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Karnataka government will keep track of some medicine sales: Pharmacy shops in Karnataka will now ask for the names and contact details of buyers who purchase medicines for fever, cough and common cold. Due to the Covid-19 crisis shopkeepers have been directed to maintain records of customers displaying such symptoms which are similar to the virus. This directive has been sent by the state government to all chemists, druggists and pharmacists. The decision was taken after a state-level Technical Expert Committee opined that Influenza-like Illness (ILI) and Severely Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases whose symptoms are similar to that of Covid-l9 should be screened at the initial stages of symptoms to arrest morbidity and mortality due to Covid-19 in the community. According to the government order, details such as name, address, landmark (of residence), and mobile number should be provided to the pharmacist/chemist who will duly note and record the same. The chemists/druggists shall report such cases to the respective district health authorities on a daily basis. The medicines include paracetamol of all dosage and strength, cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, and all types of cough syrups - either individually or in any combination. (23-04-2020)
All colleges will hold annual exams: The Gujarat government has clarified that the annual examination will be conducted by colleges this year. All colleges affiliated with various universities will hold the annual examination in the coming days. This includes both government-run and self-financed institutions. No specific dates have yet been announced. A task force had been formed by the central government's ministry of human resource development to look into the issue of conducting college level exams. The state government had last month made an announcement regarding promoting all school students of Gujarat en masse. (22-04-2020)
Bar Council of Gujarat gets over 9,000 applications for financial aid: The Bar Council of Gujarat (BCG) has received 9,861 applications for financial assistance from young and struggling lawyers. The BCG had announced that Rs. 5,000 would be paid towards support for needy lawyers because court proceedings came to a standstill due to the lockdown. A section of lawyers want the amount to be increased. They say that the Bar has allocated Rs. 5 crore for financial support of the struggling advocates and this fund should be increased. The BCG has received 18,823 applications online from across the state. After scrutiny and discounting repetition, there were 13,037 applications made properly by the lawyers. There were 9,861 applications found to be valid after considering the eligibility criteria. (22-04-2020)
About 27,500 industrial units start functioning in Gujarat: According to the state government 27,800 industries started functioning on the second day of the lockdown relaxation in areas outside the limits of municipal corporations and municipalities. These are the industries that have been granted permission. Over 1.80 lakh workers and labourers have resumed their duties in these industries. About 1.34 lakh quintals of grain were traded at the 120 APMCs which resumed operations from April 15. Many units were slow to reopen because some of them were apprehensive that action may be taken against them if a positive case of Covid-19 is reported at their units. But the authorities clarified that appropriate action will be taken only if there is a case of deliberate negligence reported. Detailed guidelines have been issued by the state government for maintaining hygiene and social distancing. In Vadodara, the district administration has granted permission to 531 units in the district to restart their operations; 136 of these units are in Nandesari. (22-04-2020)
VUDA CEO appointed as new GMERS hospital administrator: Mr. Ashok Patel, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Vadodara Urban Development Authority (VUDA) has been appointed as the administrator at the GMERS Medical College and Hospital, Gotri, Vadodara. This step follows the repeated complaints about the lack of amenities in the hospital including water supply, potable drinking water and dirty washrooms. The appointment order was issued by senior IAS officer Dr. Vinod Rao, who has been appointed as officer on special duty (OSD) for Covid-19 by the state government in Vadodara. Mr. Patel will coordinate with the dean of Gotri Medical College as well as the medical superintendent of GMERS Medical College and Hospital, Gotri, to ensure smooth functioning of the hospital and also to ensure that Covid-19 patients get all the proper facilities. Dr. Rao has also issued directives whereby the medical superintendent of the hospital was asked to file FIRs against the contractors or agencies responsible for maintaining hygiene and ensuring facilities to patients if they fail to do the required work. Dr. Rao supervises and implements all the health measures being taken in the urban and rural areas of Vadodara. (21-04-2020)
Colleges and universities will not raise fees for 2020-21: Government and self-financed colleges and universities in Gujarat will not increase tuition fees for the academic year 2020-21. This decision was taken by the state education department due to the Covid-19 crisis. The Association of Self-Financed Colleges has accepted the proposal of the Fee Regulatory Committee (FRC). All colleges will continue with the same fee structure as in 2019-20. Students, depending on the financial situation of their parents, can pay the semester fees by Diwali. Also, students can choose to pay the fee amount in instalments. (21-04-2020)
