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Unlock 1.0, Day 16: AIIMS Rishikesh tests low-cost ventilator; Vrindavan widows make designer masks; and more

Here are some interesting stories from across the country on day 16 of unlockdown.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | June 23, 2020 11:46:18 pm
The United Nations has been observing International Widows’ Day on June 23 since 2011 to draw attention to their voices and experiences and to galvanise the unique support that they need.

India Tuesday reported 14,933 new cases of the novel coronavirus and 312 deaths. This takes the country’s Covid-19 tally to 4,40,215, including 1,78,014 active cases, 2,48,190 recoveries and 14,011 deaths. Meanwhile, 11 districts in Guwahati – comprising large parts of the city – are set to undergo lockdown from 9 pm today to contain the rising Covid cases in Assam.

Telangana, which recently increased testing, is seeing a surge in its cases. Maharashtra has the most infections (1,35,796). Delhi has overtaken Tamil Nadu to become the second worst-hit state with 62,655 cases against the latter’s 62,087.

The Centre, in a fresh push to promote Make in India products, has made it made it mandatory for sellers to enter the country of origin while registering new products on Government e-Marketplace (GeM), a special purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that connects buyers and sellers. Products already available on GeM must meet the new requirement or risk being removed.

Here are some interesting stories from across the country on day 16 of unlockdown:

AIIMS Rishikesh successfully tests low-cost ventilator

A low-cost indigenous ventilator, Prana Vayu, was successfully tested at All India Institute of Medical Sciences here on Tuesday, hospital officials informed news agency PTI.

It is reported that the ventilator was developed jointly by AIIMS, Rishikesh and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee about two months ago. Its cost will range between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000.

A five-member team of AIIMS doctors confirmed the reliability and effectiveness of the completely indigenous ventilator after testing it at the hospital’s Advanced Simulation Lab, the officials said.

Vrindavan widows make designer marks

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, widows living in ashrams here made designer face masks based on the temple city of Vrindavan and Lord Krishna to mark International Widows Day on Tuesday. Over 20 widows joined the programme and worked on 1,000 designer silk and cotton fabric face masks, NGO Sulabh International, which is supporting their initiative, said.

These women had started making face masks when the nationwide coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March this year. They make 200 to 300 masks daily. The Vrindavan-themed mask was launched during a webinar attended by people from all over the world.

The Sulabh International extended support by providing training and fabric with special designs. “So far, they have prepared around 5,000 face masks of cotton and khadi, which have been distributed among police, government employees, sanitation workers,” the NGO said.

The widows are now hoping to find partners, including online portals and Khadi outlets, to ensure the sale of their designer face masks, Sulabh International vice-president Vinita Verma said. “Earlier, around 25 widows living in various ashrams took lessons from our trainers and prepared more than 5,000 masks for free distribution.”

The United Nations has been observing International Widows’ Day on June 23 since 2011 to draw attention to their voices and experiences and to galvanise the unique support that they need.

Bicycle theft cases flood police stations in Kolkata as demand grows amid COVID-19

Incidents of bicycle theft are on the rise in the city amid burgeoning demand for the environment-friendly two-wheeler as an alternative to public transport amid the COVID-19 pandemic, police said on Tuesday. Since early June, complaints about bicycles going missing from owners’ residences have been received from different areas of the metropolis, including Behala, New Alipore, Jadavpur, Garia, Mudiali, Manicktala, Sinthee and Sealdah, they said.

Just last week, an FIR was lodged at the Sinthee Police Station after a mountain bike was stolen from inside a housing complex in Roypara area, a senior police officer said. “The owner, a woman, had parked the bicycle inside the premises of her apartment after locking it. But, the two-wheeler was gone the next morning,” he said.

Behala resident Sumit Chakraborty said his brand new bicycle, which he had recently bought to commute to office in Jadavpur area, was stolen from his house, where it was parked. Around 87 such complaints have been received since the beginning of June, the police officer said.

“Most of these incidents are taking place at night… We are trying to ascertain whether specific groups of bicycle thieves are in operation to cash in on the surging demand for the two-wheelers, especially second-hand ones,” another senior police officer said.

Air Force civilian cooks can’t be allowed to go home after duty, likely to bring back COVID-19, says HC

Air Force civilian cooks, who now have to stay away from their families 28 days in a month, including 14-day quarantine, cannot be permitted to return home after duty hours every day, as they are likely to bring COVID-19 infection back to duty and endanger Air Force personnel, the Delhi High Court has said. A bench of Justices Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Asha Menon, conducting hearing through video conferencing, said the cooks cannot seek enforcement of employment terms as in the normal times, when the entire country is going through abnormal situation.

The court passed the order while disposing of a petition by the All India Association of Air Force Civil Cooks, in which they said that during the coronavirus pandemic, they are being made to live at the Air Force station of their posting and a roster of 14+14+7 is being followed. For the first 14 days they are kept in quarantine, next 14 days they are made to work as cooks and thereafter, they are given 7 days to go home.

The plea contended that they are thus being forced to stay away from their homes for 28 days in a month, out of which, for 14 days, their services are not utilised.

(With inputs from PTI)

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