COVID-19 | Govt warns against use of N-95 masks with valved respirators

Agencies
July 21, 2020

New Delhi, Jul 21: The Centre has written to all states and union territories warning against the use of N-95 masks with valved respirators by people, saying these do not prevent the virus from spreading out and are "detrimental" to the measures adopted for its containment.

The Director General of Health Services (DGHS) in the Ministry of Health, in a letter to the Principal Secretaries of health and medical education of states, said it has been observed that there is "inappropriate use" of N-95 masks, particularly those with valved respirators, by the public other than designated health workers.

The DGHS referred to the advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth available on the website of the Ministry of Health.

"It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask. In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks," DGHS Rajiv Garg said in the letter.

The government had in April issued an advisory on the use of homemade protective cover for face and mouth, asking people to wear it, particularly when they step out of their residences.

The advisory stressed such face covers must be washed and cleaned each day, as instructed, and stated that any used cotton cloth can be used to make this face cover.

The colour of the fabric does not matter but one must ensure that the fabric is washed well in boiling water for five minutes and dried well before making the face cover. Adding salt to this water is recommended, it said.

It also listed the procedures of making such homemade masks, asking to ensure it fits the face well and there are no gaps on the sides.

It urges people to wash hands thoroughly before wearing the face cover, switching to another fresh one as the face cover becomes damp or humid, and never reusing it after single use without cleaning it.

"Never share the face cover with anyone. Every member in a family should have separate face cover," the advisory stated.

India's COVID-19 case tally crossed the 11-lakh mark on Monday, while the total number of recovered patients increased to over seven lakh, according to Union health ministry data.

The death toll due to the disease rose to 27,497 with 681 fatalities reported in one day.

The ministry data updated at 8 am on Monday showed that a record single-day jump of 40,425 COVID-19 cases had taken the total number of cases to 11,18,043.

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News Network
September 17,2020

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New Delhi, Sept 17: Opposition leaders met President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday and raised questions about the role of the police during the February riots, besides expressing their lack of confidence in the probe of the incident.

In a joint memorandum, the leaders raised their concerns over the probe into the riots being conducted by the Delhi Police.

The Delhi Police has set up Special Investigation Teams (SIT) and its Special Cell is also probing the aspect of conspiracy behind the Delhi riots in which 53 people lost their lives.

"There are, however, serious questions about the role played by the Delhi Police during the violence and also the manner in which the police is harassing and attempting to falsely implicate activists and young people who took part in the anti CAA/NRC/NPR movements as the perpetrators of violence.

"Such a manufactured conspiracy theory has now begun to falsely implicate political leaders," it said.

The memorandum also criticised the police for the reference made to CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury citing disclosure statements by the accused.

"This is a disturbing trend that raises serious questions over the manner of such investigations," the leaders said.

They also alleged that there are several publicly documented accounts and videos of police being "complicit in the violence, directing mobs pelting stones or looking the other way when mobs were indulging in violence".

"During the violence, a disturbing video emerged showing uniformed policemen assaulting young men lying injured on the road and forcing them to sing the national anthem while repeatedly beating them with lathis.

"One of the men, Faizan, succumbed to his injuries a few days later," the memorandum said highlighting other such instances, including one in which they alleged the "DCP stood quietly next to a BJP leader who was instigating violence against the protestors, warning that if they did not vacate the road, he would do it himself".

"Despite several complaints being filed alleging involvement of senior police officials in the violence, including a DCP, additional commissioner and SHO, it appears no urgency has been accorded to identifying the policemen involved in the violence and ensuring that they are brought to book," it said.

It also pointed out that while the police was "silent" on the alleged hate speech of BJP leaders, and turned a blind eye towards the role of its own personnel during the violence, the probe appeared to be pursuing a line of inquiry "criminalising the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)" and portraying them as a conspiracy which resulted in the riots in Delhi.

"The entire investigation appears to be aimed at arriving at a pre-meditated theory about a conspiracy propounded by the Home Minister in Lok Sabha in March 2020, before any investigation had even begun into the riots," it said.

The memorandum also said that the ongoing investigation by the Delhi police did not inspire confidence as there were serious questions about the "impartiality" of the probe.

"A credible and unbiased probe is crucial to restore public trust in the law and order machinery of the state.

The investigation cannot be allowed to become a fishing and roving expedition aimed at causing a chilling effect on dissent and protest in the country.

"We, therefore, urge you to call upon Government of India to institute an inquiry into this investigation under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952, headed by sitting/retired judge(s)," the memorandum said.

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News Network
September 15,2020

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Bengaluru, Sept 15: With 8,865 persons getting discharged on Monday, recoveries outnumbered 8,244 new Covid cases across Karnataka, while 119 succumbed to the dreaded virus in the last 24 hours.

"With 8,244 new cases, the state's Covid tally rose to 4,67,689, including 98,463 active cases, while 3,61,823 persons have been discharged till date, including 8,865 during the day," the state health department bulletin said.

With 119 deaths in the last 24 hours, the state's toll has risen to 7,384 since March 9, when the pandemic broke out.

Bengaluru Urban, which is the epicentre of coronavirus in the southern state, reported 2,966 fresh cases, taking its tally to 1,73,628, including 40,527 active cases, and 1,30,627 discharges. With 37 fatalities during the day in the city, its death toll rose to 2.473.

Among other districts, Mysuru reported 677 new cases, followed by Dakshina Kannada (413), Davangere (325), Hassan (295), Bengaluru Rural (275) and Ballari (264).

Belagavi recorded 533 discharges, the highest among the districts, followed by Hassan (332), Dakshina Kannada (297), Shivamogga (282), Ballari (274) and Dharwad (248).

"About 800 Covid patients are in the ICU across the state, including 263 in Bengaluru Urban district, 106 in Hassan, 67 in Dharwad, 44 in Ballari and 40 in Kalaburagi," said the bulletin.

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News Network
September 25,2020
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Bengaluru, Sept 24: Karnataka on Thursday reported 7,710 new cases for novel coronavirus, along with 6,748 discharges.

 

According to the state health department, 65 people succumbed to the pathogen here today.

A total of 5,48,557 COVID-19 cases have been reported in the state so far.

Of which, there are 95,549 active cases, 4,44,658 patients were discharged and 8,331 people have succumbed to the virus.

With a spike of 86,508 new cases and 1,129 deaths, India's COVID-19 count reached 57,32,519 on Thursday, which includes 9,66,382 active cases, 46,74,988 cured, discharged, or migrated patients, and 91,149 deaths, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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