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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Delhi Confidential: Taking Umbrage

Sen, a doctor by profession and state secretary of the Indian Medical Association’s West Bengal unit, has demanded an apology from Agarwal for his alleged remarks that “some professionals are getting infected in parties”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: May 1, 2020 1:19:21 am
Trinamool Congress MP Dr Santanu Sen

Trinamool Congress MP Dr Santanu Sen has written to Health Ministry officer Lav Agarwal, who is the government’s face in the battle against COVID-19, protesting against his comments on the reason for doctors getting infected by the virus. Sen, a doctor by profession and state secretary of the Indian Medical Association’s West Bengal unit, has demanded an apology from Agarwal for his alleged remarks that “some professionals are getting infected in parties”. Sen has also sent copies of his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan.

No Brake On Break

Even as the Supreme Court has restricted its functioning to hearing only urgent cases for over a month now in view of the pandemic, the court is likely to continue with its six-week summer break. The court notified two vacation officers who will be in charge of listing important cases before a vacation bench on Wednesday. Incidentally, two high courts—Delhi and Karnataka—have already announced that they will not take a summer break to make up for the hours lost to the pandemic.

Keeping Away

Following the fiasco over number mismatch between the Health Ministry and ICMR, the ICMR has not only stopped issuing daily figures of samples that tested positive for coronavirus but its representatives have also missed the daily briefings on the situation of the pandemic. The last the ICMR was represented at a briefing was last Thursday, when D-G Dr Balram Bhargava made an appearance.

Special Mention

It’s not often that an Indian official finds mention in a foreign minister’s letter to his Indian counterpart. In his thank-you letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz has made a special mention of Nikhilesh Giri, joint secretary in MEA, and Pradeep Singh Kharola from the Civil Aviation Ministry for their help in evacuation of Israeli nationals stranded in India due to the lockdown. Insiders say the unsung hero in the evacuation exercise was a young, 2012-batch officer, Rakhee Mayuri, posted in the West Asia & North Africa division of MEA.

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