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Coronavirus cases rise to 1,707 in New Delhi after 67 fresh cases reported on Friday




Workers spray disinfectants on a police barricade near Bengali Market, in New Delhi on 9 April 2020
Workers spray disinfectants on a police barricade near Bengali Market, in New Delhi on 9 April 2020 | Kamal Kishore | PTI

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New Delhi: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the national capital rose to 1,707 on Friday, with 67 fresh cases and four deaths being reported in a day, according to Delhi government authorities.

With four more fatalities reported, the death toll from COVID-19 in Delhi has jumped to 42, while the number of coronavirus containment zones here were increased to 68.

New zones were added in various areas, including in Malviya Nagar and Jahangirpuri, the authorities said.

District Magistrate South Delhi B M Mishra said a zone in Sangam Vihar was contained on Friday after a total of four cases in one house related to the March Nizamuddin congregation were traced.

By Thursday night, the number of cases of the deadly virus in the city stood at 1,640, including 38 deaths.

Out of the total cases, 72 have been discharged and one has migrated out of the country, authorities said.

The Delhi government said during the lockdown period private schools in the national capital will not be allowed to increase fees without its approval and only the tuition fee can be charged till the time schools reopen.

Also, schools cannot withhold salaries of teaching and non-teaching staff or collect fee quarterly, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

Also read: Delhi’s ILBS hospital to trial plasma treatment on critical Covid-19 patients

Schools found not following the directive have been warned of action under the Delhi School Education Act and National Disaster Management Act.

“We are receiving complaints from many parents that private schools have increased their fees. These schools have also not notified the Delhi government. Costs like transportation fees are being added and demanded by the schools.

“And those students who are failing to pay the fees on time are being dropped from online classes. Private schools should not stoop down to this level,” Sisodia said addressing a digital press conference.

Sisodia, also the education minister of Delhi, clarified that charges such as transport fee, annual fee or any other miscellaneous head cannot be levied during the lockdown.

The nationwide lockdown has been in force since March 25. During this period, the national capital also saw a decline in the crime rate.

Sharing data, the Delhi Police said heinous crime was down by 70 per cent in national capital.

The data showed that 221 cases of heinous crimes were registered in 2019 from April 1 to April 15, while in 2020, 66 such cases have been registered.

Last year from April 1 to April 15, total 10,579 cases were registered, while the number of cases reported in 2020 during the same time period was 2,574, police said.

Reports of cases of murder and rape have reduced by over 75 per cent, they said.

In the last two weeks, four cases of murder and 21 cases of rape were registered in Delhi. Last year, total 19 cases of murder and 93 cases of rape were registered during the first two weeks of April.

Cases of robbery and snatching have also gone down by 62 and 79 per cent respectively, police said.

Last year, eight cases of extortion and 13 cases of abduction were recorded in two weeks of April.

This year, no case of extortion was recorded and only one case of abduction was reported, they added.

Amid the lockdown and demand for essentials, Chief Secretary Vijay Dev directed the excise commissioner and drug controller to ensure enough supply of hand sanitiser in the national capital amid the coronavirus outbreak, an official said.

Dev directed the excise commissioner to ensure adequate availability of ethyl alcohol and ethanol to hand sanitiser manufacturers. He also told the Delhi drug controller to augment market linkages of hand sanitiser from distilleries and other units to ensure its availability at all medical and grocery stores, the official said.

Also read: Districts in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune in Red Zone as Modi govt divides country to fight Covid


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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


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