Vegetable sellers, grocery store owners & people selling other essentials like milk, medicines will be vaccinated first
Keeping in view the steep spurt in COVID-19 cases, the Rajasthan government on Tuesday, issued instructions stating that citizens above 45 years of age, selling vegetables, milk, groceries and medicines, will be vaccinated on a priority basis. This resolution has been undertaken because the state is under a lockdown and those involved in this segment of essential services, might become super spreaders.
Front-line personnel deployed in hotspot areas/containment zones to be vaccinated on a priority basis
Signed by Medical and Health and Family Welfare Secretary, Siddharth Mahajan and issued to all District Collectors, the ordinance states that all bank employees, workers employed in industries, fruit, vegetable and milk vendors, medicine sellers, newspaper hawkers and media people, will be vaccinated now. Apart from these, front-line personnel (police, revenue, drinking water, electricity department workers) who have not yet been vaccinated but are deployed in hotspot areas/containment zones, will be vaccinated on a similar priority basis.
Since January 16, 1.13 crore people have been vaccinated in the state and to curb the swelling COVID infections, especially in Jaipur, the state is undertaking all possible measures. Further to dampen the infection tallies, the Rajasthan government has enforced a 15-day lockdown with moderations, till the 3rd of May. Essential service workers have been exempted from the restrictions. Similarly, grocery and milk ships have been permitted to open till 5 PM, each day while fruit, vegetable vendors can operate till 7 PM.
Oxygen carrying vehicles across Uttar Pradesh will now be monitored via GPS tracking.
On Tuesday, the Oudh Oxygen Centre in Lucknow conducted an oxygen supply camp for the benefit of several recovering patients. Several people from all across the city flocked to this centre at Talkatora Road, Mawaaiya Industrial area, to supplement their oxygen supplies amid an overall acute shortage. A similar drive was also held at Mauraru Nagar, easing the availability of medicinal oxygen; a major respite in these desperate times.
Oxygen availability in Lucknow
Video by Abdul Saboor
Sources have informed that oxygen was easily available at both the sites and despite the heavy footfall at the supply camps, there were no glitches as the public were mindful of the preventive protocols. Since there was enough oxygen supply, people adhered to the norms of social distancing and got their supplement without any chaos.
People can also get oxygen cylinders from:
- Ayush Oxygen Cylinder - Contact at 9899509939.
- Jumbo Size O2 Tank - Contact at 8960155550 (Stocks available from Thursday)
UP to install GPS systems in all oxygen vehicles
In a bid to prevent black marketing of the medical-grade oxygen in Uttar Pradesh, the Chief Minister directed authorities to monitor all oxygen vehicles with GPS tracking devices. "Provide police protection to all oxygen plants. Monitor oxygen vehicles through GPS devices. Take every possible step to prevent black marketing and profiteering of oxygen and other life-saving drugs," the Chief Minister said on Tuesday. Further, these officials have also been tasked to ensure that each hospital has at least 36 hours of backup oxygen.
According to the government spokesman, "Given the special circumstances, the chief minister has asked officials to ensure that oxygen produced at all small and large industrial units, including MSMEs, is used only for medical purposes. These oxygen plants should be connected to their nearest hospital. A comprehensive action plan in this regard should be prepared today itself."
The CM also informed that to further boost the state's preparedness to tackle the increasing oxygen demand, about 5 new plants will be set up to ensure sufficient supply. He also stated that setting up oxygen plants in all hospitals with a capacity of more than 100 beds should be made compulsory. "Modern technology like air separation units should be encouraged. Its capacity should be increased in the state," the cabinet head added.
The Goa Health Department is chalking out an elaborate plan to ensure oxygen availability to all COVID patients.
Goa is facing a scenario where its oxygen demands are set to double but this has only increased the efforts of the state government to supplement its inventory of oxygen supplies to meet the expected need, informed the Health Minister. Goa has also roped in government and private players in Karnataka and Kerala, leaving no stone unturned to ensure it is able to provide the prescribed medical treatment to all patients under the state's care.
