The railways will run the “Oxygen Express” trains in the coming days
Daily NEWS Summary |18-04-2021; As the country faces a severe shortage of medical oxygen, Indian railways will use “Oxygen Express” trains over the next few days to transport liquid medical oxygen and oxygen cylinders across the country.
- Empty tankers will begin their journey from Kalamboli and Boisar stations in and near Mumbai on Monday to load liquid medical oxygen at Vishakhapatnam, Jamshedpur, Rourkela and Bokaro, authorities said.
- The state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra had previously contacted the Ministry of Railways to examine whether tankers of liquid medical oxygen could circulate on the rail network, they said.
- After receiving the request from both states, the railways immediately explored the technical feasibility of transporting liquid medical oxygen.
- It must be transported via a roll-on-roll-off service with tankers placed on flat cars.
- A meeting was held on April 17 between Board of Rail officials and state transportation commissioners and industry representatives on issues related to the transport of liquid medical oxygen, according to the Press Trust of India.
Bihar and Tamil Nadu reintroduce COVID-19 restrictions
Daily NEWS Summary |18-04-2021; Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced a nighttime curfew starting at 9 p.m. at 5 a.m. statewide and schools, colleges, theaters, parks, religious venues, and swimming pools are closed until May 15.
- Tamil Nadu also announced restrictions from April 20, including a nightly “curfew” between 10 pm. and 4 a.m. and full closure on Sundays.
- After a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, the government announced on April 18 that access to beaches, zoos, parks, museums and all tourist sites will be banned daily .
- The government has also postponed the State Board exams for Class 12, without specifying a date, while allowing the practical exams to proceed as scheduled.
- During the night “curfew”, public and private transport, rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles will not be allowed to circulate.
- However, vehicles for medical emergencies, rickshaws, taxis and private vehicles will be permitted for transport to hospitals, airports and train stations.
- Every day, hotels and restaurants (except Sunday), tea rooms, vegetable shops, grocery stores and all other stores, malls, jewelry stores, large format stores can operate with a maximum capacity of 50% at any time , Until 9 p.m.
Manmohan Singh writes to Modi to suggest ways to tackle Wave 2
Daily NEWS Summary |18-04-2021; Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday offering suggestions on tackling the second wave of COVID-19 by increasing vaccination efforts, giving state governments more flexibility in deciding which categories to vaccinate and licenses to increase the number of vaccine producers.
- Noting that India has vaccinated a very small fraction of its population, Dr Singh said the government needs to step up its vaccination efforts, saying that with the right policy the country can do it “much better and very quickly” .
“… States should have flexibility in defining the categories of frontline workers who can be vaccinated even if they are under 45 years of age. For example, states may want to designate teachers, bus, tricycle, and taxi drivers, municipal and panchayat staff, and possibly attorneys who must appear in court as frontline workers. They can then get the vaccine even if they are under 45, ”said Dr Singh.
- Currently, only people aged 45 or over are eligible for vaccination.
- The former prime minister’s letter to Mr Modi follows Saturday’s deliberations in the Congressional Working Committee (CWC) which decided to offer key suggestions to the government to tackle the pandemic.
- At this time of a public health emergency, the Government of India must proactively support vaccine producers to rapidly expand their manufacturing facilities by providing funding and other grants.
- Also, Manmohan Singh think the time has come to invoke the statutory provisions on compulsory licenses, so that various companies can produce the vaccines under license.
- I read that Israel has already invoked the compulsory licensing provision and there are many arguments for India to do so so quickly, ” Manmohan said.
DRDO establishes a COVID-19 facility with 500 beds, the Center issues directives to hospitals affiliated with the PSUs and central ministries
Daily NEWS Summary |18-04-2021; A 500-bed COVID-19 facility established by the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) near the New Delhi airport will begin accepting patients on Monday.
- A medical team from the Armed Forces General Directorate of Medical Services (AFMS) has arrived in Delhi and will be in charge of the installation.
- Major General S.S. Bhatia will be in command of the facility and the team will also be made up of two doctors from the Central Armed Police (CAPF).
- For admission to the facility, a positive COVID reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) report and an Aadhar card would be required.
- Meanwhile, the Center has asked hospitals affiliated with public sector units and central ministries to establish dedicated blocks, or even dedicated hospitals, to manage COVID-19 patients.