(Asian News Hub) – The Health Ministry addressing the media on Tuesday confirmed that Covid is spreading faster than ever before while terming the situation in Chhattisgarh to be a cause of concern.
A day after India’s daily COVID cases crossed one lakh for the first time since the pandemic, the Health Ministry officials said that Chhattisgarh’s Durg was among the top 10 districts with high active COVID cases. Other districts s included seven in Maharashtra, including Mumbai and Pune, and one in Karnataka.
The intensity of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased in India and it is spreading faster than last time, they added.
According to Health Ministry, Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh remain states of maximum concern on account of high daily COVID-19 cases, deaths.
“The intensity of the pandemic has increased and it is spreading faster than last time. In some states, it (the condition) is worse than others but the upswing (in cases) can be observed across the country,” he said.
“People’s participation is vital to control the second wave. The next four weeks are going to very critical. The entire country has to come together and make efforts to fight the pandemic.”
He said the number of coronavirus cases is increasing and along with that mortality is also on the rise.
“Still, in terms of the population size and in terms of deaths per million we are doing well and the pandemic is in control.”
Detailing the COVID-19 situation in India, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said Chhattisgarh’s Durg is among the top 10 districts with high active COVID cases.
“Among these 10 districts, seven are in Maharashtra and one in Karnataka. Delhi, counted as one district, is also in the list.”
The 10 districts with the highest number of new cases are Pune, Mumbai, Thane, Nagpur, Nashik, Bengaluru Urban, Aurangabad, Ahmednagar, Delhi and Durg, he said.
Bhushan further said that Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh still remain states of maximum concern.
“Given their population, the number of deaths being reported by Punjab and Chhatisgarh is a cause of extreme concern,” he said.
The Centre has constituted 50 high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams and deployed them to districts reporting a surge in cases and mortality in Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, the Union health secretary said.
These teams were being deployed in 30 districts of Maharashtra, 11 of Chhattisgarh and nine of Punjab.
Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal were among the states that administered the maximum number of COVID vaccine doses, Bhushan said and emphasised that the immunisation drive has to be ramped up in a scientific manner.
“Chhattisgarh is a cause of concern for us. Despite being a small state, it reports 6% of total COVID cases and 3% of total deaths in the country. The condition of Chhattisgarh has deteriorated in the second wave of infections,” said Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
Stressing the need for RT-PCR tests, the Health Secretary said we have asked state governments to increase the percentage of RT-PCR tests, which had been falling in Maharashtra in the last few weeks.
Only 60% of total tests were done using the RT-PCR method in Maharashtra last week. We suggest states to take it to 70% or above, he explained.
Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal were among states that administered the maximum number of COVID vaccine doses, it was noted.
In India, 96,982 daily cases have been reported in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 1,65,547 with 446 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed.
(With agencies inputs)
Railways spent INR 69.5 lakh to ‘catch rats’ in Lucknow reveals RTI
RTI Query revealed that Lucknow division of Northern Indian Railways spent INR 69.5 Lakh for catching 168 rats, India Today reported.
In a startling revelation, the Lucknow division of Northern Railways in India has spent an unbelievable INR 69.5 lakh (approximately $93,000) between 2020 and 2022 to catch a mere 168 rats. This translates to a staggering INR 23.2 lakh (around $31,000) per year or over INR 41,000 (around $550) for every rodent. The extravagant expenditure on pest control has come to light as a result of an RTI query which had been filed by activist Chandrashekhar Gaur.
According to India Today, the response to Gaur’s RTI application has raised eyebrows and left taxpayers hacing doubts about the effectiveness of resource utilization within the Indian Railways. While pest and rodent control typically fall under the category of primary maintenance, it is extremely essential to dissect the exorbitant expenses which have been incurred by the Lucknow division of Northern Railways.
The information provided in the answer to the RTI inquiry indicates that the Lucknow division spent INR 69.5 lakh between the years 2020 and 2022, yet only 168 rats were actually seized. When these figures are broken down further, they become significantly more baffling. Rats were trapped in numbers ranging from 83 in 2020 to 45 in 2021 to 40 in 2022. The decreasing numbers, in spite of continued spending, highlight the ineffectiveness of the pest control strategy.
The controversy arose after the RTI query which revealed that the division had spent a staggering INR 69.5 lakh. The division’s statement sheds light on the nature of their rat control efforts as well as tries to put the expenses, which appear enormous, into perspective.
According to Railways statement cited by India Today, the Indian Railways went on to provide additional context, highlighting that the expenditure needs to be viewed in the context of the enormous number of coaches they have the responsibility to maintain. With an average of 25,000 coaches addressed every year, the approximate cost for rodent control per coach comes to a just INR 94.
The statement further mentions that this is a “very minimal cost considering the damage and destruction which can be caused by rodents.”
However, it is important to note that the Railways declined to respond to Chandrashekhar Gaur’s question about the cost of damage that was caused by rats, citing that no damage assessment had been carried out. The claim that trapping one rat costs INR 41,000, as was previously reported, is flatly refuted by the Indian Railways division in Lucknow. The information provided has been dismissed as a misrepresentation of reality as well as distortion of facts intended to harm the credibility of Indian Railways, according to the Railways statement.
Thief fails to rob bank, leaves note praising ‘good’ security system
After failing to open the lockers, a criminal recently applauded a bank for its security. On Thursday, August 31, the burglar attempted to break into a bank in Telangana. But he was unable to open the lockers, therefore he was unable to obtain even a single rupee. The robber left a message stating that he was impressed with the security system, “My fingerprints will not be there. Great bank. Please don’t catch me because I couldn’t get a single rupee.
According to reports, the incident occurred on Thursday night at a Telangana branch of Grameen Bank. The staff of the bank found the note when they arrived on Friday morning and realised that there was an attempt to rob the bank. The burglar’s movements were captured on CCTV surveillance cameras, but the thief was cautious enough to cover his face, said police. The police suspect the thief to be a local and not a banker.
The employees of the bank confirmed that all the valuables present in the bank were intact.
Woman’s head crushed by vehicle after she sticks her head out of bus to vomit
In Delhi’s Alipur neighborhood, a 20-year-old lady trying to vomit out of a bus window was killed when her head was crushed by an approaching vehicle while she was traveling to meet her brother in Punjab for Raksha Bandhan, according to police as reported by ANI.
According to the police, the victim was identified as Babli, a resident of Pratapgarh district in Uttar Pradesh.
Police on Wednesday received the information about the incident from the Satyawadi Raja Harish Chandra Hospital (SRHC) hospital in Narela where the victim had been taken in an injured state.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer north) Ravi Kumar Singh said that by the time police reached the hospital, the 20-year-old was pronounced dead.
During the investigation, it was revealed that Babli was travelling from Pratapgarh to meet her brother in Ludhiana, Punjab. She had taken a Haryana Roadways bus from Kashmere Gate ISBT and was accompanied by her sister Poonam and brother-in-law Santosh, and their three children.
According to the police, the deceased felt sick near the Alipur area and stuck her head out of the bus window to vomit when an oncoming vehicle crushed her head from the driver’s side.
“A legal action is being taken in the matter. The CCTV footage is also being checked to identify the offending vehicle and its driver,” said the police.
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