Global COVID-19 cases cross 18 million-mark

Agencies
August 3, 2020

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New York, Aug 3: The number of coronavirus cases confirmed all over the world has surpassed 18 million, while the global COVID-19 death toll stands at over 687,000 according to data from the Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Resource Center.

As of 06:00 Moscow time on Monday (03:00 GMT), there are 18,017,556 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world. The global death toll from COVID-19 stands at 687,930. The number of recovered individuals stands at 10,649,108.

The United States remains the country with the largest number of cases (4,665,932) and the highest COVID-19 death toll (154,841), according to the latest data from the Johns Hopkins University.

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Agencies
September 13,2020

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United Nations, Sept 13: Upon the conclusion of their annual meeting, the Group of Seven (G7) Speakers and heads of Parliament have agreed to focus on the need for strong international action to combat the disparities in health and financial security that have been highlighted by the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

They observed that atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations this year were among the highest averages ever recorded.

"We, Speakers/Presidents of Parliament of the member states of the G7, affirm that the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis require a robust and coordinated international response," said a joint declaration after the virtual G7 Speakers' meeting concluded on Saturday.

The meeting included participation from all G7 nations and the European Union.

"By passing legislation, by approving national budgets and by holding governments to account, Parliaments are a key element in the commitment of states to the well-being of our citizens and the environment.

"As leaders in the international community, we commit to act with urgency to provide a healthy, clean and sustainable environment for our children and grandchildren and generations to come.

"The world is reeling from COVID-19. As of September 12, 2020, there have been more than 28 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the disease has claimed the lives of more than 900,000 people across the world.

"The pandemic has disrupted the regular life of our citizens, disproportionately hurt our most vulnerable communities and at-risk populations, including women and children, and destabilized our economies.

"We declare that our response to COVID-19, including vaccine development and its equitable distribution, will be based on science and medicine, focused on wide access rather than profitability, and informed by the knowledge that the pandemic will continue until it is addressed worldwide," said the declaration.

"As G7 nations, we have a moral, scientific and economic duty to serve as the standard-bearer for this global commitment.

"Unfortunately, the climate crisis does not pause as governments address the pandemic. Our nations cannot choose to ignore the climate emergency while we address the immediate crisis presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Both the health and climate crises have and will continue to require unprecedented government action.

"As Parliaments develop legislation to rebound from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, clean energy and other climate investments can power short- and long-term economic recovery.

"The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, jeopardizing the health and well-being of every family in every community around the world.

"Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations in 2020 are among the highest averages ever recorded. The planet suffered through the second hottest year ever in 2019. As the earth heats up, climate-related impacts, including heat waves, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and flooding, are worsening," it said.

The statement went on to say: "The great rivers of our world are beginning to dry up, depriving millions of water, food, jobs, transportation and commerce. The degradation of the oceans is also a great matter of concern as we stated in Brest last year.

"We shall also pay particular attention to environmental justice for economically vulnerable and frontline communities.

"Committing to fight against environmental injustice requires providing a healthy environment, equal opportunity and meaningful involvement in environmental decisions to all people, regardless of race, colour, gender, orientation, national origin, belief, or socio-economic condition.

"Climate policy can end the perpetuation of systemic inequalities.

"We reaffirm the central role played by parliaments in democratic life. Parliaments, which are the assemblies that bring together all the components of society, are the key institutions of democracy: parliaments represent the expression of the people through their legislative and oversight roles.

"We therefore call upon all parties to take action on the climate crisis in accordance with the Paris Agreement.

"We pledge that we will maintain contacts between parliaments to ensure a high level of mobilization concerning the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate, the regular raising of questions linked to these crises and the dissemination of good practices.

"We believe that our parliaments must play a pivotal role in the response and recovery to COVID-19 and the fight to address the climate crisis with economic and environmental justice for all."

In the run-up to the G7 Speakers' meeting, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in a video message informed the participating nations that they should think of the whole world as interdependent and of the entire seven billion human beings as one human community.

