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Facebook and tech companies lend helping hand for people stuck in Chennai floods


Chennai: Social network sites and tech companies are playing their part in the rescue operation of Chennai floods.

Facebook activated the “Safety Check” feature for its users in Chennai early on Thursday, while Google has compiled all critical information under its “Crisis Response” tool to provide them relief in the flood-hit city, media reports said.

Those in the Indian city of Chennai can mark themselves as “safe” from the floods.

Posted by TIME on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

As the torrential rains in Chennai continued for the fourth straight day, with power and telephone lines down in many areas owing to flooding, Facebook’s Safety Check feature would allow people to mark themselves as “safe” from the floods, Time reported.

The feature, which debuted in October 2014, allows Facebook to ask users whether they’re safe if located near a natural disaster. A click or tap on the “I’m Safe” button lets friends and loved ones know straight away. Users can also check to see whether their friends are safe too.

BSNL has announced free calls from BSNL to BSNL network for next seven days. Airtel has announced 10 Airtel to Airtel minutes and 30 rupee recharge. Airtel also announced that 50 MB data will be given all prepaid users.

Paytm also announced a 30 rupee recharge to any customer. All they have to do is call on a given  number. MTS is giving free 1 GB data to its all users for next three days.

Zomato has started a meal scheme wherein the company will provide a meal for Chennai residents for each meal purchased via its website. The meal scheme resulted in over 55,000 people across India buying meals and Zomato adding 55,000 from its own side for the people of Chennai.

Ola was the first to give help by providing boats to people stuck in the flood.

Social media users across the country were all praise for the efforts these companies have made.

Other than that people through their Facebook and Twitter accounts are trying to give as much help as possible. In this tragedy, India has come out with hope and fight.


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Pentavalent vaccine: Doctors raise red flag

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive

the new Hepatitis B vaccine for adults is called Heplisav-B.
India's PV to be reexamined because of its harmful effects. .
  • Pentavalent vaccine was introduced in India six years ago
  • It is since then have been a cause of many deaths
  • Doctors want it to be reexamined before continuing its use

Pentavalent vaccine (PV), that was introduced by India a little over six years ago, doubled the deaths of children soon after vaccination compared to the DPT (Diphtheria-Pertussis-Tetanus) vaccine, according to a new study that calls for a “rigorous review of the deaths following vaccination with PV”.

Health officials have launched a campaign targeting nearly 24 million people with a one-fifth dose of the vaccine. Wikimedia Commons
PV has been cause of many deaths in past years. Wikimedia Commons

Government records show that there were 10,612 deaths following vaccination (both PV and DPT) in the last 10 years. There was a huge increase in these numbers in 2017, which the Health Ministry has promised to study. “The present analysis could be a starting point in the quest to reduce the numbers of such deaths,” authors of the new study say.

The study by Dr Jacob Puliyel, Head of Pediatrics at St Stephens Hospital, and Dr V. Sreenivas, Professor of Biostatistics at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), both in New Delhi, is published in the peer-reviewed Medical Journal of Dr D.Y. Patil University.

PV is a combination of the DPT vaccine and two more vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type B (Hib) and hepatitis B. Starting December 2011, PV was introduced into India’s immunisation programme to replace DPT vaccine in a staged manner with a view to adding protection against Hib and Hepatitis B without increasing the number of injections given to infants.

Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons
Doctors have raised concerns over these vaccines. Wikimedia Commons

But sporadic reports of unexplained deaths following immunisation with PV had been a matter of concern. Puliyel, Sreenivas and their colleagues undertook the study to find out if these deaths were merely coincidental or vaccine-induced.

The authors obtained data of all deaths reported from April 2012 to May 2016 under the Right to Information Act. Data on deaths within 72 hours of administering DPT and PV from different states were used.

For their study, the authors assumed that all deaths within 72 hours of receiving DPT are natural deaths. Using this figure as the baseline, they presumed that any increase in the number of deaths above this baseline among children receiving PV must be caused by this vaccine.

Also Read: With Medicine Running Out, Venezuelans With Transplant Live in Fear

According to their analysis of the data provided by the government, there were 237 deaths within 72 hours of administering the Pentavalent vaccine — twice the death rate among infants who received DPT vaccine.

Extrapolating the data, the authors have estimated that vaccination of 26 million children each year in India would result in 122 additional deaths within 72 hours, due to the switch from DPT to PV.

“There is likely to be 7,020 to 8,190 deaths from PV each year if data from states with the better reporting, namely Manipur and Chandigarh, are projected nationwide,” their report says.

It is important to make sure that these vaccines are reexamined peroperly. VOA

The authors note that while the study looks at the short-term increase in deaths (within three days of vaccination) it does not calculate the potential benefits of PV on infant mortality, for example by protection against lethal diseases like Haemophilus influenza.

In spite of the data presented in this paper from a large cohort, the authors point out that the evidence is merely circumstantial and not conclusive. “These findings of differential death rates between DPT and PV do call for further rigorous prospective population-based investigations,” the study concludes. IANS