Over 1,000 units in Gujarat to resume from Monday: About 1,000 industrial units spread across 20 functional Special Economic Zones (SEZs) may resume production as they have been granted permission to begin operations from April 20. Apart from this, 285 export oriented units (EoUs) in the state have also received approvals from the concerned authorities to commence production. However, all the permissions are subject to strict compliance of guidelines laid down by the government. All the units will have to strictly adhere to the MHA guidelines with regard to social distancing, sanitization, truncated manpower, movement of workers and hygiene. The units will have to maintain social distancing while transporting the workforce, their arrival and exit from the premises as well as during operations and lunch time. Almost all the units in functional SEZs have evinced interest in resuming operations. There are over 2,000 industrial units in 20 functional SEZs in the state. These SEZs include Kandla SEZ, Adani Ports and SEZs in Mundra, Dahej SEZ and GIFT Multi-services SEZ in Gandhinagar. Of the industrial units to begin functioning from Monday, the majority are from the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector that relies on the local workforce to run operations. Most of them are not located in the industrial hubs in and around large cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara. Most of the permissions have been given to MSMEs that largely belong to Kutch, Junagadh, Amreli, Botad and Bharuch districts. The permissions have been given by the respective district collectors and do not include areas that are hotspots or have containment zones. The industries within the city limits of eight municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Gandhinagar, as well as the 162 municipalities, will not be given permissions to reopen. In the first phase, industries located outside the city limits are being permitted to reopen. The incomplete construction projects within city limits are also being permitted to function from Monday, provided they have made in-situ arrangement for shelter, food and sanitation of their labour force. (20-04-2020)
CCTV footage helps to nab lockdown violators in residential societies: The Vadodara police have begun examining CCTV footage of the city's residential societies and apartment complexes to spot people violating lockdown rules by going out for morning walks or hanging around in the gardens. On Friday the cops checked CCTV footage at 44 colonies and apartments and thereafter registered FIRs. Over 65 persons were booked and arrested for flouting the rules. The cops are also monitoring the CCTVs installed on roads. Many people call up the police control room to complain about people flouting the rules in residential areas. (19-04-2020)
Plasma therapy at SVP Hospital: The Drug Controller General of India has given the approval to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to do controlled clinical trials of plasma therapy in select institutes across the country. The SVP Hospital run by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will start clinical trials to use convalescent plasma therapy on Covid-19 patients from Sunday. The therapy involves attempting to jump-start the immunity of a serious patient by infusing some of the blood plasma of a person who has already recovered from the disease. Plasma or serum with antibodies against Covid is taken from those who have recovered and it is transfused into patients undergoing treatment. The hope is to increase the patients passive immunity against the virus and help combat the viral load. For the clinical trial, the blood donation process of a recovered patient was undertaken on Saturday. The woman from Ahmedabad had tested positive on March 23 was discharged on April 6 from the SVP Hospital. A donor has to report complete recovery and can donate only after 14 days of reporting recovery. A RT-PCR test is conducted to check for absence of the virus, the rapid antibody test to ensure presence of antibodies and other standard tests to ensure absence of HIV, malarial infection, haemoglobin levels, etc. The convalescent plasma therapy is expected to be used on mildly symptomatic patients at present. Six donors have been identified and their consent has been taken for plasma donations. One plasma donation can help to treat four patients. (19-04-2020)
The villagers of Angadh, Sokhda and Sadhli look after their neighbours: A few villages have started providing food and essential items to poor families living within the villages. The people of Angadh village in Vadodara taluka have adopted 170 needy families and provided food and kits containing essential items grains, masala, oil, washing powder, soap, hair oil, etc. The kits are replenished every fortnight. The villagers adopt one family each, and the 16 ward members adopt three families each. Sokhda village has a similar scheme in operation. In Sadhli village of Shinor taluka, some villagers prepare meals for poor families twice a day; food is cooked for 700 people and served door-to-door daily. (19-04-2020)
Free treatment at 31 Covid-19 hospitals: The Gujarat government has readied 9,500 beds for Covid-19 patients in the state. Most of these beds are in government hospitals. All the expenses of patients admitted at 31 private and trust-run hospitals dedicated for Covid-19 treatment in 26 districts will be borne by the Gujarat government. The state government has entered into a two-month agreement with the 31 hospitals that have about 3,100 beds in all. District collectors have been empowered to increase the number of such hospitals if the need arises. Incidentally, the compensation package of Rs. 25 lakh which the government currently provides to all state government employees on duty to battle the pandemic will also be extended to doctors and paramedical staff of these 31 hospitals. (18-04-2020)
