Times of India | 4 days ago | 23-06-2022 | 08:37 am
MUMBAI: Active Covid-19 cases in the city and state dropped for the first time on Wednesday after rising steadily since mid-May. While active cases in Maharashtra dropped to 24,639 on Wednesday from 24,915 on Tuesday, in Mumbai, it dropped from 14,146 to 13,501. Also, there was a change in the pattern of registering the week’s highest caseload on Wednesdays. While the state had 3,260 cases on Wednesday, lower than 3,356 on Tuesday, Mumbai had 1,648 detections as against 1,723 on the previous day. Cases in Mumbai have been falling slowly since June 16, but the dropping graph was noticeable in the state only in the last two days. “By July 15, we should have fewer cases,” said Dr Rahul Pandit, a member of the state’s task force on Covid-19. “If the declining trend continues till this weekend, we can say the short sharp wave came and went away in a four-week period like the Omicron wave in January,” he added. Meanwhile, three deaths were added to the state’s pandemic toll (1,47,892) on Wednesday: of these, two deaths occurred in Mumbai and one in Raigad. An update from the cabinet meeting held on Wednesday showed that the test positivity rate in four districts is higher than the state average of 10.64%. These are Mumbai (16%), Palghar (15%), Thane (13%) and Pune (13%).
Kochi: Since June first week, when India saw re-emergence of new Covid cases due to sub-lineages of Omicron, Kerala has reported maximum new Covid deaths in the country. Between June 1 and June 25, Kerala reported 127 new deaths and 65,811 new cases. In other words, there were on an average five new deaths everyday. There were 78 backlog deaths during this period in the state.In contrast, Maharashtra, which has reported the maximum number of new Covid cases, 69,087, during this period, is reporting a much lesser number of Covid deaths 40. Delhi, which was among the first few states to see a spike in cases by mid April, in June, reported 22,611 new cases and 39 deaths. Even in neighbouring states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, the new Covid cases as well as deaths remain very low. While Karnataka reported 12,600 new cases in 25 days of June, there were only seven Covid deaths, in Tamil Nadu only one death was reported after 11,398 persons tested positive and Telangana despite 5,344 new cases didn’t report a single Covid death during this period.“We have a huge vulnerable population elderly and people with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Majority of deaths here now are because of comorbidities and Covid is coincidental. Purely Covid-19 deaths are less now in Kerala,” said Dr Jayakrishnan A V, chairman of Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) committee on Covid vaccines and vaccination. Public health experts believe that the Kerala government, to protect the vulnerable, should strictly implement SMS social distancing, masking and sanitizing. Also, symptomatic people should be encouraged to quarantine themselves. What is now happening is that the symptomatic are freely moving around and going to the office, market and spreading the infection to the vulnerable section of the society. Also, even the symptomatics who are testing now are either those who have comorbidities or those who want to avail sick leave. “What we are seeing now is cluster-based Covid spread that is limited largely to 10 states in the country. In a few states, new Covid cases have started to dip,” said Krishna Prasad N C, state health department official who has been analysing Covid-19 data since 2020.“The fatality rates are not alarming and much lesser than what we saw during the Omicron wave. Of course, at present Kerala has a high number of deaths when compared to other states, but even then it is not alarming,” he added.
Mumbai: Even as the ED has summoned Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut on Tuesday in two money laundering cases, he said, “I just came to know that ED has summoned me,” He tweeted further, “Good! There are big political developments in Maharashtra. We, Balasaheb’s Shivsainiks, are fighting a big battle. This is a conspiracy to stop me. Even if you behead me, I won’t take the Guwahati route. Arrest me! Jai Hind!”Last week the agency registered a case where Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL)’s erstwhile promoters Kapil Wadhawan and his brother Dheeraj are accused of a Rs 34,615-crore loan fraud along with builder Sudhakar Shetty of Sahana group. The ED is in the process of taking custody of Pune businessman Avinash Bhosale for questioning in the same case. Agency sources said ED registered the DHFL money laundering case based on a CBI FIR and while examining documents collected during the investigation, found suspicious entries linked to Sanjay Raut.The second case in which Raut’s been called for questioning is related to a Rs 1,200-crore chawl redevelopment fraud involving the Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) group, its promoters Rakesh Wadhawan and son Sarang and Sanjay Raut’s associate Pravin Raut. HDIL subsidiary Guru Ashish Construction had taken over redevelopment of Goregaon’s Patra Chawl after entering into an agreement with the land owner Mhada (a state government agency) and residents of the structure. Pravin Raut was a shareholder in Guru Ashish who received Rs 50 crore after he exited the company. Pravin Raut also received Rs 45 crore from a land deal at Palghar from the HDIL group. Earlier, ED arrested had Pravin Raut and chargesheeted him after alleging that “Pravin Raut received Rs 112 crore between 2008 and 2010 from HDIL in multiple instalments. He failed to give valid reasons.”The ED suspects that Pravin Raut is a front for some influential persons including politicians. In April, the ED had attached a flat in Mumbai owned by Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha and eight other land parcels jointly owned by her and another businessman’s wife in Alibaug, collectively valued at Rs 11 crore. ED had alleged that these properties were purchased through money diverted by Pravin Raut.Sanjay Raut did not comment on the ED’s allegations about his involvement.
