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COVID-19 Pandemic is Only Speeding Up and Not Even Close to Being Over: WHO

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Shimla: It’s been six months since the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China appeared and then threw the entire world into turmoil. However, the pandemic is not slowing down; instead, it’s speeding up, the World Health Organization said on June 29, 2020, in an official statement.

The six-month anniversary of the outbreak coincides with reaching 10 million cases and 500,000 deaths.

Many countries have implemented unprecedented measures to suppress transmission and save lives, WHO said. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up.

WHO said that the critical question that all countries will face in the coming months is how to live with this virus. That is the new normal. 

Many countries have implemented unprecedented measures to suppress transmission and save lives, it said.

These measures have been successful in slowing the spread of the virus. But they have not completely stopped it, the WHO said.

Some countries are now experiencing a resurgence of cases as they start to re-open their economies and societies. Most people remain susceptible. The virus still has a lot of room to move, WHO said.

“The hard reality is: this is not even close to being over. Although many countries have made some progress, globally the pandemic is actually speeding up, “

the WHO said.  

“We will need even greater stores of resilience, patience, humility and generosity in the months ahead,”

the Organization added.

But we have also seen concerning signs of stigma, misinformation and the politicization of the pandemic. 

The Organization said that although a vaccine will be an important long-term tool for controlling COVID-19, there are five priorities that every single country must focus on now, to save lives now.

1.Empower Communities

Every individual must understand that they are not helpless – there are things everyone should do to protect themselves and others. Your health is in your hands.

That includes physical distancing, hand hygiene, covering coughs, staying home if you feel sick, wearing masks when appropriate, and only sharing information from reliable sources.

Some people may be in a low-risk category, but the choices you make could be the difference between life and death for someone else. 

2.Suppress Transmission

Whether countries have no cases, clusters of cases or community transmission, there are steps all countries can take to suppress the spread of the virus. Ensure that health workers have access to training and personal protective equipment, the WHO said.

3. Improve Surveillance to Find Cases

The single most important intervention for breaking chains of transmission is not necessarily high-tech and can be carried out by a broad range of professionals. It’s tracing and quarantining contacts. Many countries actually have used non-health professionals to do contact tracing, it said.

4. Save Lives

The third measure is early identification and clinical care to save lives like providing oxygen and dexamethasone to people with severe and critical disease saves lives.

Special attention would have to be given to high-risk groups, including elderly people in long-term care facilities.

“Japan has done this: it has one of the highest populations of elderly people, but its death rate is low, and the reason is what we just said – many countries can do that, they can save lives,”

WHO said.

5. Accelerate Research

The WHO said that it had already learned a lot about this virus, but there’s still a lot we don’t know and there are still tools that it needs.

Political Leadership.

The WHO said that national unity and global solidarity are essential to implementing a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission, save lives and minimize the social and economic impact of the virus. 

No matter what stage a country is at, these five priorities – if acted on consistently and coherently – can turn the tide, the WHO said.

 

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Kinnaur: Horrific Tragedy Unfolds as Bodies of 7 Out of 11 Missing Trekkers Recovered, Two Still Missing

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Kinnaur-A horrific tragedy is unfolding as bodies of seven trekkers, who had gone missing while trekking from Uttarkashi to Chitkul, were recovered by the teams of Army and ITPB from Lamkhaga Pass in Kinnaur district. Two of them have been rescued alive and were receiving medical treatment. Two trekkers are still missing and feared to be dead.

Most of these persons belonged to West Bengal. 

The rescue team could not lift the bodies due to the bad weather on Thursday as it had to suspend the search and rescue operation. The operation was resumed on Friday. The search operation for the remaining missing persons would be carried out on Saturday. The search and rescue teams found the bodies at an altitude of 5,000 metres.

According to the available information, a total of 17 persons – 11 trekkers and six porters- had left Uttarkashi on October 11 on a trekking expedition that was supposed to conclude in Chikul of Kinnaur district on October 19. However, the weather took a drastic turn and the region witnessed heavy snowfall on October 17 and 18.

While six Nepalese porters were said to have reached Chitkul, the trekkers had decided to stay in temporary tents at Lamkhaga Pass. The porters had informed the police about the stranded trekkers on reaching Chitkul on October 20.

The Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur, Abid Hussain, confirmed that nine of these trekkers have been found. While two were alive, seven had died. The exact reason for deaths would be ascertained only after the post-mortem. Two trekkers still remain missing. More information is awaited.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Meteorological Department had issued warning of heavy rain and snow on October 18 alonwith an orange alert. 

Following are the details of the bodies recovered and persons rescued alive:

Deceased Persons

  1. Anita Rawat (38) D/o Sh. Jyoti Singh R/o M 95 Harinagar, West Bengal
  2. Tanmay Tiwari (30), S/o Sh R.C. Tiwari, R/o Kishan Nagar, Kolkata 3
  3. Vikas Makal(33) son of Swapan Maikal, Raghabpur Nepalganj, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal
  4. Saurabh Gosh (34) S/o Sushil Ghosh, R/o Nepalganj, South 24 West Bengal
  5. Subhayan Das (28) S/o Kajal Das, R/o 10/1A Nepal Bhatacharia G Streak Kalighat, West Bengal
  6. Richard Mandal (31) From West Bengal
  7. Upender (22) from Uttarkashi

Detail of Missing persons:

  1. Sukenh Manjhi(43) From West Bengal
  2. Gyan Chand (33) from Uttarkashi

Details of Injured Person

  1. Devendra Chauhan, S/o Hariram, R/o Village Gangad, Thana Mary, Uttarkashi. (company guide)
  2. Mithun Dari, S/o Swar Badal Ch Dari, R/o Prasadpur, PostAndhar Manik, South 24 Pargans, West Bengal

 

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HP By-Polls 2021: Silence Period Extended to Three Days

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Shimla-The campaigning period during Himachal Pradesh by-elections has been fixed from 10 am to 7 pm every day. The silence period has been extended from two days to three days before the closing date of voting, which will start after 6 pm on 27th October 2021.

During the no active campaigning by the candidates or political parties is allowed, and television or any digital media cannot carry any election-related matter.

This information was released by Chief Electoral Officer, Himachal Pradesh, C. Paulrasu. He said that the Election Commission of India has limited the period of campaigning during by-election 2021 in view of the guidelines issued for the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged all the candidates and political parties participating in the by-elections of Mandi Parliamentary Constituency and Fatehpur, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Arki Assembly Constituencies to comply with these guidelines related to the election campaign.

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Campus Watch

Nauni Varsity Scholar Naincy Bags Scholarship to Pursue PhD in France

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Solan: Naincy Sagar, an alumna of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni has bagged a fellowship for pursuing PhD from France. Nancy has reached France and will be pursuing PhD in Forest Genetics from the University of Orléans under INRAE fellowship. INRAE is France’s National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Naincy has completed her BSc Forestry from College of Horticulture and Forestry (COH&F), Neri in 2018 and MSc Forest Biology and Tree Improvement and Genetic Resources from UAS, Dharwad, under ICAR’s National Talent Scheme. Before leaving for France last week, Naincy was working as a Junior Research Fellow in a research project at COH&F, Neri.

She had applied for a PhD with a scholarship in Forest Genetics which was advertised by INRAE. Naincy was successful in the interview and was awarded a fellowship for three years for pursuing PhD at the University of Orléans. During the course of the PhD, she will receive a total scholarship of around Rs 70 lakh along with medical reimbursement. Naincy will be working on forest tree larch species in the Project titled ‘Vigour at what cost? ‘Trade-off’ of hybrid vigour in Larch-Phenological, morphological and physiological determinants of hybrid superiority in Larix X eurolepis’ with a team of 20 scientists of Joint Integrated Biology Research Unit having expertise in genetics, genomics and physiology for the enhancement of tree and forest diversity

Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the university spoke to Naincy via web conferencing and congratulated her. Dr. Kaushal, who has also done his doctorate from France, shared some tips and suggestions. He asked Naincy to explore this opportunity to learn about new cultures along with doing research that could help to enhance and conserve forest wealth in the future.

Naincy expressed gratitude towards her father Satya Prakash Sagar (Retd. SDO BSNL) and mother Monika Sagar, who is working as SDO in BSNL for their continuous support for higher studies. She also thanked Vice-Chancellor Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Dean Dr. Kamal Sharma and Dr. Dushyant Sharma, Project Investigator and all the university staff for their support and guidance. The university administration, Dean of COH&F Neri congratulated Naincy and wished her success.  

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