Baroda News

Paradise Foundation donates oxygen plant to GMERS Gotri Hospital

Corporates and other organisations are making donations to help hospitals in Vadodara to get their own oxygen plants. A plant with a capacity of 50 cubic metres per hour has been donated to the GMERS Gotri Hospital by the Paradise Foundation. The plant can meet the needs of 100 beds and it will cost about Rs. 70 lakh. Vadodara Gas Ltd. – a joint venture of GAIL Gas Ltd. and Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) – has plans to donate an oxygen plant with a capacity of 25 cubic metres per hour to any government hospital. Other companies are likely to come forward with similar donations soon. (09-05-2021)

NCC now an elective credit course for university students

Most universities in Gujarat are ready to introduce National Cadet Corps (NCC) as a General Elective Credit Course (GECC) for university students. The University Grants Commission (UGC) had written a letter to vice-chancellors of all universities for introduction of NCC as GECC. It is proposed to be implemented under the aegis of additional director general, Gujarat directorate NCC. A positive response has been received from the vice chancellors and officials of Sardar Patel University (SPU), Anand Agricultural University, Charotar University of Science and Technology, Charutar Vidya Mandal University and Gujarat Technological University (GTU). On completion of the course, students are awarded credit points which will enable them to qualify for their respective degrees. (09-05-2021)

Eye clinics and optical shops included in essential services category

The Gujarat Opticals Federation had submitted a memorandum to the government urging that optical shops should be included in the essential services category. The government has now allowed eye clinics and optical shops in the state to remain open during the Covid-related restrictions. This will facilitate the work of ophthalmologists and patients. There are about 9,000 optical shops in the state. (09-05-2021)

Medical college professors and lecturers call off strike

The hunger strike launched by professors and lecturers of six government medical colleges and eight GMERS colleges to press for higher non-practising allowance (NPA) and other demands was called off soon after talks with the state’s health department. The Gujarat government assured them that it would look positively into their demands. The strike was called by 1,700 teachers of Gujarat Medical Teachers Association (GMTA) and 700 teachers of GMERS colleges. Among the major demands are payment of non-practising allowance in line with the 7th Pay Commission Report and abolition of contractual appointments. (08-05-2021)

Gujarat estimates it will need 1,600 MT of medical oxygen by May 15

Estimating a demand of 1,600 MT of medical oxygen by May 15, the Gujarat government has asked the centre to increase its present 975MT allocation. The Gujarat chief secretary stated in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court that there is no increase in oxygen allocation to Gujarat despite repeated requests to the Centre. This has been “ …. creating tremendous distress to the patients seeking hospitalization and oxygen therapy, resulting in denial of medical treatment to the needy despite availability of beds and qualified personnel in hospitals.” (08-05-2021)

Money lenders say they provide an essential service

Some money lenders in Surat have suggested to the District Collector that they should be included in essential services since they lend money to the needy against gold and silver ornaments. They say that financial institutions and finance firms have already been given relaxations in a state government notification, so they too should be allowed to keep their businesses open (the police had recently registered cases for violating Covid norms against five money lenders who had kept their shops open). Surat has about 2,500 licensed money lenders. (08-05-2021)

Covid-positive report not compulsory for hospital admission

The Gujarat government has revised the policy for hospital admission following a Supreme Court directive and it will now allow all patients – either confirmed patients or those suspected to be infected – access to treatment, drugs and oxygen irrespective of their place of residence and how they reach the hospital. The state government in its order issued four key directions with respect to hospital patients:

  • A positive Covid-19 test report will not be required for admission and suspected patients with symptoms should be entertained and given treatment.
  • All patients, whether arriving in an ambulance or in a private vehicle, are to be admitted in the hospitals and place of residence in a particular city or state will not be a reason for denial of admission to patients.
  • Drugs and oxygen should be made available to all the needy patients.

