Tuesday, 14 April 2020 - Imphal Times

IT News

Imphal, April 14

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced to extend the ongoing total lockdown for containing Coronavirus for two more weeks. In his 25 minutes long speech to the nation the Prime Minister said that the lockdown will continue till May 3.

Welcoming the announcement, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh thanks the Prime Minister to the extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3. Soon after the announcement by the PM, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh tweeted, “ Thanks to Hon’ble PM @narendramodiji for extending the nationwide lockdown till May 3. We will follow his will, vision and advice in the fight against the dreaded COVID-19 outbreak. “

Biren Singh also tweeted to follow the Prime Minister’s advice during lockdown. He tweeted – “Advice by Hon’ble PM @narendramodi ji during lockdown: 1. Care for elders 2. Stay at home, stay safe 3. Use homemade masks 4. Follow precautions from @moayush + use #AarogyaSetu app 5. Extend help to the poor 6. Pls don’t lay-off employees 7. Respect doctors & medical workers”.

Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal, while welcoming the Prime Minister’s announcement also tweeted to follow the lockdown rules till May 3 without any compromise.

Mizoram Government and the Meghalaya government had already announced to extend the lockdown for more weeks.

 The 25 minutes long speech delivered by the Prime Minister in connection with the fight against COVID-19 pandemic is produced below:

My Dear Fellow Citizens,

India’s fight against the Corona global pandemic is moving ahead with great strength and steadfastness. It is only because of your restraint, penance and sacrifice that, India has so far been able to avert the harm caused by corona to a large extent. You have endured immense suffering to save your country, save your India.

I am well aware of the problems you have faced -some for food, some for movement from place to place, and others for staying away from homes and families. However, for the sake of your country, you are fulfilling your duties like a disciplined soldier. This is the power of ‘We, the People of India’ that our constitution talks about.

This display of our collective strength, by us, the people of India, is a true tribute to Baba Saheb Doctor Bhim Rao Ambedkar,on his birth anniversary. Baba Saheb’s life inspires us to combat each challenge with determination and hard work. I bow before Baba Saheb on behalf of all of us.

Friends, this is also the time of various festivals across various parts of our country. Along with festivals like Baisakhi, Pohela Boishakh, Puthandu, and Vishu, the new year has commenced in many states.In the time of lockdown, the manner in which people are abiding by the rules, and celebrating festivalswith restraint while staying withintheir homes, is truly praiseworthy. On the occasion of new year, I wish and pray for your good health.

Friends, you are well aware of the status of the Corona pandemic all over the world today. You have been a partner as well as witness to the manner in which India has tried to stopthe infection, compared to other countries. Long before we had even a single case of Corona, India had started screening travelers coming in from Corona affected countries at airports. Much before the number of Corona patients reached 100, India had made 14-day isolation mandatoryfor all those coming in from abroad. Malls, clubs and gymswere shut down in many places. When we had only 550 Corona cases, then itself India had taken the big step of a 21-day complete lockdown. India did not wait for the problem to aggravate. Rather, we attempted to nip the problem in the bud itself, by taking quick decisionsas soon as it arose.

Friends, in such a crisis it is not right to compare our situation with any other country. However, it is also true that if we look at Corona-related figures in the world’s big, powerful countries, India todayis in a very well-managed position. A month, month and a half ago, several countries had been at par with India in terms of Corona infection. But today, Corona cases in those countries are 25 to 30 times than that of India. Thousands of people have tragically died in those countries. Had India not adopted a holistic and integrated approach, taking quick and decisive action; the situation in India today would have been completely different.

It is clearly evident from the experience of the past few days, that we have chosen the correct path. Our country has greatly benefited from Social Distancing and Lockdown. From an economic only point of view, it undoubtedly looks costlyright now; but measured against the lives of Indian citizens, there is no comparison itself. The path that India has taken within our limited resources has become a topic of discussion in the entire world today.

The State Governments of the country have also acted with great responsibility in this, managing the situation round the clock. But friends, the way the Corona pandemic is spreading amidst all these efforts, has made health experts & governments around the world even more alert. I have been in continuous touch with the States on how the fight against Corona should progress in India. Everyone has suggested that the lockdown should be continued. Many States have in fact already decided and declared to continue the lockdown.

Friends, keeping all the suggestions in mind, it has been decided that the lockdown in India will have to be extended till 3rd May. That means until 3rd May, each and every one of us, will have to remain in the lockdown. During this time, we mustcontinue maintaining discipline in the way we have been doing till now.