E-commerce home deliveries will resume from April 20: Following the Union home ministry's guidelines permitting delivery of goods purchased on e-commerce platforms, the Gujarat government has decided to allow home delivery of all kinds of goods bought online. There is no bar on goods and services delivered through e-commerce platforms as per the central government order. Of course, the order clearly states that no e-commerce activity will be allowed in containment zones and areas that have been declared Covid-19 hotspots. E-commerce companies and vehicles used by e-commerce operations will be allowed to ply with necessary permissions. The various states are passing directions according to local conditions. (18-04-2020)
Vadodara's lady cops prepare meals for the homeless: A team of women police personnel has taken up the task of cooking food for some of the city's homeless persons during the lockdown. They do this work after their duty hours. Hundreds of homeless persons live under the city's flyovers and on the roadside and their present condition is pathetic because they do not have easy access to food or to a livelihood. The cops on duty have been seeing the plight of these poor people and many citizens also ring up the cops to request them to do something for them. The cops decided to prepare meals for the homeless. They prepare food which is distributed to 400 homeless persons in the evening. The women cops involved in this gesture include a PSI, head constables and constables. (18-04-2020)
Pay cuts during lockdown being monitored: The Union labour ministry has asked for data from the employees provident fund organisation (EPFO), employees state insurance corporation (ESIC) and the state governments on job losses, salary cuts and delayed payment. The notification under Section 34 of the Disaster Management Act will be extended to cover payment of wages to labourers and workers for the month of April. This is in view of the extension of the lockdown period till May 3. It will apply to all workers and labourers of all factories registered or otherwise under the factories act, as well as all shops and establishments and all households. It covers all workers with contractors and all workers whether in the formal or informal sector. Anyone violating the notification shall be liable for punishment of imprisonment up to one year under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act. (18-04-2020)
Surprise end to wedding ceremony: The bride, the groom and their 14 relatives recently gathered for a marriage ceremony at a temple in Vankal village in Navsari's Chikhli taluka. Being tipped off about the ceremony , the Chikhli police raided the marriage venue and arrested 14 people including the bride, the groom, two priests and some family members. A case was registered under section 188 of the IPC for violating the government orders and the Epidemic Disease Act. The police had arrived at the scene after the marriage was solemnised. (18-04-2020)
Fuel sales may drop by 85% in April: The Federation of Gujarat State Petroleum Dealers Associations (FGSPDA) estimates that the curbs on vehicle movements during the lockdown will reduce cut petrol and diesel sales by 85% in April. Usually, 23 crore litres of petrol and 55 crore litres of diesel are sold in the state every month. It is only transport vehicles which are moving now, but they too are running 50% below normal, thereby slashing diesel sales. Several dealers have reported less than 10% of normal sales. Their business is taking a hit, while their overheads salaries, electricity bills and other charges remain the same. The FGSPDA has made representations to oil companies and sought financial assistance. (17-04-2020)
ATIRA makes medium for N-99 masks: Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) has developed a nano-coated medium that helps filter out any known virus prevalent in the world and can be used in making N-99 masks. While the novel coronavirus is of 5 microns size, the nano-coated medium can help filter particulate matter of up to 0.2 microns. The filtration medium is supplied to four manufacturers of masks and personal protective gear in Ahmedabad. The material will be useful for frontline workers and other citizens in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. The filtration medium has been tested at the Centre of Excellence of Medical Textiles at South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) in Coimbatore and also at Nelson Laboratory, USA. The medium has been developed jointly by ATIRA and DRDO. ATIRA has so far provided enough material to make 3.85 lakh N99 masks to the DRDO. ATIRA is an autonomous non-profit association for textile research located in Ahmedabad. It is the largest association for textile research and allied industries in India. Established in 1947 and started in 1949, ATIRA was recognized by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India. It was later linked to the Ministry of Textiles. The idea of ATIRA was conceived by Vikram Sarabhai, Kasturbhai Lalbhai and Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar. Vikram Sarabhai served as its first honorary director. (17-04-2020)
8700 beds ready in various districts for Covid-19 patients: The Gujarat government now has dedicated Covid-19 hospitals in all districts of the state with a total capacity of 8700 beds. Initially dedicated Covid-19 hospitals were established in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat with a capacity of 2200 beds. Thereafter, private and trust run hospitals have also come forward to join the effort. The patients will be accommodated in facilities based on their age, severity of the infection, their medical condition or any other underlying medical condition. (17-04-2020)