Gujarat MLAs must allocate Rs. 50 lakh for health infrastructure

In a state level core committee meeting it was decided that MLAs in Gujarat will have to allocate minimum Rs. 50 lakh from their MLA Local Area Development (LAD) grant for purchase of Covid-19 control and prevention-related equipment and paraphernalia, including 10-litre oxygen concentrator, high flow oxygen therapy device, BiPAP machine, multipara monitor, syringe infusion pumps, liquid oxygen storage tanks of up to 6,000 litre capacity, and pressure swing absorption oxygen generation unit of 250 and 500 litre capacities. The MLAs can use their full LAD grant for the similar purpose for the year 2021-22 as per requirement. The core committee decided that the grant can be utilised for enhancing infrastructure at district hospitals, primary and community health centres as well as at charitable trust-run hospitals. (07-05-2021)

UGC allows students to take up NCC as elective subject in colleges

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has allowed students to take up NCC (National Cadet Corps) as an elective subject in colleges through a directive dated April 15. A proposal to make NCC a general elective credit course (GECC) was mooted by the DG of NCC, New Delhi. Efforts are being made by Gujarat Directorate and NCC HQs, Ahmedabad, for the early implementation of NCC as an elective subject in educational institutions of Gujarat. (07-05-2021)

Faster Covid test report at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International airport

To help passengers get tested for Covid and get their reports in 30 minutes, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport has set up an RT-LAMP testing facility outside its international terminal. Travel regulations insist on a Covid negative RT-PCR report on arrival in various states. The Ahmedabad airport notification says, “SVPI Airport has the additional RT-LAMP facility along with RT-PCR outside the terminal building. RT-LAMP allows quicker detection of the Covid-19 virus. It is approved and recommended by the ICMR and the state government.” The technology, based on isothermal amplification, has been approved by ICMR as an RT-PCR equivalent for rapid Covid-19 testing. Although the results are rapid, the scalability is limited and it is currently used only at sites such as airports where the required turnaround time is less than one hour. The machine can do only one test at a time. Similar facilities exist at Kochi, Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai airports. The test costs Rs. 4,000, which is more than the cost of the RT-PCR test. (06-05-2021)

All-Gujarat Parents Association wants Class 10 board exams cancelled

The All-Gujarat Parents Association filed a PIL in the Gujarat high court seeking directions to the state government and the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB) to cancel the Class X board exams to avoid risking the lives of students due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. The PIL took exception to the board’s decision of April 16 that Class X exams would be postponed and could be scheduled for between May 10 and May 25. It demanded that the exams should be cancelled completely, the results should be declared on the basis of internal assessment, and promotions should be given. The petitioner said that students have a right to write their exams in a better atmosphere, without danger, and cited the examples of CBSE and ICSE which have cancelled the examinations for Class X students on May 1 and April 19 respectively. The petitioner said that Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, Telangana, Uttarakhand, and Maharashtra and Jammu & Kashmir have already cancelled their board exams and have adopted a system of declaring results on the basis of internal assessment. (06-05-2021)

MS University gets 41st position in SIR 2021

MS University of Baroda (MSU) has been ranked at No. 41 in the list of Indian universities published by the SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR) 2021. MSU has been placed 64th in the research category, 12th in the innovation category and 24th in the societal impact category. The SIR is a classification of academic and research-related institutions ranked by a composite indicator that combines three different sets of indicators based on research performance, innovation outputs and societal impact measured by their web visibility. Published by Spain-based research organization SCImago since 2009, the SIR report gives international rankings of worldwide research institutions, based mainly on the research output of the institution or the university. The ranking criteria are research (50% weightage), innovation (30% weightage) and societal impact (20% weightage). MSU’s world ranking has improved from 768 in 2020 to 751 in 2021. (06-05-2021)

Now 7 more cities under night curfew in Gujarat

The Gujarat government has extended night curfew and restrictions to seven more cities. Now, until 12th May, 36 cities and towns in the state will be under night curfew and other restrictions. As before, night curfew will be in force from 8 pm to 6 am. The seven other cities where restrictions and night curfew will apply are Deesa, Ankleshwar, Vapi, Modasa, Radhanpur, Kadi and Visnagar. Essential services like groceries, vegetables and fruits, medical stores, milk parlours and bakery product stores will remain open. Shops of all other categories will remain closed. The state government has also allowed all the industries and private firms to remain open but restricted attendance to only 50 per cent of staff. This includes Gujarat government offices and companies. While inter-state and inter-district travel has been permitted, public buses have been allowed to operate with 50 per cent passenger capacity. Schools and coaching centres, cinema theatres, gardens, spas, salons and gyms will continue to remain shut in all these 36 urban centres. (05-05-2021)