It is my request and prayer to all fellow citizens, that we must not let Coronavirus spread to new areas at any cost. A single new patient at even the smallest local level, should be a matter of concern for us. The tragic death of even a single patient from coronavirus, should increase our concern even further.

Therefore, we have to be very vigilant about hot-spots. We will have to keep a close and strict watch on the places which run the risk of becoming hot-spots. The creation of new hot-spots will further challenge our hard work and penance. Hence, let us extend the strictness and austerity in the fight against Coronafor the upcomingone week.

Until 20th April, every town, every police station, every district, every state will be evaluated on how much the lockdown is being followed.The extent to which theregion has protected itself from Coronavirus will be noted.

Areas that will succeed in this litmus test, which will not be in the hot-spot category, and will have less likelihood to turn into a hot-spot;maybe allowed to open up select necessary activitiesfrom 20thApril. However, keep in mind, this permission will be conditional, and the rules for going out will be very strict. Permission will be withdrawn immediately if lockdown rules are broken, and spread of Coronavirus risked. Hence, we must make sure we ourselves don’t become careless, not allow anyone else do so. A detailed guideline will be issued by the Government tomorrow in this regard.

Friends, provision of this limited exemption in these identified areas after 20thAprilhas been done keeping in mind the livelihood of our poor brothers and sisters.Those who earn daily, make ends meet with daily income, they are my family. One of my top-most priorities is to reduce thedifficulties in their lives.The government has made every possible effort to help them through Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojna. Their interests have also been taken care of while making the new guidelines.

These days, the harvesting of the Rabi crop is also in progress.The Central and State governments are working together to minimize the problems of the farmers.

Friends, the country has ample reserves ofmedicines, food-ration and other essential goods; and supply chain constraints are continuouslybeing removed.We are making rapid progress in ramping uphealth infrastructure as well.From having only one testing lab for Coronavirus in January, we now have more than 220 functional testing labs. Global experience shows that 1,500-1,600 beds are required for every 10,000 patients. In India, we have arranged more than 1 Lakh beds today. Not only this, there are more than 600 hospitals which are dedicated for Covid treatment. As we speak, these facilities are being increased even more rapidly.

Friends, while India has limited resources today, I have a special request for India’s young scientists – to come forward and take a lead in creating a vaccine for Coronavirus; for the welfare of the world, for the welfare of the human race.

Friends, if we continue to be patient and follow rules, we will be able to defeat even a pandemic like Corona.With this faith and trust, I seek your support for 7 thingsin the end.

First thing –

Take special care of the elderly in your homes, especially those who have chronic disease.We have to take extra care ofthem, and keep them safe from Coronavirus.

Second thing –

Completely adhere to the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ of Lockdown and Social Distancing. Please also use homemade face-coversand masks without fail.

Third thing –

Follow the instructions issued by AYUSH ministry to enhance your immunity.Regularly consume warm water, ‘kadha’.

Fourth thing –

Download the Arogya Setu Mobile App to help prevent the spread of corona infection. Inspire others to download the app as well.

Fifth thing –

Take as much care of poor families as you can.Especially try to fulfill their food requirements.

Sixth thing –

Be compassionate towards the people who work with you in your business or industry. Do not deprive them of their livelihood.

Seventh thing –

Pay utmost respect to our nation’s Corona Warriors – our doctors and nurses, sanitation workers and police force.

Friends, I urge you to follow the rules of lockdown with utmost sincerityuntil 3rd May. Stay wherever you are, Stay safe.


We will all keep our nation eternal and awakened -with this thought, I conclude.

Thank you very much!

Pay utmost respect to our nation’s Corona Warriors – our doctors and nurses, sanitation workers and police force.

Friends, I urge you to follow the rules of lockdown with utmost sincerityuntil 3rd May. Stay wherever you are, Stay safe.


We will all keep our nation eternal and awakened -with this thought, I conclude.

Thank you very much!

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IT News

Imphal, April 14

Prime Minister Modi’s announcement to extend the lockdown till May 3 has been appreciated by almost every political parties and scholars across the country as the measures is the only option left to contain the spread of the pandemic Coronavirus in the state. However, some political leaders are skeptical on the part of the state government particularly for the state of Manipur as not everything that the Prime Minister had announced was converted into action.

State secretary of CPI-M Shanta Kshetrimayum while appreciating the Prime Minister’s move to extend the lockdown said that even though the PM’s announcement needs to be appreciated by one and all, it is disheartening to learn that the state government failed to convert into action to what the PM had stated.

