Times of India | 1 week ago | 24-09-2022 | 04:46 am
MUMBAI: The ongoing genome sequencing surveillance of the Covid-causing SARS-CoV-2 virus across the state revealed that the BA.2.75 subvariant has become the dominant strain. "Earlier Omicron's BA.5 variant was the dominant one, but it seems to be reducing," said state surveillance officer Dr Pradip Awate. In the first fortnight of September, genome sequencing done in the seven designated labs showed BA.2.75 subvariant in 486 patients. Its tally has thus increased to 1,161 so far, with Pune (512), Mumbai (393) and Nagpur (154) having the most cases. The state tally for cases of BA.4 and BA.5 stand at 369 in comparison, according to data distributed by the state public health department on Thursday. A week back, the BMC released genome sequencing data to show that Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 was mutating further into subtypes BA.2.75.1 and BA.2.75.2.
Top health officials across Maharashtra conducted surprise visits at the government-run primary health centres and rural hospitals in the wee hours of Friday to check whether emergencies were being attended to and the doctors and nurses were present on duty. Barring a few places like the Thane Primary Health Centre and some others where the doctors were not present, the functioning of the health facilities was as per routine, Dr Nitin Ambadekar, Director of Health, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express.This move to conduct surprise visits was an initiative of Tukaram Mundhe, who recently took charge as the Health Services Commissioner of Maharashtra. Mundhe instructed the district health officers, civil surgeons and deputy directors of health across Maharashtra to conduct surprise visits at the primary health centres and rural hospitals to check whether the staff was present at the health facilities and emergencies were being attended to during the late night hours.Mundhe, who is also Director, National Health Mission, Maharashtra, told The Indian Express that the main purpose was to check whether the medical and paramedical staff are present at the health facilities during the night hours. “I had instructed the deputy director, civil surgeons and district health officers to randomly visit any primary health centre or rural hospital without informing the staff on duty. These kinds of drives will now be regularly taken up,” he said.Pune-headquartered Director of Health Dr Ambadekar, who also visited the health facilities, said that emergency services were in place. Dr Ambadekar said that effort during the surprise visit was also to identify the lacunae so that the problem could be resolved.“While the performance has by and large been satisfactory, we wanted to ensure the focus is maintained also during the festive season,” he added.Dr Ambadekar said there are an approximate 19 lakh deliveries being performed annually and at least 50 per cent are done at the government set up.“There have been instances where non attendants have been reported in the past, but overall the performance has been satisfactory. These drives are a way of emphasizing that the situation is being monitored,” he added.Each primary health centre is required to have two medical officers, while three are posted at the rural hospitals. There are 1,839 primary health centres and 504 rural hospitals, including women’s hospital and sub district hospitals, in Maharashtra. The Collector of each district has been authorised to fill up contractual posts.Deputy Director, Health, Dr Sanjog Kadam visited the Alandi Rural Hospital in Pune, while Dr Bhagwan Pawar, District Health Officer, Pune, visited the primary health centre at Wagholi and found that a delivery was underway.Pune District Civil Surgeon Ashok Dr Nandapurkar made a surprise visit to the Rural Hospital at Vadgaon Maval. “I got a message at 11.15 pm and immediately went to the Rural Hospital at Vadgaon Maval at 12.15 am where there were doctors on duty,” he said.
