Lockdown in covid containment zones extended till Nov 30; no e-permit needed for inter-state travel

Agencies
October 27, 2020

New Delhi, Oct 27: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday extended the guidelines for reopening to further ease Covid-19 restrictions issued for October till November 30, saying the essence behind the decision is to "move ahead" but warned that it did not mean the end of the pandemic.

The MHA said there is a need to exercise abundant caution by adopting Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and referred to the 'Jan Andolan' launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi October 8 to follow three 'mantras' -- wear your mask properly, wash your hands frequently and maintain a safe distance of six feet.

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"The essence behind graded re-opening and progressive resumption of activities is to move ahead. However, it does not mean the end of the pandemic. There is a need to exercise abundant caution by adopting Covid-19 appropriate behaviour by every citizen in their daily routine," an official statement said.

It said there was an urgent need to instil a sense of discipline and ownership amongst citizens in order that the resumption of activities is successful and gains made in the management of the pandemic are not diluted.

The MHA has already advised Chief Secretaries and Administrators of states and Union Territories that they should endeavour to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour extensively at the grass-root level and take measures to enforce the wearing of masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

The 'reopening' guidelines issued on September 30 had allowed states the flexibility to decide on reopening schools after October 15 while cinema theatres, entertainment parks and business to business (B2B) exhibitions were also allowed to function from the same date.

The “reopening” guidelines had virtually opened up the whole country and also further relaxed restrictions on religious, political, social and other gatherings by entirely lifting the cap of 100 people after October 15. However, in closed spaces, a maximum of 50% hall capacity will be allowed with a ceiling of 200 persons.

International air travel other than those permitted by the government will also continue to remain suspended. Lockdown in containment zones will continue till October 31.

The guidelines are no more called “unlock guidelines”, which were issued for months since June, but “re-opening” guidelines, with the government indicating that most of the restrictions have been lifted except in containment zones.

It had also allowed the opening of cinemas, theatres and multiplexes outside containment zones from October 15 but with 50% capacity. Entertainment parks and similar places, as well as swimming pools used for training of sportspersons, will be allowed to open from October 15. Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions will also return from mid-October, in a boost to the sector.

The guidelines also reiterated its warning to states against imposing local lockdown and if a state wants to impose local lockdown outside containment zones – state-wide, district, sub-district or city level --  it will have to consult the Centre.

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News Network
December 2,2020

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Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered an inquiry into the deaths of eight children at a government hospital in Shahdal district within three days. These children were admitted to the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) and Pediatric Integration Care Unit (PCU) of Shahdal District Hospital. Two more children, aged two and three, died on Monday night, Shahdal’s chief medical and health officer Rajesh Pandey said on Tuesday. These children from Anuppur district were brought there for treatment.

In addition to the deaths of these two children, eight children aged four months died between November 2 and November 30. These children were admitted to the SNCU and PCU of the district hospital. Pandey said 33 children are currently admitted in the SNCU and PCU of the district hospital. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered an inquiry into the whole matter after the deaths of two children on Monday night.

Chauhan asked the officials whether the children had died due to the negligence of the medical staff. Chouhan said medical specialists should send Shahdol from Jabalpur to treat the children if necessary. Madhya Pradesh Health Minister Prabhuram Chowdhury Chowdhury on Tuesday said the Additional Chief Secretary of the Health Department has been asked to investigate the deaths of the children and submit a report soon.

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News Network
December 1,2020

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Mumbai, Dec 1: Actor-turned-politician Urmila Matondkar joined Shiv Sena, in the presence of party president and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday.

Uddhav Thackeray's wife Rashmi Thackeray was also present.

Sena leader and party's MP Sanjay Raut had said on Monday that Urmila Matondkar may join the ranks of the Shiv Sena on December 1.

"She (Urmila Matondkar) may join Shiv Sena tomorrow. She is a Shivsainik. We are happy that she is joining the Shiv Sena. This will strengthen the party's 'mahila aghadi'," Raut told reporters earlier.

Matondkar had last year resigned from the Congress party, a key ally of the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra.

Matondkar had unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from the Mumbai North constituency and resigned from the party in September last year citing inaction on the part of "key functionaries of Mumbai Congress".

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News Network
November 27,2020

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Ahmedabad, Nov 27: Five coronavirus patients were killed while six others suffered burn injuries after a fire broke out in the ICU of a designated Covid-19 hospital in Gujarat's Rajkot in the early hours of Friday. A short-circuit is said to have caused the fire.

This is the second deadly incident in which coronavirus patients were burnt to death in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Earlier in August, eight patients had succumbed in a similar incident in Ahmedabad.

Fire officials said that the fire broke out in the ICU of Uday Shivanand hospital in Mavdi area, where a total of 33 patients were admitted. Officials said that the fire broke out at around 12:30.

"Five patients have died in the incident. Prima facie, it seems that the short circuit was the reason but it needs a detailed inquiry," Rajkot district collector Ramya Mohan told DH.

Officials said that the condition of one of the six injured patients remains critical. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who happens to be from Rajkot, ordered IAS officer AK Rakesh, Principal Secretary - Panchayats, Rural Housing and Rural Development, Gandhinagar, to probe the incident. Rupani also announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to be given to the family of the deceased.

Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda termed the probe as an "eyewash" and said that "This is the fifth such incident in the past few months which shows the failure of the government."

In August, eight Covid-19 patients were killed in a similar incident at Shrey hospital in Ahmedabad. The police arrested the managing trustee of the hospital Bharat Mahant who was released on bail hours after his arrest. He was booked for causing death due to criminal negligence, section 304A of IPC, triable by a magisterial court.

 

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