“The state government particularly in the state like Manipur the lockdown called is often make as a mockery”, Shanta Kshtrimayum said while talking to Imphal Times. He said that they acted in their will without following the advisory in proper manner.

“This government instead of making a policy acted on their will and open the lockdown anytime when they wishes”, the CPI-M leader said.

Among the scholars, Professor Amar Yumnam of the Manipur University do appreciated the extension of the lockdown. He said that the Prime Minister has made two things very clear. First absolute restrictions continue one more week and location-wise reviews only after this. Second, he has acknowledged that there are some critical issues relating to farm sector, poor and daily wage workers (the migrants might also be categorised here). The policy response to these issues would be known only on Wednesday when the Guidelines are announced.

“While the extension is felt necessary, the critical issues need to be addressed in right earnest. Further each State should also have  Advisory Committee of their own to assess Contextual Situation and evolve appropriate responses rather than waiting advisories from Delhi all the time”, Professor Amar Yumnam said.

Senior Journalist Oken Jeet Sandham, in his Facebook post questioned the prime Minister if any person can stay home without food for two days.

Dear Prime Minister, please stay at home without food for two days, then you will know -What hunger is all about and what hunger can turn to what?

Yes, we all are fighting COVID-19, we all are equally serious, we have been staying at home with our children and other family members and others also do the same. My strong message is if we want to achieve our goal that is “to defeat COVID-19,” the only way to do it successfully is we have to reach relief to all, I repeat all. Please don’t use the phrases/words during such time - the nationwide lockdown, they are: “rich, poor, below poverty line, above poverty line, migrants, natives or any categorizing of humans” while trying to reach the “RELIEFS” to the citizens of our country.

We must remember that we cannot fight WAR in an empty stomach”, Okenjeet Sandham wrote over the state authority’s failures to reach out food to the people which the government promised.

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IT News
Imphal, April 14

The Imphal West District Administration has provided 10,360 verified stranded migrant population with rations such as rice, dal, salt and cooking oil as on April 12, 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 lockdown. The migrant workers are mostly engaged as daily wage earners, barbers, motias, rickshawpuller among others. In the district 1,285 workers have also been given shelter and food by employers/industry where they are working.
Helping the Imphal West District Administration towards providing assistance are more than 200 employees of the district administration and volunteers from Red Cross, NYK among others, working round the clock helping the needy. Free rations are also provided to Children Home, Old Age Home, and Rehab Centres.
It may be also be mentioned that the district administration provided assistance to a total of 18824 Households/Families and 3402.60 quintal of rice under PMGKAY on April 12, 2020. Under OMSS, 195.75 quintal of rice was also provided to 2123 Households/Families for the district.

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Guwahati, April 14

Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) expresses its profound grief at the untimely demise of senior sports journalist Pranjal Hazarika, who breathed his last today (13 April 2020) morning on the hospital bed.

Lived at Jorhat in eastern Assam with his extended family, Pranjal (45) was suffering from serious liver ailments for some time. He was hospitalized last night with major complications. Pranjal left behind his parent, wife with a son, other relatives and a host of well-wishers.

“Pranjal left all of us at a time when the human race on planet Earth is fighting against the deadly novel corona virus under full or semi lockdown,” said a JFA statement issued by president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding, “Goodbye Pranjal, may your soul rest in peace !”

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IT News
Imphal, April 14

Education Minister Dr. Thokchom Radheshyam today launched the electronic format of comic textbooks for Class III, IV and V respectively. The electronic format comic textbook for each class comprises three subjects namely Mathematics, Environmental Studies and English Language in a single electronic comic textbook format.
The Minister said that because of the lockdown imposed to break the chain of infection and control the spread of coronavirus disease COVID-19 the educational institutions in the State have been closed for the past 21 days and extended till 3 May, 2020 across the country. He stated that as steps and measures to make up the gaps for the academic situation especially for the schools the Department of Education (S) has initiated for the electronic format comic textbooks for Class III, IV and V. 
Dr. Thokchom Radheshyam said that the decisions were made after thorough discussion and analysis with the experts and officials concerned of the Department of Education. He explained that the 3 in 1 electronic format comic textbook for these three classes will have three to four chapters of each subject to a total of ten to twelve chapters in each book.
He also informed that the electronic format textbooks for other classes will be soon made available. He urged the teachers, parents and guardians of the students to make the best use of the electronic format textbooks.
The launching of the textbooks was held at his office chamber at New Secretariat, Imphal. The comic textbooks can be availed from the website  www.manipureducation.gov.in.

