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License for cigarette sale in Himachal could become mandatory

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SHIMLA-  Having already banned sale of loose cigarette, the Himachal government is likely to bring in a legislation making it mandatory for shopkeepers to obtain a licence to sell cigarette and other tobacco products during the budget session of the Assembly. Government has decided to make licences mandatory for sale of tobacco products. The government had also reduced the earlier licence fee of Rs 5,000 so that shopkeepers do not feel any burden. “The licence fee will be kept very less and the renewal charges will be nominal.

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Kangra: Heartbreaking Picture of Man Carrying Mother’s Body for Cremation Alone Shakes Himachal

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man carrying mothers body in kangra district

Kangra-A heartbreaking picture of a man forced to carry the body of his Covid-19 positive mother alone on his shoulders for cremation in Kangra district appeared in media reports and was widely circulated on social media. Villagers and relatives refused to come ahead and lend a shoulder as she had died of Covid-19. While the son carried the body to the cremation ground, his wife followed him with a toddler in one hand and cremation material in the other.

The picture has shaken the state. Questions are being raised as to how an entire village could turn a blind eye at such a time. The role of the elected local body (panchayat) and district administration also came under the scanner and the state government had to release a statement following the appearance of media reports.

The man was identified as Vir Singh and the incident was reported from Bhangwar Panchayat near Ranital region of the district. His mother was reportedly home-isolated after testing positive for Covid-19. A media report said that she was a former member of the elected panchayat.

The elected Pradhan of the panchayat, Suram Singh, claimed that he couldn’t come to help Vir Singh because he had a fever. He said Vir Singh didn’t mention that there was no one to help him. The Pradhan also said that he had spoken to tractor drivers but all of them refused to carry the body. He said the only people who helped him were some villagers who arranged wood from the forest for cremation.

The Deputy Commissioner, Rakesh Prajapati, said that Vir Singh didn’t give the district administration the time to respond and carried the body hurriedly for cremation. He said that following this incident, it was decided that cremation of every Covid-19 patient would be carried out in the presence of representatives of the district administration.

After the picture went viral on social media, today, HP Government directed the Deputy Commissioners to ensure that the last rites of the persons, who have died of Covid-19 were performed strictly as per the protocol and guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard. The government said that directions were already issued on 12th May 2021 regarding this.

District administrations were asked to co-operate in performing the last rites of the deceased and ensure providing resources such as PPE kits, dead body bags, disinfectants, sanitisers, waste disposable bags etc. for proper disposal of the dead body.

Panchayat Secretaries/Patwaries were also directed to facilitate families in performing the last rites of the deceased.

Further, the government said that under such circumstances family members of the deceased can contact the Municipal authorities, Executive Officers/Secretaries of Urban Local Bodies and Panchayat Secretaries/Patwaries of their respective area for any assistance.

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Shimla: Charitable Trust Providing Free Meals to Home Isolated Covid-19 Patients

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Upadhayaya Educational Trust

Shimla-Coronavirus pandemic has proved to be a major blow to the state’s governance. At a time when almost all three tiers of government failed to assess and prepare for the second wave in the country, many organisations have come forward to help the ordinary citizens in need. The Sunil Upadhayaya Educational Trust has been running an initiative to provide free food for those in home isolation in the state’s capital city.

The trust started the initiative from 28th April 2021, and is currently providing free meals to at least 83 Covid-19 positive families in Shimla, Trust Secretary Dr Surendra Sharma said.

Joint Secretary, Dr Nitin Vyas, informed that the meal plan for Covid-19 patients have been prepared after taking into consideration all the dietary requirements of such patients . Suggestions for this diet plan were taken from doctors.

A well-planned protein diet consisting of fruits, salads, sprouts, vegetable, pulses, rice, Indian flatbread (roti), and a sweet dish is being provided to the home isolated patients, he added.
Social Service by The Sunil Upadhayaya Educational Trust

Dr. Vyas also informed that all the people involved in the initiative, including the cooks, have undergone the RT-PCR test.

Trust secretary, Dr. Sharma, claimed that the trust has managed to deliver 676 food packages till now. He also informed that the trust is running two helpline numbers for those in need of the food service. Needy people can reach the trust at the given numbers: 9418006194, 9805349124

The trust is also organising free online coaching classes for the students of class 10th and 12th for 35 days.

“All those students who are facing problems to manage their studies in the pandemic due to unavailability of required resources can contact the trust members and get themselves registered for the free classes,” Dr. Vyas said.

In the past, Sunil Upadhayaya Educational Trust have organized various initiatives like cloth banks, and clothes distribution drives too, Dr Vyas said.

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COVAXIN Clinical Trials on Children Aged 2 to 18 Approved, Gap Between COVISHIELD Doses Now 12-16 weeks

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vaccination of children approved

New Delhi: Faced with a shortage of vaccine, the Union government yesterday announced the extension of the gap between the first and second doses of COVISHIELD vaccine to 12-16 weeks. The present gap between the two doses of the COVISHIELD vaccine is 6-8 weeks. No change in the interval of COVAXIN vaccine doses was recommended.

The only logic behind this decision seems to cover more people for the first dose so that the fatality rate could be reduced. Further, it might take some pressure off India’s already overwhelmed healthcare services. Also, the Union government is under fire for the delay in supplying sufficient vaccine to the states to start covering the 18-44 age group. Several state including Himachal Pradesh had earlier opened the registration on April 28, but the delivery of vaccine was delayed. 

Further, Drugs Controller General of India, India’s drug regulator, on Wednesday granted permission to Bharat Biotech Ltd to conduct the Phase II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years, said the Union Health Ministry.

The Ministry said the trial will be conducted on 525 healthy volunteers who will be administered two doses of the vaccine at a gap of 28 days through intramuscular shots.

Also Read: Himachal Reports 634 Covid-19 Deaths and Over 51,000 Cases in 13 Days

Bharat Biotech had proposed to carry out a Phase- II/III clinical trial of Covaxin in the age group of 2 to 18 years, the ministry said.

“As a rapid regulatory response, the proposal was deliberated in Subject Expert Committee (SEC) (COVID-19) on May 11, 2021. The Committee after detailed deliberation recommended for grant of permission to conduct proposed Phase II/III clinical trial to certain conditions” it added.

Covaxin is India’s first domestically-developed Covid-19 vaccine. It is a two-dose jab that uses an inactivated or “dead” form of the virus. It was the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world to begin testing on children as young as 12 years of age in Phase II trials in September 2020.

Covaxin is being administered on adults (18 and above) in the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination drive in the country.

According to government statistics, the cumulative number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the country stood at 17,91,77,029 on Thursday.

The government says that 4,37,192 beneficiaries of the age group 18-44 years received their first dose of COVID vaccine on Thursday and cumulatively 39,14,688 across 32 States/UTs since the start of Phase-3 of the vaccination drive.

Himachal Pradesh Government has announced that vaccination drive would open for the 18-44 years age group from May 17, 2021.

Image by v-3-5-N-a from Pixabay

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