ECI is “singularly responsible” for the emergence of Covid-19, says Madras HC
Daily NEWS Summary | 26-04-2021; On Monday, the Madras High Court blamed the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the second wave of Covid-19 unleashed in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and asked if officials were on another planet when political parties held election rallies in the Assembly without joining them to Covid-19 security protocols despite various court orders.
- Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Judge Senthil Kumar Ramamoorthy said public health was of the utmost importance and it was concerning that constitutional authorities had to remind them of this.
- Only when a citizen survives will he be able to enjoy the rights guaranteed by a democratic republic, they said.
- They warned the ECI that a recount postponement (scheduled for May 2) could be ordered if a plan to maintain the Covid-19 protocol at recount centers was not presented to the court by April 30.
- The ordinances were adopted following a written request submitted by Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar, a candidate for the Karur Assembly constituency, calling on ICE to implement strict measures to ensure fair vote counting.
- During the hearing, the Chief Justice expressed his disgust with ECI for turning a blind eye to the protection of public health.
- In response, later today, the ECI said it would issue consolidated instructions to keep the count on May 2 safe for COVID.
MHA asks states to impose containment measures
Daily NEWS Summary | 26-04-2021; The Home Ministry has asked states to impose localized restrictions and implement strict containment measures for at least 14 days to flatten the Covid-19 curve.
- In a letter to states on Monday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla said that given the “unprecedented momentum,” there is an urgent need for Union states and territories to consider strict control measures and COVID management to control the situation.
“…. States and UT, based on their assessment of the situation, may impose local restrictions at the district / sub-district and city / district levels, with a view to containing the spread of COVID 19, ”the letter reads.
- The Health Ministry had suggested a night curfew, closing shopping malls and shopping complexes, and limiting the number of offices to 50% as some of the measures to contain the spread in areas that need intensive action.
- The Home Office also published a clarification of the Sunday (April 25) ordinance issued under the Liquid Oxygen Disaster Management Act of 2005.
- The ordinance specifically excluded from its scope industries that manufacture ampoules and roads, the pharmaceutical sector and the defense forces.
- Further it provided that all liquid oxygen, including existing stocks with private factories, would be available to the government and would only be used for medical purposes.
- Earlier, on April 18, the Union Home Office (MHA) wrote to states prohibiting the supply of oxygen for industrial purposes, except for the nine exempt industries which included the pharmaceutical, oil, nuclear and steel industries.
Karnataka announces 14-day lockdown
Daily NEWS Summary | 26-04-2021; Karnataka’s cabinet announced on Monday a partial statewide shutdown for 14 days starting at 9 p.m. Tuesday (April 27).
- Only stores that provide essential services would be open from 6 a.m. at 10 a.m. over the next two weeks, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said shortly after a cabinet meeting.
- There would be no public transportation in the state and subway trains would not operate in the city of Bengaluru.
- All industries, except manufacturing, would remain closed. The garment industries, which employ thousands of workers in the state, would remain closed.
- The Chief Minister said that all activities related to agriculture would be allowed in rural areas. Agricultural markets in cities would remain closed.
- The government has also decided to provide free Covid-19 vaccination for all 18-44 year olds in hospitals and government centers starting May 1.
Tamil Nadu multi-stakeholder meeting decides to allow oxygen production at Sterlite plant for four months
Daily NEWS Summary | 26-04-2021; A multi-stakeholder meeting called by TamilNadu chief minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami unanimously resolved on Monday to temporarily allow Vedanta sterlite sealed copper smelter in Thoothukudi to produce oxygen for only four months, under certain conditions.
- Given the need for oxygen and the current Covid-19 situation, it has been decided that the temporary permit could be extended later, according to an official statement.
- The meeting decided that copper production or the operation of any other unit would not be allowed at the plant under any circumstances.
- Police Superintendent, Deputy Collector, Thoothukudi, engineers from Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board, two state government appointed experts, members of the general public from the region / NGO environmental experts, and three anti-Sterlite activists whom they would be part of the committee that “would decide to operate the oxygen plant.”
‘Nomadland’ wins Oscar for Best Picture, ‘My Octopus Teacher’ wins ‘Best Documentary Feature’
Daily NEWS Summary | 26-04-2021; “Nomadland,” a recessionary story about a community of truck dwellers in the western United States, won the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday.
- The film stars Frances McDormand as a widow in a depressed Nevada mining town who turns her truck into a mobile home and hits the road, taking temporary jobs and making friends along the way.
- McDormand won her third Oscar for “Nomadland,” bolstering her reputation as one of the best actresses of her generation.
- McDormand’s victory makes her a member of an elite club that includes Meryl Streep, Daniel Day Lewis, and Jack Nicholson as three Oscar winners as an actor.
- The late Katharine Hepburn won a record four.
- My Octopus Teacher ”, which has Indian filmmaker Swati Thiyagarajan as associate producer and production manager, won the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Oscars, which also honored actor Irrfan Khan and costume designer Bhanu in his segment“ In Memoriam ”.
- Dr V.K. Paul, member of NITI Aayog (health), closely involved in the COVID management strategy in India, recommended that everyone wear masks, even at home.
- Now is the time to recommend wearing a mask even if you are at home, Dr Paul said at the Department of Health’s weekly press conference.
- He added, We used to talk about masking ourselves when leaving the house but now, in case anyone at home got the virus, it would be advisable to use one. When someone at home is positive, that’s for sure .
- Other officials present at the meeting, including Deputy Secretary Lav Agrawal, Dr Randeep Guleria, director of the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, also stressed the importance of masks and social distancing, but stressed Many times panic.
- Dr Guleria said 85% of those affected by the virus would recover without needing medication and not all of them had to go to hospital.
- There is unnecessary panic everywhere and it does more harm than good. This leads to the hoarding of drugs and the misuse of precious medical resources.
- An oxygen level of 94 to 95 does not require an oxygen concentrator and you should not try to raise it to these levels. Above 94 means your organs are getting enough oxygen, said Dr Guleria.
- Before the pandemic, we handled patients with these machines in 88-90. If it is less than 94, see your doctor.
- For hospitals, it is important to avoid leaks. The benefits of Remdesivir (antiviral) are not well established, ”he added.