Dakshina Kannada witnesses panic buying ahead of tougher weekend curfew

News Network
May 7, 2021

Mangaluru, May 7: People in Mangaluru and other parts of Dakshina Kannada early on Friday morning rushed to shops and supermarkets to buy essential commodities in the wake of district administration’s announcement to re-impose tougher weekend curfew. 

Consumers had only three hours – 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. – for shopping. By 10.a.m all shopkeepers had to reach their homes as per new restrictions imposed by the administration.  Panic buying was witnessed across the city, and even in rural areas, as several people lined up outside grocery stores and vegetable markets. 

Several leading markets in Mangaluru city witnessed a sizeable crowd that lined up to buy vegetables, groceries and other essential items, larger than those seen ahead of the weekend lockdown. “People are saying there might be an extended lockdown in the coming week. So, I am here to buy vegetables and fruits,” said a customer, waiting outside a shop at Mallikatte market.

Even medical shops witnessed brisk sales. “We witnessed a similar shopping spree during the first wave of the pandemic,” said a shopkeeper.

However, in a worrisome trend, people crowding outside shops and markets failed to follow Covid-19 protocols.

By 9 am, majority of the shops in Mangaluru City downed its shutters while a few shops that were open were asked to close down by officials. In rural areas like Kumpala and Deralakatte, there was a huge crowd outside the shops even after 9 am.

The weekend curfew comes into force at 9 pm today.

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News Network
June 5,2021

Bengaluru, June 5: The state government on Saturday shunted out Mysuru deputy commissioner Rohini Sindhuri and Mysuru City Corporation commissioner Shilpa Nag following their ugly public spat over the past few days.

Bagadi Gautham, a 2009 batch IAS officer, replaces Sindhuri as Mysuru DC while G Lakshmikanh Reddy, 2015 batch IAS officer, takes over from Shilpa.

While Sindhuri has been posted commissioner of Hindu religious and charitable endowments, Bengaluru, Nag will be director of e-governance in rural development and panchayat raj department.

The government was contemplating action against them after Shilpa resigned from the IAS over alleged harassment by Sindhuri. It had also launched a probe into the construction of a gym and swimming pool at the DC's residence allegedly in violation of heritage laws. The spat between the officers was unseemly, coming as it did amid a huge spike in Covid cases in Mysuru district.

Among the other transfers, P Rajendra Cholan has been posted as managing director, Bescom, and will hold concurrent charge as special commissioner (health and IT), BBMP. 

Resignation and U-turn

Shilpa Nag on Thursday had announced her resignation from the service, citing harassment and humiliation from Deputy Commissioner Rohini Sindhuri. However on Saturday she took a U-turn from her decision. She decided to resume work from Sunday.

It has to be noted that Nag had taken her resignation papers to Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar during his visit to Mysuru on Friday but, the CS did not accept the paper and suggested her to reconsider the decision.

“I have sent resignation papers through register post and also e-mailed it,” Nag said. District in-charge Minster S T Somashekar and others suggested her not to resign, she said.

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News Network
June 8,2021

Agra, June 8: A hospital director in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, has allegedly been caught on camera speaking about how a 5-minute oxygen mock drill in April caused the death of 22 patients, prompting outrage and an inquiry into the issue.

In the short 1.5-minute video clip, Arinjay Jain, the owner of Paras Hospital, which includes a Covid-19 facility, can be heard saying his hospital cut off oxygen supply to patients for a 5-minute mock drill on April 27, amid a crippling oxygen shortage in the state and the entire country when the second Covid wave was still on the rise.

"We were told that even the Chief Minister cannot get oxygen, so start discharging patients. Modi Nagar is dry,” Jain is heard saying on the clip recorded on April 28 that has since gone viral on social media.

“We started counseling families. Some were willing to listen, but the others said they would not leave. I said okay let's do a mock drill. We will find out who will die and who will survive. So we did that at 7 am. A mock drill was done. No one knows. Then we identified 22 patients. We realised they would die. This was done for 5 minutes. They started turning blue."

Scenes of desperation broke out in Uttar Pradesh in late April and early May as people ran from pillar to post in search of oxygen for family and friends who had contracted Covid, leading to an acute scarcity of the life-saving gas.

Agra District Magistrate Prabhu N Singh, in a statement to the media, however, refuted any deaths due to oxygen shortage on the day the video was recorded but promised a probe into the issue.

"Initially, there was some panic and shortage but we sorted all that out in 48 hours. In this hospital, there have been seven Covid deaths on the 26th and 27th of April. The hospital also has a lot of other ICU beds. There is no truth that 22 people died but we will carry out an inquiry," Singh said in the statement.

The incident was met with much outcry on social media, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also hitting out against the ruling party in the state. However, the owner of the hospital said his words had been misinterpreted.

“We had to find out the oxygen dependency of the patients to understand how we can handle the situation if there was an oxygen shortage or if the supply gets over... Mock drill means taking stock of the situation before facing an issue, to understand how to work in an emergency,” Jain said.

“We had categorised the patients... We categoried Covid patients to see which patient needs how much oxygen... A mock drill does not mean switching off a patient's oxygen. We did not switch off oxygen. I did not clearly say so in the video. I said a mock drill was done at 7 am. In this, 22 patients died."

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News Network
June 8,2021

Bengaluru, June 8: The Karnataka Common Entrance Test for various vocational courses, including engineering, is scheduled to be conducted on August 28 and 29.

"The CET exam will take place on August 28 and 29. Each subject will carry 60 marks," Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Maths and Biology exams will be held on the first day while Physics and Chemistry on the second day. Registration will commence from June 15, he said, adding that the PUC marks will not be taken into account. Narayan further said students will be required to score a minimum mark to clear the entrance test.

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