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No Community Transfer yet: Union Health Ministry
News, Top Stories

No Community Transfer yet: Union Health Ministry

The WHO has defined the transmission scenarios that various countries are falling under. India, till now, has witnessed “Clusters of Cases” and not “Community Transfer”.

Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Health Ministry, said there is no community transmission of the coronavirus viral infection, thus people should not panic. He said the infection rate from coronavirus is not huge, for example out of 16,000 tests in a day, only 0.2 per cent cases have tested positive.

In response to the World Health Organization’s situation report, India was under Community transfer scenario however WHO later on admitted error in its report saying that it has now been fixed. India has a cluster of cases and not community transmission.

WHO has defined four transmission scenarios: no confirmed cases, sporadic cases, clusters of cases and community transfer.

WHO defines community transmission as when countries experience a large number of cases not linked to transmission chains and multiple unrelated clusters in several areas.

Operation SHIELD
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Operation SHIELD introduced by Delhi Government

The Delhi government launched ‘Operation SHIELD’ in 21 containment zones in the state. The announcement was made by the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

Operation Shield aims at curbing the spread of coronavirus pandemic within the National Capital Territory region which has over thousand virus contracted patients. Operation SHIELD stands for: 

S – Sealing 
H – Home quarantine
I – Isolation and Tracing
E – Essential supply
L – Local sanitation 
D – Door to door checks 

The area or surroundings of all the 33 zones are to be sealed. People living in these zones are to be home quarantined. The first and second contacts of the people are to be traced and isolated

The Government has also assured essential supply of commodities. The areas are to be sanitized by local authorities. Door-to-door health checks are to be conducted in these areas.

The project had been experimented at Dilshad garden and was found to be success. “We had experimented at Dilshad Garden when one foreign returned woman had turned positive and infected six or seven other people who came in contact with her. We then sealed the entire area. Operation shield was implemented there. All the steps taken under Operation Shield resulted in no new cases of Coronavirus being reported from the area (Dilshad Garden) in the past 10 days,” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said. 

The CM further mentioned that all new areas in Delhi with a rising number of infections are being identified and will be soon declared containment zones where Operation SHIELD will come into effect.

arogya setu
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Aarogya Setu App: Government introduces technology to combat virus

PM Modi has announced the app targeted to locate people who have been contracted with the virus. 

The app has been developed by the National Informatics Centre, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The App uses Bluetooth connectivity and location to contract tracing of the individual. Bluetooth helps the people to remain far from the containment area while location helps the Government to get access to the people who have been contracted by the virus.

It also has a chatbot built in it which takes down your symptoms to check which risk zone you are in. Individuals with high risk will be connected through the toll free 1075 line and will be taken to the nearest testing centre. 

The Prime Minister has urged various social media platform to promote the app saying that we have to take the right precautions and fight this pandemic. Aarogya Setu is an important step in that direction. By leveraging technology, it provides crucial information that will help users take necessary precautions. As the number of users increase, so will its effectiveness.

The app saw over 10 million downloads and is mulled to be used as an e-way passage amidst lockdown in the nation.

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Advisory issued for WhatsApp Users and Admins during the Covid-19 Pandemic [READ ADVISORY]

Predicaments like the one the world is currently facing, give rise to an array of fake news and misinformation, which is used by multiple groups to promote their own interests. Such information is commonly shared and forwarded however it does have serious consequences and largely influences public sentiment.  

With a sudden surge in the magnitude of sources that are now being used for procuring information, it is becoming all the more difficult to look for authentic and reliable news. During times of crisis, it is often seen that social media platforms are exploited by users to propagate fake news and misinformation. These platforms are also immensely used by people to promote their communal and political interests. While it is a difficult task to identify such incorrect data, it is also a herculean task to regulate its promulgation. This increases the responsibility on users and admins to ensure that the information being circulated in their social media sphere is authentic and is in no way part of this propaganda. 

The Cyber Cell of Maharashtra Police has released an advisory to be followed by WhatsApp users and Admins during the Covid-19 Pandemic to regulate the spread of fake news and misinformation that might have the repercussion of inciting panic and hate among classes of the population. While the advisory in itself, is not binding in nature, it does list down several statutory offences one might be liable under if caught spreading misinformation, promoting enmity between groups, making assertions prejudicial to national integration and so on. 

The guidelines laid down in the advisory are simply a set of precautions that can be followed in an age where social media is being so actively and vastly used. An adherence to these guidelines will also save users and admins from any kind of statutory liability that they might otherwise be legally responsible for.  

A train standing on the outskirts
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Non-AC ICF Coaches turned into Isolation Cabins

As part of COVID-19 preparedness, it has been decided by Indian Railways that it would be prepared to modify 20000 coaches into quarantine/ isolation coaches to augment the quarantine facilities being created in the country. 

In this connection consultations were held with Armed Forces Medical Services, Medical Department of various Zonal Railways, and Ayushman Bharat, Ministry of Health, Government of India. Five Zonal Railways have already prepared prototypes for the quarantine/ isolation coaches. 

These modified 20000 coaches can accommodate upto 3.2 lac possible beds for isolation needs. Work on modification of 5000 coaches, which are to be converted initially into quarantine/ isolation coaches has already started. These 5000 coaches would be having capacity to accommodate upto 80000 beds. One coach is expected to have 16 beds for isolation. 

Only Non-AC ICF sleeper coaches are being planned to be utilized for conversion into Quarantine/ isolation coaches. One Indian style toilet is to be converted into a bathing room. It is to be equipped with bucket, mug and soap dispenser. Taps with lift type handle would be provided in washbasins. Similar tap to be provided at proper height so that bucket can be filled.

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