Karnataka records first Zika death this year; one more under treatment

News Network
July 7, 2024

An elderly man from Karnataka’s Shivamogga who had tested positive for Zika virus, died late Friday. Since the patient had comorbidities, doctors are yet to ascertain whether his death was directly caused by the virus.

Nonetheless, this is the first reported incident of death in Karnataka of a patient with traces of the deadly virus in his body this year. Another patient infected with the virus in Shivamogga is currently under treatment at home.

District health officer (DHO) Dr Nataraj said the 74-year-old man who died was suffering from breathing problems and other age-related issues. "He died at his residence in Gandhinagar after being discharged from the hospital," Dr Nataraj said. The patient was admitted to a private hospital on June 18.

After his blood and urine samples were tested, the hospital referred the results to McGann Hospital. Experts at McGann analysed the samples and forwarded them to the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Bengaluru for a final report.

On June 21, the report from NIV confirmed that the patient was infected with Zika virus. Since then, he was under treatment at a private hospital.
However, despite his unstable condition, his family insisted on getting him discharged against medical advice. The patient was taken home early on Friday. He passed away later that night.

"Zika virus has no special treatment, except for symptomatic treatment, like any other viral infection," the DHO explained.

"Every day, we analyse all test reports and if there is any suspicion, we send the sample in question to NIV for confirmation. Samples collected from pregnant women with symptoms are taken special care of and are invariably sent to the NIV," the DHO further said.

Symptoms

Zika virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquito bites that happen mostly during the day. Patients showing symptoms such as headache, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis must be monitored for more than a week, a health official said. Seeking medical advise during the first few days after contracting the virus is crucial.

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News Network
July 16,2024

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A shooting near a mosque in Oman killed at least four people and wounded several others in a rare act of violence in the Gulf nation.

The attack early on Tuesday took place in Wadi al-Kabir, a district east of the capital city, Muscat, during a major religious event for Shia Muslims.

Video from the scene shows people fleeing near the Imam Ali Mosque, its minaret visible, as gunfire rings out followed by a voice saying, “Oh God!”

Omani police said they’re taking “all necessary security measures and procedures … to handle the situation”. They gave an initial casualty toll of four killed and “several” injured.

“The authorities are continuing to gather evidence and conduct investigations to uncover the circumstances surrounding the incident,” police said on social media platform X.

No motive or potential suspects were identified in the attack. A state of emergency was declared in the area.

‘Remain vigilant’

It appears some of the victims were Pakistani expats as Pakistan’s ambassador “visited three hospitals and met with the wounded”, an embassy statement said, adding, “all Pakistanis residing in Oman are requested to cooperate with the authorities”.

The US Embassy in Muscat issued a security alert following the shooting and cancelled all visa appointments on Tuesday.

“US citizens should remain vigilant, monitor local news, and heed directions of local authorities,” the embassy wrote on X.

Such an attack is rare in Oman, a frequent regional mediator with a low crime rate. It comes during the Muslim day of Ashura when Shia Muslims commemorate the seventh-century battlefield martyrdom of Imam Hussein, grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

Many Shia mark Ashura by performing a pilgrimage to Imam Hussein’s shrine in the Iraqi city of Karbala. Sunni Muslims commemorate the day through fasting. 

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News Network
July 16,2024

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka cabinet on Monday approved implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations, effecting a 27.5% increase in basic pay from August 1, 2024, and benefiting 12 lakh state govt employees and pensioners.

The commission, led by former chief secretary K Sudhakar Rao, was constituted in November 2022 with a six month mandate.

The final report was submitted to chief minister Siddaramaiah before Lok Sabha elections were announced in March 2024.

The commission’s recommendations include raising the minimum salary for govt employees from Rs 17,000 to Rs 27,000 a month.

The implementation is expected to widen the revenue expenditure of the Karnataka govt by Rs 20,000 crore annually. The most considerable expenditure will be the burden of Rs 7,409 crore for salaries, followed by Rs 3,791 crore for pensions and family pensions each year.

The decision comes after the previous BJP govt, just before the 2023 assembly elections, granted interim relief with a 17% salary hike for govt employees, leaving the remaining 10.5% for future discussions.

After Congress govt took office, it faced pressure to fulfil five poll guarantees and delayed the decision.

The employees, during an executive committee meeting held recently in Chikkamagaluru, decided to launch a three-phase protest culminating in an indefinite strike planned from July 29. This appears to have pressured the govt.

"We welcome the decision for providing employees with 27.5% salary hike," said Shadakshari, state president of Karnataka state govt employees' association.

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News Network
July 12,2024

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United Nations, July 12: India’s population is projected to peak in the early 2060s at about 1.7 billion and then decline by 12 per cent, but the country will remain the world's most populous throughout the century, the United Nations has said.

The World Population Prospects 2024 report, released here on Thursday, said that the world's population is expected to continue growing over the coming 50-60 years, reaching a peak of around 10.3 billion people in the mid-2080s, up from 8.2 billion in 2024. After peaking, the global population is projected to start declining gradually, falling to 10.2 billion people by the end of the century.

India, which surpassed China as the world's most populous nation last year, will continue to hold that position through 2100.

"The population of India, which is expected to remain the world's largest throughout the century, will likely decline by 12 per cent after reaching its peak in the early 2060s at about 1.7 billion," the UN report published by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Population Division said.

According to the report, India's population in 2024 is projected at 1.45 billion and this will peak to 1.69 billion in 2054. After this, India's population is projected to decline to 1.5 billion by the end of the century in 2100, but the country will still remain the most populous nation on earth.

Responding to a question by PTI on population projections for India, Senior Population Affairs Officer, Population Division, UN DESA Clare Menozzi said at a press conference that "India is currently the largest country in the world in terms of population, and it is projected to stay so throughout the century. The population is currently estimated at 1.45 billion, and it's supposed to increase further" to 1.69 billion.

"It's supposed to peak around the 2060s in size and then it starts to slightly decline. So by the end of the century, India is projected to be around 1.5 billion, but still the largest country in the world by a large margin.” The report said that China's population, currently 1.41 billion in 2024, will fall to 1.21 billion in 2054 and further decline to 633 million by 2100.

"It is anticipated that China, the country currently with the world's second-largest population, will likely experience the largest absolute population loss between 2024 and 2054 (204 million)," followed by Japan (21 million) and Russia (10 million). "Longer-range population projections are more uncertain" for China, it said.

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