Bengaluru: Sasikala diagnosed with SARI; shifted to ICU

News Network
January 21, 2021

Bengaluru, Jan 21: Former AIADMK leader Sasikala, who was rushed to the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bengaluru on Wednesday evening, has been shifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after she was diagnosed with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI). 

Sources in Sasikala’s camp said in Chennai that two tests – antigen and RT-PCR – conducted on her to check if she is infected with the novel coronavirus has come negative. “Doctors have informed that her vital parameters are fine with support,” a source said, adding that she has been diagnosed with SARI.

Sasikala, 69, was shifted to the hospital on Wednesday evening after her blood oxygen dropped to less than normal level. She was brought in an ambulance from the Parappana Agrahara jail and taken inside the hospital in a wheelchair. The former AIADMK “interim” general secretary is set to complete her four-year jail term in a disproportionate assets (DA) case on January 27 morning. 

Sasikala’s nephew and AMMK chief T T V Dhinakaran, who rushed to Bengaluru, expressed satisfaction at the treatment being given to his aunt. “She will come out of hospital healthy very soon,” Dhinakaran told reporters, adding that he has sought permission to meet Sasikala in the hospital.

The hospital had on Wednesday said Sasikala, who has co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes and hypothyroidism, was admitted with cough and fever. Bowring Hospital authorities said Sasikala is currently under treatment and a panel of doctors will review her condition at noon.

Sasikala's counsel N Raja Senthoor Pandian had said prison authorities informed him that his client had intermittent fever for the past five days and that her blood oxygen levels were monitored regularly.

“The blood oxygen level witnessed a dip on Wednesday morning and that is when the jail authorities informed us of her health condition. The jail superintendent told me that my client is doing fine and her condition is stable,” Pandian said. 

Sasikala's hospitalisation comes exactly a week before she is set to walk out of Parappana Agrahara prison after completing her four-year jail term in a disproportionate assets (DA) case. The close confidante of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa surrendered before the jail authorities on February 15, 2017, days after her bid to occupy the Chief Minister's chair failed.

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News Network
February 19,2021

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Bengaluru, Feb 20: Bengaluru Municipal Commissioner N. Manjunatha Prasad on Friday warned that if people don't exercise caution and fail to contain the rise of Covid-19 cases, then the Karnataka government has no option but re-enforce a lockdown in the city once again.

His warning came during the meeting of the civic body's doctors, officials, Joint Commissioners and Special Commissioners in the Town Hall to discuss strategies to contain the Covid-19 spread as cases have seen a steady rise in Bengaluru in the last couple of days.

Addressing the meeting, Prasad said that the city is throwing its caution to the wind and the civic body cannot afford to allow this to happen. "We need to strictly enforce social distancing norms as well as compulsory wearing of masks. We can not ignore these two basic requirements to keep this virus at bay," he said.

Even the slightest laxity in implementing these norms could push them to the brink of lockdown in Bengaluru at least, he added.

The Commissioner added that Covid cases are on the rise in neighbouring states like Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and Karnataka shares a border with all of them.

"Already, Maharashtra is mulling a second round of lockdown in select cities. Andhra Pradesh has re-enforced lockdown in Amaravati... we should not reach such a stage. We, therefore, need to pull ourselves up to meet this new challenge," he said.
He cautioned about new strains of virus detected in Brazil and South Africa also. "Though we have experience of tackling the UK strain of virus, we need to be extra careful over these two new variants," he said.

He instructed the civic body's health staff to immediately take immediate steps to send samples of all those who test Covid positive but their CT value crosses 20 per cent to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (Nimhans) for genome sequencing test to know whether anyone has contracted the new variant of virus.

He also pointed out that the civic body cannot allow free mingling of people in apartments. "Of late, apartments are becoming super spreaders of this deadly disease. I have held detailed discussions with over 300 Resident Welfare Associations but health staff need to keep a constant watch on the rise of cases in their zones. We cannot afford to have another round of lockdowns," he said.

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News Network
February 16,2021

Bengaluru, Feb 16: Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to reopen schools across the state for students of class 6 to 8 on February 22. However, schools in Bengaluru Urban and Kerala borders will only be open for 8th standard students.

The Department of Public Instructions announced this decision on Tuesday after holding a meeting with the state Covid-19 technical advisory committee.

Considering that several nursing students who returned from Kerala have tested positive for Covid-19, the Department has decided not to open classes below 8 in both Bengaluru Urban and districts bordering Kerala.

However, the Department will have another round of meeting with the technical advisory committee on February 24 or 25 to discuss reopening of schools for class 1 to 5.

Speaking to reporters, State Primary and Secondary Education Minister S Suresh Kumar said, "We will wait for the health department survey on the students returned from Kerala tested positive for Covid-19 before taking any decision further."

However, it is compulsory for students returning from Kerala or bordering districts to submit Covid-19 negative report to attend schools.

The attendance is not mandatory and students can opt for online or offline classes and must submit a consent letter from parents.

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Agencies
February 16,2021

Dhahran: Alfanar and Aramco have agreed to build sustainable cooperation by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which covers various initiatives‏ ‏that are aimed to augment localization, innovation, digitization, and sustainability in Saudi Arabia.

The initiatives are in line with the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) flagship program that Aramco launched to support economic development through local content increment.

The MoU was signed by Ahmad Al Saadi, senior vice president of technical services, Aramco, and Abdul Salam Al Mutlaq, the chairman of Alfanar Group.

Commenting on the MoU, Al Mutlaq said: “Innovation, digitalization and localization have always been Alfanar’s pillars of commitment toward the development of a sustainable business. This is a historic moment for us at Alfanar to partner with Aramco and to work together in further developing the local content”.

Meanwhile, Al Saadi said: “Through a collaborative and inclusive model, we are committed to working with private companies to ensure that the local content objectives of Saudi Arabia are achieved”.

Currently, the initiatives that were signed under the MoU cover the following sectors: Manufacturing, EPC, modularization, commercialization of intellectual properties (IP), energy efficiency, and environmental protection.

The MoU was signed during a visit by Aramco's senior management to Alfanar Industrial City in Riyadh, the largest privately developed manufacturing facility in the Middle East which is spread across 720,000 square meters.

The guests toured Alfanar’s various factories and visited the ladies section which employs more than 700 Saudi women for the production of electrical circuit breakers.

The number of female workers in this section has surged in recent years as proof of Alfanar’s commitment to Vision 2030’s goal of empowering professional women. Aramco recognized Alfanar Industrial City as a successful example of the private sector’s important role in localizing industry and enhancing national capacity with professionalism and high efficiency.

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