Vadodara APMCs will resume operations from Thursday: All the Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) yards in Vadodara will resume operations from Thursday. The decision was taken in the interest of farmers for the rabi harvest season. The registrar and the district agriculture department will ensure smooth operations and functioning of the APMCs. Vadodara has eight APMC markets, with those in Karjan, Waghodia, Desar and Savli catering to grains, Padra and Vadodara catering to vegetables and Dabhoi and Shinor catering to wholesale markets. The Vadodara district collector asked officials to take necessary steps so that the market yards resume their operations with traders maintaining precautions, including social distancing to combat spread of Covid-19. (16-04-2020)
Gujarat seeks approval to begin trials for blood plasma therapy: A major government run hospital in Ahmedabad may soon be the centre for clinical trials for blood plasma therapy as a possible treatment for Covid-19, if approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). In this treatment blood plasma is extracted from people who have recovered from Covid-19 and then injected into people who are suffering from the ailment. ICMR had recently invited a letter of intent from institutions with the equipment and infrastructure available to participate in a clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of therapeutic plasma exchange in Covid-19 patients and for using convalescent plasma therapy. The primary objective of the plasma treatment is to assess the safety of convalescent plasma in treating Covid-19 affected patients. It is assumed that blood plasma from a cured patient will have antibodies against the virus and this can cure another patient. (16-04-2020)
APMCs dealing with foodgrains will reopen in a staggered manner: The Gujarat government on Tuesday announced that it will reopen all APMCs dealing with foodgrains in a staggered manner from April 15 onwards, thus allowing farmers to sell their Rabi produce in over 200 markets across the state. The marketing yards dealing with foodgrains are currently closed due to the lockdown. The reopening will be done in a staggered manner, keeping in mind social distancing norms and local factors. A committee at the district level will be headed by the district registrar and micromanage the auctioning process. The APMCs will have to register the farmers who will be visiting the yard. Farmers will be called in small numbers to sell their produce at different time slots during the day. Farmers will be informed well in advance of the date and time to visit the APMCs. The farmers who bring their produce will not be allowed to unload their produce at the yard, as is the common practice, but it will be directly taken to the premises of the trader who buys the produce. Traders can also buy directly from the farmers. Gloves, hand sanitisers and masks will be provided to farmers, commission agents, traders, labourers and other APMC staffers. Anyone who does not wear a mask will not be allowed inside. (15-04-2020)
Personal drone owners help Ahmedabad Police: Citizens who own drones have been invited by the Ahmedabad Drone Squad to connect with the Shahibaug-based control room. The objective is to create a centralised system of drone footage surveillance in order to nab lockdown violators. The pilots who fly their personal drones can fly their devices from the terraces of their homes and provide the live feed to the city police. There are now over 100 drone pilots in Ahmedabad and over 320 in Gujarat. The pilots are asked to fly the drones from their homes in a range of about 1.5 km and provide live footage to the Shahibaug-based control room in Ahmedabad. As the live footage goes on the local police station is immediately informed to reach the spot and nab the lockdown violators. To ensure privacy of police work, pilots use the memory cards provided by the police and hand them over once the task is over. (15-04-2020)
Communities celebrate New Year at home: Many communities have had to celebrate their new year confined in their homes during the current lockdown. The following festivals were celebrated recently, quietly and without the festivities and gatherings of near and dear ones: Baisakhi (Punjabis), Poila Boisakh (Bengalis), Rongali Bihu (Assamese), Vishu (Malayalees), Puthandu (Tamils). Greetings were exchanged over phone calls. (15-04-2020)
Vacations in colleges and universities from April 15 till May 17: The Gujarat government has declared vacations for all colleges and universities in the state from April 15 till May 17. After reopening on May 18, decisions on conducting examinations in the state will be taken as per UGC and AICTE guidelines. It has also decided to restart centralised evaluation of examination papers of students who appeared for board examinations for 10th and 12th grades, from April 16. (14-04-2020)
Children playing in society common plot: Parents who allow their children to go outside and play during the lockdown can face legal action. In Ahmedabad the police booked six parents after their children were found playing in the common plot. Police officials said that strict action will be taken against parents who do not keep their children indoors. The cops had flown a drone over the area to check whether the lockdown rules were being followed. Police saw the children playing, their pictures were taken and the cops identified and summoned their parents. The parents were booked under the Epidemic Diseases Act. The action is on the lines of traffic offences where parents are booked for offences by children. (14-04-2020)
Schools in Gujarat will not raise fees for upcoming academic year: The Gujarat government has asked school managements not to raise fees for the upcoming academic year and to allow parents to pay fees for the months of March, April and May 2020 in a staggered manner through monthly installments. The state education minister met with representatives of a school management association on Sunday. The order regarding the fees will be binding on all schools in the state including private and self-financed entities. If the financial condition of parents is weak, such parents can pay the fees for March-April-May anytime within six months from June to November, 2020; the fees can be staggered in monthly instalments. (14-04-2020)
