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Helicopter Services in Manipur: State to soon have Flying Doctors and Dispensaries Finalised by Central Government

The Governor said that poor road connectivity often hampered tribals in the hill districts from getting modern and timely medical attention

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Representational image. Pixabay

Imphal, November 19, 2016: Manipur Governor Najma Heptullah has disclosed that her proposal for flying doctors and dispensaries will be finalised by the Centre as soon as helicopter services were introduced in the state.

Heptullah disclosed this on Friday at the inauguration of the first open heart surgery in Sky hospital here.

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She said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed her that the matter would be entrusted to the Ministry Of Development Of North Eastern Region (DoNER) for necessary action.

In view of the remoteness of the hill districts and poor road connectivity the Centre was planning to introduce helicopter services in Manipur.

The aerial service was already available in Meghalaya, Nagaland and some other Northeast states.

The Governor said that poor road connectivity often hampered tribals in the hill districts from getting modern and timely medical attention.

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“Besides, doctors and paramedics who were from other parts of the state hardly stayed in the hospitals. This was primarily due to the absence of residential facilities,” she added.

She said, “First I came to know of the flying doctors and dispensaries in Australia. Doctors and paramedics are flown to remote and hard to access farms for immediate treatments there. This could be arranged for the hill people also.”

If need be, the patients could also be shifted to places where there were better medical facilities via aerial support, she added.

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Heptullah said that there were reports of increasing number of persons with heart diseases. She felt that it was due to the new unhealthy life style.

Shyam Kishore of Sky hospital was performing the open heart surgeries in Manipur for the first time. (IANS)

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National Capital Delhi Makes a Gradual Comeback

The city of Delhi has slowly and gradually reopened

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Shutters are lifted and shops spruced up as Delhi's markets open after two months as lockdown restrictions are eased. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)

Signs are being spruced up and prayers performed as shops in the Indian capital open their shutters after two months with the gradual easing of a stringent lockdown.

Markets were allowed to reopen recently after the government signaled economic activity must resume, even as the fight against the COVID -19 pandemic continues. Traffic is humming on once-deserted streets as buses and auto rickshaws have been given the go-ahead to operate.

However, people in the city of nearly 20 million — one of the worst-hit in the country — remain hesitant about venturing out as cases of coronavirus touched record highs in recent days.

Shop owners, hoping to slowly emerge from the economic pain imposed by a weekslong shutdown, have instituted new rules to cope with the pandemic.

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Though markets are open, they are seeing few customers as people remain wary amid the COVID 19 pandemic. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)

“We’ve restricted it to three people at a time for browsing, and then we have new checks and measures in place where we first check the person’s temperature, we give them hand sanitizer and we have started giving everyone a pair of gloves as well,” said Rajni Malhotra, owner of Bahrisons Booksellers, a 65-year-old landmark in one of the city’s most iconic markets.

The city is only partially open — shopping malls, restaurants, schools and colleges still remain closed and offices can only have limited staff.  Even in markets that have opened, only half the shops open every day to avoid crowding. Delhi accounts for about 10% of India’s infections.

“We have a twofold challenge — to reduce the transmission rate of the disease, and to increase public activity gradually,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the country two weeks ago. “Coronavirus is going to be part of our lives for a long time. But we can’t let our lives revolve around it,” he said.

Shop owners even sanitize customers’ purchases to reassure people still wary of entering markets. Among those that sold some goods is a store that sells kitchen equipment — in Delhi, like much of the world, cooking and baking have been therapy for some of those confined indoors.

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A customer turns up to buy baking tins — in Delhi, like much of the world, cooking and baking has been a therapy for people confined indoors. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)

However, a sense of unease remains as once-buzzing markets see only a sprinkling of customers, who mostly visit shops selling groceries and other essentials.

“There is this feeling that complete your work fast and then return home,” said Aparajita Pant, a city resident who had come to buy food for her pets.

“Earlier one would like to linger around, there are so many interesting shops here but as of now, there is that cautious approach, at least in me,” she said.

That is not good news for some shop owners. Not a single person had walked into Leena Mehra’s shop selling handicrafts and silver jewelry during the first two days.