Goa's efforts to expand oxygen capacity
Goa has witnessed a surge in COVID-19 cases, not any different from the rising trends observed across the country and this is an indication, that the state needs to ramp up all its treatment resource. As already noted, medicinal oxygen is a crucial aid for critical patients. It helps to aid acute symptoms of the infection that includes shortness of breath, augmenting faster recovery.
The state is working on an elaborate plan to ensure oxygen availability to all COVID patients, a tally which is estimated to double soon, the Health Minister said. "Future forecast is double. Exactly double of what we are using today. That much oxygen we would require. We need to make more arrangements," he added. Even earlier, the Goa government had imposed a ban on the export of oxygen to deal with this internal rise.
At present, the state's apex medical facility, the Goa Medical College, consumes 45 trolleys of oxygen cylinders per day, The other COVID facility, South Goa district hospital consumes 18 trolleys per day, read reports. Each trolley comprises of 150 oxygen cylinders. "Government is trying its best to increase its oxygen capacity," Rane said, adding that the volume of oxygen requirement was "going up every day" the minister said, adding that the COVID situation is expected to escalate in Goa.
Goa procured 20,000 litres of liquid oxygen
The Health Ministry has already reached out to local manufacturers of oxygen in Goa and has established contact with the Kerala government and industries in Karnataka, to tap into more supply. The minister further thanked Kerala's Health Minister who was instrumental in providing the state with 20,000 litres of liquid oxygen.
The COVID situation in Goa has marked a steep spike in the number of COVID-19 cases. The state is now registering over 900 cases every day, instead of the earlier 500. On Monday, about 940 new cases were reported here, which has raised the active tally to 7,547 cases across the state. This has obviously added to the hospitalisation load, thereby piling the need of treatment resources.
Indore District Administration denies permissions to wedding ceremonies amid steep escalation of coronavirus cases.
A large consignment of Remdesivir injections arrived at the Indore Airport on Sunday, carrying about 125 boxes of the COVID treatment drug. This lot collectively made about 12,000 injections available for immediate use. As per the directives of the Chief Minister, the state is undertaking several efforts to ensure that there is an optimum supply of medicines and necessary resources for the treatment of coronavirus infected patients in affected districts. Consequently, the medicine boxes were airlifted from the Indore Airport itself, to ensure immediate availability across other cities.
Allocation of Remdesivir from Indore
In an attempt to provide better COVID treatment to infected patients in the state, the Madhya Pradesh government prioritised the distribution and delivery of the Remdesivir injections which have immensely helped to treat the people. These injections were supplied via airways to different parts of the state, so that the people who need them, can get them on time. As per reports, this lot of Remdesivir shots are also being made available to private hospitals under the prescribed protocol.
Divisional Commissioner Pawan Sharma said, "Out of 125 boxes which reached Indore Airport, 25 boxes were delivered to Bhopal district, four boxes to Hoshangabad district and five boxes to Sagar district. Similarly, 10 boxes reached Gwalior, one box at Chambal, four boxes at Rewa, three boxes at Shahdol and 21 boxes were sent to Jabalpur by a state plane. Arrangements have been made to transport 14 boxes to Ujjain and 38 boxes to Indore.''
Indore Administration denies all wedding permissions till April 30
The COVD-19 situation in Indore has worsened with the advent of the second wave of infection. On Monday, the district reported as many as 1,698 fresh infections, marking the highest single-day spike, since the outbreak of the coronavirus last year. Consequently, the active tally stands at 11,804 cases while the aggregate caseload has logged in 91,015 cases; the highest across MP.
In the wake of this rampant rise of coronavirus infection in Indore, the district administration has decided that it will not approve any wedding permission until April 30. The District Collector announced the order and requested people to postpone their weddings and stay indoors.