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IT News
Mumbai, April 14

From “GoCoronaGo” to “Sampark-o-Meter”, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore and four Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), including IIT, Bombay, have developed several mobile applications to aid the fight against coronavirus in the country.
The app “GoCoronaGo” has been developed by a team at IISc which can help identify people who may have crossed paths with COVID-19 suspects, by tracking their interactions in the past using bluetooth and GPS. It uses temporal network analytics in the backend to understand the risk propensity even for distant contacts, understand disease spread and identify high-risk people who are likely to contract and spread the virus,” Tarun Rambha, a faculty member at IISc, said.  
It also provides alerts on isolation and proximity scores, and helps enhance social distancing. It also has a geo-fencing feature for those who are under quarantine, and has the ability to provide their symptoms which is used in the risk evaluation,” Rambha added.
Similarly, a team of students and alumni at IIT Bombay, have made a mobile app named “CORONTINE” that will help in tracking the potential or suspected asymptomatic carriers (AC) of coronavirus if they leave their quarantine zone. The app is meant to be installed on the mobile of asymptomatic carriers (AC) by an authorized agency (AA). The app will send GPS coordinates of the mobiles periodically to a server under the supervision of AA. If a user leaves a specified quarantined zone marked by a geo-fence, it will be auto-detected. The purpose of the app is to help authorities track the asymptomatic carriers and prevent the spread of the disease.
A B.Tech student at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Ropar (Punjab) has developed a mobile-based app called “Sampark-o-Meter” which can indicate areas on maps with maximum coronavirus infection possibility. “The app generates a ‘risk score’ after considering various factors and can alert people to take precautionary measures including self-isolate or consulting a doctor. The app would facilitate users to estimate corona sampark risk rating.
The existing approaches put the onus of responsibility of contact tracing and alerting or isolating the potential suspects on the government only, and are subjected to delays because of which, in most cases, the suspect has further spread the virus to many before being caught. This app, if implemented successfully, can timely alert and more efficiently control the spread.
Students at IIT Delhi have also come up with an application to help trace individuals who come in close contact with COVID-19 positive cases. “Using bluetooth, the application will track and alert all individuals who have been in close vicinity of positive COVID 19 cases in the past days. The date and region of interaction within the bluetooth radius will also be provided through the application.
IIT Roorkee (Uttarakhand) professor Kamal Jain has developed a tracking app which can strengthen the surveillance system needed to contain coronavirus. The app can track individuals and also can do geo fencing around him or her. The system will get an alert, if geo fencing is violated by the quarantined person. In case GPS data is not received, the location will be obtained automatically through the triangulation of mobile towers. If the Internet is not working in a certain area, the location will be received through SMS.

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IT News
Imphal, April 14

Inaat Loishang Wangkhei Hijam Leirak today distributed Hand sanitizer bottles to media houses in Imphal to prevent spreading of COVID -19 to among the reporters and non journalist employees of media houses, who are also in the frontline in the war against COVID-19 but not acknowledge by the government.
The members of the Inaat Loishang handed over the hand Sanitizers to the media houses today.

