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Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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Maharashtra Govt takes 80% beds in private hospitals, caps treatment charges

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 23:

In a crack down on private hospitals, the Maharashtra government took control of over 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and also capped treatment charges for COVID-19 and other illnesses in these hospitals on Friday.

Amid reports of hospitals in Maharashtra refusing admission to coronavirus patients and overcharging, the Maharashtra government issued orders for taking control of 80 per cent beds in private hospitals and nursing homes in the state.

Private hospitals will now have 20 per cent beds for which they are allowed to charge their own rates, while 100 per cent of the ICU beds and 80 per cent others will be regulated by the Maharashtra government. The price capping will stay in effect till 31 August,2020.

With the new order by the state government, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will have access to additional 417 ICU beds for Covid-19 patients and 538 for non-Covid at government rates. Nearly 2,624 beds for Covid-19 patients and 3,020 beds for non-Covid will now be available in 33 hospitals.

The BMC also stated that the 1,000-bed quarantine facility for Covid-19 patients at MMRDA, Bandra in North West Mumbai, will be functional with 56 beds from 24 May onwards. A set of 56 beds will be added every subsequent day. “The Asian Heart Institute” which is located close to this facility will be dove-tailed as ICU for the facility, till the time the 200-bed ICU facility being set up becomes fully functional.

BMC Municipal Commissioner I.S. Chahal said an additional pool of 2,000 Covid beds is being created in the next three days at ward officer level. For every 100 beds in the ward, there will be 20 ICUs. Chahal said this will spruce up bed availability by utilising the ‘80:20’ order applicable to all other hospitals, nursing homes, clinics in the BMC area. The BMC’s order also mentions that testing for Covid suspected patients to be ramped up substantially and BMC Municipal Commissioner will himself be visiting laboratories for the same.

There have been cases in the past where coronavirus positive patients died due to lack of beds in Covid-dedicated hospitals, late hospitalisation or delayed treatment for the deadly infection.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise unabated in Mumbai, the state government has deputed IAS officers to major hospitals in the city for effective management of the outbreak. An IAS officer each has been deputed to KEM, Nair, Sion, JJ-GT-St George and BMC’s Periphereal hospitals for effective management of the outbreak.

The duties set for these IAS officers holding charge of the hospitals involve: Immediate setting up of war room in each government hospital, CCTV live view of all ICU beds and COVID-19 wards, ensuring attendance of doctors, nurses and para-medicals, especially late night and early morning.

Real time data upload every 30 minutes on Bed Management dashboard, strict implementation of discharge policy (to ensure no patient overstays once tested negative), to provide unique ID code to each bed are the other stipulations. Dashboards to allot beds with bed number on call to 1916, to ensure quality food packets to patients and their relatives (by ensuring daily stocking of food/biscuits in canteens through NGOs which are put in place) and to ensure cleanliness and upkeep and minor maintenance are the other issues.

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Mukesh Ambani’s “Reliance Jio” raises Rs 67,194.75 crore amid lockdown

IT Correspondent

Mumbai, May 23:

In less than four weeks, Reliance Jio has struck deals with leading technology giants and private equity firms including Facebook, Silver Lake, Vista Equity and General Atlantic, raising Rs 67,194.75 crore.

According to official sources, on 17 May, Reliance Jio sold a 1.34 per cent to General Atlantic for Rs 6,598.38 crore, while American private equity giant “Silver Lake Partners” bought 1 per cent stake in Jio for Rs 5,655.75 crore. Besides “Facebook” purchased a 9.9 per cent stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore.

COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the global economy but could not stop Reliance Industries Chairman & Managing Director Mukesh Ambani in raising,Rs 67,194.75 crore from technology leaders and investors.

The details of the deal are: Facebook: Menlo Park-headquartered “Facebook” purchased a 9.9 per cent stake in Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore. The deal announced in April will help Mark Zuckerberg-owned social media giant place a firm foothold in India. The deal that valued Jio at Rs 4.62 lakh crore (65.95 billion) was Facebook’s biggest since 2014, when it bought WhatsApp for USD 22 billion. Jio in return can significantly cut debt of Reliance conglomerate.

Silver Lake Partners: Less than two weeks later, private equity giant Silver Lake Partners bought 1 per cent stake in Jio for Rs 5,655.75 crore. The deal with the American firm takes the telecom enterprise’s value at Rs 5.15 lakh crore - a 12.5 premium to the value indicated by the social media network.

Vista Equity: US-based private equity firm Vista Equity Partners picked up a 2.32 per cent stake in Jio for Rs 11,367 crore. The firm that runs the world’s largest tech-focused fund. This investment valued Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. Vista’s investment is at a 12.5 per cent premium over the deal with Facebook. The deal marks Jio’s status as a next-generation software and platform company.