Out of the lot, 150 these tanks have reached hospitals across Lucknow already.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the major issue of oxygen shortage in the country. While hospitals are pretty badly hit by the low oxygen supply, the DRDO (Defence Research & Development Organisation) has initiated efforts on similar lines, to make up for the lack. The body has sent out 1000 oxygen cylinders to Uttar Pradesh and out of the lot, 150 these tanks have reached hospitals across Lucknow already. Authorities stated that additional 850 units will reach the state's capital and other areas of Uttar Pradesh, by this evening. In total, the DRDO aims to supply a total of almost 5,000 litres of oxygen.
DRDO to the rescue once again
Only a few days back, it was announced that the DRDO is setting up ad hoc COVID-19 hospitals in Lucknow, at Haj House, Golden Blossoms Resort and Awadh Shilpgram. These hospitals will have 250-300 beds each and will also make use of technology that replenishes the supply of oxygen. Now, the DRDO will also help out other already established hospitals here in the city, which are handling many COVID patients in a single day.
750 tons of oxygen received from the Centre
Incidentally, the DRDO is not the only one helping the oxygen situation. According to reports, the UP government has received 750 tons of oxygen from the Centre, which will go a long way in helping out COVID patients. To further ease out oxygen supply in Uttar Pradesh, 13 oxygen plants are being set up in the state- 5 by the DRDO in Ram Manohar Lohia Institute and Cancer Institute in Lucknow and others by the medical colleges across Kanpur, Agra and Jhansi.
Around 150 doctors across the state have enrolled in the programme.
Holding the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases in view, the Goa chapter of the Indian Medical Association, has started a free teleconsultation programme for patients who are either asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic and under home isolation. As per a statement issued by the Goa branch of the association, around 150 doctors across the state have enrolled in the programme. This will further help the isolated COVID victims to avail themselves of medical aid while at home, thus reducing their anxiety and allowing them to follow COVID-19 restrictive norms, parallelly.
IMA-Goa state members to make comprehensive video presentations
An official statement pertaining to the program, read, "IMA-Goa state members will make time-to-time video presentations, which will educate the general public about how to take care of themselves and on the use of pulse oximeter, how to prepare hypochlorite solution and take care of waste created for proper disposal."
Patients who are willing to undergo a free teleconsultation will have to send a WhatsApp message with their name, proper address and cell number on 8767249828 and consequently, the message will be passed on for internal circulation within the branches of IMA.
Dr. Rajesh Naik, Dr. Samuel, Dr. Sudhir Shet, Dr. Rajesh Javherani and Dr. Pravin Bhat, have been tagged as the experts for IMA Margoan Branch. On the other hand, Dr. Anil Mehndiratta will be an expert for IMA Mormugao, Dr. Pradnya Kakodkar for IMA CQS, Dr. Pranay Budkule for IMA Bicholim, Dr. Sandip Naik (Chest Physician) for IMA Ponda.
Dr. Sandip Naik (Senior Surgeon) and Dr. Melita Rodrigues (Pulmonary Consultant) for IMA Bardez and Dr. Vijay Naik has been appointed for IMA Tiswadi Branch. Dr. Vinayak Buvaji President, IMA Goa. will be the overall in-charge of the system and he can even carry out modifications of the system, as and when required for the greater good.
The association has also initiated a 'paid quarantine facility for doctors and their families, healthcare workers in both the state's districts, in case they test positive.
About 2,011 new cases were reported in Jaipur on Monday, pushing the active caseload to 14,502.
With the coronavirus infection graph following a continuously rising trend in Rajasthan, over 2000 fresh COVID cases were reported in Jaipur for the first time on Monday. According to the Health Department, the daily cases in the Pink City rose to report the highest spike ever, with over 2,011 detections, mounting the active load to 14,502 cases. The fatality count also peaked with 11 deaths in a single day, pushing the toll to 567 fatalities in Jaipur.
