Facebook blocks #ResignModi campaign for hours, then says ‘by mistake’

Agencies
April 29, 2021

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Apr 29: Facebook Inc. blocked posts tagged #ResignModi before restoring them hours later, stoking a controversy that’s erupted over government requests to remove social media content as India grapples with an escalating Covid crisis.

Facebook said it barred the hashtag by mistake and not at the behest of the government, without elaborating. Facebook periodically blocks hashtags for a variety of reasons, some manually but many also based on automated internal guidelines. The error stemmed from content associated with the label and not the hashtag itself, the spokesperson added.

The hours-long block, which came ahead of the final phase of lawmaker elections in a key state and effectively wiped posts calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resign, follows public outrage and official efforts to curb content critical of the way his government has handled the pandemic. This year, the country established new rules that require the likes of Facebook and Twitter Inc. to take down unlawful content quicker, triggering a debate over freedom of speech in the world’s largest democracy.

“We temporarily blocked this hashtag by mistake, not because the Indian government asked us to, and have since restored it,” a Facebook company spokesperson said.

A fresh wave of the coronavirus has roiled India in recent weeks, leaving hospital beds, medicines and oxygen in short supply. Crematoriums are overrun, and India has reported several days of more than 300,000 new daily infections. Many have taken to social media to seek help for their predicament, inundating services like WhatsApp and Instagram with pleas for everything from hospital beds to medicines, CT scans, doorstep Covid tests, and even food for the elderly in quarantine.

It’s also stirred public anger over the handling of the crisis. India’s government in response has ordered US social media companies to block posts, saying Covid-related misinformation risked spurring a panic and disrupting efforts to bring the pandemic under control.

Twitter Inc. has removed or restricted access to Covid-related posts over the past month. Earlier this year, the social media giant had to permanently suspend more than 500 accounts and block access to hundreds of others in India, acceding to a government order to restrain the spread of misinformation and inflammatory content related to farmers’ protests. The company has said it reviews all valid legal requests it receives under the company’s guidelines and local rules.

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coastaldigest.com news network
April 22,2021

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New Delhi, Apr 22: Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan died on Wednesday, April 21, days after testing positive for the covid-19. He was 97.

Khan was admitted to Delhi's Apollo Hospital on April 12 after being tested positive for the infection, news agency PTI reported quoting family sources.

Born in Azamgarh in 1925, the Maulana was educated at a traditional seminary. A known peacenik who advocated peaceful co-existence and counselled moderation in conduct, he crusaded against extremism and orthodox interpretations of the holy texts. He penned over 200 books, including a commentary and a translation of the Quran in English, Hindi and Urdu. His lectures, many of them available on YouTube, are immensely popular.

Maulana Khan was founder of the Islamic Centre in New Delhi. He had hit the headlines when he gave his ‘peace formula’ for the Babri Masjid-Ramjanambhoomi dispute and asked Muslims to forego their claims on the disputed land in Ayodhya. His request was though rejected by a huge section of his community.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death and said the scholar would be remembered for his "insightful knowledge" on theology and spirituality.

"Saddened by the passing away of Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. He will be remembered for his insightful knowledge on matters of theology and spirituality. He was also passionate about community service and social empowerment. Condolences to his family and countless well-wishers. RIP," the PM tweeted.

In January this year, the government had announced that Khan would be awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award. In 2000, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award. 

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News Network
April 24,2021

Mangaluru, Apr 24: Karnataka Private Medical Establishment (KPME) registration of Misquith Hospital in Surathkal was temporarily withheld and the hospital was forced to shut down after an inquiry confirmed medical negligence.

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner Dr K V Rajendra said on Saturday a woman had undergone treatment at the hospital from March 6 to 8. The hospital had shown a negligent attitude by not conducting the covid test on the patient. The woman later succumbed to the infection on March 18.

When officials verified the documents pertaining to the treatment of the woman, the negligence came to light.

Further, an Ayurveda doctor was found treating the patients with allopathic medicines in addition, a clinic was functioning on the hospital premises without the Registration. A total of 18 patients were availing treatment in the hospital. While verifying the case sheet, the officials realised that records of nine patients had been recorded.

There were four fever cases and the hospital authorities had violated Epidemic Disease Act norms. The inquiry was conducted by team officials, including Dr Deepa Prabhu, Taluk Medical Officer Dr Sujay Kumar, Dr Rehman from Wenlock Hospital, District Ayush Officer Dr Ashfaq and KPMEA legal advisor Chandraha.

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April 22,2021

Bengaluru, Apr 22: All hospitals that have bed capacity of more than 30, will now have to earmark 80 percent of these and ICU facilities to the state government.

Speaking to newsmen here on Thursday, Minister for health and Medical Education Dr Sudhakar said that beds that are dedicated to dialysis, mother and child care and all life threatening diseases will not be disturbed, but that apart all other beds in Bangalore will be dedicated to Covid patients, which means that over 7000 beds will be immediately available for treatment.

All the Nursing Homes and hospitals with up to and less than 30 beds should mandatorily treat non-Covid patients.

"There is a medical emergency and private hospitals need to recognise this and work with the government and handover 80 percent of the beds and the State government will bear the cost of treatment and refund the money to these hospitals which treat Covid patients,"he added.

The Minister said that there was no shortage of oxygen in the state and already 5500 metric ton oxygen has been made available.

Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, he said that the government provided cylinder oxygen and in this connection he had already discussed this issue with industry minister Jagadeesh Shatter.

"The government was also in touch with manufacturing units and supplied 40,000 tonnes of oxygen" he said.

Karnataka has asked the Centre to supply 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen and one lakh vials of Remdesivir in view of the growing COVID cases in the state.

"We have estimated that in the next one month, we may require 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen. In this regard, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has written to Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal," he added.

Karnataka has asked the Centre to supply 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen and one lakh vials of Remdesivir in view of the growing COVID cases in the state.

"We have estimated that in the next one month, we may require 1,500 metric tonnes of oxygen. In this regard, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa has written to Union Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industries Piyush Goyal," he said

He said he too has written to the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan for supply of oxygen.

Sudhakar said the state government had a meeting with the major oxygen generators in the state.

Out of the oxygen suppliers JSW Steel is the largest one.

"We had a meeting with Sajjan Jindal and he has assured us to supply as much oxygen required in the state," Sudhakar said.

The Minister said after the meeting that JSW steel supplied 40 metric tonnes of oxygen in the last two days, required for Bengaluru.

Besides this, the State has demanded additional supply of Remdesivir injections, which is crucial for COVID treatment.

According to him, the state has ordered 70,000 vials of Remdesivir injection, of which 20,000 had arrived while the remaining would be supplied in the coming days.

"We have already ordered 70,000 vials of Remdesivir.

This besides we have put forth the demand for one lakh Remdesivir vials for which we have written to the Centre," he added.

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