News Flash – 1 February 2020

National News



Bhiwandi Family Robbed of Rs.1.8 Crore Cash & Valuables at Gunpoint

Robbers broke into the 6-BHK in Bhiwandi when the house owner was out on a morning walk and his family was asleep.



Bhiwandi: Robbers broke into a house in Bhiwandi and looted cash and valuables vat a total Rs 1.8 crore after threatening the family at gunpoint and tying them up. The incident took place early Thursday when the house owner, Jagdish Patil, had left for a walk after securing the main door with a lock. Patil lives in a 6-BHK in BC Apartment at Kalher with his wife, daughter and son. Patil, who is related to BJP MP Kapil Patil, is a local landlord. Patil’s son, Shubham, has filed a police complaint stating that soon after his father left for a walk at 6am, the gang of four broke open the lock and gained entry into a bedroom in which his mother and sister were sleeping. He said the robbers, who were speaking in Hindi, threatened his mother, Vandana, and sister, Pallavi, with a revolver. They tied his mother’s hands and legs. They took all the cash and valuables from the locker and then entered Shubham’s room. They bound his limbs and emptied that locker, too, and fled. According to the complaint, the robbers took away Rs 65 lakhs cash and gold ornaments worth Rs 1.2 lakh. Pallavi then called up her father who approached the local Narpoli police station. DCP, Bhiwandi, Rajkumar Shinde said 12 teams have been formed to crack the case. Police said the faces of two accused are visible in the CCTV footage. They suspect the role of someone known to the family.



Military Doctors to First Screen those coming back from Wuhan

Evacuees from Wuhan wearing masks, along with Air India crew in protective gear. Evacuees will be quarantined upon their arrival in Delhi.



New Delhi/Beijing: Apart from Army and ITBP isolation facilities where the returnees from Wuhan will be kept under observation for at least 14 days, a 50-bed isolation unit has been set up at Safdarjung Hospital for critically ill patients. Once the Boeing 747 carrying students from Wuhan returns to Delhi, the passengers will undergo initial screening at the airport by a joint team of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) and Airport Health Authority (APHO), and then taken directly to the quarantine centres. About 280 male students are to be taken to the Manesar camp and about 90 passengers, comprising families and women, will go to the Chhawla camp, the health ministry said. The plane, with 15 crew and five cockpit members, has 423 passenger seats. It’s carrying five doctors from RML Hospital and one paramedical staffer of Air India, along with medicines, masks, overcoats, packed food and other equipment. “A team of engineers and security personnel are also in the special aircraft. The rescue mission is led by Captain Amitabh Singh, director (operations) at Air India,” said Dhananjay Kumar, the airline’s spokesperson. At Wuhan, nearly 400 Indians had reached the airport ahead of their evacuation. They had received their boarding passes and were expecting to fly early morning on Saturday.



The returnees went through a check-up at Wuhan. Reports reaching Beijing indicated none of the travellers was stopped at the time of giving boarding passes. Most of them are students in five universities in Wuhan. At Delhi airport, the Army said the evacuees will be classified into three groups. The first group of “suspect cases” showing signs of fever, cough or respiratory distress, will be directly transferred to an isolation ward at the Army Base Hospital in Delhi Cantonment (BHDC). The second category will be of “close contact cases”, which will include individuals who have visited a seafood/animal market or a health facility or have encountered a Chinese person with symptoms in the last 14 days. They will be escorted in earmarked vehicles directly to the quarantine facility. The third group of “non-contact cases” will also be clubbed along with the “close contact” category and sent to the quarantine facility. All returnees and visitors, in turn, will wear three-layered masks. After 14 days, persons with no symptoms will be allowed to go home with their detailed documentation being sent to their district/state surveillance units for further observation.



5 Killed, Many Trapped after Blast at UP Cracker Factory



Muzaffarnagar: A massive explosion ripped apart a fire cracker factory in UP’s Shamli district on Friday afternoon leaving at least five persons dead. Three women were also among the dead. The impact of the explosion was so massive that the entire building turned into a big pile of rubble within seconds, police said. A rescue operation was on till the last reports came in and the rescuers, with the help of earth movers, were removing the debris of the factory in Kandla area on Delhi-Saharanpur road. The owner of factory, 57-year-old Intezar Ahmed was also among the dead. According to locals, there were several other workers in the factory at the time of explosion. Several fire engines were also pressed into service to douse the fire which had engulfed the debris.