The October heat is known to be a common phenomenon in Maharashtra’s Mumbai city. From the first week of October every year, several areas in the city become uncomfortably hot with the daily temperature rising and ranging between mid 30 to 35 degrees Celsius.However, the scenario is slightly different this year. With sporadic spells of rain still lashing in several parts of the suburban belt and the island city, there does not seem to be a significant rise in temperature even though the first week of October is nearing its end.Mumbai’s maximum temperature is 30 degrees Celsius on Friday morning, while the average maximum temperature during the day last year varied between 33 degrees and 34 degrees Celsius, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).Meanwhile, the scientists and weather experts have attributed the current weather condition to the late withdrawal of monsoon from Mumbai and a low pressure developed in the Bay of Bengal.“Monsoon is still there in Mumbai and there is high rate of moisture presence in the air as well. Therefore, light to moderate rainfall will continue in the island city and suburban belt for the next few days since there is no clear forecast of monsoon retreat anytime now. This is directly affecting the daily temperature and as long as the rains are there an increase in temperature is unlikely,” IMD scientist Sushma Nair told The Indian Express.Nair also maintained that a rise in temperature may take place after the monsoon retreats from Mumbai.“After the monsoon withdrawal happens, the temperature may go up till 33 to 34 degrees Celsius, but this will be short-lived since the north-western part of India will start experiencing drop in daily temperature due to the arrival of winter and this will also affect Mumbai as well,” she said.Mahesh Palawat, the chief meteorologist at Skymet Weather, said the entire western and north-western part of India is experiencing an unusual weather pattern this year, which is not letting the temperature rise during October.“Parts of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Gujarat are experiencing light to moderate rainfall because of two successive low pressure that have been developed in the Bay of Bengal. There is also a trough seen in the coastal region of Maharashtra. These factors are creating an unusual pattern of rains which is not letting the temperature to rise in Mumbai,” he said.Palawat further said there is a chance of monsoon retreat post October 13.“Light to moderate rainfall will continue in Mumbai till October 12 and Mumbai may experience a slight rise in temperature after October 13,” he added.Meanwhile, the IMD bulletin Friday morning stated the sky will remain cloudy and light to moderate rainfall will continue to lash Mumbai for the next 48 hours. In the past 24 hours, the city has recorded 8.9 mm of rainfall, of which the Santacruz observatory has recorded 1.1 mm of rainfall and the Colaba observatory has recorded 7.8 mm of rainfall.The bulletin stated Mumbai’s relative humidity is 95 per cent.
Viral Video: Spread over 390 kilometres, Mumbai local trains which are considered the lifeline of the financial capital operate 2,342 services and carries more than 7.5 million commuters daily. However, getting a seat on Mumbai local train is no less than a struggle. Recently, a massive fight broke out between a few women over a seat inside the ladies’ compartment of a Thane-Panvel local train.Also Read - Viral Video: People Play Music on Ola Electric Scooter After Power Cut Interrupts Dandiya Event in Gujarat | WatchThe video of the incident has been doing rounds on social media. In the video, women can be seen pulling each other’s hair inside the train. A woman constable tried to pacify the passengers, however, her efforts went in vain and she got hurt.Fight between two female passengers over a seat in #Local #TRAIN .The woman police constable who went to the rescue got hurt.Both women filed a case against each other at Vashi Railway Police Station.@Central_Railway #Mumbai pic.twitter.com/nFOKv7bOWv— Siraj Noorani (@sirajnoorani) October 6, 2022“Few women started hitting each other following a dispute over the seat, and a female staff was injured,” news agency ANI quoted S Katare, Senior Police Inspector, Vashi Railway Station as saying.Vashi, Navi Mumbai | Few women started hitting each other following dispute over seat, a female staff was injured: S Katare, Senior Police Inspector, Vashi Railway Station, on scuffle b/w 3 women in a local train running from Thane to Panvel, today(Pic 1:Screengrab;viral video) pic.twitter.com/A6bPR3phhA— ANI (@ANI) October 6, 2022If reports are to be believed, an argument broke out between three women passengers over the seat. Soon after, the argument escalated which turned into an ugly fight.Narrating the incident, a police official informed that an elderly woman and her granddaughter, who had boarded the local train from Thane, and another woman who boarded the train at Koparkhairane were waiting for a seat to get vacant. When the seat got vacant, the elderly woman asked her granddaughter to take the seat. Simultaneously, the other woman also tried to grab the seat, following which the argument broke out.