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Both the Houses of Afghan Parliament Put Under Lockdown

The Afghan Parliament will remain locked down until the nationwide lockdown is lifted

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Afghan Parliament in 2006. Wikimedia Commons

The two houses of the Afghan Parliament — the Wolesi Jirga (lower house) and the Meshrano Jirga (upper house) — have been put under a lockdown until the end of the nationwide restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, Parliament speaker Mir Rahman Rahmani said that warnings from the Ministry of Health indicate that Kabul will be facing severe situations in the coming weeks, reports TOLO News.

“Staffers from the secretariat who are civil servants do not need to work during the lockdown, in view of the sensitive situation that exists there,” he said.

afghan parliament
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and speakers of two houses of Parliament at the inauguration ceremony of the Afghanistan Parliament, at Kabul on December 25, 2015. Wikimedia Commons

The development comes as Afghanistan has reported 1,939 confirmed coronavirus cases with 60 deaths since the outbreak was first reported in mid-February.

Also on Wednesday, health officials said that the pandemic in Afghanistan will peak “within next few weeks”, as the country reported 120 new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours, said the TOLO News report.

“The positive cases are increasing day by day and we have critical weeks ahead,” said Public Health Ministry spokesman Wahidullah Mayar.

Read More: Irrfan Khan Not Just an Artist but a Legend: Fanboy Priyanshu Chatterjee

The warning comes as people are seen moving freely again within the country’s cities, including Kabul, and failing to take the limitations seriously.

The government has imposed daytime curfew in cities including Kabul since late March and extended for three more weeks last week, calling upon the citizens to stay at home. (IANS)

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Caring For The Elderly, Tackling Old-age and Loneliness in The Times Of COVID

While we do our bit to stay safe, looking after our loved ones, particularly the elderly, is crucial

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Elderly
Caring for the elderly in these troubled times is very important. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN 

The Coronavirus pandemic has left human race with feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and a fear what’s coming next. While we do our bit to stay safe, looking after our loved ones, particularly the elderly, is crucial.

In this crisis, just like the little children in the family, our elders also need extra care and attention, especially if they are living alone and are prone to feeling isolated. Coupled with the greater restrictions on the 60+ population stepping out, these feelings can negatively impact physical and mental health, and must be addressed promptly and with care.

In a chat with IANSlife, here are some ways suggested by Dr Ishita Mukerji, a senior psychologist at Kaleidoscope, a mental wellness centre part of Dr. Bakshi’s Healthcare.

Teach them to go digital: Patiently help them learn the use of various video/voice call applications available and encourage them to stay virtually connected with their friends and family. They can also use this time to rediscover their lost art of writing and share short heart felt notes via email, to their loved ones to lift their spirits. Demonstrate to them how to use taxi-hire apps, medical-monitoring apps, emergency call services, and the like. Hand them a copy of all necessary phone numbers and save them on their phones.

Elderly
Looking after our loved ones, particularly the elderly, is crucial. Pixabay

Prioritize their nutrition intake and physical activity: Senior citizens need adequate sleep, optimum nutrition and some kind of physical exercise on an everyday basis. Ensure that their sleep cycle is not disturbed due to the changes in the household because of the factors associated with social distancing. Their daily diet must have a combination of essential proteins and minerals, fruits, green vegetables, dairy products and a lot of liquid, as we are in the peak of summer. Elders might find it tough to exercise within the house, as many go to neighbourhood parks and yoga classes. However, you must help them incorporate at-home yoga and breathing exercises into their routine.

Enjoy recreational activities together: A good way to bond and enjoy as a family is watching a movie, listening to music, indulging in some craft activity, looking through photo albums together or playing indoor games like cards, chess, ludo, monopoly, carom etc or some mind stimulating games like Sudoku or puzzles. These activities will in turn make them feel relaxed, rejuvenated and something to look forward to each day.

Keep them engaged indoors: It is important to involve your family’s senior members in the household activities as much as possible. Their help in such basic activities will let them stay occupied and also give a sense of accomplishment to them but do not push them to perform strenuous activities. You may encourage them to pursue hobbies like reading, writing, knitting, singing or painting. Make sure they have enough supplies to last the crisis. Encourage them to teach young kids a skill.

