Bed-blocking scam: Did Tejasvi Surya apologize after levelling false allegation against Muslim staff? He calls it ‘fake news’

News Network
May 7, 2021

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Bengaluru, May 7: BJP Yuva Morcha national president and Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya has rubbished reports that he apologised to those working at a municipal covid war room in Bengaluru.

Mr Surya, who is known for provocative remarks, had visited the facility on Tuesday and broadcast the video live, reading out the names of 16 Muslim staff who he accused of corruption in the allocation of hospital beds as the city and Karnataka struggles with a massive spike in covid infections.

The MP’s attempt to give communal tinge to ‘bed allotment scam’, however, evoked a backlash after it came to light that his allegation against Muslim staff was false.  

Fact checks over the claims that these 16 Muslim members of the war room were involved in a bed allocation scam led to a deadend, as only one of these 16 was part of the team of bed allocation — and he had joined it temporarily just last week to replace another employee who had a personal emergency at home. The other 15 — most of them young graduates in their early twenties — were members of other teams involved in indexing, home isolation supervision and discharge of patients who finished quarantine period.

On Thursday, Mr Surya once again visited the covid war room. Several news portals reported that the MP tendered apology for levelling false allegations. 

“My employees called me to say that Surya had visited the war room. He apparently told them ‘I have nothing personal against any of you. If anyone or any community is hurt emotionally by my visit, I apologise for that. I wanted to probe the bed allocation scam which had come to my notice, but if my actions had hurt anyone, please accept my apologies,’ he told the staff," said Shivu Naik, project manager of the Crystal Infosystems and Services, the agency that had hired and delegated manpower for the hurried war rooms of the BBMP.

“Those 16 were part of a 212-member team deployed at BBMP for various tasks — and there was no reason why they were targeted,” Naik was quoted as saying by news18. 

According to The News Minute, Mr Surya on Thursday (May 5) revisited the Bengaluru South COVID War Room at around 7 pm, and apologised to the 200-odd people working there.  “About the numbers that were leaked? I’m saying from our side, I’m really sorry. This was not our intention. We didn’t know that they would get leaked. That’s not in our hands... I was given a list, and told these are the people who work here who were removed for such-and-such reasons. I just read out the list. That list just had these names. I read them out and asked why these people — how these people were hired — all this happened in front of you. There are many things here I don’t want to get into all that with you,” the MP was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Mr Surya today took to social media to rubbish the reports about his apology. "When one has no news, they create fake news," his office posted on Twitter, responding to the news reports.

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News Network
June 6,2021

New Delhi, June 6: A Delhi government hospital on Saturday issued a circular asking its nursing staff not to use Malayalam at work as "maximum patients and colleagues do not know this language" which it said causes a lot of inconvenience.

The circular issued by the Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (GIPMER), one of the leading facilities here, has asked its nurses to use only Hindi and English for communication or face "strict action".

G B Pant nurses’ association president Liladhar Ramchandani claimed it was issued in pursuance of a complaint sent by a patient to a senior officer in the health department, regarding use of Malayalam language at the hospital, while adding that "the union disagrees with the wordings used in the circular".

The circular says, "A complaint has been received regarding Malayalam language being used for communication in working places in GIPMER.

Whereas maximum patient and colleagues do not know this language and feel helpless causing a lot of inconvenience".

"So, it is directed to all nursing personnel to use only Hindi and English for communication.

Otherwise serious action will be taken,” it reads.

Ramchandani, also the secretary general of Delhi Nurses Federation said, "As a language's name, Malayalam, has been inserted in the circular, many will take offence".

He also claimed that this circular was "consequent of the complaint filed by the patient" and "internally, there is no issue among the nurses and the administration".

Many nurses at various hospitals across India, hail from Kerala, with Malayalam being their native language. The circular has drawn sharp criticism from other nursing unions too.

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News Network
June 9,2021

New Delhi, June 9: The government has come out with comprehensive guidelines for the management of Covid-19 among children in which Remdesivir has not been recommended and rational use of HRCT imaging has been suggested.

The guidelines issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) under the health ministry also said that steroids are harmful in asymptomatic and mild cases of infection.

The DGHS recommended steroids only in hospitalised moderately severe and critically ill Covid-19 cases under strict supervision.

"Steroids should be used at the right time, in the right dose and for the right duration. Self-medication of steroids must be avoided," it said.

The guidelines also said Remdesivir (an emergency use authorization drug) is not recommended in children.

"There is lack of sufficient safety and efficacy data with respect to Remdesivir in children below 18 years of age," the guidelines said.

The guidelines suggested rational use of High-resolution CT (HRCT) for seeing the extent and nature of lung involvement in patients with Covid-19.

"However, any additional information gained from HRCT scan of the chest often has little impact on treatment decisions, which are based almost entirely on clinical severity and physiological impairment.

"Therefore, treating physicians should be highly selective in ordering HRCT imaging of the chest in Covid-19 patients," the guidelines said.

They said Covid-19 is a viral infection, and antimicrobials have no role in the prevention or treatment of uncomplicated Covid-19 infection.

For asymptomatic and mild cases, the guidelines said antimicrobials are not recommended for therapy or prophylaxis while for moderate and severe cases antimicrobials should not be prescribed unless there is clinical suspicion of a superadded infection.

Hospital admission increases the risk of healthcare-associated infections with multidrug-resistant organisms.

For asymptomatic infection among children, the guidelines recommended no specific medication and promoted Covid-appropriate behaviour (mask, strict hand hygiene, physical distancing) and suggested giving nutritious diet.

The guidelines said that for mild infection paracetamol 10-15mg/kg/dose may be given every 4-6 hours for fever and throat soothing agents and warm saline gargles in older children and adolescents have been recommended for cough.

In case of moderate infection, the guidelines suggested initiating immediate oxygen therapy.

"Corticosteroids are not required in all children with moderate illness; they may be administered in rapidly progressive disease and anticoagulants may also be indicated," the guidelines said.

For severe Covid-19 among children, the guidelines said if Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) develops, necessary management to be initiated.

"In case shock develops, necessary management should be initiated. Antimicrobials to be administered if there is evidence/strong suspicion of superadded bacterial infection.  May need organ support in case of organ dysfunction, e.g. renal replacement therapy," it said.

The guidelines also recommended a six-minute walk test for children above 12 years under the supervision of parents/guardians.

"It is a simple clinical test to assess cardiopulmonary exercise tolerance and is used to unmask hypoxia.  Attach a pulse oximeter to his/her finger and ask the child to walk in the confines of their room for six minutes continuously," it said. 

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News Network
June 10,2021

New Delhi, June 10: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday demanded that every person walking into a Covid-19 vaccination centre should get the jab, saying those who do not have access to internet also have the right to life.

The Congress has been batting for vaccines for the poor, especially those living in far-flung and rural areas, who do not have digital access or smart phones.

The opposition party has also been demanding that COWIN registration should not be mandatory for getting the Covid vaccine.

"Online registration is not enough for the vaccine. Every person walking in at a vaccination centre should get the vaccine. Those who do not have access to internet also have the right to life," he said in a tweet in Hindi. 

The Congress has been critical of the government's vaccination policy and its handling of the Covid situation in the country.

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