4 New Suspected Coronavirus Cases in Hyderabad, Government says no need to Panic


Hyderabad: As four more persons with symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) were admitted to state-run Fever Hospital on Friday, the health authorities urged people to avoid crowded places. “People should not panic about Coronavirus, but be careful and avoid crowded places as a precaution,” read a statement issued by the health department. In a huge relief for authorities, the much-awaited testing kits arrived from Delhi and the state government said they would begin testing samples within 48 hours in Hyderabad. The samples of the four persons, including a woman, were sent to National Institute of Virology (NIV) Pune, along with two more samples for tests. These four persons are between 25 years and 40 years of age and travelled to China in the last fortnight. “New suspected cases have been reported on Friday. We had a total of 15 suspected cases, of which nine have been tested negative. The report of six other samples are wait from NIV Pune,” said Vijay Kumar, state nodal officer. Officials at Gandhi Medical College, where testing for Novel Coronavirus will begin, said that sufficient number of kits have arrived in the first batch. “Once the tests are done here, they will be sent to NIV Pune to check that the tests have been done correctly. After getting a go ahead from NIV, all tests will be done locally,” said an official. Experts suggest maintaining high level of personal hygiene, exercise and self-isolation for 14 days in case people, who had travelled to China, witness symptoms. “Please do not send children to school if they feel sick. If a child has fever of 100F or above, he/she should rest at home until the fever is gone. If you have any health concerns, please consult with your physician or health care provider,” said Dr KK Agarwal, president of Confederation of Medical Association of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO), Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and past national president of Indian Medical Association (IMA).



Coronavirus: 2 in Isolation, 300 Quarantined at Home

ON HIGH ALERT: A special ambulance to handle suspected cases of coronavirus has been stationed at the Chennai airport.



Chennai: Two patients with history of travel to China were admitted to the isolation wards at city based Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital and Government Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital after they showed symptoms of coronavirus (2019-nCov). Besides, 240 people who arrived from China and neighbouring countries were advised to remain in mandatory home quarantine for 28 days. By the evening, that number touched 300. As the outbreak of the novel virus continues to spread across several countries, India has put its ports of entry on high alert. A 40-year-old woman from China, who landed in Chennai on Thursday, reported to the Chromepet Government General Hospital on Friday with cold. She feared that she may have contracted the viral disease. The woman was referred to the RGGH where she is now in the isolation ward for observation. “As of now we haven’t seen major symptoms of the disease. The patient is stable,” said hospital dean Dr R Jayanthi. Another patient, aged 25, who returned to the country before Pongal, went to Government Tiruvannamalai Medical College Hospital.



His condition is also stable, doctors said. Health minister C Vijayabaskar told reporters that samples for tests were not drawn from these patients as they did not show symptoms. Infectious disease experts say the symptoms for the disease mimic flu-cold, runny nose and fever. “We have asked all patients with these symptoms to report to the government hospital,” said director of public health Dr K Kolanda Swamy. As of now, testing facility for the virus is available only with the government. All private hospitals have been directed to notify suspected cases on admissions. They have been advised to follow standard protocols, including isolation, recommended for all infectious diseases. If tests turn positive they should once again notify the government. The department has sent information about the disease along with standard protocols to all private hospitals and medical bodies, Dr Kolanda Swamy said. Information will also be made available on the health department webpages along with helplines for corporates and establishments, he said.



International News



WHO says China Virus now Global Emergency


Shanghai/Beijing: The US drew China’s ire with a travel warning on Friday while businesses struggled with supply problems from the coronavirus epidemic that has killed 213 people and been declared a global emergency. Russia, Britain, Sweden and Italy all reported their first cases, Rome declaring its own national emergency as it sought to reconstruct the itinerary of two infected Chinese tourists. “Do not travel to China due to novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan,” the US state department said, raising the warning for China to the same level as Afghanistan and Iraq. On Friday, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines said they are suspending all service to mainland China. Beijing, which has only just started to mend tattered trade ties with the US, called that move “truly mean” given the World Health Organisation had commended its containment efforts and not recommended travel or trade curbs. “The WHO urged countries to avoid travel restrictions, but very soon after that, the US did the opposite,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said. “It’s truly mean”. Japan also advised citizens to put off non-urgent travel to China, while Bahrain recommended no travel to any country hit by the virus, and Iran urged a ban on all travellers from China. With fallout inevitable for the world’s No. 2 economy, global shares were heading for their biggest weekly losses since August on Friday, and oil and metals markets were showing even more brutal damage.



The outbreak could “reverberate globally”, Moody’s said. In the latest impact to big name corporations, South Korea’s Hyundai Motor said it planned to halt production of a sport utility vehicle this weekend to cope with a supply disruption caused by the outbreak. Appliance maker Electrolux issued a similar warning. And French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen said its three plants in Wuhan will remain closed until mid-February. After holding off as the crisis grew, the WHO said on Thursday the epidemic in China which originated from animals in Wuhan city did constitute a health emergency of international concern. Wuhan’s Communist Party chief said the city should have acted earlier to contain the virus. The number of confirmed cases has risen beyond 9,800. More than 130 cases have been reported in at least 25 other countries and regions. The WHO has reported at least eight cases of human-to-human transmission in four countries: the US, Germany, Japan and Vietnam. Thailand said it too had such a case. China’s statistics show just over 2% of infected people have died, suggesting the virus is less deadly than the 2002-2003 outbreak of SARS. But economists fear its impact could be bigger than SARS, which killed about 800 people at an estimated cost of $33 billion to the global economy, since China’s share of the world economy is now far greater.

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