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Most customers head to shops selling essentials like groceries and medicines. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)

“It’s depressing. We have to open the shop, we don’t have any choice,” she said.

“We know it is difficult for us to sell this product to the consumer because right now the mindset of the people is not at all in this direction, but we will try,” she said.

The pandemic has left its mark on a city whose love for shopping and being well turned out made it a retailers’ paradise.

“One would take more efforts to get maybe a little better dressed, but now you come here, avoid jewelry, avoid wearing even a watch, I am not even wearing my earrings,” Pant said ruefully.

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Shops display signs asking people to wear masks and take precautions as new rules are put in place to cope with the COVID 19 pandemic. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)

Even budget accessories and clothes being sold from small stalls tucked in the market’s narrow lanes have few takers. That is disappointing for low-income workers who say they desperately need to start earning again.

“Everybody needs money. If customers don’t come and this atmosphere persists, it will not be easy to face the problem created by this pandemic,” said a despondent Lucky Arya, as he helped set up a stall to sell summer clothes.

The wait for customers is also long for auto rickshaw drivers waiting on sidewalks.

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Auto rickshaw drivers don’t see too many customers as most people still hesitate to venture outside. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)
 A once-familiar sight as they skillfully negotiated their way through Delhi’s often chaotic traffic, they too have been scarred by the pandemic because of new rules allowing only one passenger instead of the customary two to ensure social distancing.

Also Read: COVID-19 Makes it Difficult to Manage Cancer Care: Oncologist

Mohammad Parvez Khan decided to brave the city’s sizzling summer temperatures to ply his auto rickshaw even during Ramadan because his savings were running out.

“Only we know how we passed these last two months,” he said.

“Every day, when I fasted, I prayed that let the coronavirus go quickly, and may everything come back to how it used to be,” he said. (VOA)

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Goa to Conduct Anti-Body Test of Air Passengers as Domestic Flights Resume

Goa government has written to the central government and ICMR seeking permission to conduct anti-body tests of air passengers

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Goa government seeks permission to conduct anti body test on passengers arriving at Goa's Dabolim international airport. Pixabay

With domestic flights scheduled from May 25, the Goa government has written to the central government and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) for permission to conduct anti-body tests of passengers alighting at Goa’s Dabolim international airport.

Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said, here on Saturday, in a request to the ICMR and the Civil Aviation Minister, the state government had said air passengers headed to Goa be issued Covid-19 negative certificate at the time of boarding the flight.

“I have requested the ICMR and the Civil Aviation Ministry to permit us to conduct antibody testing of passengers and they be issued a Covid-19 negative certificate to enter the state via domestic flights from Monday,” Rane told reporters.

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Such testing at the airport will avoid community transmission. (Representational Image). Pixabay

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Such testing would help identify asymptomatic patients while screening them at the airport to avoid community transmission, Rane said.

Goa has 38 active coronavirus cases. 16 people have been cured of Covid-19. (IANS)

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Sanitization to Fight Coronavius Begins in UP

Massive sanitization drive begins in UP

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A massive sanitization drive began in major cities in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. (Representation Image). Pixabay

A massive sanitization drive began in major cities in Uttar Pradesh on Friday. This is the latest news in India.

Rajkumar Vishwakarma, DG, fire services, told reporters that sanitization was being done with sodium hypochlorite and fire personnel had been instructed to take care and not to spray the disinfectant on human beings and animals.

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The sanitization will be done using sodium hypochlorite. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Spraying will also not be done inside any building due to electrical connections.

Fire personnel have been asked to take photographs and post it on WhatsApp media groups. They have been asked to avoid calling the media personnel to the sanitisation sites to avoid risks.

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Earlier this week, about 50 migrant workers who were at a bus station in Bareilly, were sprayed with sodium hypochlorite by the sanitisation staff. Those who were sprayed, including children, complained of itching in the eyes and rashes on the body.

Also Read- UNHRC Chief Michele Bachelet: India’s Lockdown Has Implementation Challenges

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath had expressed his concern over the incident and assured action against the guilty.

District magistrate Bareilly, Nitish Kumar said that the incident happened due to ‘over-zealous’ workers. (IANS)