DGCA issues guidelines for COVID-19 vaccines transportation by air

Agencies
January 9, 2021

New Delhi, Jan 9: The government on Friday issued guidelines for the packaging and transportation of COVID-19 vaccines by air, directing the airport authorities and airlines to use dry ice as the refrigerant material during the transportation in order to maintain the low temperatures between -8° C to -70° C.

"The temperature maintenance requirement for COVID-I9 vaccines is reported to be varying from -8° C to -70° C and hence, the use of refrigerant material during the transportation becomes essential," noted Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the guideline.

"Though there may be different refrigerant options, use of dry ice (Carbon Dioxide Solid) is the most commonly used, affordable and readily available refrigerant material available in the country for transportation of perishables by air," it stated further,
The DGCA said the vaccines packed in dry ice should ideally be transported in the lower deck of the aircraft, but if the airline wishes to transport them in the passenger cabin, then the flight crew must be properly trained on the hazards and risks of its transportation.

"The operator should take all necessary steps to ensure that the flight crew is not harmed by carbon dioxide incapacitation or intoxication. Flight crew should be properly trained on the hazards and risks of transporting dry ice and on the procedures related to the operation. Any other occupants on-board should only be allowed if required under demonstrated urgent operational needs (for example, additional flight crew for the return flight or additional persons needed for the cargo handling)," it stated.

The guidelines noted that dry ice transforms into carbon dioxide gas at temperatures higher than -78 degrees Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure and, therefore, it is classified as "dangerous goods" by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), therefore, "adequate number of carbon dioxide detectors should be available in the cabin."

"Such detectors should be located at locations for timely and reliable detection of a dangerous concentration of carbon dioxide," it added.

It further directed the operators, while engaging in the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines, "to establish the maximum quantity of dry ice that can be loaded in a given cargo hold or in the main deck (passenger cabin) when a passenger version is deployed for all cargo operations."

Government sources on Thursday said the government has allowed passenger aircraft to transport vaccines.

"Pune will be the central hub from where vaccine distribution will take place. 41 destinations across the country finalised for delivery of vaccines," they stated.

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coastaldigest.com news network
February 16,2021

Mangaluru Feb 16: Condemning the arrest of young climate activist Disha Ravi for supporting the farmers’ agitation on social media, Mangaluru MLA U T Khader said that it was the responsibility of Karnataka government to raise voice for her as she belongs to Bengaluru. 

Speaking to media persons here, the Congress leader and former minister said: “It is disgusting that BJP leaders in Karnataka defending the arrest of Bengaluru-based activist by Delhi police”

“What was the need for arresting the 21-year-old girl for social media activist? As far as I know, Toolkit is just an open document. This arrest is an assault on democracy and freedom of expression,” he said. 

Mr Khader went on to criticise Karnataka chief minister and home minister for their silence when the state’s activist is arrested by the police of another state. “It is shameful to see state government’s silence and surrender to suppression," he said.

"The motive is to silence those who stand in favour of farmers and quell the farmers' protest. The state government should come up with a clarification and break its silence over the arrest of Disha Ravi," he added.

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News Network
February 17,2021

Mumbai, Feb 17: Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mumbai civic body has caught over 15 lakh people without face masks at public places in the city since April last year and collected more than Rs 30 crore as fine from them, officials said on Wednesday.

Out of these offenders, 13,008 were caught on Monday and a fine of Rs 26,01,600 was collected from them, a Brihnamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) official said.

Concerned over the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday asked citizens to strictly follow government-mandated guidelines on masks and social distancing or be prepared to face another round of lockdown.

The BMC has been imposing a fine of Rs 200 for not wearing a face mask in public places.

From April 1, 2020, to February 15 this year, the BMC caught 15,16,398 people without face masks and collected a total of Rs 30,69,09,800 from them, civic officials said.

As per the BMC data, the highest number of 1,08,069 people were caught without face masks in Mumbai's K-West ward, which includes areas like Juhu, Andheri (West) and Versova.

Besides, the lowest number of 25,847 offenders were found in M-East ward, which comprises Anushakti Nagar, Deonar, Cheetah Camp and Shivaji Nagar areas.

The BMC has repeatedly appealed to citizens to follow all Covid-19 protocols, including wearing of face mask, maintaining social distance and sanitising hands regularly.

Of late, the city has been witnessing a spike in daily Covid-19 cases, and some civic wards have issued letters to housing societies under their jurisdiction and instructed them to follow the Covid-19 guidelines, a civic official said.

"At present, the M-west ward is reporting highest daily cases, which is a matter of concern, and there are chances that we might have to impose local lockdown measures," said a notice issued to society in the M-West ward.

The notice further said sealing of buildings/ societies having a high prevalence of positivity has been started in the ward.

"If the same is observed in your society, the same restrictions with sealing can be imposed in your society," the notice warned.

In the notice, the civic body also instructed housing societies to restrict the entry of outsiders to a minimum, including domestic help and milk delivery persons.

It asked the housing societies take measures like thermal screening and if a positive case is found, then the family members should follow strict quarantine guidelines for 14 days and get tested compulsorily.

Any other symptomatic person in the society should also get checked for the coronavirus infection, it added.

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News Network
February 15,2021

New Delhi, Feb 12: Non-bailable warrants have been issued against two more activists for allegedly sharing the "toolkit" related to the farmers' protest on social media, the Delhi Police said on Monday, two days after it arrested climate activist Disha Ravi in connection with the case. The 21-year-old activist was arrested on Saturday from Bengaluru and sent to five days police remand on Sunday by a Delhi court here.

The two suspects against whom the non-bailable warrants have been issued include Nikita Jacob and Shantanu, police said, adding that the duo was allegedly involved in preparing the document and was in direct touch with "pro-Khalistani elements".

"Non-bailable warrants have been issued against Nikita Jacob and Shantanu. The two are wanted in connection with the toolkit case. They are suspected to be involved in preparing the documents and were also in direct interaction with pro-Khalistani elements," a senior police officer said.

The police are conducting raids in Mumbai and other places to nab the duo. The Delhi Police had on Sunday claimed that Ravi was an editor of the "toolkit Google doc" and "key conspirator" in the document's formulation and dissemination.

Police also alleged that Ravi and others "collaborated with pro-Khalistani Poetic Justice Foundation to spread disaffection against the Indian State."

"She was the one who shared the toolkit doc with Greta Thunberg," the Delhi Police claimed in a tweet.
Thunberg, a teen climate activist, had shared the "toolkit" to lend her support to the farmers' agitation against the three agri laws.

In the document, various urgent actions, including creating a Twitter storm and protesting outside Indian embassies, were listed which were needed to be taken to support the farmers' protest.

The toolkit has been cited by some critics as a "proof" of her conspiracy to fuel protests in India.

The police on Sunday told the court that her custody was required to probe an alleged larger conspiracy against the government of India and to ascertain her alleged role relating to the Khalistan movement.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called Ravi's arrest "unprecedented attack on democracy" while the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM), which is leading the farmers' protest at Delhi's borders, too condemned the activist's arrest and demanded her immediate release.

Thousands of farmers protesting the Centre's new agri laws had clashed with the police during their tractor parade on January 26.

Over 500 police security personnel were injured while one protestors died during the Republic Day violence.

Earlier, the Delhi Police had asked Google and some social media giants to provide information about e-mail id, URLs and certain social media accounts related to the creators of the "toolkit" shared by Thunberg and others on Twitter in connection with the farmers' protest.

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