"Global warming is very serious. Many people suffer. We must pay more attention," he said.

The participants comprised US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of Canada's House of Commons, Canada Anthony Rota, President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli, President of French National Assembly Richard Ferrand, President of the German Bundestag Wolfgang SchAuble, President of Italy's Chamber of Deputies Roberto Fico, Speaker of Japan's House of Representatives Tadamori Oshima and Speaker of UK's House of Commons Lindsay Hoyle.

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coastaldigest.com news network
September 24,2020

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Mangaluru, Sep 24: 18-month-old girl child with severe congenital heart disease has undergone Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC) repair at Indiana Hospital and Heart Institute, Mangaluru. The treatment was successfully performed in the last week of July 2020.

The child arrived at the hospital with issues of severe breathlessness and failure to gain weight. At the time of admission, the child was barely weighing 5 kg, which is comparable to the weight of a two-month baby. She was diagnosed with Supra Cardiac type of TAPVC, a rare condition in which blood vessels that drain the lungs (pulmonary veins) are connected abnormally to the heart. This disease causes oxygen-poor blood being distributed all over the body, causing severe breathlessness, bluish discolouration of the body and severe failure to thrive.

Following the family’s consent, TAPVC repair was performed last week. In this procedure, the abnormal venous connection was repaired in an open chest procedure. According to hospital authorities, it is one among the rare open cardiac surgeries done in children in Dakshina Kannada and neighbouring districts.

The procedure took about three hours to complete and the child got discharged after a week with great relief in her symptoms. Dr Yusuf Kumble, managing director and chief interventional cardiologist, Dr Ali Kumble chairman and HOD, paediatrics, Dr Abhishek neonatologist, Dr Siddharth V T cardiac surgeon, Dr Madhan cardiac anaesthetist and Dr Arun Varghese paediatric intensivist, were part of the procedure.

The family was of very poor financial background and did not even possess BPL card. Hence the managing director of Indiana Hospital and Heart Institute, Dr Yusuf Kumble issued a cheque of Rs. 1.5 lac for surgery from Indiana Fathima Health Foundation, a Trust set up to help the poor and needy people. This helped in meeting the cost of treating the child and providing financial relief to the helpless family.

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News Network
September 20,2020

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Lucknow, Sept 20: The mosque to come up in Ayodhya pursuant to the Supreme Court verdict in the so called Ram Janmabhoomi case may have a shape that is different from the traditional shape of mosques and will not be named after any emperor or king.

Secretary and spokesperson of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) Athar Hussain said on Sunday, "A mosque measuring 15,000 square feet will be built in Dhannipur village. It will be of the same size as that of the Babri mosque. The shape of the mosque may be completely different from that of other mosques. It may be square-shaped like the Kaaba in Makkah, as hinted by architect SM Akhtar."

To a question on whether the mosque at Dhannipur will have no domes or minarets like the Kaaba, Hussain said it could be a possibility.

He said the architect has been given a free hand in this regard.

"The mosque will not be named Babri Masjid. It will not be named after any king or emperor. My personal opinion is that it should be called the Dhannipur Masjid," Hussain said.

He also informed that the trust is making its portal so that people can donate for the mosque and the museum, hospital and research centre which will be built inside the complex. Write-ups by national and international Islamic scholars will also appear on the portal.

He said some work on the portal is yet to be completed and hence, donation is yet to begin.

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board has formed the IICF, a trust, for the construction of the mosque on a five-acre plot.

The state government has allotted the five-acre plot in Ayodhya's Dhannipur for the construction of the mosque on the directive of the apex court.

After a protracted legal tussle, the Supreme Court, on November 9 last year, ruled in favour of the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a "prominent" place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.

The Babri mosque in Ayodhya was demolished on December 6, 1992 by "karsevaks", who claimed that an ancient Ram temple stood at the same site.

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