constantly above 50 for the past four days. To put the figure in perspective, the daily cases were mostly in single digit between March 27 and April 7, giving hopes that the pandemic might be over for the state. Nearly two thirds of senior citizens given booster dosesDr Nayan Jani, state immunization officer, said that out of 50 lakh-odd eligible senior citizens, nearly two-thirds are provided the precaution doses. “Special drives were conducted recently across the state to identify the potential beneficiaries and provide them the vaccine. According to the policy, the booster dose for those not falling in HCW, FLW or senior citizen category would have to avail it from the recognized vaccination centres after payment,” he said. Dr Bharat Gadhvi, president of Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA), said that several of the city-based private hospitals have procured sufficient doses of vaccines in hope that the citizens would come forward for vaccination. “I don’t think that money is the only matter. It’s true that the response in free vaccination is far better than what we see at our centres – we hardly see 10-20 individuals coming daily for the vaccines. But I think that the reason lies in the low number of cases and even lower number of hospitalizations compared to what we have seen in the past couple of years,” he said, adding that the majority of those getting the jabs are those who are traveling or have medical procedures approaching.
In what potentially lays the ground for postal delivery by drones, Gurugram-based drone startup TechEagle delivered a parcel this week in Gujarat under a pilot project in collaboration with India post.DELIVERY & PURPOSE: The drone flight delivered a parcel in the Kutch region of Gujarat, travelling a distance of 46 km in less than 30 minutes. In a statement, TechEagle said that this was five times faster than the speed of surface transportation. Notably, the drone delivery was among the longest single delivery flights made by a drone in the country. It travelled when the wind speed was up to 30 kph.Last month, the company launched a hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone called ‘VertiplaneX3’ with a payload capacity of 3 kg, a range of 100 km and a top speed of 120 kph. The VTOL drone has the capability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter from a small area of 5mx5m.Anshu Abhishek, co-founder-COO at TechEagle, said the project was aimed at enabling faster deliveries across the country, be it in urban cities or any rural village. “The learnings from the project would help stakeholders to scale up and commercialise the drone delivery of mail across the country,” he said.OTHER TRIALS: Bengaluru-based logistics and delivery platform Swiggy last month began deployment of drones on a trial basis to make deliveries from its grocery service Instamart. For these trials, which are being conducted in two phases, the company has roped in four ‘drone-as-a-service’ operators, of which TechEagle is one.Several other drone operators have partnered with state governments and other authorities to conduct trials of vaccines and healthcare supplies deliveries through drones. Logistics services company Delhivery in December announced the acquisition of California-based Transition Robotics, which develops drone platforms.🚨 Limited Time Offer | Express Premium with ad-lite for just Rs 2/ day 👉🏽 Click here to subscribe 🚨Globally, internet giant Alphabet’s drone delivery unit Wing recently delivered its first consignment in a major US metropolitan area by supplying boxes of medicines from Walgreens in Dallas, Texas.
AHMEDABAD: A year ago, the kin of Covid patients came in anxious waves to queue up at pharmacies for hours for a single dose of remdesivir, but today 60 lakh remdesivir vials are lined up for destruction as their expiry date looms. Even the remdesivir stocks for which pharma companies had submitted stability data to the DCGI (Drugs Controller General of India) will be out-of-date next year. Overall, the expiry date is nearing for remdesivir vials worth Rs 600 crore, remdesivir APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) worth Rs 200 crore, and other Covid-related medicines. The country’s relative success in mitigating the pandemic has made these stocks unnecessary — at least for now. Dharmesh Shah, the chairman of the Mumbai-headquartered BDR Pharmaceuticals, said, “In March 2020, only a few companies manufactured remdesivir.” Shah said that last year Covid’s second wave had stoked a huge demand for remdesivir. “All companies making remdesivir ramped up production to ensure adequate availability,” he said. Shah said estimates suggest that currently about 60 lakh remdesivir vials are available with various companies and the government. “Luckily there is no need for them because Covid is under control,” Shah said. Stocks of Covid-related medicines worth Rs 800-1,000 crore remain unused in the country, Shah said. He said these medicines include remdesivir, liposomal amphotericin B injections, posaconazole tablets and injections, baricitinib tablets, molnupiravir tablets, and favipiravir tablets. “Pharma companies will have to bear this loss because there is no other option,” Shah said. “Many companies have submitted stability data of their remdesivir stocks to the DCGI based on which the expiry date has been extended to two years,” Shah said. “But many companies have stocks that will expire in a year. So a large number of vials will be destroyed soon and the exercise to destroy expired sock will continue till 2023.” An office-bearer of the Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) said that the country’s vaccination drive has been effective and nothing like the deadly second wave has hit India. “Moreover, there is no demand for remdesivir across the world so the companies that make Covid drugs are staring at huge losses,” the office-bearer said. Jashwant Patel, the chairman of the Federation of Gujarat State Chemists & Druggists Associations, said: “There has been no demand for remdesivir since last July and most of the chemists have sent their stocks back to the companies.” BDR Pharmaceuticals- Cipla, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Hetero, Jubilant Pharma, Mylan, Syngene, and Zydus Lifesciences are the leading manufacturers of remdesivir in India.