A number of city colleges, especially those having autonomous status, have spelt relief for students awaiting their Class 12 CBSE and ISC results as they are not following Mumbai University’s admissions schedule.Earlier, the university’s circular declaring admission schedule had caused concern as it had asked city colleges to begin admissions even as CBSE and ISC students awaited their results.At Mithibai and N M College in Vile Parle, admissions to professional or self-financed degree courses are based solely on students’ performance in entrance tests. While their ongoing tests will continue until June-end, results are expected by July 10 and the admissions shall commence only after that.“It is unfair to start admissions while all those who are eligible are not ready to apply,” said Dr Krutika Desai, principal of Mithibai College. Dr Desai said that with a few seats available in traditional courses, it would be better to wait for them to be filled by giving a fair chance to all board students. Dr Desai has also written to the varsity administration in the regard.Meanwhile, Mumbai University has completed its degree admission registration process. A total of 2,41,921 aspirants have confirmed their pre-enrolment registration with Mumbai University and a total of 6,45,228 applications have been received for different courses.At Jai Hind College, admissions will wait until all board results are out. “Along with entrance tests for admission to professional courses, we have 50 per cent weightage given to the marks obtained by students in board exams,” said Dr. Ashok Wadia, principal of the college.In case of St. Xavier’s College, seats will be kept reserved for students coming from ISC and CBSE boards. “Based on admission statistics from the past few years, a certain set of seats will be kept aside for students coming from non-state boards. This also includes other students from boards where the results are yet not declared,” said Dr Rajendra Shinde, principal of St Xavier’s College where the entrance test will be held on July 2. KC College and HR College too are likely to follow a similar process of keeping the seats reserved.
Re-establishing the need for vaccination, the latest genome sequencing report of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has revealed that Covid-related mortality is higher among unvaccinated patients.Out of the 269 patients whose samples were taken for sequencing, 107 or 39.7 per cent were unvaccinated. Of these, five required admission in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and three lost their lives. On the other hand, among the eight patients who had taken one dose and 154 patients who were fully vaccinated, no death was recorded.The requirement of treatment in ICU was also found to be less among partially and fully-vaccinated patients. Only one patient who had taken both the doses of the vaccines needed admission in the ICU.“In the genome-sequencing report, we witnessed that the severity of infection was much higher among unvaccinated patients. This group of patients also needed more time for recovery. This again highlights the need for vaccination, especially among the elderly with comorbidities,” said Dr Mangala Gomare, Executive Health Officer, BMC.Echoing similar view, Dr Rahul Pandit, member of the Covid-19 task force, said that vaccines don’t provide shield against infection but lower the severity which contains the mortality rate. “Vaccines will confer sterilising immunity in everyone. They provide us immunity against severe diseases and mortality. These are generation one vaccines made from the ancestral strain; it has never been claimed that vaccinated people will never get infected. Also, if one gets infected, chances are that they will be asymptomatic or have minor symptoms,” he said.Since the surge in Covid-19, the civic body has been sending naso-oropharyngeal positive sample from hospitalised patients as well as people testing positive in dispensaries and laboratories for genome sequencing.As per the 13th genome-sequencing report, out of the total samples collected, 268 or 99.63 per cent were detected with variants of Omicron. Of these, six and 12 patients were detected with the new variant of Omicron—BA.4 and BA.5 — respectively.A total of 60.59 per cent (163) Covid-19 patients found positive with the Omicron variant were in the age bracket of 21-60 of which 40 per cent (108) were in the 21 to 40 age group. Around 10.78 per cent (29) were in the 0-18 age group.On Monday, the state registered a total of 2,369 new Covid-19 cases, of which Mumbai constituted 1,062 cases. The state capital registered five more deaths which pushed up the total mortality to 37 as of June 27.
The Supreme Court’s order on Monday, extending the time for Eknath Shinde and 15 other rebel MLAs in the Maharashtra State Legislative Assembly to file written response to the Deputy Speaker’s disqualification notice till July 12, was deemed as a victory by the rebel camp. On the other hand, the Shiv Sena also put up a brave front stating that the interim order had only postponed the inevitable disqualification of the rebel MLAs.“We have won this major battle as the court has given us a major relief and we have time to contemplate on how to take the next step, whether we have to come to Mumbai for floor test or not. We have given all the authority of decision to Shinde saheb who will decide on the further course of action,” rebel MLA Bharat Gogawale, the chief whip of the Shinde camp, said.When asked if there is any plan on joining hands with the BJP, Gogawale, said, “We have 51 MLAs and we have to go with someone to form an alliance. We cannot go with the Congress or the NCP and there is only one option, which is the BJP.”Deepak Kesarkar, the spokesperson of the Shinde camp, said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena will form the government in the state, adding that their leader will be Uddhav Thackeray and that the Congress and the NCP should walk out of the government “instead of asking Thackeray saheb to resign”.Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena Member of Parliament from South Mumbai, who has been spearheading the battle for disqualification for the MVA, however, called the interim order as “postponement of the inevitable disqualification”.“They have only got time…that doesn’t mean it is a setback to MVA (Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi). The process has just been postponed. Now we are in a wait-and-watch position and we will decide on our further course of action depending upon what they (the rebel camp) are doing,” Sawant said.