Gujarat RERA allows one-time extension: The Gujarat Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has provided some relief to real estate developers to help the realty sector face the impact of the current lockdown. The regulator has allowed realtors to apply for a one-time extension in the project completion deadline. The extension will be provided to all registered projects having their project end date on and between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. Gujarat RERA has also waived the fee for application to extend the date. As many as 1,570 or 32% of the ongoing projects are going to benefit from this relaxation. The application fee for alterations has also been waived. Projects with multi-block development plans will be in a position to revisit their development plan and may consider de-registration of a portion of their inventory through an alteration application, that is, bringing down the size of the registered project by converting the project into a phase of the approved layout plan. (14-04-2020)
Two thousand beds readied to treat Covid-19 patients: The Vadodara administration has arranged for 2,000 beds to keep Covid-19 patients. The facilities have been divided into Covid Care Centers (CCC), Covid Health Centers (CoHC) and Dedicated Covid Hospitals (DCH). Vadodara will now have 1,500 CCC beds, 300 CoHC beds and 200 DCB beds in and around the city. CCCs will take care of patients who are asymptomatic and do not need intensive treatment. As per guidelines any facility like a school to a stadium can be used for this. AYUSH doctors can take care of such patients too. CoHCs that presently have 300 beds capacity will look into treatment of patients with minor symptoms and will be equipped with oxygen facilities and doctors. The GMERS Gotri hospital will have arrangements for 130 beds for such patients while the Sumandeep and Pioneer Hospitals can accommodate 100 and 70 such patients. For patients with severe syndromes DCHs have earmarked 200 beds. These include 120 beds in GMERS Gotri, 50 in the railway hospital and 30 in Sumandeep Hospital. The present lots of beds had been identified projecting the requirements till May 10 as the first phase. The situation will be reviewed and preparations will be made in the second phase between May 10 and May 31. More changes will be made after June 1 if needed. (14-04-2020)
Wearing masks made compulsory in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara: The municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Rajkot have made it compulsory for citizens to wear masks in public places with effect from April 13. Violation of the order will invite a stiff penalty and perhaps imprisonment. Surat city was the first to impose the compulsory wearing of masks in public places. This order has been issued to contain the spread of Covid-19. All persons when in a public place within the jurisdiction of the municipal Corporations must compulsorily wear masks or cover their mouth and nose with a handkerchief or any other cloth tied properly around their mouth and nose. Failure to pay the penalty will attract prosecution under section 188 of IPC and provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act. It has been observed in some studies that wearing facial masks can reduce the speed of infection substantially. (13-04-2020)
Five paramilitary companies will be deployed in Gujarat: Five paramilitary companies will help the police to enforce the lockdown in Gujarat. To be deployed in Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, the five companies comprise two each from the Border Security Force and the Central Industrial Security Force, and an all-women company from the CRPF. Two companies each will be stationed in Ahmedabad and Surat and one will be in Vadodara. The women's company will be stationed in Ahmedabad. (13-04-2020)
India's Aarogya Setu app tries to curb spread of Covid-19: India has launched the Aarogya Setu app which helps in contact tracing and trying to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts say it is a useful innovation to stop the disease from spreading. Global tech majors Apple and Google said that they were building a software into smartphones that would help in contact tracing and inform users whether they were in touch with Covid-19 infected persons. Innovative solutions can greatly help to educate and track contagion across the populations at large. For safety against Covid-19, users can download the Aarogya Setu app. Aarogya Setu uses location data from persons' smartphones to tell users if they have been near someone who tested positive for Covid-19. The government wants to popularise the app and has explained that adequate precautions have been taken with regard to privacy. First, personal information is de-identified at registration so that thereafter the app only uses a unique device identity to identify you, not your name or any other personal information. Second, the information that the app collects' those you come in contact with and your location information is kept on the phone by default. It is only sent to the NIC servers when you have either come in contact with an infected person or where your probability of being infected is high. Finally, data that is collected by the app, both that which remains on your device and which has been uploaded to the servers, are purged on a regular basis. The App is privacy-first by design and is currently available in 11 different languages. With Aarogya Setu, you can take a step forward to protect yourself, your family and your loved ones. Please go to https://www.mygov.in/aarogya-setu-app/ (13-04-2020)