General Atlantic: On 17 May, Reliance Jio sold a 1.34 per cent to New York-based “General Atlantic”, a private equity firm, for Rs 6,598.38 crore. The deal is General Atlantic’s largest investment in Asia. “This investment values Jio Platforms at an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore. General Atlantic’s investment will translate into a 1.34 per cent equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis,” the company said in a statement. General Atlantic is a leading global growth equity firm with a 40-year track record of investing in the technology, consumer, financial services and healthcare sectors.

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Sonia Gandhi chairs opposition meeting on migrants’ crisis

IT News
Mumbai, May 22

Congress President Sonia Gandhi began a meeting via video conferencing, with nearly 17 opposition leaders to discuss the coronavirus crisis and the large movement of migrant labourers to their native states, on Friday.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, JMM leader Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, DMK leader MK Stalin, CPI-M’s Sitaram Yechury, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray were   part of the meeting.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who accompanied Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his aerial survey of the areas affected by cyclone Amphan in the state, was scheduled to attend the videoconference, after her tour.
The focus of meeting was on coronavirus crisis with an emphasis on the “tremendous difficulties” faced by migrant labourers returning to their homes in different states. It also discussed the prolonged lock out and it adverse effect on economy, loss of employment, falling growth rate etc. The Opposition has already criticised the PM’s 20 trillion relief package, to stabilise economy, following coronavirus pandemic.
Rendered jobless due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, which began on March 25, and desperate to get home, thousands of migrant workers across the country have been marching on the state highways to their native places on foot, on bicycles or packed into trucks. Notably, many of them have lost their lives in accidents in different parts of the country,  a statement issued by the Congress party said.
The Opposition has been criticising the Centre over its handling of the migrant crisis. The Congress and other opposition parties have also attacked the Centre for allowing BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat to amend labour laws to lure foreign investors and to strip workers of their basic rights.
Last week, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was seen interacting with a group of migrants in the national capital. Later, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman attacked the Congress leader and called the stint as nothing but ‘dramabaazi’. “I am urging the opposition party very politely, folding my hands and requesting them here. We must all come together and help migrant labourers in this crisis,” Sitharaman stated. She also appealed to Sonia Gandhi with ‘folded hands’ to speak about migrant workers more responsibly.

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BJP stages ‘Maharashtra Bachao Andolan’

IT Correspondent
Mumbai, May 22:

BJP staged ‘Maharashtra Bachao Andolan’ (Save Maharashtra agitation), as a protest against the Shiv Sena-headed Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government’ alleged failure to contain the horrific spread of COVID-19,  through out the state,  on Friday.
Former chief minister and present leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis along with former minister Vinod Tawde and Mumbai BJP president Mangal Prabhat Lodha held protest at the state party office in Nariman point, in South Mumbai holding placards and sporting black face mask and black ribbon.
Another BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, accompanied by party workers, was at a party office in the suburbs where they staged a ‘’dharna’’ holding placards with messages critical of the MVA government over its handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Maharashtra which has recorded over 30,000 cases so far.
The BJP had given a call for “Maharashtra Bachao” agitation asking party workers to protest against the government outside their homes adhering to social distancing norms amid the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
BJP had also urged people to stand in balcony wearing black dress holding playcards to denounce Maharashtra Government for the “mess” over Coronavirus...increasing number of deaths, including the deaths of policemen, doctors, health workers and “inadequate” facilities offered by the state government.
In districts like Wardha, Yavatmal, the BJP workers also burnt cotton, as a mark of resentment against inadequate remunerative prices offered by the state government under monopoly procurement scheme. The agitations were also held in various districts and talukas by BJP workers who submitted memorandums to tehsildars listing out their demands.
BJP claimed that the state government has failed to contain the Coronavirus pandemic. While there was a need to conduct over 10,000 tests per day, the administration was conducting hardy 4000 to 5000 tests per day and total administration was in a mess.
Meanwhile, the Congress, the Shiv Sena and the NCP - all constituents of the ruling coalition - hit back at the BJP on their social media platforms. State Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant wondered how the BJP can think of politics at the time of a crisis when doctors, nurses, police and the administration are fighting an enemy called coronavirus. “Ahmedabad till Thursday had recorded 9,449 positive cases and 619 deaths. Will the BJP do a “Gujarat Bachao andolan” and ask for the President’’s rule in the state,” he asked.
NCP leaders used the hashtag MaharashtradrohiBJP  (Maharashtra  treacherous BJP) to hit out at the opposition party. The Shiv Sena, in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘’Saamana’’, said the BJP’’s agitation against the Thackeray-led government at the time of a health crisis will boomerang on the opposition party.

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