Involvement in decision-making: We must seek advice and suggestions from the elders in our families at all times, especially when making decisions that might directly or indirectly impact them or their lifestyle. Taking their inputs into consideration will make them feel wanted and heard. It is really important to respect their thoughts and feelings that they derive out of their life experiences and wisdom accumulated over the years.

Create a positive environment at home: Getting exposed to the concerning news around worsening situation for longer durations can create anxiety and fear in seniors’ minds. Create a positive atmosphere and help them keeping calm and positive. Speak to them about their happy times. Revisit old memories, reopen photo-albums, listen to their life experiences and spend quality time with them.

senior citizen
The elderly can also use this time to rediscover their lost art of writing and share short heartfelt notes. Pixabay

Taking care of mental and emotional needs: Pay attention to the thoughts and concerns that the elderly might have as there may be big or small issues where they may need your help to solve them. Look out for mood swings too, as it might mean they are struggling mentally and need extra support and care. Also be aware of any cognitive difficulties they might be facing like being anxious, angry, stressed, agitated or withdrawn. It is very important to provide emotional support to keep them mentally and physically fit.

Also Read: Turn to Yoga For Quitting Tobacco

The elderly have sacrificed a lot in their youth for our sake and it is now time that we show them utmost love and appreciation, signs off Dr Mukerji. (IANS)

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Increased Online Gambling Concerns Legislators, Excites Players

Rise of online gambling was expected during the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown

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A sudden increase in online gambling is seen amid the COVID-19 crisis. Pixabay

Although the rise of indoor entertainment, including online gambling, was expected during the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent lockdown, the level of increase was unsuspected. It is probable that the availability and advantages provided by the online operators were enough to pull in players that haven’t been regulars in traditional establishments, increasing the overall size of the market.

Both due to the fright of possible mass gambling addictions and the probable loss of local gambling tax revenue, many legislators are trying to create an answer to increased gambling. But, aside from some really restrictive measures, nothing has been proving to be effective.

The reason for the rise of online gambling not stopping may be found in both the new type of service, as well as the new type of players. Online operators work under strict supervision and are affected by independent online reviews. On the other side, players have now accepted that playing online games, including gambling, is something done for fun and not a pathway to great riches.

Massive Drops in Traditional Gambling

On average, traditional casinos, betting houses, and sports bars experienced a massive drop of around 30%. In most part this is due to the states and counties that have enforced a strict lockdown and where these establishments are not accepting players at all. Others are seeing drops due to the legitimate scares about catching the virus.

But, the gambling industry as a whole is seeing a rise in the meantime. Both experienced players and those that usually don’t gamble are using the benefits provided by online operators to jump ship and go to the cloud.

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Traditional casinos, betting houses, and sports bars experienced a massive drop. Pixabay

Although some correction is to be expected once the lockdowns and infections risks pass, it is disputable if they will be enough to revive brick and mortar casinos from their situation. Without some additional advantage that the players will feel there is little chance for total revival.

Local Budgets are at Risk

While there might be some legitimate concerns coming from legislators when it comes to the dangers of gambling, most are concerned by the drop in local budgets. Due to the players opting for international providers there is a visible drop in revenue collected, which would not change in the future.

Unless there is a Copernican change in how these incomes are taxed, local administrations might be facing some serious budget cuts in the perceivable future.

Players Demand Online Benefits to Return

It is now obvious that gambling has become a player’s market where operators and providers will need to compete for every dollar coming their way. This might not be a fair fight for traditional casinos, as the increased overhead costs usually drive gambling options down.

According to Lioncasinos live casino has been the focus of most players exactly because of the benefits provided by operators. Once these advantages diminish, the players usually stick to the same game but change the place where they are playing.

It is questionable if traditional casinos would be able to go head to head with something like doubling your money in bonuses, or allowing for free playing, simply because of the mechanics possible in cyberspace.