Self-Employed Women's Association distributes 5 lakh masks: Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) has made and distributed 5 lakh masks for use in the campaign against Covid-19. SEWA has about 1.7 million women workers in 18 states. To start with, a few women were taught how to make masks at home, and they made a video and circulated it among other women. At the health centres, a master trainer teaches others how to maintain quality standards. The masks are distributed free of cost to villagers who cannot afford to buy them. The cost of double-layered masks is about Rs. 7 to 10 per piece; the single-layered masks cost Rs. 3 to 5. The masks undergo a rigorous quality and standardization check where the women are to upload videos of the masks to be scrutinized by a district level co-ordinator. Over 500 women are working on this in various districts in several states. (13-04-2020)
Gujarat permits fishermen to function in lockdown: The Gujarat government said that fishermen from the state will be allowed to fish from Saturday and it will also permit the fish processing industry to function. The ban on the fishing industry which includes processing, packaging and operations of cold chains has been removed. A huge community that lives on the state's coast and depends on the sea for their livelihood will benefit from this decision. Permissions have also been given for the transportation of fishes from one place to another. Marine fish production constitutes over 85 percent of the total 8.1 lakh tonne fish production in Gujarat. The state is among the top five fish producing states in India. Earlier, restrictions were also eased for farmers and industrial units connected with essentials services. (12-04-2020)
Industries have implemented orders to not lay off employees: The Gujarat government says that industries in the state have implemented the orders to not lay off employees or cut their wages; 20,214 firms have paid Rs. 1,269 crore as salaries to 7.35 lakh workers during the lockdown. This forms about 46 per cent of the total 43,721 firms in Gujarat which have a workforce of 10 or more workers. The state's labour and employment department made over 10,300 calls to business houses asking them to not lay off workers or cut salaries during the lockdown. On April 2, the government had announced that FIRs will be filed under the Disaster Management Act against industries, shops and establishments if they violated the order. (12-04-2020)
Over 2,800 private doctors in TeCHO system: Health department officials in Gujarat say that they have integrated 2832 doctors with private practice or hospitals with the mobile-based TeCHO application. The doctors have been asked to report severe acute respiratory illness (SARI) and influenza-like illness (ILI) they come across. It's a method to quickly identify suspected cases. This coordination is crucial because often the patients first approach general practitioners. (12-04-2020)
Vadodara city divided into four zones according to vulnerability: Vadodara city has been divided into four zones based on their vulnerability to the Covid-19 threat. Different strategies to address the situation will be used in each zone. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) and city police had already declared Nagarwada and some other areas as red zones. They have now identified nine areas as orange zones and 10 areas as yellow zones. The orange zone areas include those areas that are more susceptible to a Covid-19 outbreak. The third zone will be a yellow zone where 10 areas have been included which are slums and similar congested areas where social distancing is difficult and they need to be protected and given special attention. The red zones have been sealed. The movement of people in the orange zones will be limited within the zone; they can buy essential commodities from within the zone only and not venture out. In yellow zones, entry of people from outside will be stopped and residents here will be able to go out to purchase essential commodities; this has been done to ensure that nobody from outside brings the infection in these yellow zones. Daily health surveillance of persons will be conducted in both the yellow and orange zones. All other areas in the city will be declared as green zones. (11-04-2020)
Serious crimes have reduced since lockdown: Serious crimes like murder, robbery and house break-ins have seen a substantial drop in Gujarat since the lockdown began on March 24. Of course, a major deterrent is the fact that 80% of the police force is out on the roads implementing the lockdown. There is round-the-clock police presence on the roads in cities, towns and villages. As few people venture out, accidents cases have also come down. While 22,000 cases have been filed for lockdown and Epidemic Diseases Act violations, only some 1,600 other crime cases were filed. At other times, an average of 1,200 to 1,300 crime cases are registered daily; this figure has now come down to 100 per day. (11-04-2020)
Several morning walkers ignore lockdown rules: Over 20 morning walkers were taken to task by the police for violating prohibitory norms which are in place to arrest the spread of Covid-19. Many of the walkers were booked as they were walking on the roads in the Sayajigunj and Pratapgunj areas. Even walking in a residential society's common plot is not permitted. Those taken to task were morning walkers of Pratapgunj, Sayajigunj, Fatehgunj, Nizampura and Akota. Lockdown clearly implies that people cannot come out of their houses in groups or individually unless they come out to buy essential items or do some essential work. It is best to exercise inside your home. It may be difficult, but it is very essential. (10-04-2020)
20-year-old Prince Panchal likes to make drones: Prince Panchal, just 20 years old, has made a remote-controlled drone that can handle packages of up to 600 grams. His drone can provide a lot of help in the time of the lockdown. The model he has made can be used to deliver food packets or medicines. The drone has a GPS device and can fly within a range of one kilometre. Prior to this he has made 40 remote controlled miniature aeroplanes. Incidentally, this bright young man has failed the class X examinations four times. Formal education is not his cup of tea. (10-04-2020)