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IT News
Mumbai, April 14

The National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate steps to ensure speedy return of over 40,000 Indian seafarers stranded across globe due to COVID-19 and resultant lockdown.
In a petition to Modi and Union Minister of Shipping Mansukhlal Mandaviya, NUSI has pointed out that the seafarers, including those on board the cruise ships, who have finished their contract are stranded abroad. They have been accommodated onboard their ships. Some of the seafarers who have signed off from their ships are held up in hotels abroad. Seafarers cannot come back to India or sign on / sign off. Some of them are stuck within India due to the lockdown.
With every passing day there is a growing concern, unrest and fear among the seafarers and their families. As such the Government should ensure their speedy return to India, assist those stuck within India, facilitate sign on / sign off in Indian ports and their safe passage to their respective homes, NUSI General Secretary Abdulgani Serang said  and added that NUSI is doing its best to financially support Indian seafarers in the current scenario when Indian economy is passing through a rough phase due to pandemic across the globe.
He said NUSI has earmarked a corpus of Rs 10 crore to support retired Indian seafarers, disabled seafarers, widows of seafarers and jobless seafarers who have been out of job for the past nine months. This includes compensation of Rs 6 crore for retired seafarers and Rs 4 crore for working seafarers. “NSUI Corona Relief fund” will directly send Rs 3,000 to the accounts of 20,000 retired, medically unfit seafarers (or widows). Similarly Rs 5000 will be sent to all seafarers, who have not sailed after 01 July 2019.    
The stranded seafarers include over 15,000 onboard about 500 cargo vessels and another 25,000 on cruise ships across the globe. NUSI has also advised all its seafarers to send individual petitions to Modi and Mandvia requesting for their early return to India.  
NUSI, MUI and MASSA have also raised the issue with the shipping ministry, which has assured to all possible help for the return of these seafarers after the lockdown is lifted.
“ We are waiting to seafarers to return since their job contracts have expired,” said Capt Shiv Halbe, CEO of Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA). He said that in recent video conference meeting, the issue was raised before Manadaviya, who assured safe passage of seafarers to India, once the lockdown is lifted.
During the meeting with Mandaviya, the representatives from ports sector raised concerns on high port operation cost, port congestion, shortage of labourers, movement of workers and truck drivers, among others, due to the lockdown. India has 12 major ports — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Kutch, Gujarat, JNPT, Navi Mumbai, Mormugao, Goa,  New Mangalore, Karnatak, V.O. Chidambaranar, Tamil Nadu, Cochin Port, Kerala, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), Tamil Nadu, Paradip Port,Odisha,  Visakhapatnam Port, Andhra Pradesh, Haldia Port and Kolkata Port, Andhra Pradesh.
In the meanwhile seafarers’ families are of the opinion that some of the seafarers could have been brought back by Air India planes which recently ferried medical equipment and other  items to nearly 26 countries. These planes returned India almost empty.

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Written by Ravi Shankar Prasad

India is passing through a very critical time.  Corona Virus has become a huge pandemic severely threatening life and the entire country is in lockdown.  Nearly the entire world has been impacted and no known cure has been found till now.  These are times of great challenge, anxiety and also concern. 

However, any challenge also presents an opportunity and may be this crisis which has affected across the humanity, high or low, wealthy or poor without recognising any race and religion, also requires new resolve and response.  April, 14th is the Birth Anniversary of the great Indian Baba Bhimrao Ambedkar who apart from being the architect of our Constitution was also a social reformer.  He described our Constitution as a social document as well where rights and obligation as also empowerment and inclusion are equally important values to be kept in mind in the march of free India.

It has been the extraordinary tradition of India that whenever faced with challenge, the inner strength of the country and its people rises.  We all remember that when there was food crisis in the 60s, the then PM, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri made appeal to the people of India to skip one meal everyday and the entire country responded.  While commitment and unity during times of war is well-known and quite natural, even during national crisis, the people of India have always risen to the occasion provided that the leadership is capable of inspiring.

PM, Shri Narendra Modi, as we all know, is a popularly elected PM whom the people of India have chosen as their leader.  He has been occasionally making appeal to the people of India and they have risen to the occasion.  If he asked those who could afford to voluntarily leave their cooking gas subsidy, crores of people responded so that poor women could be given the cooking gas connection in the Ujjawala Scheme.  When he launched the Swachh Bharat Programme, he asked the people of India to voluntarily participate in the construction of rural toilets and in the last 5-1/2 years, it has become such a mass movement ensuring the highest ever construction of toilets in the villages and many Gram Panchayats becoming open defecation   free.  It was his inspiring call to become Swachhagrihi from Satyagrihi and the people of India voluntarily accepted clean India as a national mission because they thought it was their duty to do so.

            In the Corona crisis, the PM appealed to the people of India for a Janta Curfew and also public clap for all the doctors, paramedic staff and others who are toiling hard at great risk to themselves to serve the large number of patients suffering from COVID.  He also took the extraordinary measures to declare the lockdown in the country for 21 days in the first instance and the people of India took it as a part of their duty to heed to his call and remain confined to their homes and maintaining social distancing was important to contain its contagious virus.  On his one call, the entire country lighted a lamp or a diya to show unity and energy in the country during these challenging times. 

