News Flash – 22 May 2018

National News



Kerala nurse taking care of Nipah patients dies; death toll rises to 10

Lini (31), the nurse at Perambra Taluk Hospital who died on Monday after possibly getting exposed to the deadly virus while tending to a Nipah virus infected patient.



KOZHIKODE: Lini (31), the nurse at Perambra Taluk Hospital who died on Monday after possibly getting exposed to the deadly virus while tending to a Nipah virus infected patient, died without even getting a chance to bid adieu to her loved ones, including her two kids and husband. With Lini’s death, the toll has now gone up to 10. On Sunday, the toll had risen to nine with the death of six more persons who had shown symptoms of the disease. Of this, two deaths were reported from Kozhikode and four from Malappuram district.



The stamp of sacrifice was there at her funeral, too. Her family from Chembanoda region near Peruvannamuzhi allowed the health department to cremate at an electric crematorium in the city without taking the body home to avoid the spread of the virus. “In her last days, she realised she had contacted a possibly-fatal infection after the youth from Changaroth — whom she had attended to in the initial stages — died. She lived to help others and her death has become a sacrifice,” said her maternal uncle V Balan. Her two children, Sidharth (5) and Rithul (2), couldn’t give their mother one last kiss. On hearing that Lini was sick, her husband Sajeesh had come home from the Gulf two days ago. Rajeev Sadanandan, additional chief secretary, department of health & family welfare, said the virus was confirmed in tests conducted at a Pune institute on samples of the three deceased from a family at Changaroth. He said the department has not been able to ascertain the extent of the spread of the disease as the virus has an incubation period of four to 18 days. Tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran condoled her death and shared on Facebook the final letter she wrote to her husband.



JJ strike: Hospital to get 25 Security Guards today and buzzers

Resident doctors of state-run J J Hospital stage a protest during a strike, over the alleged assault of two of their colleagues following the death of a patient at the hospital, in Mumbai, on Monday.



MUMBAI: Twenty-five new security men will be inducted on Tuesday morning to fortify state-run JJ Hospital, Byculla, after 400-odd resident doctors struck work for three days to protest against the attack on two of their colleagues by a dead patient’s relatives. “We have reorganized security to ensure every floor has two security guards round-the-clock. We will also have security supervisors carrying out regular patrol,” said joint director of medical education Dr T P Lahane late on Monday. Earlier in the day, a security review of the 45-acre JJ campus was carried out by medical education department and MARD (Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors). “We explained to our residents that civil work to place the alarms they have demanded will take a few weeks, but security will be enhanced immediately,” said JJ Hospital dean Dr S Nanandkar. MARD representatives, though, refused to confirm till late in the night if they have called off their stir. A representative told TOI that the strike would continue till “we get a written assurance” or “we see new guards posted in every ward”.


Meanwhile, civic-run Sion Hospital’s 545 resident doctors as well as state-run Government Medical College in Nanded observed a token strike in “solidarity” on Monday. Resident doctors in BMC-run KEM and Nair Hospital wore black badges. The JJ strike started after the assault on resident doctors by a dead patient’s family on Saturday. “Dr Atish Parekh could have lost an eye but escaped with a fractured facial bone, while the female resident has suffered severe psychological trauma,” said a resident doctor. Meanwhile, security has been tightened at JJ Hospital. Passes of relatives are being fervently checked by security personnel and families waiting outside wards are also monitored. On Monday, the hospital’s outpatient department (OPD) ran smoothly as senior doctors were asked to take over. The residents too held a parallel OPD. Meanwhile, 545 resident doctors from the BMC-run Sion Hospital observed a token strike and stayed away from OPDs that were run by senior faculty. “By noon, we had 1,909 OPD patients, 176 causalities, 63 admissions and seven deliveries,” said Sion Hospital’s dean Dr Jayashree Monkar. “Non-emergency appointments were given latter dates to help up get a better grip on the situation”.



AP Superfast Express catches fire in Gwalior



BHOPAL: Two coaches of Visakhapatnam-H Nizamuddin22416 AC SF Express train caught fire near Birla Nagar railway station in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh on Monday afternoon. The train was stopped 2 km away from the Gwalior railway station where rescue operations were underway. No injuries were reported. Fire was reported from the B6 and B7 coaches. All passengers have been evacuated safely.



KEM 296: Security depends on hospital’s floor plan?

Security guards outside KEM Hospital on Monday.