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Online casinos have an undisputed advantage when it comes to accessibility. Pixabay

Accessibility of Online Gambling

Aside from the advantages when it comes to gaming and betting itself, online casinos have an undisputed advantage when it comes to accessibility.

Unlike traditional establishments that require you to plan and travel to them, adding to the cost of gambling, online options are instant. Anyone can access and play through their smartphone, allowing for many to use gambling services while in transit, or relaxing at home.

Sports Betting won’t Influence the Outcome

Both administrations and brick and mortar operators are having a little bit of their own that sports betting will be the major push back to old ways of gaming once the season resumes. But, the numbers show that odds are not in their favor.

Online operators in general are aware that this situation won’t last and are jumping to acquire licenses and rights to provide sports bets. For the largest international operators these options are already available and might be the preferred choice for future sports bettors.

If the same bonuses, reviews, and betting systems persist for online betting as they do for live casino games, there is a significant possibility that the players will keep their money online.

Also Read: Deal with Orthopedic Issues During Lockdown Easily

But, there is still a chance that the hospitality factor for sports bars offering bets might push some players to return. These bars will need to focus on their distinct real-time advantage and atmosphere, as the old way of doing business probably won’t exist in the near future.

[Disclaimer: The article published above promotes links of commercial interests. ]

 

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Deal with Orthopedic Issues During Lockdown Easily

Here are a few things you can do at home to lessen the pain arising out of restricted physical activity and lethargy

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Lessen the pain arising out of restricted physical activity and lethargy, and live comfortably. Pixabay

The ongoing pan-India lockdown has not only flipped upside down our emotional well-being, but has also had an unforeseen impact on our physical one too, especially when it comes to mobility.

Life has changed, earlier people could go about their chores, head to work, make time for a little exercise, catch-up with their friends and peers; they are now unable to do so. This has tremendously limited physical movement and set in lethargy. Lack of physical movement has a direct influence on your muscle mass which impacts your metabolism significantly; reduced metabolism leads to increase in weight which further burdens our joints, says Dr. Kaushal Malhan, Director, Orthopedic Surgery and Joint Replacement Surgeon, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

“Joint and muscle pain can also be experienced by doing chores or activities that you haven’t frequently done before like sitting cross-legged on the floor, bending from the waist while cleaning or cooking, lifting heavy weights, etc. It has been observed that reduced physical movement has led to increase in pain in the waist and back, legs, knees and hips,” underlines the expert.

Dr Malhan lists down a few things you can do at home to lessen the pain arising out of restricted physical activity and lethargy, and live comfortably:

Try to keep yourself active; moving is simply not enough; do some basic stretching. Ensure you work every muscle of the back and legs.

 

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Reduced physical movement has led to an increase in pain in the waist and back, legs, knees, and hips. Pixabay

This will make sure you stay active, and will benefit the whole body. In case you are unable to perform any stretching exercise or experience discomfort, you may use a hot pack to soothe/relax the muscles that are often taut.

Those who are already experiencing joint pain will benefit from stretching and mobility of the body. One may use belts or other types of support. If you do not have a belt, you can use a cloth and tie it around the area where you experience pain. Elderly family members can use external support such as sticks or a walker if they experience difficulty in walking

Alternatively using hot and cold packs on the painful areas may also be beneficial. If you experience swollen knees, then you can tie a cloth or crepe bandage around it. You may also use a kneecap for the same

Pay close attention to your posture – Do not slump; while bending, avoid bending from the waist, make sure to gradually straighten from the knees. It is also important to consume a wholesome diet which is beneficial to the muscles and improves bone health – include green vegetables like Broccoli, Spinach, Tomato, Bell Peppers which increase resistance to infection. Ginger, Turmeric, Amla and Garlic also help boost immunity.

Also Read: ISKCON Devotees Recall When Donald Trump Helped Them Conduct Rath Yatra

Get as much rest as needed, do not over stress your body if you feel tired or experience some form of pain. If the problem persists and you experience extreme pain or discomfort, please seek medical help urgently and do not waste time when it comes to tackling such problems. (IANS)