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has come up with a project to build a cable-stayed flyover in a bid to improve the road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve regions in the western suburbs of Maharashtra’s Mumbai city.A look at the project: The cable-stayed flyover will connect Versova jetty with Madh island.Location: The bridge will originate from near the Versova jetty and end near the wharf adjoining the Madh island jetty, passing over the Versova Creek.Specifications: The bridge will be 1.5 kilometers long and 27.50 meters wide.Objective: The primary objective of this project is to improve road connectivity between Versova, Malad and Marve region in the western suburbs, which currently has patches of mangroves, mudflats and creeks between the locations. This bridge is expected to bring down the travel time between Versova and Madh island to 10 minutes. It currently takes at least one hour through SV Road and Link Road. The travel time during peak hours can go as high as two hours.Significance:– This project will improve the road connectivity till the extreme end of the western suburbs. Since there is no direct road network right now, the people are mostly dependent on a ferry service that runs between Versova and Madh.– The bridge will lead to uninterrupted transport system for 365 days. Since the ferry services often become non-operational during monsoon, the people are compelled to take the longer route of travel though bus, taxi or local train via Malad, which increases the travel time by several fold.– The bridge will also play a key role in uplifting the economy of the Madh and Marve area, which mainly houses the fishing community that travels to the fish markets in Andheri and Dadar areas and are mainly dependent on ferries. This bridge will open more travelling options for them, thus creating better connectivity.– With the Mumbai Coastal Road Project (MCRP) coming up and also with the Versova-Bandra Sea Link (VBSL) project being on pipeline, this flyover will create a smooth corridor for the north-south bound traffic that will be travelling from the extreme end of western suburbs to the island city or vice-versa.Present status:– The BMC had finalised a consultant for this project back in 2020 and recently an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and a survey on the mangroves have been completed.– The BMC had submitted the reports and a proposal for the final alignment of this bridge to the Maharashtra Coastal Zonal Management Authority (MCZMA) for final clearance of this project and is awaiting the clearance.– The civic officials are hopeful that the clearance certificate would come in next two months following which a tender will be floated.Cost: Approximately Rs 400 croreConstruction time: 12 months (excluding the monsoon) after the day of issuing work order.Authority speak: “The project has been in the pipeline for more than a decade and has been deferred for multiple reasons. The flyover will pass through a mangrove zone and coastal area, therefore we have already submitted our proposal to the MCZMA for clearance. They had provided some inputs in the previous application that we had made and have submitted a fresh proposal on the same. After the project gets cleared, tenders will be floated and contractor will be appointed for the project,” said an official from civic bridges department.Citizen speak: “The proposed Versova-Madh bridge is supposed to be a pivotal linkage between Versova and Madh island and with the coastal road nearing its deadline, this bridge is need of the hour. Since, not only it will declutter the traffic movement but also will save time, fuel and money for thousands of Mumbaikars every day,” said Dhaval Shah, a local resident and co-founder of the Lokhandwala Oshiwara Citizen’s Association (LOCA).
Pune city police last Monday arrested an online fraudster who cheated about 200 persons in Maharashtra through an advertisement on Facebook, promising instant loans of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh in two hours.Police, during the investigation, have found that the accused Vitthal Babu Jarande, 33, resident of Uruli Devachi and native of Osmanabad, have cheated ‘customers’ to the tune of Rs 7 lakh by charging them a ‘processing fee’.A court remanded him in police custody till Friday.According to police, Jarande posted an advertisement on his FB page in October 2020 offering loans in the range of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh within two hours, following which he received several queries.“Jarande used to ask the ‘customers’ to forward him their Aadhaar Card, PAN card, and other documents on his WhatsApp number, along with Rs 5,000 towards processing fees and commission. After receiving the money, he blocked the customers on his phone,” a police official said.The fraud came to light after one of the victims recently lodged a first information report (FIR) with the Dattawadi police station. A team headed by senior police inspector Abhay Mahajan initiated a probe into the case.