Mumbai: While the state government and resident doctors of JJ Hospital, Byculla, have been arguing about the number of security guards needed to check violence, a look at BMC’s hospitals reveals a telling story. The 1,800-bedded BMC-run KEM Hospital in Parel, for instance, has 296 security guards. JJ Hospital has the same number of beds as KEM, but has 169-170 guards, with more than half the strength from a private company. KEM Hospital dean Dr Avinash Supe told TOI: “We carried out a drill after the JJ Hospital attack on Saturday and established that every CCTV and panic buttons in our hospital works.” JJ promised an alarm system to its resident doctors 18 months ago but has only now begun doing its homework for a wireless system. The BMC’s two other teaching hospitals— LTMG at Sion and Nair at Mumbai Central—have fewer beds than JJ, but have equal or more guards. BMC officials said the 1,750-bedded Sion Hospital has 319 security guards while 1,400-bedded Nair Hospital has 170 guards.


State officials have an explanation. JJ Hospital dean Dr S Nanandkar said, “Security is a relative term.” Moreover, the floor plan of JJ Hospital is such that two wards originate from a central point. “If one guard is placed at this common point, he can man both the wards,” said the dean. At a meeting held on Monday with state education minister Girish Mahajan, it was decided that guards would be reorganized. Dr Harshalkumar Mahajan, general secretary, Sion Hospital MARD group, said, “JJ Hospital has 150 security personnel distributed over three shifts, while Sion Hospital has around 350 security guards working in three shifts. These numbers reflect the security crisis at JJ as it not only has a larger footfall, but also lacks sufficient number of guards to maintain the crowd.” Sion Hospital dean Dr Jayashree Mondkar issued a caveat though. “We got new security personnel five months ago, but they lack the training our previous teams had”.



International News



Sri Lanka storms, landslides kill 5, leave 1,000 displaced


COLOMBO: Heavy monsoon rains in Sri Lanka have killed five people, prompting authorities to warn against landslides and floods in low-lying areas after spill gates had to be opened across the Indian Ocean island. Lightning killed three people, a landslide a fourth, and the fifth death was the result of a fallen tree, said officials at the country’s Disaster Management Centre. The centre’s spokesman, Pradeep Kodippili, said flooding has forced the evacuation of people in areas where several rivers are overflowing, while four districts are on “red alert” for possible landslides. “People in those four districts have been cautioned to be vigilant,” Kodippili told Reuters. The army has sent more than 100 soldiers with more than 25 boats to tackle the emergency, its spokesman, Sumith Atapattu, told Reuters. May kicks off the monsoon season in Sri Lanka’s south, usually the region’s wettest time of year, running until September. From November to February, the northwest monsoon also brings the island heavy rain. Heavy rains and intermittent droughts have hit tea, the country’s main export crop, which brings in earnings of more than $1 billion. Tea output rose last year for the first time in four years. However, the weather this year has not been harsh enough to affect the stock market and companies, brokers said, although firms in the plantation industry could be hit. Growth in Sri Lanka hit a 16-year low of 3.1 per cent in 2017, mainly due to a flood that killed more than 100 people and a lengthy drought in some areas.



Indonesia raises alert for Merapi volcano, sets no-go zone


JAKARTA: Indonesian authorities raised the alert for the country’s most volatile volcano, located on the densely populated island of Java, and ordered people within 3 kilometers (2 miles) to evacuate. Mount Merapi has erupted four times since Monday, sending out a 3,500 meter (11,483 feet) column of volcanic material and dusting the surrounding region in ash. Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, the national disaster mitigation agency’s spokesman, said some 660 people living within the exclusion zone have evacuated since Tuesday. Indonesia’s geological agency raised Merapi’s alert from normal to “beware,” because of its increased activity. The 2,968-meter (9,737-foot) mountain near the city of Yogyakarta is the most active of more than 120 active Indonesian volcanoes.



Chinese police deploy drones to bust gambling gangs


BEIJING: Police in the central Chinese province of Hubei deployed drones to bust a gambling gang, which often changed its area of operation, and arrested 12 gang members and 49 suspected gamblers, a police official said on Monday. According to the Wuhan Public Security Bureau, police had launched an operation to find the gang, which was active in the cities of Wuhan and Xiantao. But, the gang members often changed their locations, a police official said. On May 15, police deployed drones to spy on a suspected gambling site from where the gang used to operate. The drones helped the police in getting a three-dimensional views of the suspected site and planning their raid, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Police had recovered over 50,000 yuan ($7,836) from them and also seized two point of sale (POS) machines and several equipments being used in gambling, during the raid, the official said.

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