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Uttarakhand Galcier Burst: 136 Missing To Be Declared Dead

136 people missing since a glacier burst in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli earlier this month unleashed an avalanche and flash floods will be declared dead, officials have said.

(Asian News Hub) – Over a fortnight after the devastating flash floods of February 7, the Uttarakhand government has initiated the process of declaring 136 people missing after the disaster as “presumed dead” and issued a notification to that effect.

Of the initial 204 people missing in the Chamoli disaster, search and rescue workers have recovered 69 bodies while 135 are still missing.

Following a notification issued by the state health secretary Amit Negi on Sunday evening, the government has invoked the Birth & Death Registration Act, 1969, under which the designated government officer will issue death certificates of the missing people to their family or relatives.

The notification stated, “In normal circumstances, the birth and death certificates are issued to a person at the place where he is born or died. But in exceptional circumstances, like the Chamoli disaster, if a missing person is possibly dead beyond all possibilities of being alive but his body is yet to be found, in that case the authorities could declare him dead by issuing the death certificate to his family members after a required inquiry.”

“The first category has the residents of the area near the site who went missing from the site. The second has those from other districts of state who were present at the site while the third category comprises tourists or people from other states who were present at the site,” said Negi in the notification.

He added, “Under the process, family members will have to submit an affidavit regarding the missing person along with all the necessary details to the designated government officer concerned who will then issue the death certificate after proper inquiry. This will help in settling compensation for the families of those missing.”

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Bodies of suspected Covid-19 victims found floating in Ganges in Bihar

(Asian News Hub) – Several bodies, decomposed, bloated and suspected to be of people who succumbed to Covid-19, were on Monday found floating in the river Ganga in a Bihar district.

Officials in Chausa block of Buxar, which borders Uttar Pradesh, rushed to the spot of the unseemly sight upon hearing the news.

“We were alerted by the local chowkidar that many bodies have been spotted floating from upstream. We have so far recovered 15 of these. None of the deceased happens to be a resident of the district,” Chausa BDO Ashok Kumar told over phone.

He said “many Uttar Pradesh districts are situated right across the river and the bodies may have been dumped in the Ganges for reasons not known to us. We cannot confirm whether the deceased were indeed Covid-19 positive. The bodies have started decomposing. But we are taking all precautions while ensuring that these are disposed of in a decent manner”.

Some news channels claimed the number of bodies to be as high as 100, which the BDO dismissed as “highly exaggerated”.

Many local residents, who spoke before cameras with their faces masked, claimed that the district administration was “in denial over many such unfortunate incidents involving residents of Buxar”.They alleged that those manning 
cremation ghats were charging a fortune whenever people reached there with the body of a near and dear one who died of the coronavirus.

“There is also a shortage of wood and other material required for cremation. Availability of these has taken a hit because of the lockdown. So many bereaved family members are impelled to immerse the bodies of their departed relatives in the river,” one of the residents said.

Often family members of a Covid victim are not handed over the body by the administration which claims it would perform the last rites observing the protocol in place for the deadly virus, another local stated.

“What indeed happens is that the officials develop cold feet later and fearing that they might catch the infection themselves, they dump the bodies in the river and flee. Little do they realize that they are also polluting the river,” he added.

PTI

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Kangana Ranaut tests positive for COVID-19

(Asian News Hub) – Actor Kangana Ranaut on Saturday said she has tested positive for the novel coronavirus and is under home quarantine.

The 34-year-old actor, whose Twitter account was permanently suspended for repeated violations of rules earlier this week, shared her diagnosis on Instagram.

“I was feeling tired and weak with slight burning sensation in my eyes for past few days, was hoping to go to Himachal so got my test done yesterday and today the result came I am covid positive.

“I have quarantined myself, I had no idea this virus is having a party in my body,” she wrote.

Terming COVID-19 a “small time flu”, Ranaut said she is determined to “destroy” the virus from her body.

“…Now that I know I will demolish it, people please don’t give anything any power over you, if you are scared it will scare you more, come let’s destroy this Covid -19 it is nothing but a small time flu which got too much press and now psyching few people,” she added.

On Friday, Mumbai reported 3,040 new COVID-19 cases and 71 fresh fatalities.

PTI

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COVID situation going from bad to worse; PM, health min refuse to own responsibility: Chidambaram

(Asian News Hub) – Asserting that the COVID-19 pandemic situation is going from bad to worse, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Friday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Harsh Vardhan are refusing to own responsibility and are making a “mockery of democratic principles”.

His remarks came after the Union Health Ministry data updated on Friday showed a record 4,14,188 new coronavirus infections being reported in a day in India, raising the country’s tally to 2,14,91,598. The active cases have crossed the 36-lakh mark.

“The pandemic situation is going from bad to worse. The insufficient supply of vaccines is a hard, bitter truth, but the government is in denial,” Chidambaram tweeted.

“In Tamil Nadu, not all among 45 plus are getting the first dose and a small number the second dose. Nobody between 18 and 44 is getting the vaccine,” he claimed.

The situation in other states is not very different, Chidambaram added.

“The PM and the Health Minister refuse to own responsibility and are making a mockery of democratic principles,” the former Union minister alleged.

PTI

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