Fire drills conducted at Vadodara hospitals

Following several recent fires at hospitals in the country, the city police department and the fire brigade have initiated preventive steps and conducted inspections of the city’s medical facilities. The objective is also to sensitise hospital authorities and staff. Mock drills are being conducted to prepare hospital staff in case of emergencies. If a fire breaks out, the hospital staff should know how to act quickly and save the lives of patients. They should know where the exits are and how the patients can be evacuated safely. (05-05-2021)

Institute of Company Secretaries of India postpones CS June exams

The Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) has announced that it has postponed all Company Secretary (CS) examinations for June, including the foundation programme and professional programme. It has also postponed the CS Executive Entrance Test (CSEET 2021) that was to be held on May 8. “Examinations for the foundation programme, executive programme (old and new syllabus) and professional programme (old and new syllabus) scheduled to be held from June 1 to June 10 stand postponed,” the notification said. The authorities will review the pandemic situation and accordingly release a revised time table. (05-05-2021)

Western Railway prepares isolation coaches for Covid-19 patients

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has asked the railways to set up 19 isolation coaches with a capacity to admit 304 Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms. The Ahmedabad Division of Western Railways have prepared 13 isolation coaches in Sabarmati and six coaches in Chandlodia. Patients who do not require an ICU of a hospital and need to be kept in isolation can be kept in these coaches. Each coach can house 16 patients and paramedic staff. Desert coolers have been installed and arrangements have been made to ensure that the roofs of the coaches stay cool. Western Railways will take care of the maintenance and AMC will provide doctors and paramedic staff. Patients will be monitored and those requiring critical care will be immediately shifted to hospitals. (04-05-2021)

Small oxygen pipeline leakage at SSG Hospital, it was fixed quickly

A small oxygen pipeline leakage at the New Surgical Building of Vadodara’s SSG Hospital caused a little worry, but the problem was fixed in 30 minutes and there was no harm done. A copper pipe that transports oxygen from the main tank to different wards was punctured, and the leak was fixed quickly. There are 650 patients who are presently on oxygen support at the hospital. The leakage was small and the pressure of the oxygen being supplied to patients was not affected. (04-05-2021)

‘Maru Gam, Corona Mukt Gam’ programme started in villages

The Gujarat government has stated in an official release that 1.05 lakh isolation beds have been set up in 10,320 community Covid centres in 14,246 gram panchayats of the state.

  • The government had instructed such centres to be opened in schools or community halls or empty houses inside the villages where people with Covid symptoms can be given primary treatment.
  • The exercise, called ‘Maru Gam, Corona Mukt Gam’, is supposed to be a 15-day programme to isolate and treat people in villages with Covid symptoms.
  • The objective is to prevent people from rural areas from rushing to urban centres in search of hospitals.
  • Villages have been asked to have some sort of restrictions to prevent outsiders from entering the villages, and disallowing villagers from venturing outside the village limits.
  • The sarpanches have been asked to form 10-member committees within their respective villages to help in identifying and testing people with symptoms and also taking care of their food and water needs in the community Covid care centres.

The pandemic has hurt the transport business

Movement restrictions and curbs due to Covid-19 have hit the business of Gujarat’s transporters. The Akhil Gujarat Truck Transporters’ Association (AGTTA) estimated that 40% of the transport vehicles have gone off the roads. The contributing factors:

  • Lockdown measures in various states.
  • Drivers are afraid of getting infected and so they remain absent.
  • Drivers are apprehensive that they may get stranded on the road due to sudden restrictions.
  • Demand is slack as industrial production has slowed down
  • Demand for raw materials as well as for finished products has dropped.

Gujarat gives aid for new Gujarati Samaj Bhawan at Vishakhapatnam

Gujarat’s NRG department minister has announced that the government has granted an aid of Rs. 40 lakh towards the construction of a new Gujarati Samaj Bhawan at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Gujarat has so far given an aid of Rs. 1.69 crore for the construction of Gujarati Samaj Bhawan buildings across India. The aid is to construct a new building or to purchase a constructed building. The maximum assistance that the state gives for Gujarati Samaj buildings is Rs. 40 lakh or 40% of the actual cost of the building, whichever is less. (03-05-2021)

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