Cops now authorised to fine and release vehicles: The state transport department has issued a notification authorising police of the rank of head constable and above to compound offences related to detention of vehicles during the lockdown. The notification will stay in force until the lockdown is lifted. To ensure that social distancing is maintained, police of the rank of head constable or above can now compound offences related to detention of vehicles by charging a fine and releasing the vehicle. Cops detain vehicles of people who violate lockdown provisions. (10-04-2020)
Government asks supply staff to join work: The state government said that employees and workers of industries and establishments dealing in essential goods and services are not exempted from reporting to work. In such cases, the government has permitted employers to act against the concerned employees and workers who refuse to report to work. This clarification has come following complaints that some workers in industries and establishments dealing in essential goods and services are refusing to report to work citing the lockdown. Industries like pharmaceutical and essential food items have been exempted from the lockdown to ensure that there is no scarcity of essential items in lockdown. (10-04-2020)
Gujarat forest department may postpone Asiatic lion census: The Gujarat forest department's Asiatic lion census has been postponed, perhaps till November or December. It was earlier supposed to be conducted from May 15. This is a precautionary measure during the Covid-19 crisis. If the 21-day lockdown period is extended the census can be conducted only after Diwali. Still, the situation is being monitored. If conditions improve, the census can be taken up earlier. A 15-day period of preparation is needed before the exercise can start. (10-04-2020)
Cops doing an excellent job reaching out to the elderly: A lady, 87 years old, recently rang up the police control room in Vadodara recently and said that she was feeling lonely during the lockdown and there was no one to talk to. She asked the police to 'please come and spend some time with me'. A team of police persons was immediately sent to her house to spend some time with her and comfort her. She was reassured that she could call up at any time she needed help. The lady lives alone in Karelibaug; her husband had passed away a few years ago. It is at such times that the elderly are the most affected by loneliness and anxiety. Many senior citizens stay alone as their children are either settled abroad or in some other city. They cannot go out of their homes on their own and their caretakers are constrained by the lockdown and cannot come to attend to them. A special team has been formed to help senior citizens and respond to such calls. The team members spend time with the elderly, indulge in informal talk and also get them groceries and medicines. They visit them regularly and ensure that they get all possible help. If you know of some elderly person who could be lonely or anxious please make it a habit to ring them up and ask if they need anything. If you feel that it may be necessary to visit such people in your neighbourhood, please feel free to seek the assistance of the police control room; during the lockdown it is not advisable to visit someone without permission of the relevant authorities. (09-04-2020)
Asarwa Civil Hospital's recruitment drive not successful: In Ahmedabad the Asarwa Civil Hospital authorities received just three applications for 90 vacancies for pulmonologist vacancies at its new Covid-19 facility, only 20 doctors applied for 165 posts of medical officers, and only 150 applied for 700 posts of staff nurse. The advertised monthly salaries for pulmonologists Rs. 1.20 lakh, for medical officers (MBBS) Rs. 60,000, for staff nurse Rs. 13,000. The poor response may call for another recruitment drive. When the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) held a recruitment drive for 354 doctors for urban health centres, only 94 doctors had applied. (09-04-2020)
Adani Gas Ltd. and Gujarat Gas Ltd. reduce prices: Adani Gas Limited and Gujarat Gas Limited have reduced CNG and PNG prices. Their consumers in respective geographical areas in Gujarat will have to pay less for the natural gas they consume. The revised prices are effective from April 9. AGL has cut PNG prices for residential consumers by Rs. 1 per standard cubic meter (SCM) across all regions the company caters to. For Ahmedabad city and Vadodara, the PNG price has been brought down to Rs. 29.09 per SCM from Rs. 30.09 per SCM. The Adani group company has reduced CNG prices in Ahmedabad and Vadodara by Rs. 2.25 per kg from Rs. 54.82 to Rs.52.57 per kg. (09-04-2020)
You can support the cops with your personal drone: The Vadodara city police has asked citizens to lend their personal drones to the department so that lockdown enforcement can become more effective. If any citizens have innovative ideas for the enforcement of the lockdown they are requested to please share their ideas with the police department. At present, the local cops have a total of 11 drone surveillance cameras which are used for three to four hours twice a day. The cops would appreciate borrowing your personal drone for this important activity. The police department has its own operators, but if the owners themselves want to operate their drones then that too can be facilitated. (08-04-2020)