NEW DELHI: Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan on Friday said a few states were reporting a higher contribution to India’s Covid caseload, indicating the possibility of a localised spread of the infection. “There is a need to follow a risk assessment-based approach on public health responses without losing the gains made so far in the fight against the pandemic,” he said in his letter to five states that have seen a rise in cases recently. Bhushan also mentioned that a sustained and significant decline in cases has been observed over the past three months. However, a slight upsurge in new infections and the weekly positivity rate is being noticed in the week ending June 3. States have been asked to refer to the directions issued in a letter by the ministry dated April 8, 2022 for strategic areas of intervention, like relaxation in activities, testing and surveillance, clinical management, vaccination and community engagement with an increased focus on evidence-based decision-making. They have been advised to continue monitoring of necessary measures for effective management of Covid and ensure compliance with advisories issued by the ministry. The five-fold strategy of test-track-treat-vaccination and adherence to Covid-appropriate behaviour should be followed, along with monitoring of clusters of new Covid cases and adequate testing as per guidelines, Bhushan said in the letter. Both Maharashtra and Kerala have been reporting over 1,000 daily cases in the past three days apart from the five states the letter was sent to, others that have seen an uptick include West Bengal, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa.
"Nobody can break the Modi-Yogi pair...nobody can do this," Anandiben Patel said. (File)Surat: Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel on Sunday said nobody can break the Modi-Yogi pair, and added that the BJP retained power in UP with the support of a lot of people, including a large number north Indians settled in Gujarat's Surat.She was referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Yogi Adityanath, who took oath as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister for a second term at a ceremony held on Friday, which was attended by the PM.In the UP Assembly polls held earlier this year, the BJP-led alliance has won 273 of 403 seats. While the BJP got 255 seats, its allies Nishad Party and the Apna Dal (S) bagged 18. This is the first time in over three decades that a party has won the assembly elections twice in a row in the crucial state."We have formed the government in Uttar Pradesh, friends. Nobody can break the Modi-Yogi pair...nobody can do this. A lot of people have given their support to achieve this. Several people from here (Surat) went there (UP) for campaigning," she said.This is after 35 years that one party returned to power for a second term in a row, creating history, she added."For this, you must congratulate us...A large number of north Indians are settled in Surat, and they have supported us to achieve this," the former Gujarat chief minister said.Ms Patel was in Surat to lay the foundation stone for Kiran Medical College, being set up by Samast Patidar Arogya Trust at Vadod in Olpad taluka of the district. Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya and Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel were also present on the occasion.Stating that India lags behind in the field of research, she suggested that the proposed college should have a dedicated department for this purpose."India rose to the occasion to carry out research and came out with a vaccine against COVID-19," the UP governor added.She also stressed the need for girls to get vaccinated against cervical cancer."A new vaccine (against cervical cancer) has entered the market. As of now, it is very costly. I have been told that the price of this vaccine will come down in the range of Rs 100 to Rs 300 by August-September. Whenever this vaccine is available, I request you to get your daughters in the age group of 9 to 14 vaccinated against cervical cancer. I have started this vaccination work in UP irrespective of the price the vaccine," she said.In his address, Mr Mandaviya said the country is committed to provide quality education to students. From 55,000 seats for the MBBS course in 2014, the number has grown to 92,000 in seven years, which keeps increasing, he said."In the past, people were concerned about getting permission for setting up a medical college...But we have provided relaxation in all the rules to set up a medical college. There is only one rule - education should be provided to the students at a reasonable cost without fleecing them," he said.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comChief Minister Bhupendra Patel said his government is committed to provide quality healthcare to people, for which Rs 12,240 crore have been allocated in the state budget for the year 2022-23.The state government is committed to set up one medical college in each district, he said, adding that the new services of air ambulance and green corridor have been added by the government for the treatment of patients in times of crisis.
The new cases also pushed up the state's active tally above the 1-lakh mark, said the release. (File)Ahmedabad: Gujarat on Thursday recorded 24,485 new cases, the highest single-day spike so far, pushing up its tally above the 10-lakh mark, while 13 patients succumbed to infection, the state health department said.With these additions, the state's COVID-19 tally rose to 10,01,563 cases, while the death number increased to 10,199, said a health department release.The latest surge in new cases also pushed up the state's active tally above the 1-lakh mark, said the release.Ahmedabad city recorded the highest number of infections- 9,837 - during the day, followed by 2,981 in Surat city, 2,823 in Vadodara city, 1,333 in Rajkot city and 728 in Surat district.As per the latest data available on the COVID-19 dashboard, over 1.30 lakh tests were being conducted everyday in the state, whose positivity rate now stands at 15.11 per cent.The rate indicates the percentage of people who test positive for the virus of those overall who have been tested.The tally of recoveries increased to 8,86,476 after 10,310 persons were discharged during the day, the release said.Gujarat now has 1,04,888 active cases, of which 156 patients are on ventilators, it said.As many as 9.58 crore doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered to the eligible population so far in the state, of which, 2.47 shots were given during the day, the department said.As many as 41 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 recoveries were registered in the adjoining Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu in the last 24 hours, said an official release.PromotedListen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.comOf the total 11,130 persons found positive for coronavirus in the UT so far, 255 are under treatment, four have died, while 10,871 have recovered, said the release.Gujarat COVID-19 figures are as follows: Positive cases 10,01,563; new cases 24,485, deaths 10,199; discharged 8,86,476; active cases 1,04,888, people tested so far - figures not released.