            Rights and duties are integral to our constitutional architecture even though fundamental duty was provided for much later in the Constitution.  The idea of obligation coupled with duty has been the fundamental feature of our Constitution.  For instance, there is Fundamental Right of freedom under Article 19 of speech, of assembly, of movement, residence, etc.  But the same Article also provides for a duty under Article 19(2) that it has to be exercised in a manner which does not adversely impact upon the unity and integrity of India, security of the State, public order, morality, etc.  If it is so exercised, then reasonable restrictions can be imposed.  Article 17 abolishes untouchability in any form and its practice is forbidden.  Obviously, there is a duty on every Indian not to do so.  Article 39 of the Constitution enjoining upon the States, the obligation to have policy whereby the material resources are so distributed as best to subserve the common good.  The duty of every Indian towards fulfilment of the common good also becomes a constitutional obligation.  Article 49 imposes an obligation upon the Government to protect every monument or place of artistic or historical importance declared as one of national importance from spoliation, destruction and disfigurement.  Surely, it imposes a duty on all of us to help and protect these historical monuments.

            Article 51A, added later, contains the chapter on Fundamental Duties.  Important among these, is to respect National Flag, National Anthem to uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India, protect and improve the natural environment, etc.  In my view, an important duty is 55A(j) which prescribes that “every citizen to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rise to higher levels of endeavour and achievement.”


            How do we fulfil these duties?  If by our collective will and following our duty during these times of great challenge in the fight against Coronavirus, our country succeeds then we shall be fulfilling a collective obligation to help our nation rise to higher level of achievement.  We are happy to know that many of the initiatives of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and some State Governments also are being globally appreciated. 

            I would seriously recommend that today every Indian must remember not to ask what the country can give you but also reflect as to what one can give to the country.  Even the Hon’ble Supreme Court in a judgement in 2012, Ramlila Maidan incident, in RE, has clearly held that there has to be a balance and proportionality between the right and restriction on the one hand and right and duty on the other.  It will create an imbalance if undue or disproportionate emphasis is placed upon the right of citizen without considering the significance of the duty.  The true source of right is duty.  I am sure during these trying times every Indian will remember this.  Surely, we shall overcome.

(Ravi Shankar Prasad is the Union Minister of Communication, Law & Justice and Electronics & Information Technology)

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IT News
Mumbai, April 14

In view of an appeal by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, prominent doctors from Mumbai, who include infectious diseases specialists, have come forward to form a task force to guide doctors dealing with coronavirus cases, even as the number of active cases reached 2455 on Tuesday.

Maharashtra Housing Minister Jitendra Awhad, who came in contact with 19 policemen tested positive, was home quarantined. “I myself preferred to quarantine myself and remain at home for 14 days, he tweeted.

The task force of senior Mumbai doctors, will coordinate with doctors and paramedics in different hospitals dealing with COVID-19 cases through hotline and will guide them time to time. Maharashtra has 13 government and eight private laboratories in which 5500 tests can be carried out in a day. The Maharashtra has identified 30 government hospitals, dedicated to covid-19 treatment, making a  total of 2,305 beds available across the state.

The doctors had a meeting with Thackeray by video conferencing on Monday during which improvement in measures to arrest the spread of coronavirus were discussed.  The death rate in Maharashtra is 6 to 7 per cent and 80 per cent of the deceased had past history of kidney ailment, high blood pressure etc. Thackeray said that the aim of forming a task force is not only to stop the spread of the diseases but to also ensure that no patient succumbs.

The task force includes: Dr. Sanjay Oak, Vice Chancellor, Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Navi Mumbai (former Dean, KEM Hospital), Dr. Zaheer Udwadia (Pulmonologist), P.D. Hinduja Hospital,  Dr. Santoshi Nagaonkar(Urologist & Robotic Surgeon), Lilavati Hospital,  Dr. Kedar Toraskar (expert in critical care medicine), Wockhardt Hospital, Dr. Rahul Pandit(Senior Intensive Care Consultant) Fortis Hospital, Dr. N D Karnik (HOD, Department of Medicine), LTMG, Sion, Dr. Zaheer A Virani(Nephrologist), Prince Aly Khan Hospital, Mazgaon, Dr. Pravin Bangar (senior medical officer), KEM Hospital, Parel and Dr Om Srivastava(infectious diseases specialist),Jaslok hospital.

While Maharashtra Government has set up a COVID 19, cell at Mantralaya, its headquarter in South Mumbai, to with four senior IAS officers to deal with non-medical issues, the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee has formed a task force and other sub-committees. The task force will be under former CM and MLA Prithviraj Chavan and will have 18 other members with former MP Bhalchandra Mungekar as the Coordinator.

The task force comprises MP Rajiv Satav, Mumbai Congress president Eknath Gaikwad, former Pradesh President Manikrao Thakre, MPCC working president Basavraj Patil, Muzzafar Hussain, former minister Naseem Khan, former union minister Vilas Muttemwar and others.

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