Government has readied 31 hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients: The Gujarat government has made arrangements to treat 4,064 Covid-19 patients at 31 hospitals in 26 districts. Each district has at least one 100-bed facility with the required infrastructure like isolation wards and ventilators. A few districts have larger facilities of more than 300 beds. All district collectors have been asked to seek manpower from the private sector in case of staff shortage. The dedicated 1,200-bed Covid hospital in Ahmedabad has already begun admitting patients; this hospital has over 200 ventilators. Special video-conferencing facilities have been set up at the hospital so that patients can talk with their family members and relatives through video-conferencing. (08-04-2020)
Gujarat's biowaste warriors are unsung heroes: Over 1,100 biowaste collectors working at 25 incineration facilities across Gujarat handle potentially dangerous biohazards. More than 1 tonne of Covid biomedical waste is destroyed in the state by the workers of these incineration facilities. The workers go to Covid isolation facilities to collect the waste and transport it to the incineration plants where it is destroyed. More than 350 vehicles are used to collect the biowaste in the state. Ahmedabad alone generates 500 to 600 kg of waste daily. Biowaste collection vans have to be disinfected before the waste is loaded and unloaded. (08-04-2020)
Gujarat government identifies 15 clusters for strict lockdown: The government announced that 15 clusters in the cities of Surat, Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Bhavnagar will see rigorous cluster containment strategy, including strict home quarantining and adherence to lockdown and disinfection. The lockdown will be ensured in these areas in coordination with the state health officials, municipal corporation officials and police personnel. These 15 areas include three spots in Surat, two in Vadodara, two in Bhavnagar and eight in Ahmedabad. Multiple agencies at state and city level will ensure that no person from the zone will come out and no person will go in. Maximum testing of the occupants will be initiated along with identification of contacts of the positive patients. (07-04-2020)
Indian Railways has converted 2,500 coaches into isolation wards: The Indian Railways has converted 2,500 coaches into isolation wards for Covid-19 patients. The coaches have a combined capacity of 40,000 beds. An average of 375 coaches are being converted into isolation wards in a day, at 133 locations in the country. Each coach can house 10 patients in separate bays of non-AC coaches. More than 100 accident relief medical vans lying with divisions and equipped with hospital facilities across India and even the Lifeline Express may be pressed into service if needed. (06-04-2020)
  Records 101 to 150 of 1081  
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Karnataka government will keep track of some medicine sales (23-04-2020)
All colleges will hold annual exams (22-04-2020)
Bar Council of Gujarat gets over 9,000 applications for financial aid (22-04-2020)
About 27,500 industrial units start functioning in Gujarat (22-04-2020)
VUDA CEO appointed as new GMERS hospital administrator (21-04-2020)
Colleges and universities will not raise fees for 2020-21 (21-04-2020)
Over 1,000 units in Gujarat to resume from Monday (20-04-2020)
CCTV footage helps to nab lockdown violators in residential societies (19-04-2020)
Plasma therapy at SVP Hospital (19-04-2020)
The villagers of Angadh, Sokhda and Sadhli look after their neighbours (19-04-2020)
Free treatment at 31 Covid-19 hospitals (18-04-2020)
E-commerce home deliveries will resume from April 20 (18-04-2020)
Vadodara's lady cops prepare meals for the homeless (18-04-2020)
Pay cuts during lockdown being monitored (18-04-2020)
Surprise end to wedding ceremony (18-04-2020)
Fuel sales may drop by 85% in April (17-04-2020)
ATIRA makes medium for N-99 masks (17-04-2020)
8700 beds ready in various districts for Covid-19 patients (17-04-2020)
Vadodara APMCs will resume operations from Thursday (16-04-2020)
Gujarat seeks approval to begin trials for blood plasma therapy (16-04-2020)
APMCs dealing with foodgrains will reopen in a staggered manner (15-04-2020)
Personal drone owners help Ahmedabad Police (15-04-2020)
Communities celebrate New Year at home (15-04-2020)
Vacations in colleges and universities from April 15 till May 17 (14-04-2020)
Children playing in society common plot (14-04-2020)
Schools in Gujarat will not raise fees for upcoming academic year (14-04-2020)
Gujarat RERA allows one-time extension (14-04-2020)
Two thousand beds readied to treat Covid-19 patients (14-04-2020)
Wearing masks made compulsory in Ahmedabad, Rajkot and Vadodara (13-04-2020)
Five paramilitary companies will be deployed in Gujarat (13-04-2020)
India's Aarogya Setu app tries to curb spread of Covid-19 (13-04-2020)
Self-Employed Women's Association distributes 5 lakh masks (13-04-2020)
Gujarat permits fishermen to function in lockdown (12-04-2020)
Industries have implemented orders to not lay off employees (12-04-2020)
Over 2,800 private doctors in TeCHO system (12-04-2020)
Vadodara city divided into four zones according to vulnerability (11-04-2020)
Serious crimes have reduced since lockdown (11-04-2020)
Several morning walkers ignore lockdown rules (10-04-2020)
20-year-old Prince Panchal likes to make drones (10-04-2020)
Cops now authorised to fine and release vehicles (10-04-2020)
Government asks supply staff to join work (10-04-2020)
Gujarat forest department may postpone Asiatic lion census (10-04-2020)
Cops doing an excellent job reaching out to the elderly (09-04-2020)
Asarwa Civil Hospital's recruitment drive not successful (09-04-2020)
Adani Gas Ltd. and Gujarat Gas Ltd. reduce prices (09-04-2020)
You can support the cops with your personal drone (08-04-2020)
Government has readied 31 hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients (08-04-2020)
Gujarat's biowaste warriors are unsung heroes (08-04-2020)
Gujarat government identifies 15 clusters for strict lockdown (07-04-2020)
Indian Railways has converted 2,500 coaches into isolation wards (06-04-2020)
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