Jaipur under COVID's clutches
A day after the imposition of the Anushashan Pakhwada lockdown across Rajasthan, Jaipur recorded the highest-ever surge in the tallies of fresh infections and the death toll. This coupled with staggered recoveries has mounted to the city's trouble, raising alarms across the health and administrative spectrum.
About 18% of all reported cases in Jaipur, continue to receive active treatment in hospitals and care centres, overwhelming the medical infrastructure. Consequently, the Chief Minister directed to set up COVID care centres and institutional quarantine facilities at district hospitals and medical colleges to reduce the pressure of asymptomatic or less severe COVID-19 patients. This decision gained significance in the light of hospital bed shortage across various treatment facilities in Jaipur where positive patients were lined up in corridors due to unavailability of resources.
RT-PCR test rates slashed to ₹350
The Rajasthan cabinet has also slashed down the cost of RT-PCR COVID testing in private hospitals and laboratories to ₹350, the lowest in the country. This will encourage people to get tested and help the healthcare officials nip the infection at the early stage, in most cases.
Senior officials have also directed the health department to take strict action against all labs and health officers who delay in providing the RT-PCR test results. Such negligence can prove fatal for the patient and also lead to further transmission due to ignorance, the officials stated.
Starting from 8 PM on Friday till 7 AM on Monday, this lockdown command will be in force.
Keeping in mind the surging COVID-19 cases in Uttar Pradesh, especially in the state's capital city, the government has imposed a weekend lockdown. Earlier, the authorities had announced a weekly lockdown on Sundays, till the 15th of May but now, the instruction will be applicable on the upcoming Saturdays and Sundays, until further orders. Starting from 8 PM on Friday till 7 AM on Monday, this lockdown command will be in force. It is to be noted, essential services will remain operational.
Headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, the SC granted an interim stay on the Allahabad High Court ordinance
On the 19th of April, the Allahabad HC had urged for an absolute lockdown in Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Kanpur and Gorakhpur till April 26 but the state government decided to go against the suggestion. Consequently, the UP government moved to the Supreme Court, challenging this order. After much deliberations, the apex body, headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, granted an interim stay on the Allahabad High Court ordinance.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on Tuesday, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, mentioned that the state government has previously obeyed several directions issued by the High Court but enforcing an absolute lockdown in the 5 cities would not be appropriate. Mehta further added that the state government has undertaken various measures to curb the pandemic, along with adequate precautions but a blanket lockdown would create immense administrative difficulties.
The top court also appointed senior advocate P.S. Narasimha as amicus curiae while requesting the state government to draft the steps being taken to tackle the pandemic and the next hearing in regards to the matter, will be held after two weeks.
A formal notification is yet to be issued in this regard, however, it is expected in a day or two.
In wake of the advent of the coronavirus surge, Maharashtra has decided to limit the timings of grocery shops in Mumbai and other districts. These stores will operate only 4 hours a day, from 7 AM to 11 AM, the Health Minister informed, hinting strongly at the implementation of stern COVID curbs. Though a formal notification is yet to be issued in this regard, however, is expected in a day or two.
Maharashtra to impose stringent protocols
A week after imposing curfew restrictions across the state, the Maharashtra Government has decided to impose tighter protocols to contain the public movement to arrest the sharp rise in the COVID-19 cases here. Consequently, the administration has decided to curb the operating hours of grocery stores across the state. As per authorities, this will help them monitor those individuals who are still flocking outdoors in the name of grocery and essential shopping.
Reportedly, the formal order is expected soon and the restriction is likely to come in force by April 21, 2021 (Wednesday), a senior official stated. However, this protocol is independent of fruits and vegetable markets. They will be allowed to operate in the evenings, from 5:30 PM to 7 PM.
Meanwhile, the state also discusses the execution of the government's relief package of ₹5,400 crores, targeted at people who will be directly affected by restriction or other closure of businesses. Further, authorities have directed designated officials to ensure increased checks, penalties and strict implementation of the imposed guidelines.